Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

George Loker (b. 1766 - d. 1832)
MSA SC 5496-050624
War of 1812 Claimant, St. Mary's County, Maryland

Biography:

George Loker was born in 1766 to William Loker and his wife, Elizabeth Parrott Smith, in St. Mary's County.1 In 1771, Loker inherited half of his father's plantation, with the other half, including the manor house, going to his brother, William Jr. Their father's will divided the plantation "at a Branch lying on the north side of my Dwelling House, Commonly called the persimmon tree Branch, and from thence with a Line Drawn west to the uttermost line of my Land the Dwelling part to be Williams, and the other to be Georges, & George to have the Liberty of the marsh adjoining Williams part."2

A member of the St. Mary's County militia in 1794,3 George Loker resided on his inherited land, "Hawling's Manor," in St. Michaels Hundred.4 In 1800 and 1810, the only other member of Loker's household was a white woman over forty-five years old, possibly his mother.5 In 1813, Loker purchased Manning's Hold in Ridge, in St. Inigoes District (as shown in an 1865 map, left), overlooking the Potomac River to the south and Smith Creek to the west.6 He owned seven slaves in 1790 and 1800.7 In 1804, the St. Mary's County slave assessment records listed six slaves: Nace, age 40; Sollomon, age 38; Lear, age 31; Peg, age 14; Lucy, age 9; and Jerry, age 6.8 Loker owned seven slaves again in 1810.9 In 1813, the slave assessments recorded the names and ages of Loker's ten slaves.10

Eight of Loker's slaves escaped to British forces during the War of 1812. On the morning of February 19 or 20, 1815, a barge departed from the British frigate Havannah in the Potomac River and stopped at the shore of Manning's Hold. The barge carried one officer and ten men, along with Jacob Hall, a slave who had escaped from Robert Dunkinson's farm.11 The officer commanding the barge cited the Treaty of Ghent, of which George Loker denied all knowledge. Instead, Loker "asked the officer why he took his negroes from him," to which the officer replied that "he would take all that would Come to him."21 Meanwhile, Caleb Barnhouse, who lived at Manning's Hold, took Loker's slaves "to the woods to escape their vigilance." Half an hour later, the British threatened to burn down Loker's house if Barnhouse did not release the slaves.12ILeah Hantes, Jacob Hall's wife Lucy Hall and their daughter Letty, and Margaret Clem and her three children left on the barge a few minutes later.13 An eighth slave, Jerry Lynch, escaped from Loker on the same day, and joined the seven former slaves aboard the Havannah.14

On February 27th, Loker "hired a small schooner, and went down the bay after them."15 At least five other slaveholders accompanied him: Mathias Clarke, Robert Clarke, Captain William Smith, Peter U. Thomson, and James Richardson.16 Although Loker overtook the Havannah near the Virginia Capes, Captain William Rowan Hamilton17 refused Loker's demand for the return of the slaves. Thompson "saw Loker present the National Intelligencer, which contained the treaty of peace between England & America to Capt. Hamilton who observed he would read nothing from him or his government." However, the captain agreed to return Loker's slaves if they themselves desired. They refused,18 and the Havannah transferred the slaves to the Orlando on the same day.19 Twelve years later, Loker received $2,240—$280 per slave—in reparations under the Treaty of Ghent.20

George Loker married Janet Lilburn on December 12, 1815.21 Their children were William Napoleon Loker (b. 1817) and George Hannibal Loker (b. 1819).22
Loker owned twelve slaves in 1820.23 The family resided at Manning's Hold, which encompassed 122 acres. In 1821, the county valued Loker's real estate and his personal estate (including three slaves) at $1,020.24 Loker sold Manning's Hold to the wealthy landowner James Kirk in 1825,25 and died from cholera around 1832, without leaving a will.26
 



Footnotes

1.     John Dwight Kilbourne, The Loker Family of St. Mary's County, Maryland (Decorah, IA: Anundsen Publishing Co., 1999) 24.
        Godfrey Memorial Library, comp., American Genealogical-Biographical Index, Vol. 105, pg. 434. Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999. www.ancestry.com.

2.     Qtd. in Kilbourne 23.
         ST. MARY'S COUNTY, REGISTER OF WILLS, (Wills), 04/30/1733-02/01/1776, Liber TA 1, Folio 630 [MSA C1720-2]. William Loker, April 1771.

3.     Timothy J. O'Rourke, Catholic families of Southern Maryland (Baltimore, MD: Clearfield Company, Inc., 2001) 88.

4.     Charles E. Fenwick, St. Mary's County Tax Assessment Records, 1793 - 1849 (Leonardtown, MD: Printing Press, 2004) 273.

5.     U.S. Census Bureau (Census Record, MD) for George Loker, 1800, St. Mary's County, Page 4, Line 9 [MSA SM61-36, M 2057-1].
        U.S. Census Bureau (Census Record, MD) for George Loker, 1810, St. Mary's County, Page 26, 4th line from bottom [MSA SM61-56, M 2061-3].

6.     "Manning's Hold (Smith Creek House & Farm)," SM-18, Maryland Historic Trust. Inventory of Historical Properties. www.mdihp.net.
         Jane Baldwin Cotton and Roberta Bolling Henry (eds.), The Maryland Calendar of Wills: Wills from 1720 to 1726 (Baltimore, MD: Kohn & Pollock, 1917) 67.

7.     U.S. Census Bureau (Census Record, MD) for George Loker, 1790, St. Mary's County, Page 25, Column 2, 17th line from bottom [MSA SM61-17, M 2053-1].
        U.S. Census Bureau (Census Record, MD) for George Loker, 1800, St. Mary's County, Page 4, Line 9 [MSA SM61-36, M 2057-1].

8.     ST. MARY'S COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF THE TAX, (Assessment Record, Slaves), 1804 [MSA C1544-11]. George Loker, March 30, 1804, St. Michael's Hundred.

9.     U.S. Census Bureau (Census Record, MD) for George Loker, 1810, St. Mary's County, Page 26, 4th line from bottom [MSA SM61-56, M 2061-3].

10.   ST. MARY'S COUNTY, COMMISSIONERS OF THE TAX, (Assessment Record, Slaves), 1813 [MSA C1544-34]. George Loker, March 16, 1813, St. Inigoe's District.

11.   Claim of George Loker, Case Files, compiled ca. 1827 - ca. 1828, documenting the period ca. 1814 - ca. 1828, *ARC Identifier 1174160 / MLR Number PI 177 190*. National Archives, College Park.
         Theodore Roosevelt, The Naval War Of 1812 (Whitefish, MT: Kessinger Publishing, 2004) 149.

12.   Claim of George Loker.

13.   Ibid.
         Edwin Warfield Beitzell, The Jesuit Missions of St. Mary's County, Maryland (Published by the author, 1960) 115.

14.   Claim of George Loker.
         Definitive List of Slaves and Property, compiled ca. 1827 - ca. 1828, ARC Identifier 1174162 / MLR Number PI 177 192. National Archives, College Park.
         ST. MARY'S COUNTY, COMMISSIONERS OF THE TAX, (Assessment Record, Slaves), 1813, [MSA C1544-34]. George Loker, March 16, 1813, St. Inigoe's District.
         Thomas M. Bayly, No. III, Bayly's List (RG 76. Records of Boundary and Claims Commissions and Arbitration. Records of the Mixed Claims Commission: Miscellaneous Records) 112.

15.   Bayly 107, 112.
         Claim of George Loker.

16.   Claim of Mathias Clarke, Case Files, compiled ca. 1827 - ca. 1828, documenting the period ca. 1814 - ca. 1828. *ARC Identifier 1174160 / MLR Number PI 177 190*. National Archives, College Park.
        Claim of William Smith, Case Files, compiled ca. 1827 - ca. 1828, documenting the period ca. 1814 - ca. 1828. *ARC Identifier 1174160 / MLR Number PI 177 190*. National Archives, College Park.

17.   W.B.S. Taylor. History of the University of Dublin (Founded by Queen Elizabeth): Its Origin, Progress, and Plesent Condition (London, UK: George Woodfall and Son, 1845) iv.

18.   Claim of George Loker.

19.   Ibid.
         Bayly 107, 112.

20.   George Loker, No. 121, RG 76. Records of Boundary and Claims Commissions and Arbitration. Records of the Mixed Claims Commission: Miscellaneous Records. Ca. 1814-28, 7 vols., entry 185. Vol. 4 of 11. National Archives, College Park.

21.   Maryland Marriage record for George Loker and Janet Lilburn, St. Mary's County, December 12, 1815. Jordan Dodd, Liahona Research, comp. Maryland Marriages, 1655-1850. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004. www.ancestry.com.
        Gaius Marcus Brumbaugh. Maryland Records, Colonial, Revolutionary, County and Church. Vol. 1 (Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins Company, 1915) 365.

22.   Kilbourne 32, 33, and 49.

23.   U.S. Census Bureau (Census Record, MD) for George Loker, 1820, St. Mary's County, District 1, Page 4, Line 7 [MSA SM61-76, M 2067-2].

24.   Fenwick 274.

25.   "A Journey Through Time." The County Times 12 February 2010: 23 (St. Mary's County Genealogical Society, Inc). http://smcgsmd.com/newsarticles.aspx.
         ST. MARY'S COUNTY COURT (Land Records), Liber JH 13, Folio 538, 1843-1845, [MSA CE 121-7]. Sarah C. White, Henry N. and Charlotte Kirk, James B. and Emily Kirk, et al, to Dr. Sydney Evans, May 30, 1845.
          Fenwick 274.

26.   Kilbourne 33.
 

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