George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 9 December 1771]

9. Went to meet Govr. Eden at Mr. Willm. Digges’s where we dined. In the Afternoon the Govr. Mr. Calvert, Majr. Fleming Mr. Boucher, Mr. Geo. Digges and Doctr. Digges came over with me.

Benedict Calvert (c.1724–1788), an illegitimate son of Charles Calvert, fifth Baron Baltimore (1699–1751), lived at Mount Airy (later called Dower House) in Prince George’s County, Md., near present-day Rosaryville. Born in England, he was known in his early years as Benedict Swingate, but Lord Baltimore, while refusing to identify Benedict’s mother, acknowledged him as his son and provided well for him. Benedict took the Calvert name and at the age of 18 went to Maryland, where in 1745 he was appointed collector of customs at Patuxent and in the following year became a member of the provincial council. In 1748 he married a distant relation, Elizabeth Calvert (1730–1798), daughter of the Charles Calvert who was governor of Maryland 1720–27 (NICKLIN [2] description begins John Bailey Calvert Nicklin. “The Calvert Family.” Maryland Historical Magazine 16 (1921): 50–59, 189–204, 313–18, 389–94. description ends , 58, 313–14; W.P.A. [2] description begins W.P.A. Writers’ Project. Maryland: A Guide to the Old Line State. American Guide Series. New York, 1940. description ends , 464–65).

Maj. William Fleming of the British army, currently acting commander of the 64th Regiment of Foot stationed at Halifax, Nova Scotia, was visiting the southern provinces for his health. He apparently returned north early the next summer when his regiment was moved to a post near Boston (Thomas Gage to William W. Barrington, 6 Jan. 1769, GAGE PAPERS description begins Clarence Edwin Carter, comp. and ed. The Correspondence of General Thomas Gage with the Secretaries of State, 1763–1775. 2 vols. 1931–33. Reprint. Hamden, Conn., 1969. description ends , 2:493–94; DAVIES description begins K. G. Davies, ed. Documents of the American Revolution, 1770–1783; (Colonial Office Series). 21 vols. Shannon and Dublin, 1972–81. description ends , 1:304).

Dr. Joseph Digges, son of William Digges and younger brother of George Digges, had studied at the University of Edinburgh but had not received a degree. During the Revolution he was surgeon to the Charles County, Md., militia 1777–78. In Oct. 1778 the Maryland state council gave him permission to go to Bermuda to recover his health, which had been bad “for some time past” (MD. ARCHIVES description begins Archives of Maryland. 72 vols. Baltimore, 1883–1972. description ends , 21:222). He was apparently taken prisoner by the British during the trip; on 1 Nov. 1779, he wrote GW from Teneriffe in the Canary Islands that he had been paroled but had not heard of his being exchanged, “from whence I conclude, that the Family at Warburton either believe me Dead, or have neglected writing me” (DLC:GW). Digges died at Teneriffe a short time later (RAMSBURGH description begins Edith Roberts Ramsburgh. “Sir Dudley Digges, His English Ancestry and the Digges Line in America.” Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine 57 (1923): 125–39. description ends , 131).

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