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William Stone papers

 Collection 0142-MDHC

William B. Stone, a lawyer and landowner from Charles County, Maryland, counted among his ancestors a number of influential Maryland politicians, including a proprietary governor from the early seventeenth century. Stone himself was at one time considered by the U.S. Senate for a federal judge's seat. Records show that Stone enslaved people on his property. Census records enslaved 10 people in 1830, 17 people in 1840, 31 people in 1850, and 32 people in 1860. National politics, slavery, individual enslaved peoples, legal and financial settlements are among the topics covered in Stone's papers, which consist of correspondence between Stone and relatives or business associates.


  • 1762-1876
  • Majority of material found within 1821-1845

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open for research.

Duplication and Copyright Information

Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.


0.25 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The William Stone papers contain material that dates from 1762 through 1876; most of the material falls within the years 1821 through 1845. The collection consists of correspondence, most of which was written to Stone for business purposes. Also included are letters from various correspondents to Stone's uncles Walter, Daniel, and Frederick, and one letter to Stone's father, Michael Jennifer Stone.

Important subjects documented in the collection include slavery and individual enslaved peoples, legal and financial settlements, and national politics. A detailed listing of the letters (as prepared by the manuscript dealer Charles Apfelbaum) is available as an external document.


William Briscoe Stone was born on April 13, 1797, in Charles County, Maryland. As an adult he practiced law in Charles County, and at one point was considered by the U. S. Senate for a judgeship. In 1825 he married Sarah Anne Caroline Brown. William and Sarah had four children: Margaret Wade, Thomas, Mary, and Catherine. The family resided at an estate called "Haber de Venture," which passed to the children upon William's death on December 1, 1872. The property remained in the family until 1936, when financial difficulties forced the owner to sell. Records describe that Stone enslaved people on his property. Census records show that Stone enslaved 10 people in 1830, 5 men within the age range of 0 to 54 and 5 women within the age range of 0 to 35. In 1840 according to the census, Stone enslaved 17 people, 10 men within the age range of 0 to 99 and 7 women within the age range of 0 to 54. In 1850 according to the census Slave Schedule, Stone enslaved 31 people, 14 men ages 1 to 60 and 17 women ages 1 to 80. In 1860 according to the census Slave Schedule, Stone enslaved 32 people, 19 men ages 1 to 100 and 13 women ages 0 to 70.

Stone came from a long line of influential men who participated actively in public life and politics in the state of Maryland. Stone's paternal great-great-great-grandfather was William Stone (1603-1660), who served as Maryland's third Proprietary Governor. The Governor's son, John, held various public offices in Charles County, among them Gentleman Justice of the Quorom and Commissioner of the Peace. Michael Jenifer Stone (William Briscoe Stone's father) served as a lieutenant in the militia and later as a Delegate, a member of the Maryland Constitutional Congress, a Maryland Representative in the First United States Congress, and judge of the First Judicial District.


The collection has been organized as one series.

Series 1

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The University of Maryland Libraries purchased the Papers of William B. Stone from Charles Apfelbaum in December 1990.

Processing Information

All materials have been placed in acid-free folders and all folders have been placed in acid-free box.

Guide to the William Stone Papers
Processed by Nancy Esau
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742