MS0001 The Dulany Family Papers, 1727-1786

Summary Information

Title: Dulany Family Papers, 1727-1786
Collection No: MS0001
Creator: Daniel Dulany and family
Collection Dates: 1727-1786
Language: All records are in English.


The Historical Society of Frederick County
Archives and Research Center
24 East Church Street
Frederick, MD 21701

Date Published: May 8, 2013
Author: The guide to this collection was written by Eric Golightly and Nancy Lesure.


Born in Queen’s County, Ireland, in 1685, and educated at the University of Dublin, Daniel Dulany the Elder (Daniel Dulany Sr.) emigrated with his older brothers William and Joseph in 1703.  Colonel George Plater purchased a three-year indenture on Daniel and employed him as a clerk in his law office.  Daniel resided in Port Tobacco, Charles County, from 1703 to approximately 1713, when he moved to Nottingham Town, Mattapany Hundred, Prince George’s County.  His first wife, widow Charity Courts Smallwood, died in 1711 after one year of marriage.  In 1720, he moved to Annapolis and lived there until his death in 1753.  His house was built on the present grounds of the U.S. Naval Academy.  Daniel became a respected lawyer and served in both the upper and lower  houses of the Assembly.  In addition, he also served as attorney general, alderman, councilman, judge of the Admiralty, commissary general, agent and receiver general, recorder for the city of Annapolis, and as a member of the Governor’s Council of the Province of Maryland.  He sat on the commission that settled the boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania.  He also laid out–and encouraged settlement of–the town of Frederick.   Daniel Dulany married his second wife Rebecca Smith in 1720 and together they had seven children (Daniel, Rebecca, Rachel, Dennis, Margaret, Mary, and Walter) before her death in 1737.   He was married a third time in 1740 to Henrietta Maria Lloyd Chew and had two children, Lloyd and Richard, the latter of whom died as an infant.  Besides his law practice, Daniel Dulany the Elder’s wealth derived from land speculation, moneylending, and the slave trade.  With Benjamin Tasker and Charles and Daniel Carroll, he also founded the Baltimore Ironworks Company.

Daniel Dulany’s first son, also named Daniel, was born in 1722, and gained widespread respect in the province for his legal talents.  Daniel Dulany the Younger (Daniel Dulany Jr.) attended Eton in 1738 and then entered Clare College, Cambridge University, as a pensioner in 1739.  He entered the Middle Temple in 1743 and was called to the bar in 1746, an offer rarely extended to a colonist.  He held provincial and local offices that paralleled those of his father’s.   He served in the Lower House as a delegate from Frederick County and then from Annapolis, and also in the Upper House of the Assembly.  He was a member of the Governor’s Council, commissary general (commissioned jointly with Benjamin Tasker), Recorder for Annapolis, and Secretary of the Province.  He married Rebecca Tasker, the second daughter of the Honorable Benjamin Tasker, in 1749, and had two children, Daniel and Benjamin Tasker Dulany.  Daniel opposed the Stamp Act and his essay,  “Considerations on the Propriety of Imposing Taxes in the British Colonies for the Purpose of Raising a Revenue by Act of Parliament,” revealed his astute legal mind.  Many people in both the colonies and in England considered the essay one of the best defenses of the colonies.   However, Daniel was also opposed to independence and took a neutral stance after the Maryland delegation reversed its original position and voted in favor of independence at the Continental Congress in 1775.  In 1787 his property was confiscated and sold, and he moved to Baltimore.  He no longer practiced law but was frequently consulted by other lawyers.  He died in 1797.

Daniel Dulany III, like his father, was a loyalist.  Born in Annapolis in 1750, he died in London in 1824.  His brother, Colonel Benjamin Tasker Dulany, served in the army of Virginia during the Revolutionary War as an aide to George Washington.  Benjamin Tasker Dulany married Washington’s goddaughter Elizabeth French in 1773 and they began their married life at Prospect Hall in Frederick County, before moving to Virginia in 1777.

Walter Dulany, son of Daniel Dulany the Elder and Rebecca Smith Dulany, may have been born around 1732.  He was an attorney and married Mary Grafton.  He also served as commissary general of the Province of Maryland, and was active in the political life of Annapolis.  He died in 1773 in Annapolis.

Sources:  Roland Dulany Furlong, Dulany-Furlong and Kindred Families, Parsons, WV:  McClain Printing Company (1975), Chapters 2 and 5, and Edward C. Papenfuse, Alan F. Day, David W. Jordan, and Gregory A. Stiverson, A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature, 1635-1789, Baltimore:  Johns Hopkins University Press (1979), pp. 284-289.

Acknowledgments:  Eric Golightly wrote much of the first two paragraphs.  The biographical note was reviewed and edited by Nancy Lesure.

Collection Scope and Content Note

Items in this collection consist of 13 letters, deeds, and other legal documents spanning the years 1727 to 1786 relating primarily to the Dulany family’s role in the early settlement and development of Frederick County, Maryland.  Other topics include the Stamp Act, financial matters, and the maintenance of slaves.

The collection is arranged into three series:

Series I: Daniel Dulany Sr.

Subseries 1: Correspondence

Subseries 2: Land Records

Series II: Daniel Dulany Jr.

Subseries 1: Correspondence

Subseries 2: Land Records

Series III: Walter Dulany.


Series I:  Daniel Dulany Sr., 1727-1753 (6 items)

This series consists of land and financial transactions conducted by Daniel Dulany Sr., and is divided into two subseries:  Correspondence and Land Records.

Subseries 1:  Correspondence, 1748 (1 item)

The letter in this subseries from Daniel Dulany Sr. is directed to an agent and asks for assistance in settling accounts with Mr. McCulloch.  Dulany asks the recipient to obtain tobacco and nine hundred hogsheads from his tenants in Charles County.  The list of names on the bottom may be Dulany’s tenants in that county.

Subseries 2:  Land Records, 1727-1753 (5 items)

The deeds and other land records in this subseries include:

  • Charles Calvert, Lord Baltimore, to Benjamin Tasker of Ann Arundel County for Taskers Chance in Prince George’s (now Frederick) County, June 9, 1727 (oversize photocopy from original at Maryland State Archives)
  • Benjamin Tasker to Daniel Dulany, both of Annapolis, for Taskers Chance, January 13, 1744 (Provincial Court copy, January 30, 1802)
  • Charles Calvert, Lord Baltimore, to Daniel Dulany Sr., for ten acres of land on each bank of Carroll Creek, part of “Pipe Meadow,” to harvest timber and granting Dulany access to a mill upon payment of a yearly consideration to John Vanmetre, owner of Pipe Meadow, June 22, 1746 (undated handwritten copy)
  • Daniel Dulany of Annapolis to John Cary, merchant, of Frederick County for lot #99 in Frederick Town, July 7, 1753
  • Daniel Dulany of Annapolis to Stephen Ramsberger, farmer, of Frederick County, for Dearbought, part of Taskers Chance, September 25, 1753 (oversize photocopy from original at Maryland State Archives).

The documents are arranged in chronological order.

Series II:  Daniel Dulany Jr., 1764-1786 (6 items)

This series is divided into two subseries:  Correspondence and Land Records.

Subseries 1:  Correspondence, 1765 (1 item)

This letter mentions the Stamp Act and hardships which it will cause; however, the enclosure mentioned in regard to these hardships is missing.

Subseries 2:  Land Records, 1764-1786 (5 items)

This subseries contains the following land records:

  • Daniel Dulany, attorney, of Annapolis to John Cary, merchant, of Frederick Town for lots #97 and 98 in Frederick Town, May 14, 1764 (oversize)
  • Daniel Dulany, barrister, of Annapolis to Casper Mantz, merchant, and Christian Eversole (Ebersole), miller, both of Frederick County for each to purchase half of lot #36 in Frederick Town, May 22, 1764 (oversize)
  • Receipt for rent from Abraham Fraw, January 22, 1779
  • Oath by Dulany’s agent regarding nonpayment of back rent by John Humel, September 20, 1782
  • Daniel Dulany, barrister, of Baltimore County, to John Jacob Schley of Frederick County for lots #5 and #6 in Frederick Town, June 22, 1786 (oversize).

This subseries is arranged in chronological order.

 Series III:  Walter Dulany, 1749 (1 item)

This series is comprised of one letter from Walter Dulany to Richard Croscale at Patapsco Ironworks, asking for seven pairs of large stockings for negroes and for venison.  The letter also mentions a “troublesome affair” and his desire to be in Baltimore.