Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer (1723-1790)
MSA SC 3520-728


BORN: in 1723 in Charles County.
NATIVE: fourth generation.
RESIDED: at "Retreat," his home near Port Tobacco in Charles County; Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, by 1766; in 1783 he was living in Annapolis on Lot H; from ca. 1784 until his death he resided on his 800-acre plantation "Stepney" near the South River, four miles from Annapolis.

FATHER: Dr. Daniel Jenifer (?-ca. 1729), chirurgeon, of Charles County, the son of Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer (1672-1730), Gent., of St. Mary's County.
STEPFATHERS: John Theobalds; Robert Whythill.
MOTHER: Elizabeth Mason, widow of John Rogers (?-1717), daughter of Robert Mason (1653-1700) of St. Mary's County and wife Susanna (?-ca. 1716).
UNCLE: Matthew Mason (ca. 1689-ca. 1728/29).
BROTHER: Daniel Jenifer (by 1729-1795).
HALF BROTHERS: Richard Rogers; John Rogers; and Rockham Rogers.
SISTERS: Betty (?-1791), who married by 1776 John Eden (ca. 1728-1775); Elizabeth (?-by 1778), who married Col. David Stone (1709-1773); Ann, who married Josias Adams; and Mary, who married by 1734 Robert Christie of London, England.
NEPHEWS: John Hoskins Stone (1750-1804); Michael Jenifer Stone (1747-1812); and Thomas Stone (1743-1787).
OTHER KINSHIP: stepgrandmother, Elizabeth Ashcom (?-ca. 1734), daughter of Nathaniel Ashcom of Calvert County; great-grandfather, Daniel Jenifer (ca. 1637-ca. 1692); great-uncles, John Osborne (?-1687) and William Whittington (ca. 1650-1720).
MARRIED: never.
CHILDREN: Died without progeny.

EDUCATION: Jenifer bequeathed all of his books in French to his friend, James Madison, and the rest of his library to his nephew, Michael Jenifer Stone (1747-1812).
RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: Anglican, All Hallow's Parish, Anne Arundel County.
SOCIAL STATUS AND ACTIVITIES: Gent., by 1745; Esq., by 1765; Hon., by 1790; lottery manager in Annapolis, 1763.
OCCUPATIONAL PROFILE: planter; merchant by 1762. Jenifer held one share, valued at £50.0.0 current money, and was a joint partner with Robert J. Hood and his nephew Frederick Stone in the firm of Hood, Stone & Company. This share was later transferred to his niece Catherine Stone Scott. Periodically during the 1760s and 1770s Jenifer sold slaves with John Ridout (1723-1797) and indentured servants with Robert Christie. He also advertised his own slaves for hire and sale. In 1766 he sold salt from his ship Jenifer at Annapolis. In 1784 he purchased one-quarter share of the Baltimore Iron Works, probably for investment purposes only.

LEGISLATIVE SERVICE: Lower House, Charles County, 1756-1757 (elected to the 4th session of the 1754-1757 Assembly to fill vacancy; Bills of Credit 5); Upper House, 1771,1773- 1774 (Claims 1, Cv, 2, 3); Senate, Western Shore, Term of 1776-1781: 1777 (president), 1777-1778 (president), 1778-1779 (president), 1779-1780 (president during the 1st and 2nd sessions; attending Congress at beginning of the 3rd session; reelected president on June 15, 1780), 1780-1781 (president during the 1st session; resigned as president on January 29, 1781, because of illness).
OTHER PROVINCIAL/STATE OFFICES: appointed to a commission to settle the boundary dispute with Pennsylvania and Delaware, which resulted in the Mason-Dixon boundary settlement, 1760; justice. Provincial Court, 1766-1773; (quorum, 1773); appointed justice, Assize Court, Eastern Shore, August 1767 and March 1768; appointed justice, Assize Court, Western Shore, October 1768; appointed Rent Roll Keeper of the Western Shore, March 1768; commissioner to review decree of the commissary general, 1771, 1772; Council, 1771-1776 (qualified on September 23, 1771); appointed chief agent escheater and receiver general of rents, September 9, 1771; Councils of Safety, Western Shore, 1st, 1775 (president), 2nd, 1776 (president), 3rd, 1776, 4th, 1776 (president), 5th, 1776-1777 (president); unsuccessful candidate for governor of Maryland, 1782, 1785; served on the joint commission of Maryland and Virginia to settle the question of use and navigation of the Chesapeake Bay, the Potomac River, and the Pocomoke River, with an agreement being reached on March 28, 1785; appointed intendant of the revenue, February 1, 1782, reappointed 1783-1785; appointed agent for special purposes, April 20, 1786-resigned November 7, 1788 (the "special purposes" were: a. to finish the transactions and sales of the late intendant and commissioner of confiscated British property; b. to treat with the Indians for the purchase of their lands in Dorchester County; c. to procure final settlement on other liquidated securities of the United States by purchase or on contract by certain powers of the governor and Council).
LOCAL OFFICES: justice, Charles County, 1749-1764; appointed justice, Court of Oyer, Terminer and Gaol Delivery, Anne Arundel County, 1766-1770, 1775; common councilman, Annapolis, 1781, resigned to move out of the city.
MILITARY SERVICE: called major in 1765; was said to have rendered valuable service in raising supplies for the Continental Army.
OUT OF STATE SERVICE: delegate, Continental Congress, 1778-1779 (elected in November 1778, but did not attend until April 1779), 1780-1781 (elected on April 7, 1780, to fill vacancy; reelected in November 1780); delegate, Federal Convention that formed the Constitution, 1787.
ADDITIONAL COMMENT: Jenifer was nationalistic in his political philosophy and favored a permanent union of the states. His experience with public finance induced him to take a stand against the issuing of paper money; he favored Congress being given the power to tax.
STANDS ON PUBLIC/PRIVATE ISSUES: Contributed £100.0.0 to the founding of St. John's College; contributed money to send John Willson Peale to study painting in London. In his will he left instructions for the manumission of all of his slaves in 1796, six years after his death.

PERSONAL PROPERTY: assessed Value £1,430.18.4 and possibly as much as £1,835.18.4, including ca. 22 slaves and 235 oz. plate, 1783.
ANNUAL INCOME: from an account of the Baltimore Iron works: £260.0.0, 1785-1787; £81.0.0, 1788; £301.10.0, 1789; £216.0.0, 1790.
LAND AT FIRST ELECTION: 914 acres in Charles County (504 acres inherited from his father, 100 of which he sold in 1745; 510 acres by purchase).
SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN LAND BETWEEN FIRST ELECTION AND DEATH: purchased 2,238 acres in Charles County between 1757 and 1766, plus at least 2 lot "parcels" in Port Tobacco (Charles Town), Charles County, in 1762, plus 4 additional lots with houses in Port Tobacco in 1764. He sold 575 acres in Charles County in 1764, plus a half interest in each of 2 lots in Port Tobacco in 1762. Between 1774 and ca. 1788 Jenifer purchased 3,609 acres in Anne Arundel County (at least 100 acres of this was leased out). His dwelling plantation of ca. 800 acres, situated close to Annapolis, was part of this purchase. Purchased 8 lots in Annapolis in 1772 and 1773, and one lot with houses on it in Annapolis in 1784. Sold one Annapolis lot in 1774, six in 1783, and the lot with houses in 1788. In 1784 Jenifer purchased part of the confiscated property of loyalist Daniel Dulany consisting of one-fourth of one-tenth of the Baltimore Company, which owned the Baltimore Iron Works. The resulting acreage in Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties added a minimum of 3,697 acres to his already large holdings. In 1787 he held an unpatented certificate of survey for 513 acres in Charles County, land that had originally belonged to his grandfather. He also held an unspecified number of ground rents in Baltimore Town at his death.

DIED: on November 16, 1790, in Annapolis, Anne Arundel County.
PERSONAL PROPERTY: at least 15 slaves. Although the exact size of his estate is unknown, it was probably worth more than £1,430.18.4.
LAND: at least 6,186 acres in Charles and Anne Arundel counties, and possibly as much as 7,216 acres, possibly including land in Montgomery County. The land derived from his fractional share of the Baltimore Iron Works totaled a minimum of 3,697 acres in Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties, and brought his total landholdings to ca. 11,000 acres. He also owned two lots in Port Tobacco, plus a half interst in two others, one lot in Annapolis, an unspecified number of ground rents in Baltimore Town, and an unpatented certificate of survey for 513 acres in Charles County. Jenifer died without progeny; his principal heir was his nephew, Dr. Daniel Jenifer. Jenifer made numerous legacies and bequests to all of his nieces and nephews and to many of his friends.

Source: Edward C. Papenfuse, et al. Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature, 1634-1789. Vol. 2. (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985), 485-86.

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