Ridgely Papers, 1664-1882, MS. 692

Ridgely Papers, 1664-1882


Maryland Historical Society
 

  

(Text converted and initial EAD tagging provided by Apex Data Services, March 1999.)
 

Ridgely Papers, 1664-1882
Maryland Historical Society

Contact Information:
Manuscripts Department
Maryland Historical Society Library
201 West Monument Street
Baltimore MD 21201-4674
410.685.3750
Fax: 410.385.2105
library@mdhs.org
www.mdhs.org

 


Descriptive Summary

RIDGELY PAPERS

MS. 692

Maryland Historical Society

Baltimore MD 21201-4674

Abstracts of the Ridgely Papers by Patricia D. Anderson, MF179.R545 A contains more on MS.692

 


Scope and Content Note

This collection contains papers pertaining to Capt. Charles Ridgely (1733-1790); his nephew and heir Charles [Carnan] Ridgely (1760-1829); Charles [Carnan] Ridgely's son John (1792-1867); John's father-in-law (and distant relative) Nicholas Greenberry Ridgely (1771-1829); and John's son Charles Ridgely (1830-1872). This collection does not contain all the papers of any one mentioned above, but deals largely with their business activities.

 

 

 

Capt. Charles Ridgely Papers

 

Capt. Charles Ridgely (1733-1790) was a sea captain, planter, iron master, Baltimore County politician, and builder of the Ridgely estate Hampton. His papers in this collection reflect all these activities.

The papers consist of correspondence (1757-1790), ca. 240 items) and financial papers, mostly accounts and receipts (1758-1791, ca. 200 items). The bulk of Ridgley's correspondence dates from 1782-1790 and correspondence from the earlier years can be found in MS. 692.1. Ridgely's correspondents in the 1782-1790 period include: John Dorsey, John Sterett, Samuel Chase, Benjamin Nicholson, Tench Tilghman, William Goodwin, Horatio Belt, Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer, John Dennis, Jesse Hollingsworth, Daniel Sheredine, Robert Gilchrist, George Lux, and Jehu Howell. Topics covered in these letters are the management of Northampton furnace, the hiring/buying of forge workers, and the acquisition of land, including some mention of property confiscated during the Revolution.

Although Ridgely was a political power in Baltimore County and a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, 1777-1787, this group of papers does not shed much light on his political activities. There is a deposition (1786) stating that Ridgely was overheard to say he voted for Samuel Chase because Chase promised to move the seat of

government to Baltimore. There is also one letter (1782 Sept. 23) from Samuel Chase to _____ [Ridgely?] about British prisoners and the possibility of peace. There are two letters (1786, 1788) from George Lux detailing the political situation in Baltimore County and two letters (1787) from Robert Gilchrist about the 1786 election. Ridgely was accused of impropriety concerning his opposition to a turnpike in the county; there are two depositions regarding this issue. Another controversial topic was the new (1786) valuation of land in Baltimore County. George Lux's letter (1786) describes this, and there are also notes and calculations on this new valuation.

The financial papers in this collection are loose accounts and receipts for Ridgely's personal transactions as well as some for his business. There are a few receipts (1786 and n.d.) for work done in building Hampton. Some of Ridgely's receipts could be in the unidentified receipts in Box 12. Ridgely's financial record books for both his iron furnace and his mercantile business are in MS. 691. Financial papers from his estate are found in Charles [Carnan] Ridgely's papers, Box 5.

 

 

 

Charles [Carnan] Ridgely Papers

 

Charles [Carnan] Ridgely (1760-1829) was Capt. Charles Ridgely's nephew and heir. Charles [Carnan] Ridgely inherited both Northampton Furnace and the estate Hampton. He served in the Maryland legislature and was governor of Maryland from 1816-1819. His papers in this collection, however, do not deal with his political career. His correspondence (1790-1811, ca. 40 items) deals with running the iron forge and farming. Other items include a contract to find new stratum of coal, 1801; advertisements he circulated for a runaway Negro, 1791; and a catalog, 1829, of the contents of Hampton sold at his death.

The collection includes loose accounts and receipts (1784-1811, ca. 150 items) for Ridgely's personal and business transactions. Included in these papers are receipts concerning Capt. Charles Ridgely's estate. See also Box 12 for unidentified bills and receipts that could belong to Charles [Carnan] Ridgely.

 

 

 

John Ridgely Papers

 

John Ridgely (1792-1867) was the son of Charles [Carnan] Ridgley. In 1828 he married his distant relative Eliza E. Ridgely (1803-1867) who was the daughter of Nicholas G. Ridgely. The collection contains financial papers of both John and Eliza Ridgely while their correspondence is in MS. 1127 and their financial record books are in MS. 691.

John's bills and receipts (1829-1861), ca 200 items) contain many bills of sale for slaves (1829-1838). There are also accounts of farm items produced at Hampton (1840s). John was trustee for the estate Nicholas G. Ridgely left his daughter Eliza, and annual accounts appear with John's financial papers.

 

 

 

Eliza E. [Ridgely] Ridgely Papers

 

Eliza E. [Ridgely] Ridgely's (1803-1867) papers deal with finances. Eliza was quite musical and loose bills and receipts (1817-1859, ca. 100 items) include those for music lessons and repair of her harp in the years (1820-1826). (Eliza and her harp are the subjects of a portrait by Thomas Sully; the pertinent receipts are in Nicholas G. Ridgely's papers, Boxes 7 and 10.). Eliza's bills in 1840-1859 are for household goods. There are two record books kept by Eliza which list subscriptions to the Impartial Society (1849-1854), donations to the Widow's Asylum (1849-1851), and her personal expenses (1849-1853). These supplement her account books in MS. 691.

 

 

 

Nicholas Greenberry Ridgely Papers

 

Nicholas Greenberry Ridgely (1771-1829) was a Baltimore grocery merchant in the firm of Macdonald and Ridgely. Account books and letter books of this firm are in MS. 691. The firm was apparently successful; most of Ridgely's papers deal with the disposition of his wealth, not the grocery firm's activities.

Ridgely's correspondence (1799-1829) largely deals with the collection of funds owed him. There are numerous letters from relatives needing money including Ridgely's

brother Frederick in Lexington, Kentucky; his sister Sally in Elk Ridge, Maryland; his nephews Greenberry W. Ridgely, William S. Ridgely, and David Griffith in New Orleans; and relatives by marriage Henry Gassaway in Cincinnati and Alfred H. Dashiell in Philadelphia.

Many other letters deal with two lengthy lawsuits in which Ridgely was involved. In one case Ridgely sued the heirs of Samuel Chase (Samuel, Thomas, and Richard M. Chase) for a piece of waterfront property mortgaged to Ridgely. There is much correspondence (1816-1826) as well as a box of legal papers pertaining to Ridgely vs. Chase. A Chase bank book bearing on this case is in MS. 691. In the other case the Union Bank sued Ridgely for various reasons. Correspondence relating to these cases is found during the years 1822-1826.

Other topics covered in Ridgely's correspondence include: the sale of Ridgely's land near Natchez, Louisiana (1800-1809); the bill for Thomas Sully's 1818 portrait of Eliza Ridgely (in Box 7) and an 1820 bill for Sully's portrait of Nicholas (in Box 10); the 1819 financial depression; the Gettysburg and Petersburg turnpike (1824-1825); stock in a Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, bank (1825-1829); Ridgely's support of Andrew Jackson (1827-1829); and the controversy over Macdonald and Ridgely's contracts to provide the U.S. Navy with groceries in 1829. Ridgely's correspondents included Samuel Chase, Samuel Chase, Jr., Thomas Chase, Jesse Eichelberger, Reverdy Johnson, and John Greene Proud. Nicholas Ridgely's papers also contain two letters (1799) from E[lizabeth] Patterson. These were written to his wife Eliza [Eichelberger] Ridgely.

Nicholas Ridgely's financial papers consist of loose bills and receipts (1793-1829). The record books are in MS. 691. The bills and receipts pertain to his personal finances and those of Macdonald and Ridgely. See Box 12 for unidentified bills and receipts that could belong to Nicholas G. Ridgely.

Ridgely died in 1829, and his business partner Alexander Macdonald was the executor of his estate. Macdonald's correspondence and receipts pertaining to the settlement of the estate are in Box 10.

 

 

 

Charles Ridgely Papers

 

Charles Ridgely (1830-1872) was the son of John and Eliza E. Ridgely. There are few of his papers in the collection. Those that exist include cancelled checks (1867-1869, ca. 50 items). Charles had been living in Europe prior to his death in 1872, and there are numerous London merchants' bills and receipts (1870-1871, ca. 100 items) to his wife Margaretta S. Ridgely.

 

 

 

Ridgely Land Papers

 

The collection includes about two hundred documents relating to land owned by the Ridgely family. Most of the land was in Baltimore County and the city of Baltimore. These papers are arranged chronologically and span the period 1664-1850 with the bulk from 1720-1850.

 

 

 

Peripheral Ridgely Papers

 

There is a group of papers in the collection that cannot be identified as belonging to any of the Ridgely family members mentioned above. These papers, therefore, have been filed separately in Box 12.

These include records concerning the Maryland Militia in 1794 and 1807-1809. The records are lists of officers and privates (1794, n.d.), militia company returns (1807-1808), and a list of men drafted (1809). There is also a copy of a letter (April 1781) from William Livingston to Samuel Huntington concerning Gen. Clinton's departure for Delaware.

There are also two accounts (1759, 1761) of William Ridgely (son of Robert), three accounts (1785) of Col. Charles Ridgely, and a group of unidentified bills and receipts probably related to Capt. Charles, Charles [Carnan], and Nicholas G. Ridgely.

John [Carnan] Ridgely's 1806 school book while at St. Mary's College is also in the collection. There are three letters of a Charles Ridgely (1845, 1860s). Other Ridgely items include a deposition (1746) concerning Northampton; two lists of slaves

owned (1780s, 1840s); two bills of sale (1818, 1832) for the sale of slaves; two architectural elevations, one of row-houses on Canal Street and another of an unidentified house; and N.G. Starkwether's floor plan for Mr. White's villa in Towson.

James P. Erskine was in business with an Eichelberger, a relative of Mrs. Nicholas G. Ridgely, and there are about thirty of his letters (1834-1840) concerning the business.

 


Container List

 

Box 1

Charles Ridgely Correspondence

1757-1784

Reel 1

 

 

 

Box 2

Charles Ridgely Correspondence

1785-1786

Reel 2

 

 

 

Box 3

Charles Ridgely Correspondence

1787-1790, n.d.

Reel 3

 

 

 

Indentured Servant Contracts

1782

 

 

 

List of Hirelings at Northampton Furnace

1786

 

 

 

Laws Passed, April 1782 Session

1782

 

 

 

Confiscated Property Papers

1783, 1787

 

 

 

Turnpike Law Papers

1785, 1787

 

 

 

Plan of Land Valuation to Equalize Tax

[1786]

 

 

 

Estate Papers

n.d.

 

 

 

Legal Memoranda

1780's

 

 

 

Box 4

Charles Ridgely Bills and Receipts

1758-1791, n.d.

Reel 4

 

 

 

Box 5

Charles [Carnan] Ridgely Correspondence

1790-1811, n.d.

Reel 5

 

 

 

Advertisements For Runaway Negro

1791

 

 

 

Contract to Find Coal

1801

 

 

 

Catalog of Belongings at Hampton

1829

 

 

 

Extract of Will

n.d.

 

 

 

Legal Papers

1804-1814

 

 

 

Charles [Carnan] Ridgely Estate

1831

 

 

 

Box 6

Charles [Carnan] Ridgely Bills and Receipts

1784-1820, n.d.

Reel 6

 

 

 

Box 7

Nicholas G. Ridgely Correspondence

1799-1823

Reel 7

 

 

 

Box 8

Nicholas G. Ridgely Correspondence

1824-1829, n.d.

Reel 8

 

 

 

Eliza [Eichelberger] Ridgely Letters

1799-1800

 

 

 

Nicholas G. Ridgely Wills

1817, 1820, 1822

 

 

 

Legal Papers

n.d.

 

 

 

Powers of Attorney

n.d.

 

 

 

Memoranda

n.d.

 

 

 

Gettysburg and Petersburg Turnpike Papers

1825

 

 

 

Reisterstown Road Stockholders List

1820

 

 

 

Transfer of Property

1824

 

 

 

Union Bank of Maryland vs. Nicholas G. Ridgely

n.d.

 

 

 

Box 9

Nicholas G. Ridgely Bills and Receipts

1793-1819

Reels 9 - 10

 

 

 

Box 10

Nicholas G. Ridgely Bills and Receipts

1820-1829, n.d.

Reels 11 - 12

 

 

 

Nicholas G. Ridgely Estate Correspondence

1829-1836

Reel 12

 

 

 

Nicholas G. Ridgely Estate Bills and Receipts

1830-1834

 

 

 

Nicholas G. Ridgely Estate, Ground Rents

n.d.

 

 

 

Box 11

Nicholas Ridgely and Alexander McDonald vs Samuel and Thomas Chase re Chase's Wharf

1816-1826

Reel 13

 

 

 

Box 12

Maryland Militia Papers

1794-1809, n.d.

Reel 14

 

 

 

William Ridgely Accounts

1759-1761

 

 

 

Col. Charles Ridgely Accounts

1785

 

 

 

Unidentified Bills and Receipts

 

 

 

John Carnan Ridgely School Book, St. Mary's College

1806

 

 

 

Charles G. Ridgely Letter

1845

 

 

 

Deposition re Northampton

1746

 

 

 

List of Slaves

[1780's, 1840's]

 

 

 

Bill of Sale for Slaves

1818, 1832

 

 

 

Architectural Drawings (oversize)

n.d.

 

 

 

Poems

ca. 1865, n.d.

 

 

 

Insurance Policies

1818-1819

 

 

 

Fragments

n.d.

 

 

 

James P. Erskine Correspondence

1834-1840

 

 

 

Otho W. Eichelberger Letters

1846-1855

 

 

 

Eichelberger Insurance Policies

1810-1872

 

 

 

Mathew Smith et al.

1781

 

 

 

William Livington Letter

1781

 

 

 

William Andrew Will

1782

 

 

 

McHenry to John Caldwell

1789

 

 

 

Louis Gassawav to Samuel Moale

1822

 

 

 

Gagneau Freres to

1853

 

 

 

Agreement re Sale of Shot and Small Bar Lead

[1820's?]

 

 

 

List of Stereopticon Views

ca. 1814

 

 

 

Advertisement re a Lost Horse

1785

 

 

 

Index to Account Book

n.d.

 

 

 

Medicinal Recipe

n.d.

 

 

 

Letter re Vaccination

n.d.

 

 

 

John Ridgely of Hampton Legal Papers

1831, 1846, 1852

 

 

 

John Ridgely of Hampton Bills and Receipts

1829-1845

 

 

 

Box 13

John Ridgely of Hampton Bills and Receipts

1846-1861, n.d.

Reel 15 (1846-1858) Reel 16 1858 +

 

 

 

Eliza E. [Ridgely] Ridgely Bills and Receipts

1817-1859

 

 

 

Eliza E. [Ridgely] Ridgely Account Books

1849-1853

 

 

 

Charles Ridgely (1829-1872) Cancelled Checks

1867-1869

 

 

 

Margaretta S. Ridgely Bills and Receipts

1870-1871

 

 

 

Box 14

Ridgely Land Papers

1664-1809

Reel 17

 

 

 

Box 15

Ridgely Land Papers

1810-1850, n.d.

Reel 18

 

 

 

 

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