Richard Frisby (b. circa ? - d. circa ?)
MSA SC 5496-050715
War of 1812 Claimant, Kent County, Maryland, 1828
Richard Frisby lost four slaves, William,
Solomon, Peregrine and Ephraim, to the HMS Menelaus as it was anchored in
the Upper Chesapeake Bay off Poole's Island in
Richard Frisby purchased many slaves during the
first decades of the 19th century. In
1802, Frisby bought seven negro men from James Frisby for five shillings. A few months later, he purchased four men and
two women from Darius Copper for ₤20. In 1806, Frisby purchased a negro boy named
George from Samuel Comegy for ₤50. In 1808, Frisby purchased a negro woman Susan
and her child Richard for $250 from Daniel M. Curtain. However, the Frisbys fell on hard times in 1810.
Richard Frisby was indebted to Benjamin Chew of
On the night of August 30, the Frisby slaves were
all taken "with force" from his farm by the Royal Navy and put aboard
the frigate. This was confirmed by Joseph T. Mitchell who
was a prisoner on the Menelaus at the time. Richard Frisby happened to be in
The Royal Navy received information from the Frisby slaves about the location of the local militia unit. The British were told the American camp was just one-half mile inland and a force of about 200 soldiers. In actuality, the 21st Maryland Militia Regiment, under the command of 54-year-old Lieutenant-Colonel Philip Reed, moved inland and were organized on a tree line about five miles away in the town of "Belleair" (modern day Fairlee). Some scholars, in respect to explaining the gross miscalculation of the militia's location, believe that the Frisby slaves intentionally lied to the British.
The Royal Navy landed in
The following day, under a flag of truce, Lt.
Col. Philip Reed negotiated the exchange of prisoners, which apparently was not
a "peaceful task."
The deposition of James A. Buchanan on behalf of Richard Frisby notes that
Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane accommodated the American in an effort to
recover the four slaves that were taken away a few days prior. Admiral Cochrane gave a deponent and ordered
to receive the slaves if possible, but later learned that they had already been
sent down the
In the 1828 claim, Richard Frisby provided the names, ages, and
approximate value for each of the four slaves that were stolen. William was 25-years-old and worth $440;
Ephraim, 22-years-old, had a value of $460; Solomon was 20-years-old at the
time of the event and the most valuable at $500; Peregrine was the youngest at
17-years-old and worth $200.
John Quincy Adams was the
We know that Richard Frisby continued to own land
 Frederick G. Usilton, History of Kent County, Maryland 1630-1916, (Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, Inc, 1994), 44; Michael Owen Bourne, Historic Houses of Kent County, An Architectural History: 1642-1860 (Chestertown, MD: Historic Society of Kent County, Inc.), 405. "Big Fairlee" was sold from James Lloyd to Frisby and Henry Waller in 1807 for 5 shillings in hand, and $10,548 for 253 acres on the west side of Fairlee Creek as described in Kent County Courts (Land Records) 1807-1809, James Lloyd to Richard Frisby and Henry Waller, Liber BC 5, folio 130 [MSA CE 118].
 Ibid, Folio 505. Richard Frisby from Darius Copper.
 Ibid, Folio 316. Richard Frisby from Daniel M. Curtain.
 Claim of
M. Marine, The British Invasion of
The British Invasion of
Usilton, History of
Field was a part of a 1,600 acre tract known as "
of Richard Frisby,
 Ibid, page 1, 7 & 13.
 Ibid, page 11.
 Ibid, page 16.
 Kent County Courts (Land Records), 1819-1822, Richard Frisby, Liber WS 3, folio 429-435 [MSA CE 118-40].
 Kent County Commissioners of the Tax (Assessment Ledger) 1813-1822, C1022, 1822, page 3. The exact total value of Richard Frisby's property equaled $11,829 in the 1st District, with $200 of property assessed in Chestertown (page 1).
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