Guide to the William Tilghman Papers, 1671-1827.


Papers concerned with Tilghman's law practice in Chestertown, Md., and his service in the Maryland legislature (1788-1793). Includes genealogical information about Maryland's Eastern Shore, information about economic and agricultural conditions in Maryland in the late 18th century, Tilghman's vicissitudes because of his Loyalist sympathies during the Revolution, his efforts to advance the interests of his constituents while he served in the legislature, and the Tilghman family. Volumes include a digest of legal cases in which Tilghman participated, legal notes, court dockets, and a summary of estate laws in Maryland. Includes three letters from Henry Pearce. Two of these letters are to James Tilghman, William's father, regarding the purchase of Pearce land, slaves, stock, etc.

Collection Details

Collection Number
William Tilghman papers
Tilghman, William
2.8 Linear Feet, 5 Boxes, 900 items
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Materials in English

Collection Overview

This collection houses the papers of William Tilghman (1756-1824), lawyer and chief justice of the supreme court of Pennsylvania. They relate chiefly to his law practice in Maryland, 1783-1793, and to his service in the Maryland general assembly, 1788-1793, and include legal papers dealing with litigation, land sales, the collection of debts, notes, the settlement of estates, and other legal matters. Included are deeds, indentures, wills, estate records, court records, and other legal papers relating chiefly to Cecil, Kent, and Queen Anne counties, a roster, 1818-1819, of the citizens of Charles County, scattered papers pertaining to the Church of England in Maryland, occasional references to personal matters, and legal and business papers concerning the family, including papers dealing with loan transactions and with the settlement of the estate of William Tilghman.

The collection also has scattered papers of Tilghman's father, James Tilghman, a lawyer, several bills and accounts of St. John's College, Annapolis, Maryland, and Charlotte Hall School, Charlotte Hall, Maryland, petitions and acts relating to Tilghman's career in the general assembly chiefly dealing with the settlement of local affairs, including the disposal of reserved lands, an evaluation of land in various counties, and an estimate of the cost of building a turnpike between Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington, D. C., and other papers dealing with legal and business matters.

The volumes are a digest, 1747-1760, of cases at law in which James Tilghman was an attorney, a System of Law concerning Estates by Richard Tilghman IV, legal notes kept by William Tilghman as a young man, and dockets of William Tilghman in the Kent County court for the March 1794 term.

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How to Cite

[Identification of item], the William Tilghman Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

Letters, 1759-1876 and undated
Box 1
Papers, Misc., undated
Box 1
Papers, various legal cases, 1769-1823
Box 2
Legal papers, Anne Arundel and Carroll Counties, undated
Box 2
Family papers, undated
Box 2
Papers, Maryland General Assembly, 1780-1815
Box 2
Legal papers, undated
Box 3
Legal papers, Kent County, undated
Box 3
Legal notebooks, 1770-1847
Box 4
Legal papers, Prince George's and Worcester Counties, undated
Box 5
Legal papers, misc., undated
Box 5
Documents, bound volumes, 1770-1847
(10 items)
Oversize-box OC:II

Historical Note

William Tilghman (1756-1824), was lawyer and chief justice of the supreme court of Pennsylvania. His law practice in Maryland related chiefly to Cecil, Kent, and Queen Anne counties. Tilghman's father, James Tilghman (1716-1793), was also a lawyer.

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The William Tilghman papers were acquired by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library in 1962-1963.

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