Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Rev. Lemuel Wilmer

The Rev. Lemuel Wilmer married Henrietta Brawner, daughter of Henry Brawner. Even as the leader of the Episcopal Church at Port Tobacco, I suspect he was not a very popular person with many residents. He was an ardent Unionist in the time of the Civil War. Throughout the war (1861-1865), he continued to pray for President Abraham Lincoln in worship services, causing Confederate sympathizers to regularly rise to their feet in silent protest.

Wilmer also found himself associated the Lincoln assassination conspiracy. Apparently, as Booth and Herold approached the home of Dr. Mudd, they originally asked for directions to the Rev’s house and supposedly headed in that direction.

He was Rector of the parish from 1822 to 1869; a rather long time. He is best known for his establishment of one of the earliest “free” schools in Maryland. Begun in 1833, he provided land and money to start a free public school "for 100 children living in the vicinity without regard to their sect, sex or circumstance." The altar in the present Christ Episcopal Church in La Plata, is dedicated to Wilmer.

It is interesting to note that Wilmer is also directly descendant from Augustine Herrman, noted 17th century Maryland cartographer.

On another quick note, we all know archaeology is fun, but this weekend Jim and I worked on a Phase I job in Calvert County. It was very hot and in all the test pits we dug, we found no evidence of historic or prehistoric occupation. I guess it's just as important to know where things are not, as it is to know where they are.

SPECIAL NOTE FROM JIM: We soon will post a schedule of lectures and workshops that will occur during the June 13-23 Archeological Society of Maryland field session at Port Tobacco. This schedule will supercede that recently published in ASM Ink, the newsletter of the Society. As I tell my students at the beginning of each semester, life doesn't come with a syllabus...be prepared for last-minute changes.

Also, we will be in the field just north of Warehouse Point on Wednesday and, probably, Friday.


Anonymous said...

I just saw this 2008 article, so perhaps, it has been corrected by now,2012,. I believe there is an error regarding the biographical information on Rev. Lemuel Wilmer. The article states:
"Tuesday, May 27, 2008
The Rev. Lemuel Wilmer married Henrietta Brawner, daughter of Henry Brawner."

Actually, it was Rev. Lemuel Wilmer's son, Lemuel, who married Henrietta Brawner. She was the daughter of Henry Middleton Brawner. The son was born in 1835 and died in 1880. He worked for the Custom House in Baltimore.

The Rev. married a Jane Henrietta Frisby.

Anonymous said...

Do you have any information on the ancestry of Reverend Lemuel Wilmer?