Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Frederick Stone

As we have been going through the land records and abstracts from the newspapers many different names pop up. As well as many entries with the same names. The most common name that kept popping up (at least one which stuck in my mind more than others) was that of Frederick Stone.

At first it was just in the land records that he was acting as trustee for someone in a land deal. Then as I went through the newspaper abstracts I started to learn more about him.

Here's what I have found out so far (from the University of Maryland Library website), with more research to come: Frederick Stone was born February 7, 1820, in Charles County, Maryland. He was the only son of Frederick D. and Eliza Stone. His paternal grandfather was the Maryland judge and lawyer Michael Jenifer Stone. Frederick Stone began his career in Charles County as a lawyer; he was later elected to Congress in 1868 and reelected in 1870. He served as senior defense counsel in the trial of Dr. Samuel A. Mudd, who was convicted as a member of the John Wilkes Booth conspiracy to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln. Stone was a member of the defense team of David E. Harold, another convicted co-conspirator. Stone also served in the Maryland State Legislature from 1864 to 1865 and from 1871 to 1873 as well as a judge on the Maryland Court of Appeals from 1881 to 1890. When not in a position of public service, he continued to practice law at Port Tobacco in Charles County. Maryland law in 1890 stated that judges could not serve past seventy years old, but Stone was a sufficiently well-respected judge that a number of people lobbied on his behalf in the Maryland legislature to have the law changed to allow him to continue to serve. This measure was defeated, and Stone was forced to retire.

The University of Maryland Library has a collection of papers belonging to Frederick Stone, mostly to his wife, Jennie, and his daughters.

There is also a copy of an oral history interview between John Wearmouth and Colonel Frederick Stone Matthews, the grandson of Frederick Stone and son of his daughter Jennie Stone Matthews. It contains information about Stone family genealogy and life in Charles County and Port Tobacco in the early nineteenth century. Also included is a discussion of Frederick Stone's involvement in the Lincoln assassination trials and race relations in Charles County.

At some point, we will be producing more detailed 'biographies' of the citizens of Port Tobacco, which will lead us to reading and sorting through collections of papers and oral histories such as this one and others.

- Peter


nckmiller said...

Terrific information! Would you have any information on his daughter, Mary Louise Stone? She is buried in LaPlata...her husband is listed on her headstone as Robert Crain. Do you have any information on this marriage? I think she may be Robert Crain's 1st wife. He was a very active Maryland political leader and was a successful planter in Charles County at that time...also...he and Mary Louise were the same age. Please let me know if you have anything on
Thanks a million, Nancy

April M. Beisaw said...

Provided by a friend of Scott.

Robert Crain IV, born 1866 in Charles Co., MD; died Aft. 1920 in Charles Co., MD. He was the son of 2. Robert Crain III and 3. Eleanor Maria "Nellie" Morgan. He married (1) Louise M. "Lulu" Stone 14 Jan 1891 in Charles Co., MD. She was born 1866 in La Plata, Charles Co., MD, and died Bet. 1891 - 1899. She was the daughter of Frederick Stone and Maria Stonestreet.