|Biographical sketch of Nicholas Hammond: 1758/5/26 - Birth on the Isle of Jersey, England; 1772? - Immigration to Philadelphia to study law; 1780 - Marries Sarah George (?-1787), moves to Cambridge, Md.; 1787-1788 -Clerk of Dorchester Co.; 1788 - Member, Constitution Ratification Conv., Dorchester Co.; 1788-1790 - Served in Maryland Senate, where in the November 1789 session, he introduced a bill for the gradual abolition of slavery in Maryland; 1791 - Justice in the Orphans' Court, Dorchester Co.; 1792 - Marries Rebecca Hollyday (1762-1801); 1793, 1797 - Again serves in Maryland Senate; 1798 - Moves to Easton, Maryland; 1799-1800 - Again serves in Maryland Senate; 1805-1808 - President of Farmers Bank, Easton, Maryland; 1808 - Moves to "St. Aubins," Talbot Co., Maryland; 1813-1830 - Again President of Farmers Bank, Easton; 1830/11/11 - Death in Talbot Co.
The collection divides into two main series: legal papers and public papers. The legal papers, the majority of the collection, primarily concern clients and cases Hammond worked on as a lawyer in Maryland's Eastern Shore, and cover roughly the period 1780-1830. The papers are divided by county and then sub-arranged in a rough alphabetical order by name. The particular counties covered are Cecil, Caroline, Dorchester, Harford, Kent, Somerset, Talbot, and Worcester. For the Talbot County papers only, an inventory exists within part of a larger inventory of documents on microfilm (M1339 at the Maryland State Archives). The majority of cases involved estate settlements, land disputes, insolvencies, and debt settlements. The legal papers include copies of wills, depositions, deeds, land plats, estate inventories, bonds, dockets, summons, pleas, indentures, and manumissions of slaves. There are also Hammond's notes and correspondence to and from him (written copies) concerning the particular cases. To a small extent, the legal papers also include the personal papers of some of the litigants involved in the cases (mostly accounts and correspondents). In addition, the legal papers include a large amount of material concerning Hammond's legal accounts and fees. Such documents as bills, receipts, account sheets, and correspondence concerning payment are interspersed through the legal papers. There are also some documents concerning the settlement of Hammond's estate and accounts after his death. The second portion of the papers of Nicholas Hammond, the public papers, are documents from his service in the Maryland Senate and cover sporadic years between 1789-1800. They comprise six file folders. Of primary interest here is the draft of "An Act to promote the gradual abolition of Slavery and to prevent the rigorous deportation of Negros[sic] and Mulattos from this State" which Hammond submitted in the November 1789 session of the Senate. Other drafts of bills Hammond submitted, such as for the establishment of tribunals for administering justice in Chancery cases, and an act supplementing another act for the erecting of a town in Talbot Co., Maryland. In addition, there are some notes and correspondence concerning these bills and others, such as a bill for the incorporation of churches. Processed and described by Todd J. Kosmerick, March-May, 1989. Collection size: 11.00 manuscript boxes. See: Preliminary Inventory, SPP906.