Cheston-Galloway Papers, 1684-1961, MS 1994

Cheston-Galloway Papers, 1684-1961
Maryland Historical Society

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

Cheston-Galloway Papers, 1684-1961
Maryland Historical Society

Contact Information:
Special Collections
Maryland Historical Society Library
201 West Monument Street
Baltimore MD 21201-4674



Descriptive Summary

Cheston-Galloway Papers, 1684-1961

MS 1994

Maryland Historical Society

Baltimore MD 21201-4674


Collection is on microfilm

Scope and Content Note

This collection is largely the business papers of merchant and slave trader Samuel Galloway (1720-1785) and those of his son-in-law James Cheston (1747-1798), a merchant who dealt in convict servants, tobacco, and wheat. Topics covered by their papers include: colonial trade, the Revolution, Loyalists in Maryland, and post-war trade. Other papers pertaining to Galloway and Cheston can be found in the Galloway-Maxcy-Markoe Papers at the Library of Congress.

The papers at the Maryland Historical Society were retained by James Cheston's descendents, and the collection contains some papers of many of these people. Included are papers of Cheston's wife Anne [Galloway] Cheston, their children, Anne, Francina Augustina and James, Jr.; James, Jr's daughter Ann [Cheston] Morris and her husband Caspar Morris; the Morris's son Galloway and daughter Mary [Morris] Murray; and Mary Murray's daughters Emily H. and Anne C. Murray. There are also papers of several other Murray family members. The individuals who have papers in this collection are underlined in the accompanying genealogical chart.

John Galloway Papers

John Galloway (d. 1747) was a merchant in West River, Maryland. His papers (1727-1747, ca. 60 items) consist of incoming letters, financial papers, and his will. Most of the letters were written to him by his family when he was in London in 1742. There is one letter (1742) from Charles Carroll describing a quarrel between Dr. Carroll and Gov. Ogle and Ogle's escape.

Non-Galloway Papers

There are 3 items relating to William Browne. There are 2 indentures (1681, 1706) and papers (c. 1760) concerning settlement of a dispute between William Browne and Stephen West, Jr. over property in Anne Arundel County.

Samuel Galloway Papers

Samuel Galloway (1720-1785) was a planter, merchant, and slave trader in West River, Maryland. He was most active in the tobacco trade up to the Revolution, and his correspondence and financial papers up to 1770 deal largely with this trade. There is little in these papers about his slave trade.

From about 1768 until 1774 Galloway was associated with Stephen Steward in the firm Galloway and Steward. London merchants with whom Galloway dealt were Sylvanus Grove (ca. 1749-1767), William Tippell (ca. 1765-1770), James Russell (1770s), and Russell's successor James Clerk of de Drusina, Ridder & Clerk (1784-1785).

Beginning in 1773 most of Galloway's correspondence and financial papers deal with the operation of his plantation, "The Ridge," by Jeremiah Watkins. These papers mention hiring servants and Negroes and their wages.

Galloway was an avid horse breeder. Some letters mention the horses and racing.

The Galloway family members were loyal British subjects and did not sympathize with the move toward independence. Galloway's son John in Annapolis wrote to him about the burning of the "Peggy Stewart" (October 1774). The letter makes it quite clear he had no sympathy with the mob action. In June 1775 Galloway wrote sceptically to his son-in-law Thomas Ringgold, Jr. about Congress's preparations for war, and the next February Ringgold wrote hopefully that Congress would soon make a declaration against independence.

During the war there was evidently much tension between Galloway and his son Benjamin because of Benjamin's ready support of the new government. There are 2 letters (1778) about Benjamin's decision to leave his family and move to Hagerstown. Benjamin's earlier letters discuss his legal education in London (1773). In 1775 he was again in London commenting on the Boston blockade from that perspective.

Galloway's correspondents included: Anne [Chew] Galloway (1750-54), Benjamin Chew (1758, 1759), Joseph Galloway (1758), Thomas Ringgold, Jr. (1773-1775), Benjamin Galloway (1773-1778), John Galloway (1774), and Benjamin Stoddert (1783).

James Cheston Papers

James Cheston (1747-1798) was a merchant dealing in convict servants, tobacco, corn, and wheat. He began his career in 1768 in a partnership with Willian Stevenson, his step-brother. Stevenson remained in Bristol, England while Cheston handled the colonial details in Maryland. Cheston moved around but mainly operated in Chestertown. He settled in West River, home of his wife, during the war.

In Bristol Stevenson procured convict servants and goods to send to Cheston. Cheston in turn sold the servants and goods and loaded the ships with tobacco, wheat, and corn. Cheston was the younger of the two, and the correspondence between Stevenson and Cheston is quite detailed as Stevenson trained Cheston in the business. These letters (1767-1775) contain much information on the operation of colonial trade. Stevenson's letters detailed procurement of the convict servants and Cheston's letters (in his letterbooks) described the economic situation in Maryland.

The firm acquired a third member, William Randolph, in 1769, and the letters of advice continued from Stevenson & Randolph.

By 1771 the firm was known as Stevenson, Randolph, & Cheston, and Cheston was taking on more of the firm's management. His correspondence from 1771-1776 is more wide-ranging than in earlier years as he corresponded directly with customers. Frequent correspondents during the pre-Revolutionary period were Jesson, Welsh & Co. (1767-72) and Buff & Welsh (1772-74) in Cadiz. These firms bought wheat and corn from Cheston, and their letters contain details on prices in Spain. Cheston's most frequent Maryland correspondent was Thomas Ringgold, Jr. Ringgold was a member of an associated firm, Smyth & Ringgold, and was also the brother-in-law of Cheston's future wife Anne Galloway. Other Maryland merchants and growers with whom Cheston corresponded were: James Barnes (1771), Walter Tolley, Jr. (1772-74), Amos Garrett (1772-74), William Geddes (1772-1780s), Thomas Symth (1772-74), Emory Sudler (1773-74), and John Page (1773-1774).

Stevenson, Randolph, & Cheston continued their trade up until 1776 when William Stevenson declared personal bankruptcy, and Randolph immediately dissolved the partnership.

The record books that survive for Stevenson, Randolph & Cheston are a factorage account (1767-76) which was kept by Stevenson in Bristol. It recorded the names and prices of servants he had purchased. Cheston kept another record, of servants he sold in Maryland 1774-1775. There is also the firm's journal (1769-1772) and a record of its tobacco transactions (1771-1772). These books are in Boxes 5 and 6. The collection also includes the loose bills, receipts, and accounts of the firm that Cheston kept in Maryland. These are in Boxes 19 and 20.

Further financial information about Stevenson, Randolph, and Cheston can be found in Cheston's post-war account books, bills and receipts, and legal papers.

Most of his papers in the early 1780s deal with straightening out the dissolved firm's accounts, especially collecting pre-war debts from Marylanders.

James Cheston was not a supporter of the American Revolution. He did remain in Maryland for most of the war but apparently only so that his wife could be near her family. He several times made plans to leave Maryland, and in 1774 (July) wrote to his brother-in-law Robert Bensley that merchants not supporting independence were discriminated against.

His views on the impending war were recorded in his business letters to Stevenson and Randolph. Stevenson's letters in return kept Cheston informed of British actions and sentiments. He predicted (February 1775) that the English people would demand an immediate end to any war that hampered trade. Cheston's close friend William Carmichael also wrote to him (September 1774) concerning popular opinion about war.

Cheston's views on war in relation to his business were overshadowed by the underhanded dealings of his partner William Stevenson. By late 1775 Cheston's correspondence deals mainly with Stevenson's handling of the finances of Cheston's brother Daniel and sister Francina Augustina [Cheston]; Bensley. His mismanagement of their funds caused him to appropriate money from the firm to cover himself. These dealings were discovered in early 1776 by William Randolph who immediately dissolved the firm. Cheston had planned to return to England to run the firm, but the bankruptcy meant he had no financial reason to return. For lack of an alternative Cheston tied his fortunes with those of his wife's family and permanently settled in Maryland.

One incident that indicates that Cheston's decision to stay in Maryland was a financial and not a political one occured in 1780. In that year Cheston sailed to France hoping to reach London to settle the accounts of Stevenson, Randolph & Cheston.

He was stopped at L'Orient because he was suspected of being a Loyalist. In a petition to Benjamin Franklin, Cheston admitted he had not taken the oath of allegiance, and he was not allowed to continue to London until he had sworn allegiance before Franklin at Passy. Copies of these papers are in Box 15. A few of Cheston's letters to his wife Anne while he was in London are in her incoming correspondence (Box 21).

After his return to Maryland in 1781, Cheston spent two years attempting to collect pre-war debts for Stevenson, Randolph, & Cheston. In 1784 Cheston resumed trade activities with William Randolph and appeared to be connected in business with his brother-in-law John Galloway. There are letters from both men in Cheston's letters. Another correspondent was George Chalmers who wrote of negotiating Loyalist claims (1784) and of writing a history of the revolution (1789).

Cheston's most frequent correspondents after the war were his sister Francina Augustina [Cheston] Bensley and her husband, actor Robert Bensley. They wrote of their activities in England.

In 1787 Cheston built a house on Watkins Neck (now part of Ivy Neck) in Anne Arundel County. There are some bills and receipts for the work and also an undated notebook with a carpenter's measurements of James Cheston's house (Box 7).

Cheston was involved in a dispute between John Lynch and Daniel Carroll, the details of which are explained by Walter Hall in a letter (1774 December 21). Cheston's papers include accounts relating to this dispute.

An unrelated item apparently relates to Daniel Dulany. The collection includes a copy of objections to subscribing to a new militia. The document is attributed to DD, a member of the council. It is in Box 5.

Anne [Galloway] Cheston Papers

Anne [Galloway] Cheston (1755-1837) was the daughter of Samuel Galloway. In 1775 she married James Cheston (1747-1798). She spent most of her life in West River, outside of Annapolis, and some time in Baltimore.

Her surviving papers (1774-1836, ca. 150 items) are letters from relatives and financial accounts. Her earliest letter is from a cousin who described the burning of the "Peggy Stewart" in 1774. James Cheston was in London in 1780 and 1781 and wrote lengthy letters to his wife. The bulk of Anne Cheston's correspondence dates from 1790-1807, and her most frequent correspondents were her sister Mary [Galloway] Ringgold, Mary's daughter Anna Maria [Ringgold] Tilghman, and Cheston's sisters-in-law Francina Augustina [Cheston] Bensley, and Henrietta [Chew] Galloway. Bensley lived in London. Her letters describe fashions and yard goods sent to Cheston, and mention the fortunes of her husband, actor Robert Bensley. The Ringgolds and Henrietta C. Galloway lived around Hagerstown, and their letters discussed activities there.

Cheston's financial papers are largely bills and receipts for goods she purchased, especially from her son James Cheston, Jr. Cheston was the administrator for her husband's estate, and these papers are filed with James Cheston's papers in Box 20.

James Cheston, Jr. Papers

James Cheston, Jr. (1779-1843) was the son of James and Anne [Galloway] Cheston. He was a merchant in Baltimore, and most of his papers (1799-1828, 50 items) deal with his partnership (ca. 1801-1804) with John Chew in the firm, Chew and Cheston. Also included is an 1827 indenture by which Mary [Galloway] Maxcy and her husband Virgil sold "Tulip Hill" to James Cheston for $5.00 and rented him other lands.

Anne Cheston Papers

Anne Cheston (1776-1811) was the daughter of James and Anne [Galloway] Cheston. Her papers (1790-1810, 80 items) are mainly letters. Her most frequent correspondents are her aunt Francina Augustina [Cheston] Bensley who writes about fashions and manners in London; her cousin Anna Maria [Ringgold] Tilghman, and Tilghman's sister-in-law Maria [Cadwalader] Ringgold. Tilghman and Ringgold both lived near Hagerstown and wrote about their steadily increasing families.

Francina Augustina Cheston Papers

Francina Augustina Cheston (b. 1777) was the daughter of James and Anne [Galloway] Cheston. Her papers (1790-1830, 30 items) are letters. Most are from her aunt Francina Augustina [Cheston] Bensley who wrote about fashions and manners in London.

Ann [Cheston] Morris Papers

Ann [Cheston] Morris (d. 1880) was the daughter of James Cheston, Jr., and in 1829 she married Dr. Caspar Morris. The Morris's lived in Philadelphia in the early years of their marriage but in 1858 settled at "Ivy Neck" in West River, Maryland.

Morris' papers are largely incoming letters (1839-1865, ca. 200 items), and almost all are from her husband Caspar and their daughter Mary H. [Morris] Murray. The bulk of the letters date from 1859 until 1861. During these years Caspar Morris maintained his medical practice in Philadelphia while his wife lived at "Ivy Neck" with Mary Murray and her family. Caspar's frequent letters are lengthy and philosophical, often asking his wife's advice.

During the winter of 1859-60 Ann C. Morris joined her husband in Philadelphia. Her daughter Mary wrote frequently about running "Ivy Neck" and raising her two daughters.

The collection includes Morris' diary (1858) for the year she moved from Philadelphia to West River and a recipe book.

Caspar Morris Papers

Caspar Morris (1805-1884) was a physician and the husband of Ann [Cheston] Morris. He was born in Philadelphia and spent most of his professional life there, living occasionally at his wife's family home "Ivy Neck" in West River, Maryland after 1858.

Morris had a private practice in Philadelphia and was connected with several medical institutions including the Pennsylvania Institution for the Instruction of the Blind and the Episcopal Hospital. His papers pertain largely to these activities. The majority of his papers are incoming letters especially from 1870 until 1883. During this period Morris received letters from patients and colleagues in Philadelphia asking advice and informing him of activities in Philadelphia while he was away. A frequent correspondent during these years was philanthropist John Welsh (1805-1886) who was also associated with the Episcopal Hospital. Welsh held the British mission (1877-79) and wrote to his friend Morris from London.

In the early 1870s Morris was asked to submit suggestions for the proposed Johns Hopkins Hospital. Letters pertaining to this are found in Morris's papers.

Some of the letters are from Morris's personal friends with whom he carried on philosophical and theological discussions. Among these correspondents were an English friend J. Braithwaite and Quaker Mary Snowden Thomas. The collection also includes a journal of Morris's trip (1871-1872) to the Holy Land, Eygpt, and Europe.

Morris's incoming letters occasionally contain a draft of his reply, but the best source of his writings are letters (1859-1861) he wrote to his wife Ann (in Box 23) and letters (1880-1883) to his son Galloway Cheston Morris (Box 25).

Galloway Cheston Morris Papers

Galloway Cheston Morris (fl. 1859-1887) was the son of Caspar and Ann C. Morris. Those of his papers in this collection deal entirely with the settlement of family estates. They deal with the estate of Morris' mother Ann [Cheston] Morris, his uncle Galloway Cheston, and land in Virginia inherited by a cousin, Emily Hollingsworth.

The papers (1879-1887, ca. 200 items) are almost entirely incoming letters. His most frequent correspondents were his father Caspar, sister Mary [Morris] Murray, Emily Hollingsworth, and Baltimore lawyers James Carey, Jr. and Francis T. King.

Mary [Morris] Murray Papers

Mary [Morris] Murray (fl. 1858-1919) was the daughter of Caspar and Ann C. Morris. She married Henry M. Murray and lived at the Cheston family home "Ivy Neck." Her papers (1858-1919, ca. 60 items) are letters and legal papers. The letters are from her mother and her brother and sister. The legal papers pertain to her ownership of "Ivy Neck" and an inventory of the furniture in the house. Letters written by her are found in her brother Galloway C. Morris's incoming letters (Box 25) and Emily Hollingsworth's incoming letters (Box 27).

Murray Family Papers

The collection contains some papers of other Murray family members, including Mary [Morris] Murray's husband Henry M. Murray, his grandmother Sarah Elizabeth Murray, his brother Robert (b. 1822), and his [sisters?] Sally Scott [Murray] Cheston and Anna M. Murray. There are also some estate papers of Emily H. and Anne C. Murray, daughters of Henry M. and Mary M. Murray. The Murray family papers are in Box 26.

Included in the collection are the minutes of two women's groups connected with Christ Church [Owensville, Maryland] to which several Murray women belonged. These are the minutes (1881-1887) of the Sewing Society and minutes (1894-1904) of the Woman's Auxiliary and Parish Aid Society. These are in Box 27.

Emily Hollingsworth Papers

Emily Hollingsworth (fl. 1832-1889) was a cousin of both Ann [Cheston] Morris and her husband Caspar. Her papers (1832-1889, n.d.) deal largely with land she inherited in Virginia. Most papers are letters from Mary [Morris] Murray to whom Hollingsworth willed the land. Her papers are in Box 27.


Cynthia H. Requardt

November 1977


Container List on Microfilm


Reel 1


William Penn-William Browne indenture

1681 (copy)


Thomas Taillor land grant


William Browne-Everard Bolton indenture

1706 (copy)


Stephen West, Jr.- William Brown settlement



Samuel Chew bills & receipts



Jane Galloway document



John Galloway incoming letters

1727-1744, n.d.


John Galloway bills & receipts



John Galloway legal papers


John Galloway estate papers


Samuel Galloway incoming letters




Samuel Galloway incoming letters





Samuel Galloway incoming letters



Samuel Galloway letterbook



Samuel Galloway legal papers


Samuel Galloway land papers


Samuel Galloway bills & receipts

1746-1785, n.d.


Samuel Galloway estate papers


Reel 2


Samuel Galloway ledger



Samuel Galloway ledger



Samuel Galloway journal



Memorandum book



Distillery Wheat & Rye Book (blank)


Legal notebook



Daniel Cheston (1760s) papers


Unidentified memoranda book



Unidentified land plat


Unidentified building plans


Unidentified accounts


Memorandum RE: Mortar


Memorandum RE: Nails


"Description of the prize with multiplied leavers"


Act RE: draining "Cranberry Swamp," Harford County



[Daniel Dulany's] reasons for not subscribing to militia



Stevenson, Randolph, & Cheston factorage book

1767-1775, 1784



Stevenson, Randolph, & Cheston journal



Stevenson, Randolph, & Cheston tobacco book



Stevenson, Randolph, & Cheston account of servants



James Cheston journal



James Cheston journal



Reel 3


James Cheston journal



James Cheston ledger



James Cheston order book



James Cheston plantation records

1787-1797, n.d.


James Cheston notebook of house measurements




James Cheston letterbook



James Cheston letterbook

1772-1776 June


James Cheston letterbook




James Cheston incoming letters

1767-1771 April


Reel 4

BOX 10

James Cheston incoming letters

1771 May- December


BOX 11

James Cheston incoming letters

1772-1773 May


BOX 12

James Cheston incoming letters

1773 June-October


BOX 13

James Cheston incoming letters

1773 November - 1774 June


BOX 14

James Cheston incoming letters

1774 July-December


Reel 5

BOX 15

James Cheston incoming letters



BOX 16

James Cheston incoming letters



BOX 17

James Cheston incoming letters



BOX 18

James Cheston incoming letters


Francina Augustina [Cheston] Bensley


William Carmichael


Ann [Galloway] Cheston


Daniel Cheston




William Randolph



William Stevenson


James Cheston agreements


James Cheston powers of attorney


James Cheston legal papers RE: Stevenson, Randolph & Cheston


James Cheston legal papers RE: John Lynch-Daniel Carroll


James Cheston legal papers RE: Dulany-Dulany


James Cheston legal papers RE: Cole Estate


James Cheston legal papers RE: William Young Estate


Reel 6

BOX 19

James Cheston bills & receipts



BOX 20

James Cheston bills & receipts

1776-1798, n.d.


James Cheston estate papers


Reel 7

BOX 21

Anne Cheston [Galloway] incoming letters

1774-1836, n.d.


Anne Cheston [Galloway] bills & receipts

1794-1829, n.d.


BOX 22

James Cheston, Jr. incoming letters

1799-1828, n.d.


James Cheston, Jr. bills & receipts



James Cheston, Jr. land deed (Tulip Hill)



Anne Cheston incoming letters

1790-1810, n.d.


Anne Cheston bills & receipts



Anne Cheston estate papers



Francina Augustina Cheston incoming letters

1790-1830, n.d.


Francina Augustina Cheston bills & receipts



Mary [Galloway] Ringgold papers


John Galloway papers


Reel 8

BOX 23

Ann [Cheston] Morris incoming letters

1839-1865, n.d.


Ann [Cheston] Morris diary



Ann [Cheston] Morris recipe book


Galloway Cheston incoming letters


(3 items)


Caspar Morris incoming letters



Reel 9

BOX 24

Caspar Morris incoming letters

1862-1883, n.d.


Reel 10

Caspar Morris letterbook

1837, 1840


BOX 25

Caspar Morris bank book



Caspar Morris journal



Caspar Morris bills & receipts



Caspar Morris medical notes



Biographical sketch of Caspar Morris, M.D.


Galloway C. Morris incoming letters

1879-1887, n.d.


Reel 11

BOX 26

Mary [Morris] Murray incoming letters

1858-1919, n.d.


Mary [Morris] Murray legal papers



Henry M. Murray incoming letters

1852-1859, n.d.


Sarah Elizabeth Murray incoming letters

1820-1826, n.d.


Sally Scott [Murray] Cheston incoming letters

1846-1887, n.d.


Robert Murray biographical material


Ann Murray incoming letters

1873, 1878, 1881


Emily H. Murray papers

1948-1952, n.d.


Anne C. Murray papers

1944-1961, n.d.


C. Forbes Colhoun incoming letters



BOX 27

Christ Church Sewing Society Minutes



Christ Church Woman's Auxiliary and Parish Aid Society Minutes



Emily Hollingsworth incoming letters

1844-1889, n.d.


Emily Hollingsworth will


Emily Hollingsworth account book

1832, 1838


Hollingsworth land papers



Benjamin Franklin Bicentennial program



Abdul Baha on Divine Philosophy



Francis Markoe letter



Map of Asia



Newspaper clippings








Mary [Morris] Murray Scapbook "Sea Nosses"


Cheston- Galloway Papers and Corresponding Microfilm Reel Numbers:

BOXES 1 - 3: reel 1

BOXES 4 - 6: reel 2

BOXES 7 - 9: reel 3

BOXES 10 - 14: reel 4

BOXES 15 - 18: reel 5

BOXES 19 - 20: reel 6

BOXES 21 - 22: reel 7

BOX 23: reel 8

BOX 24: Caspar Morris Incoming Letters 1862-1883 to n.d., A - C reel 9

BOX 24: Caspar Morris Incoming Letters; n.d., D - Z through Box 25 reel 10

BOXES 26 - 27: reel 11


These papers have been [UNK] and are no longer in this order. All letters are filed with the papers of the Recipient



19th Century

Jan. 1881

Misc. letters to Dr. Galloway Morris following the death of his mother, Ann C. Morris. Personal condolence or legal matters.


Letter to Dr. Morris - second death: Professor Tutle Sudden death of a friend, Lide Humes


May-June 1881

Bills paid by Executors of Galloway Cheston


June 4, 1881

Cousin Emily to Dr. Galloway Morris - asking advice re: the sale of her Virginia land


July 18, 1881

Father of Dr. Morris writes that he is frightened by his own physical condition & seeks advice from his son.


Dec. 10, 1881

Letter to Dr. Morris from T. King in Baltimore that "Walbrook" was sold for $20,000.


Dec. 13, 1881

T. King suggests to Dr Morris that an agent be appointed to take care of the rentals and the sale of property


Dec. 20, 1881

G. Morris signs receipt for $353.46 from the Executors of Galloway Cheston.



Jan 11, 1882

To Dr. Morris (Phila) legal correspondence from Safe Deposit & Trust Co. (Baltimore) re: the title of the Walbrook sale.


Lawyer, Newcomer also taking care of the sale of 315 Madison Ave. house & property


Jan, 1882

various family members are consulted -fear that the lawyers will "slice up" the property with their fees. Must have patiance and let lawyers take action.


Feb. 8, 1882

Mary Murray tells brother G. Morris that she hears that the Madison Ave. property has been sold at $15,000 - not $20,000.


Feb. 18, 1882

Brother Israel feels that some misunderstanding has occurred. Suggests that they meet & that Galloway Morris take charge of his mother's estate.


Mar. 27, 1882

A check is sent for distribution: $185 to Cheston, Israel, Galloway. (From stock from Uncle Galloway).


April 29, 1882

Newcomer tells Dr. Morris of sale of Madison Ave. property for $15,000. to Mrs. H. [UNK].



Many letters of legal matters from lawyers Carey & Carey. The family's five properties are valued at $222,500.00


Dr. Morris rents some of the Baltimore property and contemplates selling a Baltimore warehouse. His delays upset the law firm of Carey & Carey.


END OF 1881-1882 Folders



Aug. 10, 1789

George Chalmers to James Cheston. He is writing a book about "the late revolution."



Letters to James Cheston re: the estate of the late John Galloway. Money owed, etc.


May, 1790

Letter describing the needs of the farm: from Thomas Call to James Cheston.


Various bills of sale



More letters to James Cheston (many illegible)


April, 1791

"Disbursements on Brig Lioness to J. Hollings-worth." Prices of items: rum, stores, wheat, etc.



Feb. 18, 1792

Elizabeth Randolph to J. Cheston: sends "every instrument that possibly will be necessary to indemnify all parties."


Feb. 21, 1792

Mr. R. Pinckney to J. Cheston: hopes Cheston will settle the estate of the late Mr. Randolph.


July 1, 1792

Mr. Ridgely asks J. Cheston to "deposit the bonds in the Chancery office" re: the estate of Samuel Dorsey.


Sept. 29, 1792

Bristol writer to J. Cheston: sorry to find a difference of opinion on the mode of calculation of the interest on "your debt."


Oct. 12, 1792

Elizabeth Randolph writes J. Cheston to be speedy in regard to her case at law.


Dec. 24, 1792

Mr. Ireland writes J. Cheston that he is moving to Philadelphia but still would like to continue to tutor his son.




Aug. 28, 1793

Annapolis. Mr. Scott writes a sympathy letter to Mrs. Cheston, who is "indisposed." Relates his recent stomach illness and hopes Mrs. Cheston will soon recover.


18th-19th Century


Sept. 17, 1793

Mr. Joshua Kirby writes he is sending fine flour and some nails, as ordered & submits bill.


Mr. James Cheston ships, aboard ship "Birmingham" hogsheads of tobacco to Amsterdam.


Oct. 29, 1793

Mr. Scott [UNK] Mr. Cheston for purchasing some stores for him.


Dec. 31, 1793

Notice that some tobacco of Mr. Cheston has been sold.



May, July, August

Three letters from Cousin Maria Ringgold to Ann Cheston - all wishing good health & spirits - and hopes that they can meet in person.


John Galloway to James Cheston: has sold some tobacco - does Cheston want money right away?



March 17, 1795

Mary Geddes writes J. Cheston that Mr. Geddes suffered a stroke and is unable to do business. She will do what she can-but "A Hession fly" has eaten most of their wheat-so she has [UNK] money at present. Will send some if the harvest is a good one.


July 28, 1795

B. Galloway writes his sister, Ann Cheston, that he will be down to see her as soon as the sale of a farm is settled.



August 1796

Mr. J. Hollingsworth has shipped to Mr. Cheston 1 barrel sugar & 1 barrel flour.


August, 1796

Mary Geddes again explains her inability to pay as much as is owed. Bad weather has ruined most of the crop on her farm. Mr. Geddes is now a helpless invalid.


Dec. 1796

M. John Chew has received from Mrs. Geddes 195. Should send 295.




Mr. P. Hollingsworth in Baltimore writes that Mr. Easton's son, James, is well & a statisfactory guest in their house. Wants three peach trees.




July, 1797

Son James writes J. Cheston that he is well. But thinks America is in terrible shape at present-many merchants are failing every week.


Nov. 1797

Son James suggests to his father that he should try to sell his wheat now.




Cousin M.R. writes Ann Cheston - thanks for her letter-she misses Ann & her family greatly. Hopes they will see each other soon.



April, 1798

Letter to J. Cheston asking help in getting employment in Baltimore: writer's brother, John. (from nephew Wm.Stevenson).


June 1, 1798

Letter indicates Mr. Cheston ill with gout.


August, 1798

Bill to estate of James Cheston, deceased. Bills and expenses



Uncle J. Galloway writes Ann Cheston: everybody is in good health, now. Hopes her family is the same.


Four letters from M.R. to cousin Ann: mainly family news & health of family members.


Includes sadness at death of George Washington.




M.R. again writes of family news & health. Sorry to hear that Ann has been sick.


T. Hollingsworth and A.N.T. write Ann Cheston: general inquiry as to health of family members.




Estate of J. Cheston: he left 7,479 to be distributed to his widow, Ann & Francis & James Cheston


A.N.T. writes to Ann inquiring about her health; Tells that dentist took out six of her teenth when she had a violent toothache.



Feb. 26, 1802

From Cumberland to Ann Cheston at Annapolis. Family news. Delighted he'll see Ann & family during the next summer. He and children have been innoculated against small pox. Is in good health.


Contract between Nicholas Stubey and Chew & Cheston (Baltimore merchants): that Stubey to go to London to be an agent for Chew & Cheston. He is to be given one-half commission on any sale he makes.


Letter to Chew & Cheston from N. Stubey in London ordering Indian corn to a party in Portugal.



Feb. 23, 1803

John Galloway orders ll bushels of wheat from Chew & Cheston.


Various purhcases by Mrs Ann Cheston -charges.


19th Century


May 10, 1804

James Cheston writes his Mother that his wife had a baby boy - all in good health.


Three sheets of espenses of John Galloway.



Letter refers to death of Joseph Galloway on Feb. 5, 1805.

Anne Tilghman writes cousin of another death: Mr. Henry Peace. Wonders what mourning clothes to wear.


Itemized bill: Mr. Ann Cheston with Owings & Cheston: food purchases



Jan 14, 1807

John Galloway to his sister: reports that Mary is better & all Philadelphia friends are well. Hopes her daughter will be restored to health by time he returns.


March 30, 1807

Ann Tilghamn to her aunt: pleased to hear that she & Nancy are well. Cousin James arrived safe in Hagerstown. He and Mr. Tilghman attended court for several days. All are well.


April 19, 1807

Ann Tilghman to her aunt: sorry to hear that her cousin is indisposed. Hope the doctor can take care of the fever. Thinks a trip would do her good. "Poor Tennz" has had a severe attack of fever - but he is better. Mr. Brent arrived on a litter-came from Virginia to Hagerstown. He dan't walk but his spirits are good. Hopes to hear that cousin Fanny is recovering.


April 27, 1807

Ann Tilghman to her aunt: pleased to hear that cousin Fanny is better. Her husband is to make a trip to the Eastern Shore - but probably will not be able to visit Aunt. If Mrs. Cheston is with Aunt, ask her to get some blank lace for triming the neck of her best cloak. All family are well.


May 13, 1807

Ann Tilghman to her Aunt: Hopes no news is good news. Husband still on Eastern Shore. Her sister had a chill & fever last night, with an alarming soreness in her breasts. Mrs. Ringgold is better, but hobbling about on crutches. "Aunt" had an alarming fainting fit last Sunday. The doctor thinks she might have had a stroke. At least Ann. is in perfect health.



May 17, 1807

Ann Tilighman to her Aunt: Very anxious to receive a letter - hopes no one is sick there. Her sister, she fears, will have "a gathering in her breast" - it is inflamed and swollen. She has a fever each night - her spirits are low. Ann's husband has arrived with the news that her cousin is ill. So sorry they live so far apart. Please write-and all hope that the cousin will have a speedy recovery.



Dec. 24, 1808

A. Lynn to her cousin: she reached home after a safe trip and finds all the children well. Was not afraid to travel alone.



Several bills of Ann Cheston



a bond. James & Ann Cheston must pay to Henry and Nicholas Darnall: $5,252.90.Signed.



Bill of sale. Virgil and Mary Maxey to sell to James Cheston two farms: Tulip Hill and Painters Level.


A list of expenses: food & clothing.



March 20, 1828

Henrietta Galloway to her sister: mainly discusses the poor health of "your brother": and the unexpected deaths of Marion Ringgold and a small boy they both knew.



Letter to Mrs. Cheston from E. Magnaston: death has struck "two of the four" who worshipped God thirteen months ago: now another friend has died. Preys that Mrs. Cheston is in good health.



To Ann Cheston from her daughter: Arrived in Baltimore. All well, except for Mr. Carey who is very sick.



June 30, 1835

To Mrs. Ann Cheston from E. Reynold, All the family and various friends are well and send best wishes.



Mary Lynn writes Mrs. Cheston that she hopes to buy a carriage. All well. Is signing a deed for some property. Hopes to visit her in the summer.



March 21, 1836

Mary Lynn to Ann Cheston: glad the family is all well. They are well, except that Mary has a sore mouth. Mr. Hughes will be with them for the summer. Needs some garden seeds-brocoli, spinach, onion.


March 31, 1838

Mary Lynn to Ann Cheston: so grieved by the death of Betsy Ringgold.


July, 1836

Sister A.M. Galloway to Ann Cheston: doesn't think she should make the long trip from Hagerstown to see her. Too old- she is in her eighties.



Death of Elizabeth Wiston.



Rob Murray writes his sister, Ann Cheston: that he has been ordered to Mexico with the army.




Rob Murray writes his sister, Ann Cheston - from California. Wants news of the family California lacks society. Spanish is spoken by many.



May 13, 1858

Letter from London to "dear friend" The Am. Railroad stocks have fallen low to the dismay of those holding them. Losses almost as high as in the panic of 1825. No remedy seen.


June 17, 1858

To Caspar Morris from G. Custon. It would be interesting to have a Galloway family history. They came from Scotland in the 17th century-and some were members of the Friends Society. Samuel Galloway was at Tulip Hill - and had several brothers. Lack real data.


Stephen Morris writes to his sister, Ann: that he has visited a cranberry growing swamp.


Oct. 2, 1858

J. Cheston Morris writes his father how he treated several patients.


Rebecca Alden writes Dr. Morris: that after a R.R. trip of 3 days a and 3 nights to Iowa City - she reunited with her family. Feels well.


Nov. 23, 1858

Dr. Morris writes his wife from Phila. Wonders about starting a school for poor boys, ages 12-14. at Ivy Neck. Would run as an agricultural school on Christian principles.: what does she think?



Jan 25, 1859

Galloway Morris writes his mother that he is well set financially and wants to get married. Is in fine spirits. News of Uncle Samuel's sudden death.



April 22, 1859

Galloway Morris writes his mother that the shipping of coal is thriving.

April 28, 1859

Galloway Morris writes his mother: if she or Uncle James wants any coal-te let him know. Heis still thinking of marriage: perhaps in November or December. He needs some new shirts. Is going to get sugar for his mother.


June 24, 1859

Dr. Caspar Morris writes his wife: that he believes they are in the hands of God - a great strength to him.


July 12, 1859

Dr. Caspar Morris writes his wife: that she is constantly in his thoughts. His job as a manager of the Hospital is demanding. Longs to be with her at Ivy Neck-but duty calls. Puts things in the hands of God. This is the time to cut wood.


July 18, 1859

R.M Bohlen thanks Mrs. Morris for the gift of a beautiful shawl.


July 19, 1859

H.M. Talbot tells Mrs. Morris: of the safe arrival of a new shild. Wife Polly all well with no complications.


Aug. 15, 1859

Cheston Morris to his mother: came down to Olney when he heard that Caspar was sick. Had a bilious attack and diarrehea. Is better now.


Aug. 16, 1859

Caspar Morris to his wife: Though he thinks often of all being together at Icy Neck, duty compels him to remain at Phila. Wants the necessary work done at Ivy Neck. Perhaps he can find lodging in Phila. for the two of them - leaves plans in the hands of God. Has some new cases that tie him down. Her letters cheer him on.


Aug. 20, 1859

Caspar Morris to his wife: Emily has donated $10,000. for a chapel at the hospital. Estimates that he is making $50. a week, from his patients. Enough to meet expenses and have a little surplus. The children seen well. Can't leave his patient Mr. Buckley for some time.


Aug. 22, 1859

Caspar Morris to his wife: is trying to decide if the two of them could live in Phila. and he would continue his practice. Alternately, he might move to Ivy Neck. Asks his wife's advice.


Aug. 26, 1859

Caspar Morris to his wife: He has decided to take rooms on Chesnut Street. Could be enough for four persons. Mr. Buckley still need his medical attention.



Aug. 28, 1859

Caspar Morris to his wife: Wonders if she has, as he has, witnessed the sublime spectacle of an Aurora Borealis in the sky. Mr Buckley still in poor state. Another patient has been drinking too much. Phila. has been a healthier city than New York. Galloway & Israel both well and doing God's will.


Sept. 6, 1859

Caspar Morris to his wife: settling down in his rooms. Hopes she can visit him.


Sept. 8, 1859

Caspar Morris to his wife: Looks forward to a visit from his wife.


Sept. 10, 1859

Caspar Morris to his wife: Has some anxiety about taking new quarters. Mr. Buckley got out of bed for 20 minutes the other day. None of his other patients are so seriously ill. Galloway looks well.


Sept. 17, 1859

Caspar Morris to his wife: Galloway and he are doing nicely.


Sept. 24, 1859

Caspar Morris to his wife: has been to church and hopes she can get to church, as well. Is sending a trunk of old clothes.


Sept. 25, 1859

Caspar Morris to his wife: his landlady trying to get rid of two roomers.



March 15, 1860

Dr. Rideout to Dr. Morris. Answer him that a bill will be paid.


May 13, 1960

Caspar Morris to his wife: the start of another volume of correspondence. Has been busy and sends lots of love.


June 24, 1860

Heard an exciting sermon by Mr. Brooks Visits of various family members. Death of infant son of Cheston Morris. Caspar is writing the memoir of a doctor.


July 1860

Buys his wife a new carriage.


Aug. 5, 1860

A very hot August with little rain. Often wishes he could visit his wife.


Sept. 27, 1860

Sorry she has taken cold.




March 5, 1861

Samuel Morris sends to Cousin Caspar some willow cuttings.



March 9, 1861

Caspar Morris to his wife: read her letter and sorry it has been raining so.


March 11, 1861

Caspar Morris to his wife: A heavy rain drove through his wall and so a ked the paper.


March 17, 1861

Caspar Morris to his wife: public affairs bring him gloom. Both sides seem irreconcilable.


April 14, 1861

Caspar Morris to his wife: what a fearful pass things have reached! Maryland must stay with the Union.


April 16, 1861

Caspar Morris to his wife: much rain falling.


April 27, 1861

Caspar Morris to his wife: has wome worries about her and wonders if she is safe & if she has enough money.


April 30, 1861

Caspar Morris to his wife: delighted to hear that she is safe. If so, he will not worry. God is withthem both.


May 8, 1861

Caspar Morris to his wife: Excitement there as troops form to march into Maryland. Need faith in God.



Jan. 7, 1876

H.L. Hall to Caspar Morris. He printed 500 copies of Dr. Morris' letter. Is interested in finding readers to his blind men. (Works in Pa Working Home for the Blind.)


Jan. 12, 1876

T. Welsh to Caspar Morris: Thanks for the note sent. It is a satisfaction to know that he has those "who can rescue me when assailed."


Jan. 25, 1876

Wm. Hawkes to Caspar Morris. Denies his misuse of alcohol with patients in the wards of his hospital.


Feb. 16, 1876

F. King to Caspar Morris: Must attend the University Inauguration.


Feb. 22, 1876

W. Spear to Caspar Morris: offers his services in reading to the blind.



Mar. 21, 1876

N. Mason to Caspar Morris: wants his sympathy for his father who had a slight stroke of paralysis.



Jan. 22, 1877

S. Ashhurst to Caspar Morris. Is shocked to hear that the managers of the hospital will not



Feb. 21, 1877

S. Ashhurst to Caspar Morris: thanks for his friendship. Can make an attampt at a change of term with his colleagues.


Mar. 3, 1877

S. Ashhurst to Caspar Morris: if he cannot make an arrangement with his colleagues to serve at the hospital, will place his resignation in the hands of the managers.


April 3, 1877

A. Davis to Caspar Morris: will know a copy of "Dec No. I" published by the state Charities Aid Society of N.Y. and send it to Dr. Morris for his interest and persual.


May 2, 1877

J. Ashhurst to Caspar Morris: asks Morris' aid in his attempt to be elected to the chair of Clinical Surgery in the University.


May 28, 1877

G. Harlain to Caspar Morris: hopes Dr. Morris will look favorably on the hopes of Dr. Kim toward the position on the Surgical Staff of the Episcopal Hospital.


May 30, 1877

Wm. Hart to Caspar Morris: recommends Dr. Hunrer as a surgeon for the vacancy at the Episcopal Hospital.


May 30, 1877

J. Ashhurst to Caspar Morris. Recommends Dr. Nancrede as a surgeon. Is experienced and devoted to his patients.



Feb. 11, 1879

E.B. Tuttle to Caspar Morris: enjoyed staying with him.


June 27, 1879

D. Scull to Caspar Morris: does he know where to obtain a copy of "Memoir of John Bohlen"?


July 4, 1879

Catherine Brown to Caspar Morris: her sister has contracted pneumonia but is recovering and getting many visits.


Oct. 1879

J. Morris to Caspar Morris and wife: congratulations on their golden wedding anniversary


Nov. 21, 1879

T. Robins to Caspar Morris: recommends his grandson, Robert Robins, soon to graduate from Pa. Univ. Medical School.


Dec. 31, 1879

Ann Griffiths to Caspar Morris: please accept this gift affghan.



Mar. 19, 1880

A. Randall to Caspar Morris: his thanks for attention shown his son, Buxton, when in Philadelphia.



Oct. 30, 1880

J. Bronthwaite to Caspar Morris: appreciates sympathy on death of his son.


Dec. 5, 1880

M. McMillan to Caspar Morris: sincere sympathy on news of Dr. Morris's wife's death.



March 28, 1884

news of Dr. Caspar Morris's death.


May 18, 1884

Mary Murray to Galloway Morris - astonished at the news. Uncle Galloway would nothave built stores on property which had a defect about the title. What can be done?


May 26, 1884

Mary Murray to Calloway Morris - still more astonishing news about the property. Uncle James could perhaps solve the problem. Uncle Galloway surely had title to the property.


August 1884

More complications about the land sale.


Oct. 10, 1884

Mary Murray to Galloway Morris: thanks for the check for the rent of the store. Sorry to hear it may be vacant again. Visit from Uncle James Cheston, in good health.


Nov. 25, 1884

Mary Murray to Galloway Morris: received his letter & the documents. All clear.


Dec. 6, 1884

Mary Murray to Galloway Morris: delighted that the Trust Co. made clear the title of the property.


Dec. 20, 1884

Mary Murray to Galloway Morris - received letter with all the business transactions. All is clear.



Feb. 26, 1885

Mary Murray to Galloway Morris: everything cold & covered with snow. Enjoyed a sleigh ride.


March 2, 1885

Mary Murray to Galloway Morris: having a cold spell. Hope to come to visit them soon.


May 6, 1885

Mary Murray to Galloway Morris: Addis continues to be very ill. (Lungs conjected). The photographs were very welcome.


May 9, 1885

Mary Murray to Galloway Morris: much house-cleaning to attend to. Hope all is well.


June 21, 1885

Mary Murray to Galloway Morris: A very hot spell. Heard of a cyclone in Phila. Busy canning fruits.



Sept. 21, 1885

Mary Murray to Galloway Morris: sorry to hear of Hannah's illness. The girls are preparing preserves for an exhibit.


Oct. 11, 1885

Mary Murrayto Galloway Morris: Uncle James Cheston very ill with pneumonia.



May 31, 1886

Mary Murray to Galloway Morris: visited Washington for a whole. Cousin Emily visiting them.


July 17, 1886

Mary Murray to Galloway Morris: had a sailing party. All are well.



April 1, 1887

Mary Murray to Galloway Morris: Charley has made fresh leases with all his tenants In Rockingham County. All well.


July 13, 1887

Mary Murray to cousin Emily Hollingsworth: Charley has found a rock which may be manganese. Keep the news quiet.


July 20, 1887

Mary Murray to cousin Emily H: Charley has had a chemist verify the rock as being 55% manganese. Now he must decide what land the rock is on.


Oct. 14, 1887

Mary Murray to cousin Emily H: Charley back from a trip to discover the land containing the manganese. All is well.



Jan 27, 1888

Mary Murray to cousin Emily H: Snow just right for a pleasant sleigh ride.



Box 9


Dec. 12, 1912

Mary Murray to Dr. Elliston Morris at Ivy Neck. Thanks for the Christmas Album.


Aug. 3, 1913

Copy of Southern Churchman: obituary of Dr. James H. Murray-died in a Jacksonville Hospital.


Baltimore SUN: Picture of Tulip Hill. (Samuel Galloway built his mansion here as early as 1745)



Funeral bill of Miss Emily H. Murray. 7th October.


Estate papers of Miss Emily H. Murray


Final papers of Estate of Emily H. Murray.


Estate Paper


The Cheston-Galloway Papers as A Primary Source of Information for Convict Servant History: A Study and Content Analysis


Robert Andrew Oszakiewski

The Cheston-Gallloway papers, a collection of private records in the possession of the Maryland Historical Society and available at the Maryland State Archives on microfilm are a unique source of information concerning colonial mercantile trade and the lives of merchants. The collection consists of the business letters and records of Stevenson and Cheston and its successor firm, Stevenson, Randolph and Cheston, as well as letters between members of the Cheston and Galloway families and their friends. These firms, based in Bristol and Chestertown, but with financial activities and interests in Baltimore and Annapolis, were perhaps the largest shippers of convict servants during its final period from 1771 to 1775 1, when the convict trade effectively ended. It is on this aspect of the papers that this study will concentrate.

Perhaps the most useful part of the papers for both the genealogist and the historian to begin is with the “Account of Servants, 1774-1775”, of Stevenson, Randolph and Cheston, [MdHR M1651], which consists of accounts of sales of both indentured and convict servants for December 1774, June 1775, and July 1775 (See Appendix 1). The account of June 1775 is for convict servants only. The accounts of December 1774 and July 1775 do not distinguish between the convict and indentured servants. These accounts give the name of the servant, the name of the purchaser and the amount paid for the servant. Among those purchasing servants from the firm were Benedict Calvert, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, and Captain Charles Ridgely, possibly for use in his iron works in Baltimore County.

The value of such a record to the genealogist is obvious, proviading a starting point and in some cases perhaps, an ending point, for tracing ancestors. Its value to the historian is multileveled. On one level it allows the scholar to determine the value that colonial Maryland planters, merchants, and proto-industrialists placed on labor. That similar prices, between 10 and 25 pounds, were being paid for both convicts and indentured servants would seem to indicate that by this late stage of the colonial period both had come to have roughly equal monetary value, if not the same social value. The overwhelming majority of the convicts and the indentured servants are male, supporting conclusions that have been reached in other studies.

Similar information may be found in the Stevenson, Randolph and Cheston Factorage Book, 1767-1775, 1785 and the Ledger of Samuel Galloway, 1755-1779. Again, the name of the servant is given along with the name of the purchaser and the price paid for the servant. In addition, there are occassional notations about the servants, usually of the trade or profession that the servant professed. In both of these, the majority of the names have no profession noted. Other studies of indentured and convict servants have noted that the majority of servants had no skills at the time of their arrival in the colonies. As with the accounts of sales for December 1774 and July 1775 discussed above, the convict servants are not differeniated from the indentured servants. Both of these records will be found on MdHR M 1651.

Following these sources, the letterbooks of James Cheston for 1768-1771 and 1772-1776 respectively, contain the bulk of the remaining information to be found in this collection regarding convict servants. Both are rather typical letterbooks of merchants of this time period, composed of copied versions of correspondance between James Cheston and his customers, associates, and others who dealt with him in one way or another. The earlier letterbook, from 1768-1771, begins with a series of letters between James Cheston and Captain Nicholas Andrew, regarding the wreck of the Randolphe, a ship carrying between 60 and 100 convict servants from Bristol to Chestertown. The ship was wrecked off the coast of North Carolina, with the total loss of its cargo and the escape of the majority of its convicts, most of whom were never recovered. Subsequent letters discuss the arrival of a cargo of convict servants on the Isabella and the sale of the majority of them as a group to Captain Ridgely, in exchange for a shipload of pig iron produced at his Baltimore County iron works.

Other letters in this letterbook that have information regarding convict servants give information about the voyage that the convict endured, their sale in Maryland and how much they sold for. Two other letters record James Cheston's reaction to various laws that had been introduced in the General Assembly that would have placed some controls over the convict servant trade.

The second letterbook, from 1772-1776, is composed of the recorded versions of letters from James Cheston to his business partners and associates. The majority of these letters are to Cheston's partners in Bristol Stevenson and Randolph, informing them of the safe arrival of the shipments of servants, both indentured and convicts, and also proviading information regarding the sales of servants and the prices that had been paid. Cheston's letter of 11 July 1774 is fairly typical and will serve as an example:

.... The servants are all sold, 68 by retail, the remainder lumped off at the low price of 13 pound currency for men and [illegible] for women, which I was glad to accept as I found it was to no purpose to keep them any longer on expenses.... The remainder will average at 16 pounds currency....

Other letters in the letterbook and other boxes of incoming letters testify to the growing demand for skilled servants:

.... There is a shoemaker aboard, but in looking over my memorandums, I find that I have promised one to Mr. Gittings.

Other letters recorded in the letterbook hold information about the voyages the convicts made, the competition that Cheston faced in selling convicts sent to him, and the difficulty in collecting payment from purchasers of convicts.

The remaining boxes of incoming letters contain scattered references to convict servants. Box 9, with letters from 1767 to April 1771 [MdHR 1652] contains two interesting letters, both from William Stevenson. The first, dated 5 August 1768, informs Cheston of the decision to take Randolph into partnership:

... if we were to join with him, there would be no competition in the [convict trade], and convicts will all fall into our hands.

The second, dated 2 September 1768, informs Cheston that the largest part of the bulk cargo must be left in Bristol, “... as the convicts will be aboard”. That a merchant firm that dealt in the import and export of goods that the colonists needed and wanted would choose to leave that cargo unshipped in favour of convict servants attests to the profitability of the convict trade.

Box 10 of the incoming letters, from may 1771 to December 1771 [MdHR M 1653] contains only one reference to convict servants that has no real information in it. Box 11, incoming letters from June 1773 to October 1773, also on MdHR M 1653, contains three letters of interest. The first, from Stevensonm and Randolph urges Cheston to collect the ammounts due from “... all persons who purchase convicts on credit” and posted a bond. The second, also from Stevenson and Randolph, suggests that Cheston sell a shipment of convicts wholesale to push the price up. The third letter, from Turbutt Wright of 11 April 1773, lends support to studies of other scholars that have concluded that colonists were reluctant to accept convict servants:

I am in great want of a servant who understands ditching and planting and would chose an indentured servant in preference to a convict, but rather than not have one this summer... would consent to take a convict....

Box 12 of incoming letters, also on MdHR M 1653, has four letters that are of great interest to the genealogist and the historian. These letters are actually certificates from Stevenson and Randolph to James Cheston that were to be delivered by various ships captains. These certificates inform Cheston that the convicts named in them have paid towards the reduction of the time they have to serve. Each of these gives the name of the servant and the amount paid for this freedom and their passage to Maryland. (See Appendix 2)

Boxes 13 and 14 of incoming letters contain very little useful information regarding the sale or transportation of convict servants. One letter from John Page indicates that, on occassion, the convict servant didnot always satisfy the purchaser:

.... Mr Hodges sent his men to my [illegible] with a convict man who said that he had been used to wait on gentlemen and mind their houses... he would by no means suit me, therefore I sent him back again immediately.... 10

Box 19, "Bills and Receipts, 1768 to 1775," the last part of the papers that will be considered for this study, contains some useful information regarding the sales of convict servants between 1767 and 1770. The statements of accounts between the firm of Smyth and Sudler and Stevenson, Randolph and Cheston list the total ammounts paid for convicts and indentured servants in both currency and pounds sterling. The dates of arrivals of the ships used to transport servants indicates that these arrivals were planned to coincide with the prepartions for Spring planting and Fall harvests, when labour would be at a preiumn, and could bring the most profit, conclusions that have been reached by other studies.

To date, only one study has been done that used the Cheston-Galloway papers to any extent. Kenneth Morgan's article, "The Organization of the Convict Trade to Maryland: Stevenson, Randolph and Cheston, 1768-1775", mentioned above, begins as a content analysis of the collection, but quickly abandons this approach for an attempt at an analysis of the convict servant trade to Maryland in general.

The Cheston-Galloway papers do not yield any new information to the scholar researching the convict servant trade. Rather, their value lies in the primary source support that they proviade for the conclusions reached in various other studies. The papers may serve as the base for a more complete study of colonial mercantile involvement in this trade than has been done here or in Kenneth Morgan's study. Analysis of these records and the records left by other merchants of this period and a comparison of the information found may yield a more complete and complex understanding of the convict servant trade.

Kenneth Morgan, in his study, "The Organization of the Convict Trade to Maryland: Stevenson, Randolph and Cheston, 1768-1775", William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd series, Vol. XLII, No. 2, estimates that 93% of all Convicts sent to Maryland in this time were shipped by Stevenson, Randolph and Cheston.

See David W. Galenson, White Servitude in Colonial America; an Economic Analysis, (Cambridge, 1987), A. Roger Ekirch, Bound for America: The Transportation of British Convicts to to Colonies: 1718 to 1775, (Clarendon Press, 1987), Russell B. Menard, "Population, Economy and Society in 17th Century Maryland", Maryland Historical Magazine, Vol. 79, 1984, pp. 71-92, and Smith, Colonists in Bondage: White Servitude and Convict Labor in America, 1607-1776, (University of North Carolina Press, 1947).

Galenson, Mennard and Smith especcially.

24 July 1770 to Nicholas Jamison, 5 August 1770 and 22 August 1770 to Randolph, Stevenson, and Cheston.

1 January 1771 and 21 April 1771.

To Thomas Smyth, 3 April 1773.

Letter to Thomas Smyth, 3 April 1773.

Letters to Stevenson and Randolph, 13 June 1773, 12 December 1773, 2 April 1774 and 18 June 1774.

To Stevenson, Randolph and Cheston, 24 January 1775: "I now enclose... accounts of sales of the convicts... the greatest part of which I will not be quite so easy to collect as has been hitherto...." 10 July 1775:"... no debts are paid and from the Elizabeth's convicts I have recorded 50 pounds, tho they are all sold."

John Page to James Cheston, 28 March 1774.

Galenson, Ekirch, and Smith.