Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Tench Tilghman (1744-1786)
MSA SC 3520-2633


Born: December 25, 1744 at Fausley, his father's plantation two miles from Easton, in Talbot County


Siblings: Was the eldest of six brothers and four sisters



            Anna Maria, m. William Helmsley of Cloverfield

            Elizabeth, m. Maj. James Lloyd of "Farley"


            Henrietta Maria, m. Lloyd, son of uncle, Matthew Tilghman

Education: Little is known of early education; probably attended a plantation school. Later received instruction from the Rev. John Gordon, rector of St. Michael's Parish, a "gentleman of attainment." In 1758, at age 14, his grandfather, Tench Francis, brought him to Philadelphia to attend the College and Academy of Philadelphia, which became the University of Pennsylvania. Graduated in May 1761.

Early Career: After graduation went into business with his uncle, Tench Francis, Jr. to form the Francis-Tilghman Company, a mercantile enterprise. Prospered for a few years and then forced to dissolve in 1775.

First public service: Appointed in July 1775 by Continental Congress to one of three commissions established to form treaties with Indian along the frontier to assure neutrality. Tench served on the one appointed to deal with the Six Nations and other tribes towards the north.

Military Service: In summer of 1775, joined the volunteer light infantry company in Philadelphia captained by Sharpe Dulaney, as a Lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion. In June or July 1776, this company joined the Continental Army in New Jersey in a unit called the Flying Camp. On August 8, 1776, he joined Gen. Washington's staff as aide-de-camp and secretary. It is not known exactly how this came about but there were close family ties between the Washington and Tilghman families. Tilghman served as a volunteer without pay for much of the time he served Washington.

Marriage: On June 9, 1783 in St. Michael's Parish, married Anna Maria Tilghman, his first cousin and daughter of Matthew Tilghman.

Children:     Anna Margaretta, born May 24, 1784 (m. her cousin Tench Tilghman, son of Peregrine Tilghman of "Hope")
                   Elizabeth Tench, born October 11, 1786 (m. Col. Nicholas Goldsborough)

After war career: In 1784 formed a partnership with Robert Morris in Baltimore called Tench Tilghman & Co. Lived on Lombard Street.

Death: April 18, 1786 in Baltimore. Buried: St. Paul's Church.

Prepared by the Maryland State Archives
February 1998

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