Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Elizabeth Ballard (b. circa 1752 - d. circa ?)
MSA SC 5496-050649
War of 1812 Claimant, Calvert County, Maryland, 1828


Elizabeth Wheeler was born around 1752 in Calvert County, Maryland to Roger Wheeler and his wife Susannah Weems. Elizabeth had three sisters Mary, Sarah, and Anne Wheeler. When the girls were young their father Roger Wheeler died in 1763. Elizabeth and her sisters were left in the care of her mother Susannah Weems Wheeler who came from a prominent Maryland family. Her grandfather James Weems was a wealthy merchant in Calvert County. Wheeler married Levin Ballard of Calvert County and had a son Levin W. Ballard. The Ballards owned property in the form of land and enslaved people in Calvert County. At various times there were disputes over land and slaves involving Elizabeth and her husband Levin Ballard. When Elizabeth's grandfather James Weems died in 1781 he left portions of his property to Elizabeth and her sisters. James Weems felt that he had incured considerable amounts of debt trying to finance the Calvert County property where Roger and Susannah lived with their four children. However, in 1785, Elizabeth along with her husband, siblings, in laws, an aunt and a cousin, brought a suit against her maternal uncle John Weems. The compainants felt that they were entitled to portions of property, that previously belonged to James Weems, which included a silver plate, land, and slaves. In 1799, Elizabeth Ballard filed a complaint against Walter Mackall claiming that he was removing timber from her property called Henry Chew. Mackall responded to the complaint by explaining that the land which he removed timber from was his and that no dwelling or slave quarter belonging to Ballard resided in there. 

In 1814, thirteen of Mrs. Ballard's slaves escaped to the British ships lying in the Patuxent River. Mrs. Ballard lost her negro man Adam Green and his four sisters Sarah, Mary, Phillis, and Eve. Each of the women brought children along with them when they escaped from Mrs. Ballard. Sarah Green brought along her children Betty, Jane, Eliza, and Juliet. Sarah's husband Charles Stewart, who escaped from his master Levin W. Ballard, came to the home of Mrs. Ballard accompanied by a British officer to take up his wife and children. Elizabeth Ballard's slaves escaped from their cabins, with the exception of Eliza Stewart who was in the home with her mistress. Charles Stewart entered the bedroom of Mrs. Ballard and carried off young Eliza. Phillis Green escaped with her two year old daughter Fanny. Phillis was the wife of negro Jack, the property of Robert H. Smith, who also escaped to the British. 

Following the War, Ballard's son Levin, filed a claim on behalf of himself and his mother for slaves lost to the British. Levin W. Ballard filed for one slave for himself and the thirteen slaves belonging to his mother Elizabeth. The Ballard's received $280 per slave that they could prove had run off to or were carried away by the British. Mrs. Ballard received a sum of $3640 for her loss.

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