John Cadwalader Appendix

John Cadwalader Slave Ownership

John Cadwalader Trustee.jpg

The inventory categorizes enslaved people by their work: some men, women, and children are denoted as “House Negro Slaves” and some denoted as “Quarter Negro Slaves.” This indicates that Cadwalader enslaved plantation laborers as well as domestic servants in his home and around his estate. Within the group labeled as “House Negro Slaves,” a few are marked with jobs such as Jacob “the gardener”, Dick Coombs “taylor,” and Jo Pepper “shoemaker.” Clearly, some of Cadwalader’s enslaved people were highly skilled in specific trades.

Some enslaved people were marked as “defective” or “lame” such as Jim Lingo, Abraham, Hannah, and Thomas Chandler. These labels indicate a physical ailment or injury. Three individuals are marked with the label “weakly constitution.” It is implied that this means general physical weakness, being prone to illness, or the existence of chronic ailment. These labels suggest a lack of medical care and a frequency of injury and sickness on the estate.

Other labels of interest include “legacy.” I assume that this means these enslaved people were acquired upon Cadwalader’s marriage or inherited from a relative. As mentioned previously, Cadwalader obtained the Shrewsbury estate through his first marriage, thus it is possible that “legacy” indicates that they were given to him along with the estate. Further, nine individuals in the inventory are marked in the margins as dead. It is likely that these labels were added after the original creation of the inventory, however no date is provided to confirm this. While seven of the enslaved people who passed were 41 years of age or older, one was 25 years old, one 14 years old, and one only 5 years old. The death of these people at such young ages may further contribute to the idea that physical care was inadequate on the Cadwalader plantation, however, the reason for death was not recorded so this cannot be confirmed. Two other labels are undecipherable. One appears to say “S.R.” and the other “X.” I have no suggestion for what these may mean.

The varying prices of the enslaved are indicative of how Cadwalader valued them, and their various abilities, wellnesses, and skills. Age appears to be the most significant factor in determining price, with most aged 25-40 years priced at £55.00. Curiously, some individuals are priced much lower such as Jacob the Gardner at £0.50. This discrepancy might be the focus of further research, however, I have thus far not found anything to explain it. It is possible that his relatively old age of 54 accounts for this difference in price. At the bottom of Cadwalader’s inventory, he calculated a total value of £2,706.10 for all of his enslaved people, a large sum that demonstrates the high number of individuals he enslaved. Cadwalader’s records indicate that he owned a total of 107 enslaved people: 50 males and 57 females, 46 of whom are under the age of 15. Cadwalader’s large number of young enslaved people is representative of the growing black population in Maryland during this period. The proportion of enslaved people born on US soil increased significantly in the mid-eighteenth century. Most of Cadwalader’s enslaved people were likely born in the US.


Appendix A

From: “Folder 14: Miscellaneous, 1786 (Personal Estate Inventories).” Cadwalader Estate Papers, Series 2: Box 18. Historical Society of Pennsylvania.   



Bullet indicates a child of a couple/individual mentioned in the full report.

Ambrose & Nan Dill (26)

  • Jack (10 months)
  • Letty (7)
  • Poll (5)

Moll Sutton (55)

  • Dick (9 months)

Moll Lingo (49)

  • Kitty (3)

Isabel (29)

  • Dick (10)
  • Antony (7)
  • Manuel (2.5)
  • Grace (5)
  • Minta (1.75)

Fanny Coombs (26) & Dick (45)

  • Ned (9)
  • Dick (3)
  • Jim (3 weeks)
  • Rose (7)
  • Bett (5)
  • Jenny (1.75)

Poll Denby (34)

  • Isaac (8)
  • Frank (13)
  • Beth (9)
  • Mable (5)

Doll Lingo

  • Tom (6)
  • Sam (3.5)

Katy Lingo (57)

  • Jenny (10)

Pegg Williams (40)

  • Harry (4)
  • Jo (2.5)
  • Sall (10)
  • Moll (7)

Jim Neely (29) & Poll Ambrose (22)

  • Jim (3)
  • Henny (6 months)

Sall Pepper (36)

  • Riss (10)
  • Neely (6)

Esther Chandler (50)

  • Poll Ambrose (22)

Lucy Ambrose (41)

  • Rachel (14)
  • Nan Benson (8)

Rachel Pepper (53)

  • Nan (14)

Matt Hopkins (29)

  • Molly (6)

Fanny Ambrose (21)

  • Barbary (5)
  • Pheby (2)

~ Anna Lisa Lowenstein