Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Richard Thomas Sr. (ca. 1728-1806)
MSA SC 3520-1248

Biography
Born:. ca. 1728; eldest son. 
Native: Fourth generation.
Resided: Lower Newfoundland Hundred, Frederick (later became Montgomery) County. 

Family Background
Father: John Thomas (1697-1749/50), son of Samuel Thomas (ca. 1655-by 1743) and wife Mary Frances Hutchins. 
Mother: Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Snowden, the Younger (?-1763) of Anne Arundel County, ironmaster and owner of the Patuxent Iron Works.
Aunt: Margaret Snowden, who married John Contee (1722-ca. 1796). 
Brothers: John; Samuel. 
Sister: Elizabeth, who married (first name unknown) Richardson.  
Married: by 1753, Sarah, daughter of Skipwith Coale and wife Margaret Holland. Sarah, a Quaker, was said to have been disowned by the West River meeting upon her marriage, but in 1766 the meeting acknowledged the error.

Children
Sons: Samuel (1753-by 1806), who married Mary Cowman; Richard (1758-1821), who married Deborah, daughter of Roger Brooke and wife Mary; John (1760?); and William (1771-?), who married Martha Patrick.
Daughters: Elizabeth (1755-?), who married Roger Johnson; Mary (1762-?), who married William Robertson; Sarah (1764-by 1806), who married Bernard Gilpin; Henrietta (1767-?); and Margaret (1769-by 1806), who married Gerard Brooke.

Private Career 
Education: Literate. 
Religious Affiliation: Quaker, Sandy Spring Meeting 
Occupational Profile: Planter, principally tobacco. 

Public Career 
Maryland Legislature: 1st Convention, Frederick County, 1774. 
Other State Office: Constitution Ratification Convention, Montgomery County, 1788.
Local Offices: Committee of Correspondence, Frederick County, elected 1774; judge, Court of Appeals for Tax Assessment, Montgomery County, appointed April 22, 1786, refused his appointment May 22, 1786. 
Stands on Public/Private Issues: Left instructions that on the day of his death all male slaves above 21 years and all female slaves above 18 years were to be manumitted; all other slaves were to be freed as they came of age. 

Wealth during Lifetime: 
Personal Property:
Assessed value 2,007.0.0, including 61 slaves and 16 oz. plate, 1783; 54 slaves, 1790; assessed value 1,420.0.0, including 48 slaves and 40 oz. plate, 1793; assessed value 1,461.13.10, including 51 slaves and 55 oz. plate, 1798. 
Land at First Election: 5,011 acres in Frederick County. 
Significant Changes in Land between First Election and Death: Patented 133 acres between 1798 and 1802, lost 127 acres on a resurvey of a large tract in 1795, and obtained an additional 1,012 acres by 1798 as reflected on the 1798 tax assessment, all in Montgomery County; sold 47 acres by 1798, and gave away ca. 2,800 acres to his children and other family members shortly before his death.

Wealth at Death 
Died: between November 28 and December 15, 1806; will probated in Montgomery County.
Personal Property: Total Estate Value, $32,188.85 current money (including 45 slaves and 32 shares of bank stock); Final Balance: $28,303.17.
Land: ca. 3,200 acres in Montgomery County.  

Source: Edward C. Papenfuse, et al., eds. A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature, 1635-1789. Vol II. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985, p. 812.

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