Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

James M. Broome (b. 1778 - d. 1823)
MSA SC 5496-050673
War of 1812 Claimant, St. Mary's County, Maryland

Biography:

James M. Broome was a property owner who lived in St. Mary's County, MD. James Mackall Broome was born in Maryland on June 2, 1778 to John Broome and Betty Heigh Gantt Broome.1 He had at least two brothers, John and Benjamin Broome.2 When he arrived at the age to marry he took for a wife Ann Driver.3 Broome moved to Baltimore City in 1807, where he was employed as a lawyer.4 His wife Anne died August 9, 1808. In 1812, James Broome married Margaret Mackall, the only daughter of John Mackall, Jr.5 The couple moved into the home of Margaret's grandfather, John Mackall, Sr., after his death on August 18, 1813.6 Margaret Mackall Broome inherited portions of her grandfather's land, which were deeded to her by her father John Mackall, Jr.7 Eventually she would gain complete ownership of her grandfather's land. Sadly, Margaret died in 1816 and the property that she inherited fell into the hands of her husband, James Mackall Broome.8 The next year James Broome was remarried to Ann Martin on April 26, 1817.9 James Broome and his third wife became the parents of three children: John, Mary Ann, and Sarah.10

James Broome was a property owner who held enslaved people in his possession. At least eleven enslaved individuals lived and worked at his farm.11 He acquired most of the slaves he owned through his marriage to his second wife Margaret Mackall Broome. One of the families that he acquired were an enslaved woman Violet and her children Toby, Ephraim, Emmory, and Mariah.12 This group of enslaved people would eventually escape from Broome while America was at war with Great Britain. Seven of Broome's enslaved people, including Violet and her children, fled from him in 1814.13 The slaves went on board a British vessel which was lying in the Potomac River.14 Slaves in St. Mary's County would continue to escape to British ships until the end of the war. The war of 1812 ended when the Treaty of Ghent was signed on December 24, 1814.15 At the end of the war more than 700 slaves escaped into the protection of the British military from Maryland.16

Maryland property owners were infuriated that their personal possessions were taken away by the British during the war. Among the property that was carried away and/or destroyed were livestock, vessels, and household objects.17 However, the greatest loss were those enslaved individuals who carried out the day to day tasks enforced by their former owners. Following the war Broome, like hundreds of other Marylanders, submitted a claim to the Department of State for the loss of his slaves that ran off to the British.18 The claim was filed for himself and his father in law John Mackall, Jr.19 Broome's father in law died prior to the claims for indemnity being filed, therefore his wife as the legal heir was entitled to Mackall's portion of the award money.20 A commission was formed through the Department of State to handle the claims for indemnity, in which the citizens in the United States, were seeking compensation from the British government for stolen and destroyed property.21 It was decided that Maryland residents would be awarded $280 for each enslaved person that they could prove ran off to or were carried away by the British military.22 James M. Broome would be compensated for his seven slaves and 12 additional runaways that belonged to Mackall.

In the years after the war Broome continued to hold enslaved people in his possession. In 1821, he was assessed for eight enslaved people: Phillis, Easter, James, Adam, Henry, Jerry, Reuben, and Eliza.23 For the years 1821 and 1822, Broome hired an enslaved woman, Tilda, from Jenifer Taylor.24 James M. Broome, held enslaved people until his death on February 9, 1823 in St. Mary's County, Maryland.25 Broome died intestate, without a will, but an inventory was taken of the property that he had in his possession. The following slaves were listed on his inventory: Robin, Henry, James, Adam, Jere, Mary, Easter, Eliza, Sarah Ann, and Alec.26 Broome's widow along with Benjamin Broome were the administrators of his estate, which was appraised by Thomas Bennett and Jenifer Taylor. The widow, Ann Martin Broome went on to remarry John C. Ashcomb.27 Through his marriage to Ann Broome, Ashcomb became the administrator of the late James M. Broome.28 Ashcomb also became the guardian of the Broome children and managed the estate until they came of age.29 The downside of becoming Broome's administrator was a suit being brought against the estate. Following Broome's death a case was brought against the estate by Jenifer Taylor for debts that were owed to him by James M. Broome.30 Taylor said that Broome was indebted to him for the enslaved woman Tilda that was hired out to him between 1821-1822, cash lent to the family of Broome to purchase wine in sickness and death, cash paid to the editors of the Daily National Intelligencer for part ownership of the paper, and advanced payment for the deceased' coffin.31 At the same time the Ashcomb's continued to pursue the claim for indemnity which was filed by Broome. The courts ordered that the award be paid in favor of the representatives of John Mackall, Jr.32 
1.    SPECIAL COLLECTIONS, Dr. Lois Green Carr Research Collection, [MSA SC 5906-6-459]
2.    ibid.
3.    CAROLINE COUNTY COURT (Marriage Licenses) 1797-1818 [C534-2], 30.
4.   
SPECIAL COLLECTIONS, Dr. Lois Green Carr Research Collection, [MSA SC 5906-6-459]
5.    ST. MARY'S COUNTY COURT (Marriage Licenses) 1794-1851 [CM905-1]
6.    SPECIAL COLLECTIONS, Dr. Lois Green Carr Research Collection, [MSA SC 5906-6-459]
7.    COURT OF APPEALS (Land Record Abstracts, SM) 1813-1818 [S1361-4]
8.    Ridgely, Helen W. Historic Graves of Maryland and the District of Columbia. (New York: The Grafton Press, 1908), 45.
9.   
ST. MARY'S COUNTY COURT (Marriage Licenses) 1794-1851 [CM905-1]
10.    SPECIAL COLLECTIONS, Dr. Lois Green Carr Research Collection, [MSA SC 5906-6-459]
11.    U.S. Census Record (Census Record, MD) for James M. Broome, 1820, St. Mary's County, Page 1, Line 15 [MSA SM61-76, M 2067-2].
12.   
Claim of James M. Broome, St. Mary's County, Case No. 841, Case Files. Ca. 1814-28, entry 190, Record Group 76, National Archives, College Park
13.    ibid.
14.    ibid.
15.    Treaty of Ghent, 1814; International Treaties and Related Records, 1778-1974; General Records of the United States Government; Record Group 11; National Archives.
16.    Definitive List of Slaves and Property, 1827 - 1828, entry 192, Record Group 76, National Archives, College Park. According to the Definitive List, 712 enslaved people escaped from Maryland, but that number did not include individuals who were not able to submit a claim to the Department of State.
17.   
American State Papers, House of Representatives, 20th Congress, 1st Session, Foreign Relations: Volume 6, 855.
18.    Claim of James M. Broome, St. Mary's County, Case No. 841, Case Files. Ca. 1814-28, entry 190, Record Group 76, National Archives, College Park.
19.    ibid.
20.    ibid.
21.   
American State Papers, House of Representatives, 20th Congress, 1st Session, Foreign Relations: Volume 6, 855.
22.    Definitive List of Slaves and Property, 1827 - 1828, entry 192, Record Group 76, National Archives, College Park.
23.    ST. MARY'S COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF THE TAX (Assessment Record, Slaves) 1804-1821 [C1544].
24.    ST. MARY'S COUNTY COURT (Equity Papers), "Jenifer Taylor vs. John C. Ashcomb and Ann Ashcomb. Estate of James M. Broome," [MSA C1591-123].
25.    ibid.
26.    ST. MARY'S COUNTY REGISTER OF WILLS, (Inventories), 1817-1824, James M. Broome, [MSA CM917-7], 689.
27.   
ST. MARY'S COUNTY COURT (Marriage Licenses) 1794-1851 [CM905-1]
28.    ST. MARY'S COUNTY COURT (Equity Papers), "Jenifer Taylor vs. John C. Ashcomb and Ann Ashcomb. Estate of James M. Broome," [MSA C1591-123].
29.    SPECIAL COLLECTIONS, Dr. Lois Green Carr Research Collection, "Broome, James Mackall -- summary and documentary chronology" [MSA SC 5906-6-459]
30.   
ST. MARY'S COUNTY COURT (Equity Papers), "Jenifer Taylor vs. John C. Ashcomb and Ann Ashcomb. Estate of James M. Broome," [MSA C1591-123].
31.    ibid.
32.   
Claim of James M. Broome, St. Mary's County, Case No. 841, Case Files. Ca. 1814-28, entry 190, Record Group 76, National Archives, College Park

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