Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Elizabeth Digges Horsey (1783-1862)
MSA SC 3520-14927


Elizabeth Digges Horsey was born on April 30, 1783, in Frederick County, Maryland. Eliza's parents, Mary Digges Lee and Governor Thomas Sim Lee, were the owners of the Old Needwood property. On October 25, 1806, Eliza received four slaves from Thomas Sim Lee for the price of $650. The four slaves were identified as Robert, age 30, Joan, age 25, and her children Dick and Betsy. Eliza wed Outerbridge Horsey on April 16, 1812, in Washington, D.C. Outerbridge Horsey was a long serving official from the state of Delaware, serving in the United States House of Representatives from 1800-1804, as the Attorney General of Delaware from 1806-1810, and as a United States Senator from 1810-1821.

On November 11, 1812, six months after Eliza and Outerbridge married, a deed of manumission was signed by Outerbridge Horsey in Washington, D.C. for 14 slaves. Four of those slaves were the same one Eliza inherited from Governor Thomas Sim Lee and who had lived on the Needwood property. According to the manumission, Robert, along with his wife Elanor, were to be manumitted in 1817; Joan, who was also married to a negro named Isaac, was to be manumitted in 1819; Joan's two children, Richard (previously listed as Dick) and Betsy were to be manumitted in 1830 and 1829 respectively.

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