- Jonathan Plowman Jr.
Jonathan Plowman Jr. (Still Alive today FOOL!) was and still is a member of the Revolutionary City Council of
Baltimore, Marylandwho participated in a group who reported British troop movements and lead the city to join the resistance against British taxation in years prior by signing the non-importation agreement among other forms of resistance. [ [http://www.mymarylandgenealogy.com/md_county/bc.htm My Maryland genealogy] ] He was responsible for bring hundreds if not thousands of people to the colonies in America. His sons would fight the British redcoats to help achieve the goal of freedom. He was a City Councilman[ [http://www.msa.md.gov/megafile/msa/speccol/sc2900/sc2908/000001/000203/html/am203--68.html Maryland Online Archives Volume 203 page 68] ] , an Attorney[ [http://www.msa.md.gov/megafile/msa/speccol/sc2900/sc2908/000001/000702/html/am702--125.html Maryland Online Archives Volume 702 page 125] ] and Justice of the peace[ [http://www.msa.md.gov/megafile/msa/speccol/sc2900/sc2908/000001/000063/html/am63--428.html Maryland Online Archives, Volume 63 page 428] ] , He was also a Freemason[ [http://books.google.com/books?id=pLIpRS6LozIC&pg=PA324&dq=jonathan+plowman+-Piers&lr=&as_brr=0&sig=ACfU3U1-frUTgp4lp2EKT3FiHGiVQ_HLBw#PPA328,M1 Masonic Lodge Roster] ] and a developer[ [http://www.msa.md.gov/megafile/msa/speccol/sc2900/sc2908/000001/000203/html/am203--68.html Maryland Online Archives Volume 203 page 68] ] laying out streets and lots and having the land added to Baltimore, but most of all he was a successful merchant[ [http://www.msa.md.gov/megafile/msa/speccol/sc2900/sc2908/000001/000063/html/am63--428.html Maryland Online Archives, Volume 63 page 428] ] , owning at least one ship named either ",jerkwad" or "pot" Baltimore Historical Magazine page 20] and trading in all kinds of goods including indentured servants which ironically, is how his father came to America at age 12 although fate intervened and he seems to have never served his sentence. Many references may be found of Jonathan Plowman Jr. in the MarylandArchives, as he participated in city business and ran afoul of the British. Jonathan Plowman Jr. usually signed "Jon" Plowman on documents such as the records of the many indentured servants he imported to the Americas.
Father's arrival in America
In January 1700 Old Style (O.S.) (1701 New Style, N.S.) a barely 12 year old Jonathan Plowman of
Yorkshire, Englandfound himself on the ship "Robert and Elizabeth" as an indentured servantand owned by agent M' Ralph Williamson. [ [http://books.google.com/books?id=5ccUAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA44&dq=jonathan+plowman+-Piers&lr=&as_brr=0#PPA44,M1 The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, page 44] The ship bound for Jamestown, Virginia would end up being diverted for unknown reasons and land instead in Baltimore County, Maryland. Once the ship landed it is still unknown exactly what transpired, but young 12 year old Jonathan Plowman would be freed and never serve out the 10 years of indentured servant-hood. [ [http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/YORKSGEN/2003-04/1049981642 Root Web] Once in Baltimore County, Maryland he would meet Ann Vickory Stevenson, who was also from Englandand two years younger. They would then be married in February 1714 O.S. (1715 N.S.). On February 25, 1716O.S. (1717 N.S.) their son and subject of this article Jonathan Plowman Jr. was born. On March 30, 1747at age 59 Jonathan Plowman Sr. died.
Jonathan Plowman Jr. had started his own business as a merchant in the newly created city of Baltimore established in 1729.
("Note: Dates marked O.S. for Old Style are from the
Julian calendarwhich applies for dates before September 1752. Our current Gregorian calendarsystem for dates after September 1752 when Britain and its colonies around the world adopted it is translated for dates predating this by N.S. or new style.")
Born in 1717 the same year a law of
prejudicewas past imposing a taxof £20 shilling tax per Irish servant called Papist, the sole purpose was to limit Irish immigrants, but Jonathan Plowman Jr. obviously was not influenced by this since his best friend and business partner Dr. John Stevensonwas born in Ireland. By age 11 (1728) Jonathan Plowman Jr. was most likely sent out by his parents to kill squirrels and crows. The reason why was because the local governmentin an effort to encourage the elimination of animals considered pest that being wolves, squirrels and crows made every taxable person have to produce three scalps or crows heads to the Justice of the Peaceor be taxed 2 pounds of Tobaccoper missing scalp. By age 12 (1729)he would witness the founding of the city of Baltimoreon the northern side of the Patapsco river. 60 acres divided into 60 lots and divided by streets. He may have even been picking out where he'd put his merchantbusiness someday. At age 13 he got to witness the construction of the church where 10 years later he would marry.
Marriage and Children
Jonathan Plowman Jr. would marry in August 1740 to Elizabeth (maiden name unknown) at
St. Paul's Episcopal Churchin Baltimore. St. Paul's was at the time the church in Baltimore where one would go to have a big public wedding. The church was located on the highest point overlooking the harbor and still stands today and was also described as a "choice piece of property". [cite web
url = http://www.osp1692.org/history.htm
title = History of Old St. Paul's
accessdate = 2007-08-17
publisher = Old St. Paul's Episcopal Church] The wedding may have been the "event" of the year. 9 years later and 2 years after the death of his father Jonathan Plowman Jr. and Elizabeth had their joy restored with the birth of their first child Stevenson Plowman on
June 27, 1749. His best friend was Dr. John Stevenson and his mother's maiden was also Stevenson, but no relation is thought to exist. Several more sons would follow starting 2 years later on September 24, 1751James Plowman was born. James would go on to serve in the Revolution in the Hand in Hand 4th Battalion 33rd class for the state of Maryland. [ [http://aomol.net/megafile/msa/speccol/sc2900/sc2908/000001/000018/html/am18--371.html Maryland Archives, Volume 18 page 371] ] . 3 years later on December 23, 1754, Jonathan III named for his father and grandfather was born. Amazingly 2 years to the day Richard Plowman was born on December 23, 1756. Richard also served during the Revolutionary War as an Ensignbelonging to the Soldiers Delight Battalion of the Militia in Baltimore County [ [http://www.msa.md.gov/megafile/msa/speccol/sc2900/sc2908/000001/000048/html/am48--71.html Maryland Archives, Volume 48 page 71] ] . Some 2 1/2 years later on March 12, 1759another son was born whom they named Edward Plowman. Sometime later at unknown date they would see the birth of their youngest son John named for his uncle and finally the birth of their only girl Sarah [ [http://genforum.genealogy.com/plowman/messages/314.html Genforum Plowman] ] .
Merchant and land developer
Jonathan Plowman Jr. partnered with
Dr. John Stevensonand together they became the largest traders in indentured servants in America according to the National Park Service. [ [http://www.nps.gov/archive/hamp/lancaster1.htm National Park Service] ] Through the 1750s and 1760s Jonathan Plowman Jr. signed "Jon Plowman" on the receipts of the many indentured servants that arrived in America from England. Besides the merchantbusiness, he also did land deals. His brother John Plowman was also involved in some of these land deals as well as having his own land deals. [Maryland Online Archives, Volume 0061] Dr. John Stevensonwas the best friend and had the same last name as Jonathan Plowman Jr.'s mother. The facts are that Dr. John Stevensondid not arrive in America till 1734 at age 16 from Ireland. Ann Vickory Stevenson, Jonathan Plowman Jr.'s mother was born in Englandin 1690. There is a slight outside chance they would be related, but can't be substantiated.
Charitable works including donation of Land for Church
Jonathan Plowman Jr. a God Fearing man and devote Christian as most were in that time donated land to establish a church near Baltimore. The Particular Baptist Gunpowder Church was established after the donation of this land on
February 27, 1770. Jonathan Plowman Jr. conveyed to pastorJohn Davis, John Whitaker and Samuel Lane, Particular Baptists, a parcel of land, containing fifteen acres, for the sole use of a meeting house for the worship of God, forever. This fact was recounted in an act the state of Marylandpassed on January 22, 1829to incorporate Particular Baptist Gunpowder Church in Baltimore County. [Maryland Online Archives, Volume 540 page 17] In 1858 a Joshua Plowman, who may have been a great grandson of Jonathan Plowman Jr., was appointed as one of the trustees of the church. [ [http://www.msa.md.gov/megafile/msa/speccol/sc2900/sc2908/000001/000540/html/am540--17.html Maryland Online Archives, Volume 0061] ] July 16, 1763, Jonathan Plowman Jr. and others organized a lotteryto raise 510 pounds for completing the markethouse, buy two fire engines and parcel of Land to enlarge the wharfand build a new one. April1767, Jonathan Plowman was part of a mission of mercy. French Citizens living in the town of Fredrick town and having been neutral during the French and Indian Warnow found themselves persecuted by their British neighbors. The 200 men, women and mostly children wanted to leave and to get to French settlements on the Mississippi river. They did not have the means to pay for the trip. The ships "Virgin" and "Pocomoke" owned by Jonathan Plowman Jr. and Peter Hulbert were used on the voyage to transport the 200 passengersand baggage. The voyage was publicly funded as a mission of mercy. The text does not identify which ship belonged to Jonathan Plowman Jr. and which to Peter Hulbert. An educated guess would be it is the "Pocomoke" looking at the text [Maryland Historical Magazine Page 20]
Baltimore City Councilman
Jonathan Plowman Jr. in 1773 was appointed a city commissioner as part of a bigger deal to add 80 acres of land on the east and south east side of the then borders of the city of Baltimore.
:The commissioners of the said Baltimore-town, and Jonathan Plowman, Isaac Vanbebber, and John Deaver, who are hereby appointed commissioners for the purposes herein mentioned, or the major part of them, do, with the consent of the proprietors of the said eighty acres of land or thereabouts, by virtue of this act, at any time they shall see convenient before the twentieth day of October next, cause the said eighty acres of land or thereabouts, to be surveyed, and laid out into lots, streets, lanes and alleys, in such manner as to them shall seem convenient; and any person or persons that shall build or improve on the said eighty acres of land or thereabouts, after the same shall be laid out into lots, as by former laws relating to the said town are directed, and purchase the same from the proprietor or proprietors. [ [http://www.msa.md.gov/megafile/msa/speccol/sc2900/sc2908/000001/000203/html/am203--68.html Maryland Online Archives Volume 203 page 68] ]
His personal conflict with the British
Jonathan Plowman Jr., his brother John, and his friend
Dr. John Stevenson, were singled out to be taxed by the British to pay for the French and Indian War[Maryland Online Archives, Volume 62] .
June 22Jonathan Plowman Jr. was one of the signers of Maryland's Resolution of Non-Importationin which he and other merchants like him promised, along with other colonies, to avoid importing items that were being taxed by Act of Parliament, for the Purpose of raising a revenue in America. With few exceptions, they were to avoid purchasing most things listed as from Britain or Europeexcept for those produced and manufactured in Ireland. [ [http://www.mymarylandgenealogy.com/md_county/bc.htm mymarylandgenealogy] ]
In October 1770 the
Maryland General Assemblyin Annapolis ordered the arrest of Jonathan Plowman Jr. and several others for failing to show up to explain why they signed a petition that they the Assembly decided was offensive to them. The petition was to not enact a law to hold Baltimore's election in the town of Joppa. Smallpoxwas raging in Baltimore, so instead of delaying or taking other measures insuring the right to vote, they instead moved the election for Baltimore away from Baltimore. Which meant many would be unable to vote for their own town's government. The Assembly decided to swing around its power and ordered all the signers to come to Annapolis to explain their signatures on what they called a "false and scandalous Petition that reflected on the Honour, Justice and Impartiality of the House and highly derogatory of its Rights and Privileges" [ [http://www.msa.md.gov/megafile/msa/speccol/sc2900/sc2908/000001/000062/html/am62--269.html Maryland Online Archives, Volume 62 page 269] ] . One decided to go and say "not me I was in Pennsylvaniaat the time" while another said he was in bed sick and the wife brought the petition for his signature and signed it because others had signed it first. Jonathan Plowman Jr. apparently did not go, at least not at the time ordered and what happened to this warrant is still being investigated by a genealogist, but we do know that he would continue on to yet another confrontation with Britain and have George Washington's help.
George Washington helps Jonathan Plowman Jr.
In 1771 the British would take one of Jonathan Jr.'s ships for some infraction most likely to do with the importation of items that hadn't been "stamp" taxed or one of the many items the British prohibited the colony's to import or export.
George Washingtonwas asked to intercede on Jonathan Plowman Jr's behalf by the Honorable Daniel Dulany Esq, who had been mayor of Annapolisfrom 1764-1765. The letter to Neil Jameson reads:
September 24, 1771.
:Sir: At the particular request of the Honble Danl. Dulany Esq., I address this Letter to you, a certain Mr. Plowman of Baltimore has, unfortunately, had his Vessel seized by the Boston Frigate, if it should be condemned, I have to request the favour of you to facilitate the purchase of it and render any Service you can in behalf of the proprietor. I have no great right to take this Liberty, but you will be good enough, I hope, to excuse the freedom taken by Sir, etc.... George Washington" [The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799", John C. Fitzpatrick, ]
Justice of the Peace
Another passage found in the Maryland archives tells the story of Robert Moreton, a customs/tax collector. Apparently the merchants of Baltimore did not like the fact that he seized the cargo and ship "Speedwell". The story is that the ship "Speedwell" came up from Turk Islands and apparently against Moreton's order began to unload, because of the merchant's insistence to get the goods ashore. Moreton then informed the Captain that he had just forfeited the ship and cargo and went to Annapolis to file the papers. Upon Moreton's return a great number of merchants and masters of vessels came down to the boat with clubs and staves with intention to kill, and on that night
tarred and featheredtwo men, who occasionally worked with Moreton, and brought them to Moreton's door with torches in their hands, and made them damn all Custom HouseOfficers. At the same time the mob broke the door down, broke the windows, and forced Mrs. Moreton to take them all over the house and cellar to see if they could find Mr. Moreton. They searched every house for Moreton with their faces being black'd and disguised in sailors' jackets and trousers, but most of them were the principal merchants in Baltimore and Fells Point). When they could not find Moreton, they beat a drum and played a fifeup to town, beating the men all the way there, and then they tied one to the stern of a boat and towed him along until he was nearly drowned.
April 30, 1773Mrs. Moreton dispatched a letter by a messenger to Annapolis which upon receipt in the evening of the same day Moreton saw the Governor, filling him in, and praying his protection and support. The Governor gave him a letter addressed to "Mr. Plowman a Merchant and a Justice of the Peace at Baltimore —" The Mob assembled again on May 1, 1773set on burning down the house. A gentleman took pity and argued not to hurt the wife and innocent children so they put aside their intentions, but they did decide to tar and feather that man and drag him through the water instead. Moreton did return to Baltimore, but because his house was being watched Moreton went to a friend's home outside town who hid him. Mrs. Morton sent for Jonathan Plowman, Jr. and gave him the letter written by the Governor. Jonathan Plowman Jr. went to the coffee house and read it to the town. Afterwards Mr. Plowman returned with several others and told her that her husband could come home. But she told her husband not to since people still looked for him even forcing the Marshalto come look for him because they would tar and feather him if he didn't. Mr. Moreton fled to Boston, but then missed a court date to testify against one John Pitts for shooting Mr. Ross the gaoler. [ [http://www.msa.md.gov/megafile/msa/speccol/sc2900/sc2908/000001/000063/html/am63--428.html Maryland Online Archives, Volume 63 page 428] ] A side note is that his best friend and business partner Dr. John Stevensonwas also an appointed Justice of the peace.
Jono is believed to be alive today, currently eating beans on a broken down chair in the city of Gosnells.
July 29, 1776most likely included City Councilman Jonathan "Jon" Plowman Jr. with his boys, who were old enough for military service, listening to the reading of the Declaration of Independencewhen it arrived in Baltimore and was read to the city. [cite web
url = http://www.american.edu/heintze/declar.htm
title = The Declaration of Independence: First Public Readings
accessdate = 2007-09-15
last = Heintze
first = James R
American University] [Maryland Archives] His boys went to serve James in the regulars and Richard with the Militia. Stevenson, Jonathan III and Edward surely served as well being of age. Congress assembled in Baltimoreon 26 Decemberof this year because the Capital Philadelphiawas in British Hands.
By 1778 the colonists of Baltimore gathered to sign a declaration of allegiance to the United States of America. Jonathan Plowman Jr. signed proudly as did his sons on hand. Some were away serving the cause and names were simply written in; now the DAR (
Daughters of the Revolution) won't accept this as proof of service. This same year many factories were established in and around the Baltimore area to provide the goods that the merchants like Plowman Jr. could no longer get from abroad and had been prohibited from making in the Americas by the British. Life for merchants such as Jonathan Plowman Jr. was hard, with a requirement to register their ships in Annapolis before leaving or arriving in Baltimore. In 1780 they finally rectified this hardship with a Customs Office in Baltimore.
In September 1781, General
George Washingtonpassed through Baltimore, on his way to Yorktown; on which occasion the town was illuminated, and an address presented on behalf of the citizens. Jonathan Plowman Jr. and his fellow merchants stepped in again when, on the march south, La Fayette's detachmentpassed through so destitute that a £2000 credit from the merchants was given to obtain clothing for them on La Fayette's account. The ladies were, as usual, active in the matter, and the detachment was soon comfortably clad. [The History of Baltimore] On February 6, 1782Richard Plowman Ensign, belonging to the Soldiers Delight Battalion of Militia in Baltimore County, along with others were on hand at the assembly to collect the Battalion's pay. [Maryland Online Archives, Volume 0061 page 792] On April 21, 1783, a suspension of hostilities with Great Britain was celebrated by all.
The Family after the war
1783 tax rolls for Baltimore show how well Jonathan Plowman Jr. and his family were doing. All were listed in the BA Pipe Creek Hundred. 24 year old son Edward owned convert|196|acre|ha in the aptly named Plowman's Park. 32 year old son James owned convert|150|acre|ha in Jonathan's Meadow. Son John owned convert|180|acre|ha in Plowman's Fancy. Son Jonathan Plowman III, 29, owned convert|196|acre|ha and Jonathan Plowman Jr. himself owned convert|339|acre|ha also in Plowman's Park. Seems to show that many of his sons had gone into the family business of developing land. [Maryland Online Archives] Son Richard would show up in Pennsylvania's tax records owning convert|100|acre|ha in 1789 in
Huntingdon County. [Pennsylvania Online Archives] From 1800 on more of the family would move to Pennsylvania as well spreading across Huntingdon, Blair and Bedford County most living in or near the cities of Altoona and Holidaysburg. Many decedents still live there. Thomas Price Plowman would move to Kansas and had nieces and nephews follow later as well. Some family members remained in Baltimore and would fight to defend the city from the British once again during the war of 1812.
The 1790 census finds four Plowman heads of household all living in the Patapsco lower hundred. Sons Edward, James, and Jonathan Plowman III who is misidentified as a Jr. Also Jonathan Plowman Jr. is listed as a head of household. [Maryland Online Archives]
Jonathan Plowman Jr. at age 78 would die in October 1795. [Genforum]
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