Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Capt. Aaron Anthony (b. circa 1766 - d. 1826)
MSA SC 5496-51876
Property Owner, Talbot County, Maryland


Aaron Anthony was a property owner who lived in Talbot County, Maryland. He was born about 1760 in Maryland. Anthony was married to Ann. Aaron and Ann Anthony were the parents of six children, Andrew, James, Richard Lee, Ann, Lucretia, and John Anthony. Aaron Anthony was an overseer on the Wye Plantation of Governor Edward Lloyd in Talbot County, MD. As overseer for Lloyd, Aaron Anthony was in charge of handling the operations of the property. Anthony looked after the slaves and livestock and handled business transactions. When slaves escaped from Lloyd it was Anthony who placed the notices in local newspapers. Slaves constantly escaped from Edward Lloyd's property, which held 420 slaves in 1810 and 146 in 1820. Anthony placed an ad for two enslaved men, Phill and George, who escaped after being accused of a theft. In 1812, he put in a notice for Lloyds enslaved man Jack, and the following year he placed an ad in the paper for "a negro man by the name of Matts." He also placed notices in the newspapers for other matters including weighing of fleece for animals bound to Col. Lloyd. In 1823, Aaron Anthony was appointed a Justice of the Peace in Talbot County. 

As a property owner, Aaron Anthony had to also tend to his own land and enslaved people. Anthony owned portion of a tract called Smith's Cliffs and Holme Hill in Talbot County. This property was contained on land adjacent to Edward Lloyd's property.

As a forceful overseer of the Wye Plantation, Aaron Anthony held a very complex relationship amongst his own enslaved property. Anthony owned  four slaves in 1810, but overtime the enslaved labor force grew to over 20. One of the slaves he owned was Frederick Augustus Bailey alias Frederick Douglass. Frederick Douglass wrote in his autobiography that he was owned by Edward Lloyd, however he belonged to Aaron Anthony. Douglass may have been confused about his owner due to the fact that they both lived and worked on property that belonged to Lloyd. Two slaves, Noah and Jenny, escaped from Anthony on December 27, 1825. Many slaves escaped from their owners during Christmas and other holidays. 

Aaron Anthony died November, 1826. An inventory of his estate showed that he owned 27 enslaved people. The estate of Aaron Anthony was to be divided amongst his children. James Chambers and Wm. A. Leonard were appointed to divide up the enslaved people amongst the Anthony children. Frederick Bailey was amongst 9 enslaved people who became the property of Anthony's son in law husband Thomas Auld. Anthony's daughter Lucretia was married to Thomas Auld.

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