Wednesday, October 21, 2009

V. I. P. Sighting

Good afternoon all,

I hope everyone has enjoyed our posts about Benjamin Chew and the Estate of William Tilghman. That was a topic we felt was very important in Series 10, despite the series’ focus on John Tilghman’s receipts. There is more to Series 10 than William Tilghman’s Estate and John Tilghman business receipts, however, and that is where today’s topic comes into play.

Today I would like to share a few documents that we have come across, dealing with an important Maryland figure: Ezekiel Forman Chambers. These documents may not be groundbreaking, but I find them interesting, and believe that this shows the caliber of characters that can be found in the Poplar Grove Collection.

Ezekiel F. Chambers (1788-1867), a person familiar to our readers with a knowledge of 19th Century Maryland politics, was born and lived on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. He was commended for bravery at the Battle of Caulks Field in 1814 and was a lawyer in private practice in Chestertown, Md. He served as a member of the Maryland State Senate, Eastern Shore, from 1821-25, acted as a U.S. Senator for Maryland from 1826-34, was a judge for the Maryland Court of Appeals and chief judge for the 2nd district of Maryland from 1834-51, served as a delegate to the Maryland State constitutional convention in 1850 and 1864, and was a Washington College alum (1805).* He was a man of importance throughout his career, and worth highlighting as a person in this series.

The following three documents are letters written by Mr. Chambers. The first two letters were written to John Tilghman. The last letter was written to Lloyd Tilghman, who I believe was the son of John Tilghman.

Our first letter (right) is dated January 31, 1838 at the time that Mr. Chambers was a Maryland Court of Appeals judge. The letter concerned an old judgment Mr. Chambers made that was brought to light again. Mr. Chambers wrote, “On my way through Balto. (Baltimore) a short time since Mr. G. W. Williamson spoke to me on the subject of the claim he had against you and which I thought we lettered.”Mr. Chambers went on to discuss his conversation with Mr. Williamson and the claim, which was apparently over a payment of $ 91.07 in 1925, for what is unclear.

The second letter (front left, back right), from Mr. Chambers to John Tilghman, was written eight days later on February 8, 1838, discussing how the claim was to be settled and payment done. I find these two letters fascinating because they connect a person from Poplar Grove with someone as prominent as Ezekiel Chambers, who could have been John’s lawyer since he was an attorney. Also, one notices a sense of camaraderie between the two while reading the letters, which I recommend, though it may take some practice.

Our third letter (left) dates from March 5, 1858; it was between Mr. Chambers and Lloyd Tilghman. In this letter Mr. Chambers thanked Lloyd for his, “very acceptable favor,” which was, “covering a check for $140.11 in part of my fee in the case of the late Col. N. Goldsborough against General Tench Tilghman.” This letter again suggests that the Tilghman’s, or at least John and Lloyd Tilghman, not only dealt with Ezekiel Chambers professionally, but were friends as well.

I hope you have enjoyed today’s post concerning Ezekiel F. Chambers. Comments and discussions are welcome and questions are encouraged. Keep a look out for Christian’s weekly post on Friday.


* Information is from the Archives of Maryland, Biographical Series, Ezekiel F. Chambers biography page at the Maryland State Archives.

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