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A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al.
Volume 426, Page 772   View pdf image (33K)
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partnerships. In the resulting Chancery case in
1794, Sterett's father testified that John was heav-
ily indebted to him on private accounts and that
he had been sued as surviving partner in their
firm and had paid or secured to be paid large
sums of money to settle their accounts. Sterett's
partnership with his brothers apparently fared no
better. His brother David died in 1791 with no
estate, and his brother Samuel Sterett (1758-1833)
was forced to file as an insolvent debtor because
of the many debts and claims outstanding against
the firm. John's widow stated that she believed
it would take most, if not all, of Sterett's real and
personal estate to satisfy his creditors. The court
ordered that Sterett's estate, both real and per-
sonal, be sold to satisfy the debts owed to Yellot
and many others as a result of his mercantile ven-
tures. The property sold included his one-eighth
interest in the Nottingham Irownworks, plus lands,
slaves, and other goods, which brought a total of
£2,800.0.0 current money to the estate. ADDI-
TION AL COMMENTS: owned a privateer during the
ICE Lower House, Baltimore Town, 1783
(Claims), 1784, 1785 (Claims). LOCAL OFFICES:
Committee of Observation, Baltimore County, in
office by 1776; purchasing agent, Baltimore
County, appointed 1778 (declined); warden, port
of Baltimore, 1782-1787; commissioner, Balti-
more Town, 1784-1786. MILITARY SERVICE: cap-
tain. Baltimore County Militia, by 1776; taken
prisoner at Eutaw Springs, 1781. WEALTH DURING


negroes, stock, and other goods belonging to
Charles Ridgely & Co., the former Nottingham
Ironworks, 1782; assessed value £1,245.0.0. in-
cluding 15 slaves, Anne Arundel County only,
1783; one-third interest in the goods and ships'
property belonging to John Sterett & Co., no
date. LAND AT FIRST ELECTION: 3,140 acres in Anne
Arundel and Baltimore counties, plus 5 unim-
proved lots in Baltimore Town, plus one-eighth
part of at least 4,738 acres in Baltimore County,
formerly the property of the Nottingham Iron-
works (195 acres through marriage, remainder by
purchase). WEALTH AT DEATH. DIED: on January
1, 1787, probably at Elkridge, Anne Arundel
County; buried in Westminster Presbyterian
Churchyard, Baltimore Town. PERSONAL PROP-
ERTY: TEV, £10,756.8.10 current money, or
$28,683.89 as calculated and converted (including
41 slaves, 877 oz. plate, books, one-third interest
in the goods and ships' property belonging to John
Sterett & Co., one-eighth interest in 62 slaves,

25 servants, and other personalty valued at
£529.0.0, which was his interest in Charles Ridgely
& Co.); FB, estate overpaid £294.12.8, or $785.68.
LAND: 3,140 acres in Anne Arundel and Balti-
more counties, at least 11 lots in Baltimore Town,
and one-eighth of the lands belonging to Charles
Ridgely & Co. in Baltimore and Anne Arundel

BORN: in 1758, probably in Lancaster County,
Pennsylvania; younger son. NATIVE: second gen-
eration. RESIDED: in Baltimore Town; New York
City, ca. 1797-1798; Baltimore City, at 32 South
Gay Street, ca. 1806. FAMILY BACKGROUND.
FATHER: James Sterett (1721-1796), who immi-
grated from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, ca.
1761, to Baltimore Town, where he was a mer-
chant in partnership with his son John from early
1771. A Presbyterian, James was the son of John
Sterett (?-1748), who immigrated from Ireland
(now Northern Ireland) to Pennsylvania, and his
wife Martha Work. MOTHER: (first name un-
known) McClure. MOTHER OR STEPMOTHER. Mary


Sterett (1750/51-1787); David (1765-1791), who
was killed in a duel in Baltimore Town by Thomas
Hadfield; Joseph; George; and William (?-1787).
SISTER OR HALF SISTER: Mary, who married in
1778 Mordecai Gist (?-1792). MARRIED by 1792
Rebecca (?-by 1833), possibly the daughter of
Isaac Sears (1730-1786) of New York, merchant.
CHILDREN. SONS. William (by 1797-probably by
1833); Isaac Sears, who married in 1832 Jane S.
Hollins. DAUGHTERS: Mary (1794-?), who mar-
ried in 1821 Henry Carroll; Augusta Temple (1795-
by 1833), who married in 1818 Thomas Dance;
Harriet Antoinette Smith; and Sarah Caroline
Sears, who married in 1834 Samuel T. Thompson.
PRIVATE CAREER. EDUCATION: literate, graduate
of the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia.
RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: Presbyterian, member
of the First Presbyterian Church, Baltimore Town.
described by a Baltimore newspaper in 1789 as
"a young gentleman of fair character." OCCU-
PATIONAL PROFILE: merchant, with connections
in Europe and the West Indies as well as with
other cities in America. In 1788, Sterett was the
agent for Messrs. Van Staphorst & Co. to obtain
reimbursement from Maryland for money loaned
by the company during the Revolution. In 1792
he served as attorney for Butler Claxton, mer-
chant, of the Island of Nevis, West Indies. Sterett



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A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al.
Volume 426, Page 772   View pdf image (33K)
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