05 April 2014

Tories Near Gunpowder (Maryland)

Source - Map of the General Area

During the Revolution one of the largest landholders in this region was John Paul, the Tory. When the British naval forces sailed up the Chesapeake to the Gunpowder, he and a man named Pickett piloted them to the mills, where they took several scow-loads of flour and floated them out to the vessels in the bay.

Shortly afterwards Lafayette's forces occupied the country, and the two Tories were seized and condemned to death for giving aid and comfort to the enemy. The night before they were to be executed John Paul asked the guard if he might be allowed to smoke. The guard consented, and partially freed Paul's hands, whereupon the latter burst his bonds, and in the darkness, aided by a thorough knowledge of the country, he managed, to make his escape.

Pickett was hanged the next morning on the gallows-tree at Joppa, which stood very near the present gate of Mr. Murray's farm. The popular indignation against Paul was so strong on account of his Toryism that he was obliged to lie concealed in I a cave, which bears his name to this day, and in a few years death came to his relief. To save his large estates from the confiscation which was decreed for the property of all Tories he assigned them to a trustee, and in some unknown manner they were lost to him and to his heirs. [Source]

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