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Volume 662, Page 97   View pdf image (33K)
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the first division of Patuxent District Collector Christopher Rousby
(appointed in 1676) kept a deputy on the Eastern Shore. 24 After-
ward, under a law of October, 1694, the Collector of Patuxent
had to maintain a deputy, who was usually the Naval Officer, at
each of the newly established ports of Annapolis and Oxford. A
Patuxent customs house was erected at Annapolis early in 1770. 25
As the navigable waters of North Potomac District extended so
far inland, the Collector and Naval Officer there often lived
apart, one in its upper and the other in its lower reaches, each
serving as the other's deputy. 26 The Collector of Pocomoke kept
a deputy on the sea-board side; and Sterling, who lived at New
Town on Chester, employed one at Baltimore. 27

In 1695-98 Governor Nicholson obtained appointment of cer-
tain " preventive officers, " namely two Surveyors and Searchers,
one at each of the ports, and three Riding Surveyors, all on the
Eastern Shore. They could enter ships and warehouses, break
open trunks and packages, and seize goods for infringement of
law. The Surveyors and Searchers were to reside and act at their
ports, while the Riding Surveyors were to patrole remote areas in
quest of smugglers. One was stationed on the Bohemia and
Sassafras Rivers in Cecil County, another on Pocomoke River,
and a third on Wicomico River and Monie Bay. 28

The efficiency of these officers is questionable. Governor Sharpe
in 1760 thought all the Surveyorships " so many Sine Cures. "29
Ten years later Inspector John Williams reported that, " A Sur-
veyor is but of little use to the Service, as Business is done here.
Vessels load and unload throughout those Rivers at such a con-
siderable distance from each other, that the very Expense of
Visiting them would be much more than the Salarys they receive,

24 Archives, XXIII, 5. 36. Similarly Col. George Layfield, the last Surveyor and
Comptroller General (appointed in 1684/5), who lived on the Eastern Shore,
kept a deputy on the Western Shore (Ibid., VIII, 37).

25 Ibid., XX, 293; XXV; 582; John Williams to Customs Commissioners at
Boston, May 12, 1770 (Maryland Historical Magazine, XXVII [1932], 233).

"Archives, XXV, 582.

27 Ibid., XX, 487; Maryland Gazette, Aug. 27, 1752; John Williams to Customs
Commissioners at Boston, May 26. 1770 (Maryland Historical Magazine, XXVII
[1932], 234). New Town was, of course, the present Chestertown.

28 Cf. Hoon, op. cit., 115, 183. For early commissions to Surveyors and Searchers
see Calendar of Treasury Books, VI, 313; Archives, XXIII, 326, 356, 380; XXV,
84; for commissions and instructions to early Riding Surveyors see Ibid., XX, 303,
389; XXIII, 326, 356, 358-61, 390; XXV, 130. On illegal trade at the head of
the bay and on the Eastern Shore see Ibid., V, 83, 91, 104, 113; XXV, 582.

29 Horatio Sharpe to William Sharpe, July 8, 1760 (Ibid., IX, 437).


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