Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Vachel Denton (c. 1696-1752)
MSA SC 3520-341


Born c. 1696, probably in St. Mary's County, the son of Henry Denton (d. 1698) and Mary Denton Price.   Married Anne Brice (1708-1765) on November 23, 1721; no surviving children.

Vachel Denton was a merchant and attorney residing in Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Maryland after May 1723.  He was a justice of the peace in Anne Arundel County in 1717 and a clerk in the Secretary's Office and Provincial Court from 1718 to 1731; a register in the Chancery from 1718 to 1720; and a clerk in the Prerogative Office from 1721 to 1723.  He was mayor of Annapolis from 1722 to 1726, a city alderman in 1724 and from 1728 to 1730, and mayor again from 1727 to 1745.  He was a vestryman at St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Annapolis, 1724-27 and 1733-36.  He was a member of the Lower House representing Annapolis from 1725 to 1727 and representing Anne Arundel County from 1734/35 to 1737, 1738 and 1739 to 1741.

In 1727, Denton purchased all of Lot 90 in Annapolis at the corner of Prince George Street and Maryland Avenue from Joshua George. In 1728 Denton filed a request in the Mayor's Court to have Lot 90 put in his name. The house on the property was unfinished at the time he filed his request. Lot 90 is where Vachel Denton and his wife Anne lived until his death. In 1734 Sarah Crooke, Luke Raven and his wife Sarah, sold Lot 107 in Annapolis to Vachel Denton. Lot 107 sat adjacent to Lot 90 where the Denton's already had a home. In addition to the lots in Annapolis, Vachel Denton owned land in Baltimore and Cecil County, MD.

Vachel Denton owned a sizeable slave labor force comprized of at least 21 enslaved people. Denton owned for a short period of time a young African named Job ben Solomon. Vachel Denton sold Job ben Solomon to "Mr. Tolsey" (probably Tolson) of Kent Island, Queen Anne's County, MD. Vachel Denton died in Annapolis in 1752 and his wife Anne was the executrix of his estate. Denton and his wife had no children therefore he willed personal items to his wife Anne Brice Denton and a neice Anne Hammond. An inventory was done on his property which listed the following slaves: Cooper, Jeffrey, Pompey, Troy, Bob, Ben, Harry, Jack Mendam, Jack, Adam, Charles, Will, Phill, Emanuel, Nan, Rachel, Joshua, Sue, Abigail, Bet, and Kate. 

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