Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

William Peterson (b. circa 1798 - d. 1814)
MSA SC 5496-001674
War of 1812 Escaped Slave, St. Mary's County, Maryland


William "Bill" Peterson was an enslaved man who was owned by Larine Dent of St. Mary's County. Bill sometimes called William Dent, escaped from Larine Dent's farm in St. Mary's County on June 1, 1814. He fled to British forces in the Patuxent River with four other slaves: Job Cole, David Milburn, James Milburn, and Henry Dent.1 The widowed Larine Dent later married Peter U. Thomson, who filed a claim for the escaped slaves.2 As a member of vice-admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane's Corps of Colonial Marines, he died on board HMS Regulus on September 21, 1814.3


1.     Claim of Peter Thompson, St. Mary's County, Case No. 650, Case Files, Ca. 1814-28, entry 190, Record Group 76, National Archives, College Park.

2.     Ibid. 

3.    UK National Archives,  TNA ADM 37/5415, muster of HMS REGULUS.  

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