Ridgely-Pue Papers, 1748-1932, MS. 693

Ridgely-Pue Papers, 1748-1932

Maryland Historical Society


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

Ridgely-Pue Papers, 1748-1932
Maryland Historical Society

Contact Information:
Manuscripts Department
Maryland Historical Society Library
201 West Monument Street
Baltimore MD 21201-4674
Fax: 410.385.2105


Descriptive Summary


MS. 693

Maryland Historical Society

Baltimore MD 21201-4674

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of 2 sets of family papers, and the connection between them has not been determined. There are papers of the Ridgely, Pue, and Penniman families and of the Stricker, Nicholson, and Harris families. Family trees of these two family groups follow. There are a few papers relating to many family members but not the complete papers of any one person.

People represented in the papers include Rebecca Ridgely (1740-1812); her niece Rebecca Pue; Thomas Dobbin Penniman (1870-1957); General John Stricker (1758-1825); and his son-in-law Joseph James Nicholson (1791-1838).

The papers span the years 1748-1932 and consist of about 500 items. A note concerning the provenance and a calendar of the Ridgely, Pue, Penniman papers are included in the collection.




Rebecca Ridgely Papers


Rebecca [Dorsey] Ridgely (1740-1812) was the wife of Capt. Charles Ridgely. She was a devout Methodist after her conversion about 1777. She left a reminiscence of her conversion and religious life written in 1786 and added on to it until 1798. She was a financial supporter of Rev. Francis Asbury, and her papers include 4 letters (1804-1810) from him thanking her for generous support and describing his travels.

The remainder of Ridgely's papers deal with her finances after her husband's death in 1790. There is the agreement (July 1790) between Rebecca and her husband's heir and nephew Charles Carnan concerning her property and one letter (October 1790) in which Rebecca complains of ill-treatment by Carnan. A poem (n.d.) in the collection, probably by Rebecca, notes that her life would have been easier had her husband lived. Family relations did not improve, and in 1811 she refused to grant Charles [Carnan]

Ridgely power of attorney to settle her father's estate. Copies of these unsigned documents are in the collection.

An account book (1790-1805) listing expenses for running a farm and accounts with Charles [Carnan] Ridgely appear to belong to Rebecca Ridgely. Other records of her accounts with her nephew are found in his bills and receipts in MS. 692 and MS. 692.1. Her loose bills and receipts (1791-1812, ca. 40 items) are for taxes, court costs, and household items. There is also a receipt book for her purchases (1791-1805) and an account book of her expenses (1811-1812) and those of her estate, 1812-1815.




Rebecca Pue Papers


There are bills and receipts (1812-1836) for a Mrs. Rebecca Pue and a Miss Rebecca Pue. The bills and receipts of both deal mainly with taxes and rent on Baltimore property.




Penniman Papers


The few Penniman papers (1900, 1931-1932) concern the family's ownership of the Francis Asbury letters to Rebecca Ridgely. Mrs. Penniman (Rebecca Pue [Dobbin] Penniman) was descended from Rebecca Ridgely's executor Rebecca Pue. Her papers consits of one letter (1900) from Helen West [Stewart] Ridgely which speculates on Rebecca Ridgely's character based on the Asbury letters, Rebecca's conversion reminiscence, and her portrait. Mrs. Penniman's son Thomas D. Penniman was interested in selling or publishing the Asbury letters, and his papers deal with this. He corresponded with Mrs. Anna Onstott historian of the John Street Methodist Church in New York. This church claimed to be the Mother Church of American Methodism, and Onstott's letters (1932, 9 items) detail the basis for this claim.




Stricker-Nicholson-Harris Papers


There are about 100 items relating to Col. George Stricker, his son Gen. John Stricker, John's daughters Catherine Stricker and Laura [Stricker] Nicholson, Laura's husband Joseph James Nicholson, their son John Stricker Nicholson, and their daughter Helen [Nicholson] Harris.

John Stricker's papers (1794-1834) deal with land he owned with his father George in Ohio County, Virginia and with John's estate. John's estate is also the subject of the few papers of his daughters Catherine and Laura Nicholson.

The Nicholson family had a long association with the U.S. Navy, and the papers of both Joseph James and his son John Stricker Nicholson relate to their naval careers. These papers are mainly official documents and correspondence. A third generation member Joseph Nicholson Harris also planned a naval career, and his family's papers include letters of recommendation from Severn Teakle Wallis to the Naval Academy and his rejection due to poor eyesight. Joseph N. Harris' sister Alice married a descendent of Daniel Brent, an agent for American claims against foreign governments. The collection contains 2 letters (1829, 1833) from Brent concerning indemnities awarded by the Brazilian government.




Compton Family Papers


The collection includes 3 items of the Compton family. One is a letter (1833) by Eliza Compton to [astronomer?] Mr. Gwynn in which she describes an astronomical phenomenon she observed.






Rebecca Dorsey [1740-1812] m. Charles Ridgely (1733-90)




Rebecca Pue (1778-1852) m. Dr. Arthur Pue (niece of Rebecca Ridgely)


Rebecca Pue m. George W. Dobbin (niece of Rebecca Pue)


Rebecca Pue Dobbin m. Nicholas G. [UNK]


Rebecca Penniman


Thomas Dobbin Penniman (1870-1957








George Stricker m. (1732-1810)


John Stricker m. (1758-1825)


Catherine Stricker


Laura Stricker m. Joseph James Nicholson (1791-1858)


John Stricker Nicholson


Helen Nicholson m. R. Hopkins Harris


Joseph Nicholson Harris


Alice Harris m. (d. 1958) m. Robert Fenwick Brent (d. 1922)

Container List


Box 1

Land Papers


(15 items)




Rebecca Ridgely Account book





Rebecca Ridgely Receipt book





Rebecca Ridgely Account book





Box 2

Rebecca Ridgely Letters

1790, 1801-1810, n.d.




Rebecca Ridgely Bills and Receipts

1794-1812, n.d.




Rebecca Ridgely Reminiscence





Rebecca Ridgely Religious writing

1790, n.d.




Rebecca Ridgely Poem





Rebecca Ridgely Legal Papers

1790, 1801, 1811




Rebecca Ridgely Estate papers

1812, 1813, 1817, n.d.




Dr. Arthur Pue Papers

1801, 1805

(2 items)




Mrs. Rebecca Pue Bills and Receipts

1812-1836, n.d.




Miss Rebecca Pue Bills and receipts

1812-1835, n.d.




George W. Dobbin papers


(8 items)




Rebecca Pue [Dobbin] Penniman letter





Thomas D. Penniman letters





Thomas D. Penniman notes on Methodist history




Box 3

George Stricker letter





Gen. John Stricker papers





Catherine Stricker papers

1823, 1836-1856




Laura [Stricker] Nicholson papers





Joseph James Nicholson papers

1804-1837, n.d.




John Stricker Nicholson papers





Joseph Nicholson Military Commission





John Nicholson receipts





Helen [Nicholson] Harris letters





R. Hopkins Harris incoming letters





Joseph Nicholson Harris incoming letters

1874, 1883-1885, 1903




Daniel Brent Letters




Compton family material








Unidentified receipts








Newspaper clippings




Collection notes





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