George Vickers (b. 1801 - d.
MSA SC 5496-34799
Property Owner, Kent County, Maryland
During the Antebellum period, George Vickers was one of Kent County's most prominent citizens. Vickers was born on November 19, 1801 in Chestertown, Maryland. 1 Being from a prominent family, Vickers was afforded the luxury of achieving his highest goals. His parents were able to provide him with a classical education, which led to him being employed at the county clerk's office for several years. 2 After his classical education, he soon decided to study law and was admitted to the bar in 1832. 3 Once he became a lawyer, he decided to open a law practice in downtown Chestertown on Court Street. His farm was located around three miles outside of Chestertown in the Quaker Neck area of the county.
He established himself prominently in the years preceding the Civil War. In 1852, he was elected as a delegate to the Whig National Convention. 4 His prominence within the state led him to being appointed a Major-General within the State militia during the Civil War. 5 In 1866, he was one of the vice-presidents of the Union Convention. 6 Then, from 1866 to 1867 he was a member of the State Senate. 7 This would ultimately lead to him being elected a U.S. Senator for the term that ended on March 3, 1873. 8
Before the Civil War began, George Vickers was a slave owner. According to the Kent County slave statistics, Vickers owned 23 slaves. Of those 23 slaves, he was compensated $100 for each of his five slaves that enlisted in the Civil War. One of his former slaves, William Hales, enlisted in Company F of the 7th U.S. colored troops regiment on September 27, 1863. After providing a sworn affidavit proving the slaves were under his ownership, Vickers was then entitled to his $100 compensation.
A lawyer by occupation, Vickers was able to propel himself forward within the state of Maryland. According to the 1870 federal census, Vickers had a real estate value worth $77,000, with his personal estate value being listed as $7,000. Vickers was substantially wealthy and was able to afford numerous luxuries that were evident on the 1870 census. George had a total of seven others in his household. There were three African-Americans named Jane (a cook), George, (a hostler), and Eliza who was listed as a nurse. According to the census, his wife Mary had the occupation of "Keeping House." The others listed in the household were M Clara who was 19 years old; James M. who was aged 38 and a school teacher, and Harrison W. who was aged 23 and studying law.
The life of George Vickers was one of prominence as he achieved social, economic, and political standing in Kent County, Maryland. On October 8, 1879, George Vickers passed away in Chestertown, Maryland. According to his last will and testament, his wife, Mary Ann Vickers was to receive all of his personal estate from what he owned at the time of his will and what he may have owned after the will was certified.
1. Fred G. Usilton. History of Kent County, Maryland: 1630-1916 (Maryland: Heritage Books, INC., 1994), 143.
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