Unpublished Primary Sources

Washington College Archives

  • Minutes and Proceedings of the Board of Visitors and Governors–Early Records 1782-1853; Minutes and Correspondence, 1854-1902.
  • Early Presidents, Boxes 1, 2, 3. 
  • Board of Visitors of Governors Early Records, 1782-1852, Boxes 1, 2.
  • Joseph Wickes Papers, 13 Boxes.
  • Ezekiel Chambers Papers, 3 boxes.
  • James Alfred Pearce Papers, 1 box.
  • Peregrine Wroth Papers, 2 boxes.
  • Histories of Washington College, Box 1.

 United States Census (accessed through

  • Kent County – 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880.
  • Kent County Slave Schedules 1850, 1860.

Maryland Archives

  • Assessment of 1783, Kent County
  • Kent County Court, Chattel Records, 1750-1851

 Archives of Maryland Online 

  • Kent County Court (Certificates of Freedom) 1849-51, 1852-1864.
  • U.S. Colored Troops Pension File Collection.
  • Slave Claims Commissions, U.S. Adjutant’s General Collection.
  • Communication from Major General Lew Wallace to the General Assembly. Documents and Proceedings of the House. Document J, January, 1865.  
  • Biographical Series: Benjamin Chambers; Ezekiel Chambers; Harriet Fuller; Joseph Hopper Nicholson; James A. Pearce; James B. Ricaud; William Spencer.

Legacy of Slavery website

Kent County Courthouse 

  • Land Records
  • Kent County Circuit Court Records

Kent County court records accessed online through 

  • Maryland Probate and Guardianship Files, 1796-1940. 
  • Maryland Register of Wills Records, 1629-1999:

Negroes Free and Slave 1791, 1792, 1794, 1805, 1816, 1820, 1845, 1864.

Administration Accounts, 1789-1792.

Guardianship Accounts 1816-1821.

  • Maryland and Delaware, Freedman’s Bureau Field Office Records, 1865-1872: Assistant Commissioner – Roll 5 – Narrative Reports, Oct 1866 – June 1867.


Delaware State Archives  

  • Ridgely Family Papers

 University of Pennsylvania Archives

  • William Smith Papers (accessed online)


Apollo; or, Chestertown Spy (also published as The Chestertown Gazette)

Pennsylvania Gazette

The Planters’ Advocate

Kent News

Maryland Gazette

New York Spectator

Published Primary Sources

Califf, Joseph. Record of the Services of the Seventh Regiment, U.S. Colored Troops. Providence, E.L. Freeman, 1878.

Constitution of the Chestertown Society for. . .  the Abolition of Slavery. Baltimore: Goddard and Angell, 1791.

Crummell, Alexander. “Eulogium on Henry Highland Garnet. D.D.”

Before the Union Literary and Historical Association; Washington, D.C., 1882.

Foner, Philip S. and George E. Walker, eds. Proceedings of the Black State Conventions, 1840-1865. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1980.

Hynson, Jerry M.  Free African Americans of Maryland, 1832. Westminster, MD: Willow Bend Books, 2000.

Hynson, Jerry M.  Maryland Freedom Papers, vol. 2: Kent County Westminster, MD: Family Line Publications, 1996.

Martenet’s Map of Kent County 1865, 1877.

Mason, Isaac. Life of Isaac Mason as a Slave. Worcester, Mass., [s.n.] 1893.

Regulations of Washington College. Baltimore: John D. Toy, 1844.

Rochefoucault Liancourt, Duc de la. Travels Through the United States of North America, vol. III. 2nd ed. London: T. Gillet, 1800.

Scott, Joseph. A Geographical Description of the States of Maryland and Delaware. Philadelphia: Kimber and Conrad, 1807

Smedley, R. C. History of the Underground Railroad in Chester County and the Neighboring Counties of Pennsylvania. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2005 [1883].

Smith, Horace Weymss. Life and Correspondence of the Rev. William Smith, 2 vols. Philadelphia: S.A. George, 1880.

Smith, James McCune. “Sketch of the Life and Labors of Henry Highland Garnet.” In Henry Highland Garnet, A Memorial Discourse by Rev. Henry Highland Garnet, Philadelphia: James M. Wilson, 1865.

Smith, William. An Account of Washington College. Philadelphia: Joseph Cruikshank, 1784.

Still, William. The Underground Railroad. Chicago: Johnson, 1970 [1872].

Surles, Trish. Kent County Record of Slaves at Time of Adoption of the Constitution in 1864. Gambrills, MD: Surles, 2002.

Wilson, James Grant, and John Fiske, eds. Appleton’s Cyclopedia of American Biography, vol 2. New York: Appleton, 1888.

Wilson, W. Emerson, ed. Plantation Life at Rose Hill: The Diaries of Martha Ogle Forman, 1814-1845. Wilmington, DE: Historical Society of Delaware, 1976.

Secondary Sources

Barroll, L. Wethered. “Washington College, 1783.” Maryland Historical Magazine 6 (1911): 165-179.

Berlin, Ira, et al, eds. Freedom’s Soldiers: The Black Military Experience in the Civil War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Berlin, Ira, et al, eds. The Wartime Genesis of Free Labor: The Upper South. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.  

Blassingame, John W. “Recruitment of Negro Troops in Maryland.” Maryland Historical Magazine 58/1 (Spring 1963): 20-29.

Bourne, Michael. Historic Houses of Kent County: An Architectural History, 1642-1860. Chestertown, MD: Historical Society of Kent County, 1998.

Brackett, Jeffrey R. The Negro in Maryland. New York: Negro Universities Press, 1969 [1889].

Bridenbaugh, Carl and Jessica Bridenbaugh. Rebels and Gentlemen: Philadelphia in the Age of Franklin. New York: Reynal and Hitchcock, 1942.

Brophy, Alfred L. University, Court, and Slave: Pro-Slavery Thought in Southern Colleges and Courts and the Coming of the Civil War Oxford University Press, 2016.

Brown, C. Christopher. “Maryland’s First Political Convention by and for its Colored People.” Maryland Historical Magazine 88/3 (Fall 1993): 324-336.

Calderhead, William. “The Role of the Professional Slave Trader.” Civil War History 23/3 (1977): 195-211.

Calderhead, William. “Slavery in Maryland in the Age of Revolution, 1775-1790.” Maryland Historical Magazine 98/3 (Fall 2003): 303-324.

Callum, Agnes Kane. Colored Volunteers of Maryland, Civil War, 7th Regiment, USCT, 1863-1866. Baltimore, MD: Mullac Publications, 1990.

Campbell, Penelope. Maryland in Africa: the Maryland State Colonization, 1831-1857. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1971.

Campbell, James T., Leslie M. Harris and Alfred L. Brophy, eds. Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2015.

Carroll, Kenneth L. “Voices of Protest: Eastern Shore Abolition Societies, 1790-1820” Maryland Historical Magazine 84/4 (Winter 1989): 350-360.

Clayton, Ralph. Cash for Blood: The Baltimore to New Orleans Domestic Slave Trade Bowie: Heritage, 2002.

Clay, Elizabeth. “Constructing a Community: The African American Community in Kent County, Maryland From Reconstruction to the Present.” Senior Thesis, Washington College, 2009.

Daniels, Christine M. “Alternative Workers in a Slave Economy: Kent County, Maryland, 1675-1810.” PhD diss., Johns Hopkins University, 1990.

Deyle, Steven. Carry Me Back: The Domestic Slave Trade in American Life. Oxford: University of Oxford Press: 2005.

Dumschott, Fred W. Washington College. Chestertown MD: Washington College, 1980.

Eaton, Clement. “Slave Hiring in the Upper South: A Step Toward Freedom.” Mississippi Valley Historical Review 46 (1960): 663-78.

Fields, Barbara Jeanne. Slavery and Freedom on the Middle Ground: Maryland During the Nineteenth Century. New York: Yale University Press, 1985.

Franklin, John Hope, and Loren Schweninger. Runaway Slaves: Rebels on the Plantation. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Fuke, Richard Paul. “Blacks, Whites, and Guns: Interracial Violence in Post-Emancipation Maryland.” Maryland Historical Magazine 92 (1997): 327-47.

Fuke, Richard Paul. Imperfect Equality: African Americans and the Confines of White Racial Attitudes in Post-Emancipation Maryland. New York: Fordham University Press, 1999.

Gegenheimer, Albert Frank. William Smith: Educator and Churchman. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1943.

Guy, Anita. “The Maryland Abolition Society and the Promotion of the Ideals of the New Nation.” Maryland Historical Magazine 84/4 (Winter 1989): 342-39.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania. “Family Ties on the Underground Railroad.” Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

Hurst, Harold W. “Kent County and Chestertown in 1860.” Maryland Historical Magazine 98/1 (Spring 2003): 79-90.

Janson-LaPalme, Robert. “A View of Chestertown From White House Farm: New Insights From Old Kent” Maryland Historical Magazine 88 (Spring 1993): 38-53.

Kohl, Benjamin G. “Cicero in Chestertown: The Oratio Salutatoria at Washington College’s First Commencement, May 14, 1783.” Maryland Historical Magazine 105/1 (Spring 2010): 17-33.

Kowalewski, Albin. “An Imperfect Institution: Slavery’s Legacy at Washington College.” Unpublished paper, Washington College Archives.

London, J. Philip. America the Beautiful: A Family History, Philips, Scott and London Families. Baltimore: Gateway Press, 1997.

McGinnis, Maurie D. and Louis P. Nelson, eds. Educated in Tyranny: Slavery at Thomas Jefferson’s University. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2019.

McGowan, James A. Station Master on the Underground Railroad: The Life and Letters of Thomas Garrett. Rev. ed. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2005.

McLain, Joseph H. “Dr. Peregrine Wroth and Chemistry at Washington College.” Maryland Historical Magazine 75/3 (September 1980): 233-233-237.

Mitchell, Charles W., ed. Maryland Voices of the Civil War. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007.

Peden, Henry, Jr., Revolutionary Patriots of Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties, Maryland. Westminster, MD: Family Line Publications, 1995.

Preston, Dickson J. Newspapers of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Queenstown and Centreville, MD: The Queen Anne’s Press and Tidewater Publishers, 1986.

Quarles, Benjamin. “‘Freedom Fettered’: Blacks in the Constitutional Era in Maryland, 1776-1810–An Introduction.” Maryland Historical Magazine 84/4 (Winter 1989): 299-304.

Ripley, C. Peter, et al, eds. “Introduction” In The Black Abolitionist Papers, Vol. II: Canada, 1830-1865, 3-46, Chapel Hill: University of Chapel Hill Press, 1986.

Sheads, Scott. “Joseph Hopper Nicholson: Citizen-Soldier of Maryland.” Maryland Historical Magazine 98/2 (2003): 133-151.

Sinha, Manisha. The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016.

Schweninger, Loren. Appealing for Liberty: Freedom Suits in the South.

Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Stuckey, Sterling. “Henry Highland Garnet.” In Black Leaders of the Nineteenth Century, eds. Leon Litwack and August Meier, 129-147, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1988.

Switala, William J. The Underground Railroad in Pennsylvania. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2001.

Switala, William J. The Underground Railroad in Delaware, Maryland, and West Virginia. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2004.

Usilton, Frederick G. City on the Chester: History of Chestertown, Kent County, Maryland, 1650-1899. Chestertown: William B. Usilton, 1899.

Usilton, Frederick G. The History of Kent County, Maryland, 1630-1916. Chestertown, William B. Usilton, 1916.

Watts, Rowland. “Washington College.” In History of Education on Maryland, ed. Bernard C. Steiner, 69-95, Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1894.

Whitman, T. Stephen. Challenging Slavery in the Chesapeake: Black and White Resistance to Human Bondage, 1775-1865. Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society, 2007.

Whitman, T. Stephen. The Price of Freedom: Slavery and Manumission in Baltimore and Early National Maryland. Louisville: University Press of Kentucky, 1997.

Wilder, Craig Steven. Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities. New York, Bloomsbury Press, 2013.