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A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al.
Volume 426, Page 634   View pdf image (33K)
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on November 9, 1778, during the 1st session of
the 1778-1779 Assembly to fill vacancy; qualified
on July 20, 1779), 1779-1780 (resigned on May
16, 1780, during the 3rd session of the 1779-1780
Assembly), Term of 1786-1791: 1786 (declined
to serve November 30, 1786); Lower House, Queen
Anne's County, 1786-1787 (Elections 1, 2;
FICES. 1st Council of Safety, Western Shore, 1775;
judge, General Court, appointed February 12,
1778, resigned October 24, 1778; Special Council
on the Defense of the State, appointed by Act of
Assembly in October 1780; commissioner of con-
fiscated British property, appointed 1781, re-
signed 1781; governor, 1782-1785; Executive
Council, 1786 (elected April 27, 1786, to fill va-
cancy, resigned November 4, 1786); Constitution
Ratification Convention, Harford County, 1788.
LOCAL OFFICES: common councilman, Annapolis,
elected 1766; churchwarden, St. Anne's Parish,
Anne Arundel County, 1770-1771; St. Anne's
Parish Vestry, Anne Arundel County, 1771-1774;
alderman, Annapolis, 1781; Board of Visitors and
Governors, Washington College, in office 1783,
1789. OUT OF STATE SERVICE: delegate, Conti-
nental Congress, elected June 1774, December
1774, April 1775, August 1775, May 1776, July
1776, November 1776, February 1777, December
1777 (disqualified because of appointment as judge
of the General Court of Maryland), November
1778, April 1780 (to fill vacancy, did not attend,
resigned May 13, 1780); judge, Court of Appeals
for Admiralty and Prize Cases, appointed by
Congress in 1780; judge, Federal District Court
of Maryland, appointed 1789-death. STANDS ON
PUBLIC/PRIVATE ISSUES: active in the Stamp Act
protest in Annapolis, 1765-1766, and an early
organizer of the Sons of Liberty in Anne Arundel
County. He opposed officers' and clergymen's
fees during the Fee Bill controversy, 1770-ca.
1773, and with Samuel Chase (1741-1811) de-
bated the legality of the clergy's fees with the Rev.
Jonathan Boucher in the Maryland Gazette. Pa-
ca's letters in the newspaper give clearly reasoned
arguments for the illegality of the poll tax col-
lected to support the Church of England. With
Chase and Thomas Johnson (1732-1819), Paca
successfully defended Joseph Hanson Harrison (?-
1785) in a test case against the poll tax, 1773.
Paca voted for the Declaration of Independence
on July 4, 1776, and signed the engrossed copy
on August 2, 1776. He declined serving as a del-
egate to the Constitutional Convention in Phil-
adelphia in 1787 feeling that a strong central gov-

ernment would jeopardize the rights of states and
individuals. A leader of the Antifederalists in
Maryland, who opposed ratification of the U.S.
Constitution, 1787-1788, Paca proposed twenty-
eight amendments to the Constitution to ensure
basic personal freedoms and limit federal power.
Many of his ideas were later incorporated into
SONAL PROPERTY: inherited 1 slave from his
grandmother Martha Paca, 1746; assessed value,
Anne Arundel and Queen Anne's counties,
£3,265.6.8, including 69 slaves and 560 oz. plate,
1783; 92 slaves, Queen Anne's County, 1790; house
and outbuildings on Wye Island valued at
$3,000.0.0, house in Anne Arundel County (ten-
anted) valued at $400.0.0, and at least 40 slaves,
1798. ADDITIONAL COMMENT: Both Mary Chew,
his first wife, and Ann Harrison, his second wife,
were women of "affluent fortune." LAND AT FIRST
ELECTION: probably 2,462 acres in Queen Anne's,
Frederick, and Baltimore (later Harford) coun-
ties, plus 2 lots on Prince George Street and part
of 3 lots on Church Street, Annapolis (695 acres
in Baltimore County a gift from father; 115 acres
in Baltimore County by purchase; 143 acres in
Queen Anne's County by patent; 1,028 acres in
Frederick County his part of a 2,057-acre patent
held with Samuel Chase (1741-1811); 2 lots in
Annapolis by purchase; 480 acres in Frederick
County and part of 3 lots in Annapolis by mar-

her 480 acres in Frederick County in 1768 and
bought from Chase the other half of their 2,057-
acre patent in that county, 1769; inherited through
his wife Mary one-half of Wye Island (ca. 1,475
acres). Queen Anne's County, from her brother,
1770; sold the 143-acre tract in Queen Anne's
County and 2,057-acre patent in Frederick
County, 1771; after the division of their three
Church Street lots in Annapolis with Mary's sister
and John Beale Bordley (1726/27-1804) in 1772,
the Pacas sold their portion, 1772-1773; pur-
chased 1 lot on Cornhill Street in Annapolis, and
ca. 175 acres in Baltimore County, 1773; through
marriage to Ann Harrison, Paca became entitled
to a life estate in one-sixth of her father's property
in Pennsylvania; sold the 2 lots on Prince George
Street in Annapolis, and purchased another lot
in Annapolis and 2 lots on Walnut Street in Phil-
adelphia, 1780; sold 1 of the Annapolis lots, 1782;
under the terms of his father's will, Paca took
control of at least 250 acres in Harford County
before 1783 and in that year he sold ca. 700 acres



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A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al.
Volume 426, Page 634   View pdf image (33K)
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