Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Peter Adams
MSA SC 3520-7

Resided in
: Great Choptank Hundred, Caroline County.
Died: 1785

Family Background
: William Adams (?-by 1788), of Caroline County.
Other Kinship: William Adams, Jr., and Anne Adams are listed as his nearest kin in his inventory.

Private Career
Occupational Profile: possibly a merchant.

Public Career
Legislative Service:
Convention, Caroline County, 5th, 1775. 
Military Service: captain, militia, elected by the battalion on January 2, 1776; captain, Smallwood Maryland Regiment, 1776; major, Seventh Maryland Regiment, 1777; lieutenant colonel, 1777; lieutenant colonel-commandant, First Maryland Regiment, 1779, transferred to Third Maryland Regiment in 1781 and served until 1783. In April 1776 Captain Adams was ordered to apprehend an Alexander Ross, accused of transferring intelligence to Lord Dunmore. Adams successfully tracked him down and escorted him to Philadelphia to stand trial. During the Battle of Long Island (27 August 1776) Captain Adams was unable to lead his men into battle due to an illness. In 1781 William Smallwood wrote to Gov. Thomas Sim Lee complaining that Col. Adams was "commonly activated by avarice and invincible obstinancy," and that he refused to obey orders.

Wealth During Lifetime 
Signficant Changes In Land Between First Election And Death: in September 1782 he purchased two lots on Monocacy Manor in Frederick County, one containing 182 acres and the other 133 acres, which had been sold as confiscated British property. In November 1782 he wrote the intendant complaining that the lots he had purchased did not agree with the description given of them at the time of the auction. Adams claimed he had been deceived and his request that the sale be voided was granted with respect to the 133-acre tract; purchased 14 acres in Caroline County, 1783.

Wealth at Death 
Died: will probated on September 5, 1785, in Caroline County.
Personal Property: TEV, at least £908.12.6 current money (including 1 slave and books), received by his brother William Adams, the executor and sole legatee, and "in no way accounted for." LAND: 14 acres in Caroline County; possibly still owned 182 acres in Frederick County. As an officer, Col. Adams was entitled to 400 acres west of Fort Cumberland, Allegany County.

Source: Edward C. Papenfuse, et al., eds. A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature, 1635-1789. Vol I. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985, p. 98-99. Additional research by Daniel Blattau.

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