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Records Relating to Pre-National Zoological Park Purchases


Document Date Contents Notes Source
from 1834 through 1888
John Quincy Adams Diary regarding a transfer of deed from George Johnson 11/27/1834 'I then went to the office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court and took a deed from George Johnson of Alexandria to me of lot 18 square 231 which had been lying two years and nearly a half in the offices.' George Johnson had left the Columbia Mills by 1834 and resided in Alexandria. He continued having a business relationship with John Quincy Adams. Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Adams Papers, John Quincy Adams Diary, Reel 42
Land Transfer Deed from Joseph A. and Charles Johnson, sons of Roger, to Ashton Alexander 1/29/1835 'Between Joseph A and Charles Johnson, both of Frederick County in the state of Maryland, Executors of the last will and testament of Roger Johnson, late of said county deceased, of the one part, and Ashton Alexander of the city of Baltimore and State aforesaid of the other part..."Whereas the said Roger Johnson by his will dated 17 February 1831 and duly recorded in the Orphans Court of Frederick County aforesaid set apart certain tracts or parts of Tracts of land to be sold amongst which is part of a tract of land called 'Pretty Prospect' and the said Ashton Alexander hath become the purchaser of the same. "Now this Indenture witnesseth, that the said Joseph A. and Charles Johnson, Executors as aforesaid in consideration of $1,350 paid by Ashton Alexander... give grant bargain sell ... to Ashton Alexander his heirs and assigns forever..."Part of a Tract of land it being part of 'Pretty Prospect' lying in Washington County and the District of Columbia... containing 13 3/4 acres and 21 perches of land more or less... together with the buildings, the appurtenances and all the ways rights liberties priviledges and so forth thereunto belonging.'==Deed signed by Joseph A. and Charles Johnson in Frederick County, MD. Ashton Alexander signed it in Baltimore, MD on 14 May 1835. Dr. Ashton Alexander was the first owner to purchase the property with existing house (Holt House) without the mills, reducing the total acreage significantly. DC Recorder of Deeds, Land Records Liber WB51, District of Columbia, folio 280-282.
John Quincy Adams letter to Nathaniel Frye"regarding the operation of the Columbia Mills 6/11/1835 'I shall be willing to have the Columbian Mills rented for the ensuing year for $750, with a deduction not exceeding $200 for repairs to be paid from the rent. But if Speakman should take them he should account for the rent of the last year, of which he has never paid a cent, and give some security that he will be more punctual for the season now to commence.' Mr. Speakman apparently rented the Columbia Mills from JQA by 1834. Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Adams Papers, John Quincy Adams Letterbook, Reel 152
1836 Baltimore City Directory for Ashton Alexander 1/1/1836 'Alexander Dr. Ashton, at Fayette Street east of Calvert Street==University of Maryland (where Dr. Alexander taught and served as provost) is listed at Green and Lombard Streets, attached to the Baltimore Infirmary; College incorporated 1812;' Since Dr. Alexander lived in Baltimore during 1836 while serving as provost to the University of Maryland, he could not have resided at Holt House, although he may have used the house as a summer retreat. Maryland State Archives, Microfiche for City Directories, Mf 2856-85
"Charles Francis Adams letter to Nathaniel Frye" regarding the operation of the Columbia Mills 4/23/1836 'Johnson left no instructions whatever expecting the loan of any sum of money to you so far as I know and that in accordance with his directions I have proceeded to invest such sums of money as he thought fit to transfer to this quarter, without referece to any such engagement as he appears to have entered into with you.' Although it is not clear which Johnson Charles Francis Adams was referring to, it was most likely George Johnson in relation to his involvement with the mills. Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Adams Papers, Charles Francis Letterbook, Reel 158
John Quincy Adams Diary regarding the operation of the Columbia Mills 5/7/1837 Nathaniel Frye had reported to JQA '...of the Columbia flour Mills the building of which cost $50,000, were now of no value as flour mills whatsoever. The main cause is the Baltimore Chesapeake & Ohio Railway, which has diverted the course of trade in wheat to Baltimore. There is now no market for wheat in Georgetown. Feye advised to turn the mills themselves to some other account, for example for paper making but ther is no such good fortune for me.' Declining markets in the Washington DC area added to JQA's financial troubles at the Columbia Mills. Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Adams Papers, John Quincy Adams Diary, Reel 36
Johnson Family of Calvert & Frederick County by R.J. Duval (unknown date) 'Roger Johnson, youngest son of Thomas and Dorcas, was born 18 March 1749, and died 3 March 1831. He was an iron master, and built Bloomsbury Forge on Bennett's Creek, Frederick County."Under date of 29 November 1775, the Journal of the Committee of Observation for the Middle District of Frederick County, MD, has the following minute: 'It being apprehended that many members of the Honorable Convention are altogether unacquainted with the People of this District, the Committee beg leave to recommend the following Gentlemen as persons proper to be appointed Field Officers to the several Battalions aforesaid.' As officers of the Second Battalion the Committee recommends: James Johnson, Colonel, Joseph Wood Jr., Lieut. Colonel, Benjamin Ogle, First Major, Roger Johnson, Second Major, Azel Waters, Quarter-Master (Ms. Journal, MD Hist. Soc'y). 6 January 1776, the Convention elected by ballot, a number of Officers for the Militia, and for the second Battalion, Middle District of Frederick County, the persons recommended by the Committee of Observation were all duly elected and commissioned (Force's Am. Archives, 4 Ser., iv.736), so that Roger Johnson was Second Major of his brother James' Battalion, and he rendered loyal service to the cause of patriotism, not only in the field, but in other ways as well. With his brothers James, Baker, and Thomas he was largely concerned in casting cannon, and furnished the army with one hundred tons of bomb shells, which had an important effect in bringing about the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown. The brothers had, moreover, glass works at the mouth of the Monocacy, also paper mills, and at the desire of the Convention of 1775, they established a gun-lock manufactory in Frederick Town. Roger Johnson married in 1781, Elizabeth (b. 28 Oct 1755, d. 7 Sept 1837) daughter of Richard and Sarah (Coale) Thomas of Montgomery County. Her family were Quakers, and the records of Sandy Spring Meeting show that, in consequence of her marriage, she was promptly disowned by the Meeting. Family tradition avers that this was because she had married a soldier, and adds the interesting detail that, to show his contempt for such prejudices, the gallant groom was married in his regimentals. But whether this last detail be true or not, there was a much stronger reason for disownment - the bride had committed the heinous offence of being married 'out of meeting', and by a minister. She could do nothing worse in the eyes of the meeting.' Roger Johnson had strong convictions and was very industrious. Much of the information appears to have been gathered from Mrs. Roberta Johnson Peter's family history (see entry under her name, no date given)."Sandy Spring and Indian Spring meetings both served northwestern MD and DC and met alternately until 1846 when they merged as the Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting. Maryland Historical Society Library, 98 Filing Case A: Johnson file
1837-38 City Directory for Baltimore, MD re: Ashton Alexander 1/1/1838 'Alexander Dr. Ashton and Dr. John Patterson, at Fayette Street, one door east of Calvert==Alexander Dr. Ashton at Fayette Street east of Calvert' Dr. Ashton Alexander still resided in Baltimore during 1837-38 and may have collaborated with Dr. John Patterson. Maryland State Archives, Microfiche for City Directories, Mf 2856-86
Letter from Louisa Catherine Adams to son Charles Frances Adams regarding the Columbia Mills 01/06/1838 'Mr. Frye paid the Tax Bill having no funds of Mr. Johnson's. I do not know if I mentioned this fact. Your Father is so absorbed you had better send a check to him with the sum and he will settle it..."Mrs. Newmans says...George Johnson had nearly ruined his father who had paid his debts to the amount of sixty thousand dollars. The old gentleman had been very wealthy but to meet such an emergency he had been compelled to sacrafice the best portions of his fine estates at the most unpropritous time and had only been enabled to preserve his paternal farm and another small estate which he bequeathed to his youngest son. He provided for his daughters at their marriage, one only remaining single and devoted to the care of her mother.' The tax amount JQA refered to most likely was for the Columbia Mills. Louis Catherine Adams appears to have exaggerated her claims against her cousin George Johnson, since Roger Johnson's will attested to his continued wealth of real estate with the bequeth of 24 properties to his children. It is, however, true that George burdened his father heavily with his accumulated debts at the mills. Library of Congress, Manuscripts Division, Adams Papers, Louisa C. Adams Letterbook, Reel 538
Louisa Catherine Adams letter to Charles Francis Adams regarding Roger Johnson's wife 1/10/1838 'Mrs. Newman informed me that the last of my old aunts a most worthy and respectable Quaker lady the widow of my uncle Roger had departed this life at a very advanced age within a few weeks. She was apparently in perfect health chatting and laughing with her daughter and wishing her all happiness as she retired to bed and died apparently in her sleep. She was the daughter of a very respectable family of Friends named Thomas in the State of Maryland. Mrs. Newman says she was the prettiest old woman she ever saw.' As a fellow Quaker, Mrs. Eliza Thomas Johnson, may have known Jonathan and Elizabeth Shoemaker since they most likely attended the same Indian Springs meetings. Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Adams Papers, Louisa Catherine Adams Letters, Reel 508
John Quincy Adams Diary regarding the operation of the Columbia Mills 6/12/1838 In a letter Mr. Frye reported to JQA that the new stone dam at the Columbia Mills was complete and in operation. In his diary entries JQA repeatedly refered to the seemingly endless repairs which were necessary at the mills. The completion of the new dam was one of the successful repairs he mentioned. Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Adams Papers, John Quincy Adams Diary, Reel 36
John Quincy Adams letter to Nathaniel Frye"regarding the operation of the Columbia Mills 5/23/1839 'I suppose I have no alternative but to accept the proposals of Messers Speakman and Brooks, and therefore authorize these repairs accordingly the estimate enclosed in your letter which I return herewith.' Mr. Speakman and Mr. Brooks apparently rented the Columbia Mills from JQA for the fifth year. Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Adams Papers, John Quincy Adams Letterbook, Reel 153
John Quincy Adams Diary regarding the operation of the Columbia Mills 5/22/1839 'A letter from Mr. Frye calls upon me for heavy repairs to the Columbia Mills and estimate of $615 with hints that it must be increased to $800 and a plain intimation that a complete repair of them will cost at least $3,000. A grievious burden which I cannot shake from my shoulders.' The Columbia Mills continued to be a financial burden for JQA. Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Adams Papers, John Quincy Adams Diary, Reel 52
Maryland Census Record for the Ashton Alexander family 1/1/1840 Ashton Alexander - 'learned professions'"2 males betwn ages 15-20"1 male btwn ages 60-70"1 female btwn ages 20-30"1 female btwn ages 50-60==1 free black male btwn ages 55-100"1 free black female btwn ages 24-36"1 free black female btwn ages 36-55==1 male slave btwn ages 10-24" Ashton Alexander owned Holt House from 1835-44 but lived in Baltimore, not Washington, in 1840. He was a practicing physician in Baltimore until 1850. Nat'l Archives, Microfilm Room, 1840 MD Census, Baltimore City, Ward 7, M704 Roll 160, p. 5
"DC Census Records for George Johnson and Nathaniel Frye 01/01/1840 p. 220"George Johnson"located in Alexandria==Free Males 20 - 30 1"Free Males 50 - 60 1==Free Females 15 - 20 1"Free Females 20 - 30 1"Free Females 40 - 50 1==Slave Male 0 - 10 1 ===p. 7"Nathaniel Frye"in Washington City==Free Males 20 - 30 1"Free Males 50 - 60 1==Free Females 40 - 50 1==Free Colored Males 10 - 24 1==Free Colored Females 10 - 24 1=== There was no entry for a George Johnson that could have fit his family size in Washington. The age of the male slave precludes him from being at the Columbia Mills with Johnson. It is not clear if the listing from Alexandria refers to the same George Johnson. Although JQA mentioned in his diary that George lived in Alexandria, there are also city directories that could place him in Georgetown. National Archives, Microfilm Room, Wash Co, DC, 704 Roll 12
DC Census Records for Speakman (possible miller at the Columbia Mills) 01/01/1840 Miller Speakman"located in Country Park, Washington County===Free Males 5 - 10 1"Free Males 10 - 15 2"Free Males 15 - 20 1"Free Males 20 - 30 1"Free Males 40 - 50 1==Free Females 5 - 10 1"Free Females 30 - 40 1"Free Females 40 - 50 1 Speakman may have rented the Columbia Mills between 1835-1843. Miller Speakman did not own any slaves. The four young males in the household would have provided any needed assistance. National Archives, Microfilm Room, DC, Wash Co, 704 Roll 14, p. 154
John Quincy Adams Diary entry, regarding the Columbia Mills 05/24/1840 'I renewed, but abridged my morning walk, and rode with my son John to the mills after dinner. I found them at work, grinding wheat at the large mill and Indian corn at the small one. The demand for corn meal, and for what they call Rye continues, and the prospect of profitable business for the year remains fair. The experience of the last year forbids sanguine hope; but my anxieties for the future condition of my family have no other reliance upon Earth. Mr Jefferson died at 84 amidst the most abject supplications for contributions for bread to his children. Mr. Monroe's groans of famishing distress are incessant and ring throughout this continent. My father screened the poverty of his last years by severe domestic frugality, which neither Jefferson, nor Monroe, nor I had energy of mind to practice. My experience of the last 15 months leaves me nothing to expect but a rapid consumption of what property I have to destroy the cost of my sustenance and that of my childrens - If the industrious and prudent employment of these Mills will give me no relief, the close of my animal life will to all appearances be as needy and as comfortless as that of Mr. Jefferson - yet will I not despair.' This entry was written during the period when JQA's son John was in charge of the mills. Library of Congress, Manuscripts Division, Adams Papers, John Quincy Adams Diary, Reel 37
John Quincy Adams Diary regarding the operation of the Columbia Mills 07/24/1840 'Mr. Frye was here this morning and spoke to me of my private concerns in this city which have been for several years under his management and care. They are very troublesome and during the session of congress it is utterly impossible for me to give any attention to them. The Columbian Mills, instead of being as I had flattered myself they would be when I bought them, a profitable property, are a perpetual drain upon my income, and the cause of business has so changed by the multiplication of flour mills all over the country, the decay of Georgetown, and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad that the value of the Estate has almost diminished down to nothing. Mr. Frye spoke about the insurance of my property have which I have neglected for several years.' Mr. Frye was agent and attorney for Adams according to his entry of 7/28/1840 for the mills but did not live on the property since the city directories placed him in Georgetown. Library of Congress, Manuscripts Division, Adams Papers, John Quincy Adams Diary, Reel 39
John Quincy Adams Diary entry regarding the operation of the Columbia Mills 07/28/1840 'Mr. Frye brought me this morning a statement of his account as my agent and attorney for the transaction of my private business in this city from May 1835 to this time with all the vouchers. The account is exact and minute leaving a balance of $622.47 in his hands to provide for outstanding charges - constant vigilance and discretion. Everything that constitutes an intelligent agent and a result by which the income from the Columbian Mills- the dwelling house in this Pennsylvania Avenue and the dwelling house next to Captain Carberry barely pay their own expenses. In my own hands they would have fared worse.' Mr. Frye proved a competent business manager of John Quincy Adams's private affairs. Library of Congress, Manuscripts Division, Adams Papers, John Quincy Adams Diary, Reel 39
1840-41 City Directory for Baltimore, MD re: Ashton Alexander 1/1/1841 'Alexander Dr. Ashton and Dr. John Patterson, at Fayette Street one door east of Calvert==Alexander Dr. Ashton, at Fayette Street east of Calvert' Dr. Alexander still resided in Baltimore during 1840-41. Maryland State Archives, Microfiche for City Directories, Mf 2856-87
'Daily National Intelligencer' advertisement, front page, Dr. Alexander selling Holt House 6/30/1841 'For lease, sale, or rent, and is now offered to the members of Congress, Foreign Ministers, heads of Departments, and visitors to the seat of Government, that most desirable retreat on the heights of Washington called by the oldest physicians of the District 'The Seat of Health', as it surely is of beauty, and but one mile and a half from the President's square."Fatally for the interest of the owner it was called Jackson Hill, by an influential friend of 'the old tyrant'. And more still, to the injury of the property, it has undergone three years of deterioration by the worst treatment by those who unfortunately tenanted. The proofs of which are grievously visible at a glance. And for the whole three years not a dollar, so far, has been received for damages or rent."Gentlemen or Ladies, of taste and fortune, would do well to ride out and examine for themselves 'a retreat so lovely'."The house is very superior; it is 126 feet long, two wings and a centre building, rooms of every size, unique and beautiful in its plan; and wants but to be newly papered and painted to make it delightful... Hill, valley, and stream, cliffs, rocks, and forest trees, in an unending variety - romantic in beauty of landscape - are there to regale the eye. Water, delicious, and as cold as if it rushed through an ice-berg. And the elevation is so high that it is the very focus of the winds, in heating weather, to save you from the dust of the avenue; and in full view of Peirce's pleasure gardens, and in rear of the Columbian College."For terms apply to Bernard Hooe, Esq. Gibson Alexander, Esq. or the Messrs. Swann, Attorneys, at the City Hall.' The name Jackson Hill predated the Holts residence, therefore the name source for Jackson Hill remains unknown. MLK Library, Washingtoniana Division, Microfilm of 'Daily National Intelligencer', Reel 63
Land Transfer Deed from Ashton and Sarah Alexander to Nicholas R. Merryman 4/26/1842 'Between Ashton Alexander and Sarah R. Alexander, his wife, of the city of Baltimore State of Maryland of the one part and Nicolas R. Merryman of Baltimore County, in the state aforesaid of the other part."Whereas on or about the 13th day of March 1833 letters testamentary were granted by the Orphans Court of Baltimore County to the said Ashton Alexander as an Executor of the last will and testament of Sidney Alexander of said county deceased and the said Nicholas R. Merryman and Samuel Gott, at present residing in the West Indies became his securities in the administration bond under the penal sum therein mentioned."Whereas it is the desire and intention of the said Alexander fully to secure and indemnify the said Nicholas R. Merryman against all loss or damage whatsoever arising from his responsibility under the condition of the said bond; he has therefore agreed to execute this instrument of writing or Deed of Trust under the Stipulations and provisions mutually agreed on and hereinafter fully expressed and declared.'"Nicholas Merryman paid Ashton Alexander $500 in return for which Alexander 'granted... all that certain tract or parcel of land conveyed by Joseph A. and Charles Johnson of Frederick County state of Maryland Executors of the last will and testament of Roger Johnson deceased to Ashton Alexander... being part of a tract of land called 'Pretty Prospect' lying in Washington County aforesaid... containing 13 3/4 acres and 21 perches of land more or less; together with all and singular the buildings and improvements upon the tract or parcel of land... in trust fully to indemnify and secure the said Nicholas Merryman against any possible loss damage or injury arising from his obligation in the administration bond aforesaid as if he his heirs executors or administrators should ever be called on under his or their liability in the same, he or they shall in that event only be priviledged to sell and dispose of the said land at public or private sale and appropriate so much of the proceeds of said sale as will cover the amount of his or their liability under the bond aforesaid and the balance to pay over to said Alexander...and if the said Alexander can negotiate and adventageously dispose of the said land the said Merryman shall at the request of the said Alexander make a full and valid conveyance of the same to the purchaser and the monies received from such sale to be applied first to paying into the Orphans Court aforesaid the full amount of' liability and balance to Alexander. Since Nicholas Merryman accrued debts associated with Sidney Alexander's probate, Ashton Alexander, as executor to his sister's will, deeded his share of 'Pretty Prospect' to Merryman to cover the expenses. When the property was sold to Henry Holt two years later, the official transfer was made by Ashton Alexander with the agreement of Nicholas R. Merryman. The value of the property had decreased. DC Recorder of Deeds, Land Records Liber WB93, District of Columbia, folio 200-202.
Washington/ Georgetown City Directory 1/1/1843 p. 44, no. 1522"'Johnson, George, 1st Comptroller's Office, clerk, S side of K, N between 25th & 26th, W near 26th' This entry may refer to the George Johnson who had operated the Columbia Mills earlier since his daughter wrote that he worked as a clerk at the Treasury Department for many years. Although John Quincy Adams mentioned in his diary that Johnson lived in Alexandria, there were no entries in the Alexandria City Directory for a George Johnson. SI American History Library, Microfiche file for City Directories
Letter from John Quincy Adams to Nathaniel Frye, regarding the Columbia Mills 06/08/1843 'Dear Sir,"I return herewith the proposals for repairing the Mill saw enclosed with your letter of the 20th specifying those of Mr. Easly [sp.?] which are not acceptable. Of the others, those of Mr. Hampton alone claim consideration and they have to require specification and good security for the performance of the mill.' JQA ordered repairs for the Columbia Mills. Library of Congress, Manuscripts Division, Adams Papers, John Quincy Adams Letterbook, Reel 154
Letter from John Quincy Adams to Louisa Catherine Adams, regarding the Columbia Mills 06/15/1843 'My Dearest Friend," Your letter of the 10th instantly calls me down from solar altitudes to the more earthly concerns of the Columbian Mills. At the moment when you were issuing this seasonable summons Frye must have had in his hands my letter of the 6th in which I gave my opinion of different sets of proposals varying from 800 to 2500 dallars for one and the same piece of work. I confess it startled me a little to have to choose between two such estimates for one job without a scrap of a guess to show that an inch more of the mill dam would be made for the larger than the smaller sum. You may judge that I could not have much difficulty in rejecting a tax of 2500 dollars for the benefit of the miller, with an encouraging prospect that the first heavy shower would lay me under another contribution which under the value of proportions would require at least one quarter of the salary of a president of the United States to meet.' JQA continued to agonize over the endless repairs needed at the mills. Library of Congess, Manuscripts Division, Adams Papers, John Quincy Adams Letterbook, Reel 526
Letter from John Quincy Adams to Nathaniel Frye, regarding the Columbia Mills 06/24/1843 JQA wrote regarding repairs to the mills, suggesting to Frye that a Mr. Boyer's [sp.?] proposal is accepted. There are no specific details given as to what was done, but perhaps referring to the mill saw repairs of the mill saw, mentioned in letter from JQA to Frye June 6th. Library of Congress, Manuscripts Division, Adams Papers, John Quincy Adams Letterbook, Reel 154
Letter from John Quincy Adams to Nathaniel Frye regarding the operation of the Columbia Mills 09/13/1843 'Dear Sir, "Since my return from an excursion to Canada and the Niagara Falls I have recieved your favours of 8 and 31 of the last, and 8 and 9 of the present month with their enclosures. I have no doubt that all you have done respecting my property in your charge has been for the best and shall be glad if you can suggest to me any mode of disposing of the Columbia Mills without a total sacrafice of the property..."Please inform Mr. Grammar that the real property which I propose to mortgage as security instead of an endorser for any Franklin Insurance Stock is the two houses in F Street, the house in Pennsylvania Avenue and the Columbia Mills. They may be prepared and ready to be executed when I come to Washington in November.' This letter also suggests that the mills may have been appraised, although no documentation has been found. Library of Congress, Manuscripts Division, Adams Papers, John Quincy Adams Letterbook, Reel 154
John Quincy Adams Diary regarding the operation of the Columbia Mills 2/21/1844 'Mr. Frye was here last evening and had some conversation with me concerning the Columbian Mills, which have at last become a dead burden upon my estate. He considers himself and me fortunate that two persons have been found who for leasing [?] have undertaken to preserve the mills from perishing by the decays of doing nothing.' JQA found new renters for the Columbia Mills to put them in operation again. Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Adams Papers, John Quincy Adams Diary, Reel 47
John Quincy Adams Diary regarding the operation of the Columbia Mills 3/4/1844 'Mr. Frye was here this evening. He has received an overture for the purchase of the Columbian Mills. I told him the terms, but without expectation of any successful conclusion.' JQA intended to sell the Columbia Mills but was unable to find a buyer. He retained ownership of the mills until his death in 1848. Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Adams Papers, John Quincy Adams Diary, Reel 47
Land Transfer Deed from Ashton Alexander to Henry Holt 12/21/1844 'Between Ashton Alexander, of Baltimore City and County, in the State of Maryland and Sarah R. Alexander, his wife, of the first part, Nicholas R. Merryman of Baltimore County aforesaid of the second part, and Henry Holt of the District of Columbia of the third or other part. Whereas, by Indenture bearing date on or about the 22 April 1842, and made between the above named Ashton Alexander and Sarah R., his wife, of the one part, and the said Nicholas Merryman of the other part... The piece or parcel of land and premises hereinafter described, and by these presents mentioned to be conveyed and release, with the improvements and appurtenances became and now are and stand limited and assured unto the said Nicholas Merryman in trust for purpose of securing and indemnifying the said Nicholas Merryman, against all losses or damaged whatsover, arising from his responsibility under the condition of a certain Testamentary or administration bond, therein referred to entered into by him, as one of the securities of the said Ashton Alexander, as executor of the last will and testament of Sidney Alexander, late of Baltimore County deceased.'==Henry Holt paid $4,250 for 13 3/4 acres and 21 perches.==Both Alexander and Merryman 'confirm unto the said Henry Holt his heirs and assigns, all that piece or parcel of land being part of 'Pretty Prospect' lying and being in Washington County, and the District of Columbia... containing 13 3/4 acres and 21 perches of land, more or less... together with all and singular the buildings and improvements thereupon erected, made or being, and all and the rights, priviledges, advantages and appurtances to the same belonging, or in anywise appertaining;' Nicholas Merryman received payment for his services as administrator for the will of Ashton Alexander's sister, Sidney, upon sale of this land and ownership was transfered to Henry Holt. DC Recorder of Deeds, Land Records Liber WB114, District of Columbia, folio 205-208.
Letter from John Quincy Adams to Nathaniel Frye regarding the operation of the Columbia Mills 02/18/1845 'I am also willing to lease the land at the Mills for a reasonable rent, guarding against any damage to the road.' JQA once again was looking for a rentor for the mills. This entry shows that Henry Holt, who took possession of the house in 1844, was not involved with the mills. A Mr. Speakman, who may have rented the mills from 1835-39, was no longer there. Library of Congress, Manuscripts Division, Adams Papers, John Quincy Adams Letterbook, Reel 154
Land Transfer Deed from Joseph L. Sholfield et al to Jonathan Seaver et al, re: Quaker cemetery 12/6/1845 'Between Joseph L. Sholfield of the City of Washington in the District of Columbia and Roger Brook and William Thomas of Montgomery County in the State of Maryland of the one part, and Jonathan Seaver, Henry Janney of the said city and George Shoemaker and William L. Shoemaker of Georgetown of the said District of the other part. Witnesseth: Whereas on the nineth day of December 1807 a certain Jonathan Shoemaker then of Washington County in the District of Columbia for and in consideration of the sum of $1 conveyed and sold unto Joseph L. Sholfield and Samuel Hutchinson of Washington aforesaid, and Roger Brooke, William Thomas and Samuel Lukins of Montgomery County, and Samuel Snowden of Anne Arundel County in the State of Maryland a piece of land described in a certain deed and lying in the county of Washington in the District of Columbia and beginning at the SW corner of a lot of the said Jonathan Shoemaker enclosed by a post and rail fence... to be held by them and the survivors or survivor of them in trust for the use of the religious society of Friends as a burying ground ... And whereas the said lot or parcel of ground has been continued to the uses for which it was granted and the said Society of Friends being desirous to perpetuate the title to the said lot or parcel of ground in the names of living members of the Society.'=====================1/1/98 The ownership of the Quaker Cemetery remained with members of the Society. DC Archives, Land Records, Liber WB 122, Folio 58-60.
Washington/ Georgetown City Directory 1/1/1846 p. 52, no. 1523"'Johnson, George, clerk, 1st Comptroller's Office, S side of K, N between 25th and 26th W' This entry may refer to the George Johnson who had operated the Columbia Mills earlier. There was no listing for Henry Holt who by then was living at Holt House. Holt House was still located outside of the Washington city limits. SI American History Library, Microfiche file for City Directories
"John Quincy Adams letter to Nathaniel Frye"regarding the operation of the Columbia Mills 10/1/1846 JQA discussed the construction of an ice house adjoining the Columbia Mills. Frye had purchased land for it at a good price and JQA proposes commencement of construction. Unfortunately it is unclear if the ice house was meant to store grains or for the personal use of the mill operator and his workmen. Either way it is surprising that additional land was necessary for its construction since the mill property already consisted of many acres. Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Adams Papers, John Quincy Adams Letterbook, Reel 155
Thomas Family history, unknown author and date 'Richard Thomas, eldest son of John and Elizabeth (Snowden) Thomas, was born about 1728, and died after 1777 when his youngest child was born. He married about 1752 Sarah daughter of Skipwith and Margaret (Holland) Coale, and was disowned by the meeting, but, 25 December 1766, they acknowledged their error in marriage and, with their children, were received into the membership of the West River Meeting. Richard Thomas and Sarah (Coale) his wife had issue:"Samuel Thomas, b. 2 Dec 1753; mar. 31 Oct 1775, Mary Cowman==Elizabeth Thomas, b. 28 Oct. 1755; died 7 Sept. 1837; married 4 Feb 1781, Roger Johnson (b. 18 March 1749, d. 3 March 1831), and disowned by Sandy Spring Meeting, 16 Feb 1781==Richard Thomas, b. 21 Feb 1758, d. 6 Nov 1861, mar. Deborah Brooke and had issue==John Thomas, b. 27 Sept 1760, d.s.p.==Mary Thomas, b. 12 March 1762, mar. William Robertson==Sarah Thomas, b. 26 Nov 1764, d. 29 April 1805, mar. 21 Aug 1793, Bernard Gilpin==Henrietta Thomas, b. 17 Feb 1767, d. infancy==Margaret Thomas, b. 11 June 1769, d. 5 March 1797, mar. 22 April 1789, Gerard Brooke==William Thomas, b. 11 Dec 1771, mar. Martha Patrick and had issue==Ann Thomas, b. 25 May 1774, d.s.p.==Henrietta Thomas, b. 7 March 1777, d.s.p." The second child of Richard Thomas, Elizabeth, married Roger Johnson and was disowned by the Indian Spring Quaker Meeting for marrying a soldier."Sandy Spring and Indian Spring meetings both served northwestern MD and DC and met alternately until 1846 when they merged as the Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting. Maryland Historical Society, 164 Filing Case A: TEM-THO records
DC Census Records for the Henry Holt family 1/1/1850 Henry Holt 35 yrs old, born in New York; "occupation for Holt is 'farms';==Susan G. Holt 38 yrs old, born in Alexandria, VA; ==Charles D. 6 yrs old, born in New York; ==Henry R. aged 4 yrs, born in DC; ==Andrew St. George Jackson;==Cornelius Newman aged 14 yrs. (only black household member) born in VA - listed as hired servant;==value of real estate is $6,000;" Dr. Henry Holt resided at Holt House in 1850. Note that the listed ages may be inaccurate since they do not correspond with the 1860 census figures. Nat'l Archives, Microfilm Room, DC west part, Roll 57, p. 269
Industrial Census for Henry Holt 01/01/1850 'Henry Holt==Acres of improved land 19"Unimproved 8==Cash value of the farm $6,000"Value of farming implements and machinery $50==Horses 2"Milk Cows 4"Swines 2"Value of livestock $200"bushels of Indian Corn 150"bushels of Irish Potatoes 200"Lbs of butter 156"tons of Hay 3' Henry Holt farmed the land surrounding Holt House as well as a second lot he also owned. There were no hands listed. Since he owned various livestock he likely had several small buildings, stables to house them. National Archives, Microfiche Room, Drawer M98-05, Roll 1793
"Maryland Census Records for the Ashton Alexander family 1/1/1850 Ashton Alexander aged 78, Physician"value of real estate owned $30,000"born in Virginia==S.R. Alexander aged 65, female"value of real estate owned $30,000"born in Maryland==no other members of household Dr. Ashton Alexander lived in Baltimore, MD. Nat'l Archives, Microfilm Room, Baltimore, MD, Ward 10, M-432, Roll 284, p. 63
Washington/ Georgetown City Directory 1/1/1850 p. 46, no. 1524"'Johnson, George, clerk, 1st Comptroller's Office, S side of K, N between 25th and 26th W' This entry may refer to the George Johnson who had operated Columbia Mills earlier. Henry Holt was still not listed in the city directory. SI American History Library, Microfiche file for"City Directories
Land Transfer Deed from John Little to Charles Francis Adams (add't acreage for Columbia Mills) 12/3/1850 'Between John Little of the County of Washington in the District of Columbia of the first part and Charles Francis Adams of Quincy in the State of Massachusetts Trustee under the will of John Quincy Adams for the benefit of Mary Louisa Adams, of the second part. Witnesses that the said John Little... has granted to the said Charles Francis Adams his heirs and assigns forever, the following piece or parcel of ground situated lying and being in the aforesaid county of Washington in the District of Columbia and bounded as follows to wit:"Beginning at a point on the left hand side of the County Road (leading from Georgetown and the City of Washington in the county aforesaid...) where the dividing line of fence between the land of the said John Little and the land of Doctor Hnery Holt joins the said County Road and thence running north... west... to the intersection of the land dividing the land of the said Charles Francis Adams Trustee and the land of the said Henry Holt..."To have and to hold the said hereby granted piece or parcel of ground together with all and singular the rights and appurtenances thereunto belonging.' Charles Francis Adams purchased additional acreage (number of acres was not listed) for the Columbia Mills property after his father's death in 1850. DC Recorder of Deeds, Land Records Liber JAS 19, District of Columbia, folio 232-234.
Washington/ Georgetown City Directory 1/1/1853 p. 54, no. 1525"'Johnson, George, S side of K, N between 25th and 26th W' The same George Johnson was listed as living in Georgetown but he no longer worked as a clerk at the Comptroller's Office. His daughter Roberta wrote in her family history that he suffered paralysis in 1850-51 and died in 1854 which would coincide with the directory entries. Holt House was still outside of the city limits so Henry Holt was not listed in the directory. SI American History Library, Microfiche file for City Directories
Johnson Family by Mrs. Roberta Johnson Peter (unkown date) 'Roger Johnson (my grandfather), son of Thomas and Dorcas, was born March 18th, 1749, died March 3rd, 1831. He was an iron master and built Bloomsbury Forge on Bennetts Creek, Frederick Co. He was Major of his brother James battalion and served in the Revolutionary War, even in its darkest days. He married Elizabeth Thomas, daughter of Richard Thomas, of Montgomery Co. She was of Quaker family and they opposed her marriage to a soldier. Feeling his own value, he was deeply incensed, and to show his aversion to their prejudices, he was married in a red coat (the costume of the Continental Officers was a red coat with blue lapells, buff vests & pants or knee breeches, black stockings. Lossings History of the Revolution.) He never made any concessions and when it was signified to her that she would be received into meeting again if she would say she was sorry, she stoutly refused, declaring that she had never regretted her marriage. I saw her in my childhood, she was below the medium height, while her husband was I've heard, tall and stately. She had very bright black eyes, and was a great beauty in her youth. She must have been at least 80 years old when I saw her, and yet her sight was so good that she was sewing fine muslin with No.12 needle. Her voice was low and gentle, but everyone obeyed and respected her. She had seven sons and four daughters."Roger Johnson and Elizabeth Thomas, were married by the Reb. Francis Lauders on Feb. 4, 1781. Roger Johnson with his brothers, James, Baker, and Thomas, were largely concerned in casting cannon, and furnished the army with one hundred tons of bomb shells, which assisted in bringing about the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown. They also had glass works at the mouth of the Monocacy, and paper mills, and established, by the desire of the Convention of 1775, a gun lock manufactory in Frederick town. "Roger and Elizabeth Johnson were the parents of George Johnson (my father) who was born 25th July 1783, died Nov 9th, 1854. During the war of 1812 his property - Elden Mills - was consumed by fire and he lost a large supply of Flour. Having a family to support, he accepted from Mr. Adams, whose wife was his cousin, a clerkship in the Treasury Department, of only $1,000 per annum, and remained until he was stricken with paralysis, four years before his death.' Mrs. Roberta Johnson Peter was the daughter of George Johnson and grandaughter of Roger Johnson. This is the only known account of Roger and George by one of their immediate relatives. Also note that George Johnson owned and operated Elden Mills before the Columbia Mills. Since no records of an Elden Mills exists, they may be the same Columbia Mills, only named differently by the Johnsons. Maryland Historical Society, 98 Filing Case A: Johnson file
Land Transfer Deed from Henry Holt to Thomas Jackson, re: Holt House property 6/5/1854 'Between Henry Holt and his wife, Susan Jane Holt of Washington County, District of Columbia of the one part and Thomas Alphonso Jackson now of said county and District of the other part. Whereas the said Henry Holt is justly indebted to Horatio Holt of Oswego County in the state of New York in the sum of $15,000 for which sum Henry Holt has given his three promissory notes bearing even date with these present, each for sum of $5,000 payable respectively, one two and three years after date with interest ... hereby ... give, grant ... all that tract of land called Jackson Hill being a part of Pretty Prospect lying and being in said county and District ... containing 13 3/4 acres 21 perches of land more or less being same piece or parcel of land conveyed by Ashton Alexander to said Henry Holt and all that lot, piece or parcel of ground situated lying and being in said county and District which was conveyed to said Henry Holt by Robert S. Wharton ... containing 13 acres 23 perches of land ... [along with household furniture and goods]. To have and to hold said premises, furniture, chattles and effects ...'" To help offset accumulated debts, Henry Holt transferred the deeds to his properties (Holt House and another tract which he farmed) to his relative, Thomas Jackson. After fulfillment of payment 23 years later, the property deed was trasferred back to Holt. (see entry dated 9/10/1877) DC Recorder of Deeds, Land Records JAS 78, Folio 90-93.
Ashton Alexander's will 4/1/1855 In his will, Ashton Alexander mentioned several properties he owned in Baltimore, including the Mansion House Hotel, Shaws Hotel, and a boarding house on Monument Square. Although Alexander no longer owned Holt House by the time of his death, he owned other rental properties from which he collected income. During his ownership of Holt House, the property was rented, as is evident from the for sale advertisement dated 6/30/1841. Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD, wills, Liber 26, folio 375, CR 136-2.
Tax Assessment for Holt House; Henry C. Holt owner 1/1/1856 H.C. Holt owns 30 acres (index at the front lists only 23 acres)==30 acres assessed at 1,800"houses 2,000"furniture 200"3 horses 120"cow 15"carridges 150"cart 15"Total assessed value $4,300 Note that houses was written in the plural. This may have referred to the outbuildings along with the house. Nat'l Archives, RG351 Records of Gov. of DC for the County of Washington, Vol. 1, 1855-56, p. 23
DC Census Record for the Henry Holt family 1/1/1860 Henry C. Holt aged 50, Physician, born in New York; value of real estate $2,800, value of personal estate $1,000; ==Susan Holt aged 49, born in VA; value of real estate $10,000; ==Charles Holt aged 16, profession listed 'criple', born in New York; ==Henry Holt aged 14, still attending school; ==Alphonse Jackson aged 26, Engineer in Navy, born in DC; "Maria Jackson aged 25, born in VA; ==Montgomery Jackson aged 4, born in MD; ==Bridget Conner aged 19, Cook, born in Ireland; Dr. Henry Holt resided at Holt House in 1860 and did not have any slaves or freedmen on the property. Nat'l Archives, Microfilm Room, DC, Ward 4-5, 1st Division, Vol. 2, M653 Roll 103, p.33
Land Transfer Lease from Charles F. Adams to John M. Eissler et al, re: Columbia Mills lease 10/23/1863 'Between Charles Frances Adams trustee by his attorney John Quincy Adams of Quincy in the State of Massachusetts of the first part and Charles Tobriner and John M. Eissler Merchants doing business in the city of Washington and the District of Columbia under the name style and firm of Tobriner & Eissler of the second part. Witnesseth: That for and in consideration of the yearly rents and of the covenants provisions and agreements hereinafter reserved and contained by Charles Tobriner and John M. Eissler ... the said Charles Frances Adams doth demise and lease unto the said party ... all and singular the messuage tenements and dwelling houses mill water priviledges situated and lying in the County of Washington and the District of Columbia upon Rock Creek in said county and known as the Adams or Columbia Mill together with the water rights in said creek and land attached to said Mill and tenements (estimated at about thirty acres)... To have and to hold the said Messuage tenements mill water right and all and singular the land and premises unto the said parties ... from the first day of August 1863 for and during the term of five years thence next ensuing and fully to be completed and ended. The said parties ... paying yearly and every year during the said term unto the said party ... the rent or sum of $552 the same to be paid by monthly payments on the first day of each and every month in equal payments of $46 per month ... And also that they the said parties of the second part ... will at their own proper costs and charges cause the buildings fences mill dam water gates sluice ways out houses and all the other improvemetns in the said land and premises hereby demised whether specifically enumerated herein or not ... to be well and sufficiently repaired ... and kept in good and sufficient and tenantable order and repaid. And that the party of the first part ... shall upon reasonable notice and during said term at least twice in each year have the right to enter upon the said land ... to examine the state and condition of the same ... being understood that the same may be used and is to be used as a lone mill.'===1/1/98 Merchant tenants occupied the Columbia Mills property from 1863 - 1868. DC Recorder of Deeds, Land Records Liber NCT 16, Folio 76-79.
Tax Assessment for Holt House, Henry C. Holt owner 1/1/1868 Dr. H.C. Holt in the 3rd District==30 acres assessed at 300/acre" total 9,000"Personal value 460"Improvements 5,000"Total value $14,460 Note that the land value and improvements value rose significantly within 12 yrs. Nat'l Archives, RG351 Records of Gov. of DC for County of Washington, Vol. 2, 1868, p. 76
DC Census Record for the Henry Holt family 1/1/1870 Dr. H.C. Holt 60 yrs old, born in New York;"his occupation is listed as Physician;==Susan J. Holt 58 yrs old, born in Virginia;==Charles Holt 24 yrs old, born in New York; "Charles' occupation is listed as Carpenter;==Henry Holt 22 yrs old, born in D.C.; "Henry's occupation is listed as farmer;==Elizabeth Carrall 16 yrs old, born in PA;==no slavery at this date; ==personal estate value $2,000; real estate value $50,000; Dr. Henry Holt resided in Washington, DC in 1870. Nat'l Archives, Microfilm Room, DC, west part, M-593 Roll 127, p. 756.
Land Transfer Deed from Charles Francis Adams to Julianna Hobbie (part of Columbia Mills property) 4/26/1870 'Charles Francis Adams of Quincy in the County of Norfolk as I am trustee under the mill of John Quincy Adams of said Quincy and in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and by authority of a decree of the Supreme Judicial Court of said Commonwealth. $200 paid by Mrs. Julianna Hobbie of Washington County in the District of Columbia bid to me as Trustee under the mill of John Quincy Adams as aforesaid the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged do hereby give grant bargain and sell and convey unto the said Julianna Hobbie her heirs executors a piece of land in the Southeast corner of the property formerly a part of a tract known as Pleasant Plains and more recently known as the Columbia Mill property, situated in Washington County in the District of Columbia bounded as follows. Beginning at a stone at the Northeast corner of the 'Quaker burying ground' on said tract, thence south... to the boundary line of the estate of the late S.R. Hobbie, thence south... to said Quaker burying ground, thence along the line of said burying ground... to the place of beginning, being in all 39 1/100 part of an acre of land. To have and to hold the granted premises with all the priviledges and appurtenances thereunto belonging to the said Mrs. Julianna Hobbie and her heirs.' Mrs. Julianna Hobbie purchased 39 1/100 parts of an acresoutheast of the Quaker burying ground. This parcel adjoined additional acreage she already owned. DC Recorder of Deeds, Land Records Liber 614, District of Columbia, folio 110-111.
Release from Francis E. Parker to John Quincy Admas [Jr.] regarding the Columbia Mills property 1/23/1871 'Know all men by these presents that I, Francis E. Parker, as I am guardian at [?] of John Quincy Adams Johnson, Mary Adams Johnson and Louisa Catherine Johnson, infant children of William C. Johnson, having been appointed such Guardian by the Supreme Judicial Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in a certain suit in equity then pending before said court in the county of Norfolk wherein Charles Francis Adams is complainant and the said William C. Johnson and the infant children are respondents in obedience to the decree of said court in said suit and by virtue and authority on me of said decree conferred and of every other power and authority me therewith enabling and in consideration of the duty on me enforced by said decree, do hereby revise, release, quit claim and confirm unto John Quincy Adams of Quincy in said County of Norfolk, Esquire all the right title and interest of the said John Quincy Adams Johnson, Mary Adams Johnson, and Louisa Catherine Johnson in and to all that tract of land lying upon both banks of Rock Creek in the County of Washington and District of Columbia, together with the buildings thereon, one commonly known as the Columbian Mills, being the same premises conveyed to John Quincy Adams by George Johnson, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-three excepting that parcel heretofore conveyed by Charles Francis Admas Trustee to Pruden Snowden and others, and also another small lot conveyed by said Charles Francis Adams Trustee to Mrs. Hobbie to have and to hold the above released premises with the priviledges and appurtenances therto belonging unto her/him the said John Quincy Adams, his heirs and assigns but in Trust nevertheless and for the uses interests and purposes declosed in a certain Indenture of four parts, which Indenture is fully set forth in said decress and is to be herewith recorded.' William C. Johnson, the husband of Louisa Catherine Adams Johnson, accrued substantial debts. In order to protect the Johnson children's investments, their guardian, Francis Parker, transferred ownership title of the Columbia Mills property to John Quincy Adams [Jr.]. DC Recorder of Deeds, Land Records Liber 6, District of Columbia, folio 144.
"Land Transfer Deed from Peter McNamara to George Riggs and Robert Fox, re: Columbia Mills property 1/13/1872 'Between Peter McNamara and his wife Johanna McNamara of the City of Washington in the District of Columbia of the first part and George W. Riggs and Robert C. Fox of the same place trustees of the second part. Whereas the said Peter McNamara being indebted to John Quincy Adams of the city of Boston state of Massachusetts in and for the sum of $6,750 being the deferred payments in the purchase of the pieces or parcels of ground and premises hereinafter described, hath made signed and delivered to said John Quincy Adams four certain promisary notes, namely one note for the sum of $1000 payable in 90 days after date, one note for $2000 payable on the first day of January 1873, one note for $1875 payable on the first day of January 1874 and one note for $1875 payable on the first day of January 1875, each of said notes dated on the 7th Novemeber 1871 and made payable with interest at 6%, said interest payable semi-annually. ... Now therefore this Indenture witnesseth, that the said party of the first party ... to said parties of the second party ... release and convey ... all that certain piece or parcel of ground situate and lying in the County of Washington in the District of Columbia and is part of a tract of land called 'Lamars Outlet and Pleasant Plains' ... containing 3 acres and 38 perches of land. Also all that piece or parcel of land lying and being ... a part of a tract called 'Pretty Prospect' which was formerly conveyed by James Dunlop by deed to John Quincy Adams ... containing 20 acres, 3 rods, 20 perches of land. Together with all the improvements ways easements rights priviledges and appurtenances to the same and in anywise appertaining and all the Estate right title interest and claim either at law or in Equity or otherwise ... To have and to hold said pieces or parcels of ground ... And upon the full payment of all of said notes and the interest thereon and all other proper costs charges ... before the sale hereinafter provided for the release and reconvey the said described premises onto the said Peter McNamara ... And upon the further trust that upon default being made in the payment of the said notes or either of them on the interest ... then and at any time thereafter to sell the said pieces or parcels of ground and premises at public auction upon such terms and conditions ... as said parties of the second part ... shall deem advantageous and proper and to convey the same in fee simple, to the purchaser ... and to retain as compensation a commission of 5% on the amount of the said sale(s). Secondly to pay whatever may then remain unpaid of the said notes and the interest thereon...' Peter McNamara was unable to pay John Quincy Adams Jr. themoney he owed for the purchase of Columbia Mills property. He therefore was forced into a payment arrangement with Riggs and Fox, with the property serving as equity. DC Recorder of Deeds, Land Records Liber 671, Folio 51-54.
Tax Assessment for Holt House, Henry C. Holt owner 1/1/1872 no entry for Henry Holt Nat'l Archives, RG351 Records of Gov. of DC for County of Washington, Vol. 3, 1872-73
Land Transfer Deed from John Quincy Adams exd. to Peter McNamara (Columbia Mills property) 2/6/1872 'Between John Quincy Adams Trustee under an indebtedness of four parts dated January 12, 1871 with whom William C. Johnson [Louisa Catherine Adams' husband] of Newbury in the county of Essex and Commonwealth of Massachusetts in testimony of his consent in writing to the conveyances as required by said indenture of the first part and Peter McNamara of the City of Washington in the District of Columbia of the second part..."All of the piece or parcel of land lying and being in the county of Washington and District aforesaid and is part of a tract of land called 'Lamar's Outlet or Pleasant Plains' as recorded Liber 20 folio 153. Beginning for the same at a stone planted at the end of 13 perches of the Southeast line of aforesaid tract of land on the east bank of Rock Creek about five feet above the mouth of a small branch... In part of the 'Addition to the Rock of Dumbarton' thence northwest to intersect with 'Lamar's Outlet'... to a stone on the west side of Rock Creek... containing three acres and 38 perches of land. Together with all the improvements, ways, easements, rights, priviledges and appurtenances.' Peter McNamara purchased 3 acres and 38 perches of Columbia Mills property along Rock Creek. See following entry from the same date for additional acreage purchased. DC Recorder of Deeds, Land Records Liber 670, District of Columbia, folio 293-297.
Land Transfer Deed from John Quincy Adams exd. to Peter McNamara (Columbia Mills property) 2/6/1872 'Between John Quincy Adams of Quincy in the County of Norfolk and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts trustee under an indenture of four parts dated January 12, 1871 and William C. Johnson of Newbury in the County of Essex and Commonwealth aforesaid who joins herein to attest the assent required by said indenture. None of his children by his late wife Louisa C. Adams being of age of the first part and Peter McNamara of the City of Washington in the District of Columbia of the second part..."All that piece or parcel of land lying and being in the County of Washington and District aforesaid and is part of a tract called 'Pretty Prospect' which was formerly conveyed by James Dunlop by deed to John Quincy Adams as recorded WB9 folio 228. Beginning at a point where formerly stood a bounded Hickory near Rock Creek and about forty yards below (where stood) the Blacksmith Shop and running thence west 3 perches to the southwest side of Rock Creek... to a stone corner of Uriah Forrests land thence northeast 6 perches to the sixteenth line of 'Pretty Prospect'... to a tract called 'Plain Dealings'... containing 20 acres 3 rods 26 perches of land. Together with all the improvements, ways, easements, rights, priviledges and appurtenances.'" Peter McNamara purchased 20 acres 3 rods 26 perches of Columbia Mills in addition to the other 3 acres 38 perches he aquired on the same day. Mill buildings were not mentioned in the deed. DC Recorder of Deeds, Land Records Liber 670, District of Columbia, folio 295-297.
Land Transfer Deed from William Johnson to John Quincy Adams, Jr., re: Columbia Mills property 2/23/1871 'William C. Johnson of Newbury in County of Essex and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in consideration of $1 after sufficient consideration paid by John Quincy Adams of Quincy in the county of Norfolk in said Commonwealth the trustee named in a certain indenture of four parts ... hereby give grant remise release and forever quit claim unto the said John Quincy Adams trustee as aforesaid ... that tract of land lying upon both banks of Rock Creek in the county of Washington in the District of Columbia together with the buildings thereon commonly known as the Columbia Mills being the same premises conveyed to the late John Quincy Adams by George Johnson in 1823 excepting that percel heretofore conveyed by Charles Frances Adams as trustee to Gurden Snowden and others and also another small lot conveyed by Charles Frances Adams as trustee to Mrs. Hobbie said lands having been devised by the last will of John Quincy Adams. ... This conveyance is made by virtue of a decree of equity Charles Frances Adams versus William C. Johnson and others pending in said court in the county of Norfolk. To have and to hold the granted premises with all the priviledges and appurtenances thereunto belonging to the said John Quincy Adams trustee...'" William C. Johnson, husband to the late Mary Louisa Adams Johnson, had financial difficulties. In order to protect the Adams' family assets, the ownership of the Columbia Mills property was transfered to John Quincy Adams, Jr. DC Recorder of Deeds, Land Records Liber 640, Folio 146-147.
Tax Assessment for Holt House, Henry C. Holt owner 1/1/1874 Henry C. Holt, located near Columbia Road==26 acres assessed value 10,200"Improvements 5,000"Total value $15,200==Tax assessed at $240.16 Within a six year time period the land value appreciated slightly but the value of the improvements remained the same. Nat'l Archives, RG351 Records of Gov. of DC for County of Washington, Vol. 4, 1873-74, p. 131
Tax Assessment for Holt House, Henry C Holt owner 1/1/1875 Henry C. Holt near Columbia Road"listed under category of farms==12 1/2 acres assessed value 600/acre" total 7,500"13 1/2 acres assessed value 200/acre" total $2,700"house assessed value $5,000" Entry indicates a subdivision of the lot since the figures match the totals listed in Vol. 8 for the same year. However, there was only one house listed at the same assessed value as for the previous year. Note that the overall acreage had decreased. Nat'l Archives, RG351 Records of Gov of DC for the County of Washington, Vol. 7, 1875, p.213-14 213-214
Tax Assessment of Holt House; Henry C Holt owner 1/1/1875 Henry C. Holt near Columbia Road==26 acres total land value 10,200"Improvements 5,000"Total value $15,200 Entry matches the entry from Vol. 7. Note that the $5,000 value 'house' in Vol. 7 was here called 'improvements', therby indicating that the two terms were used interchangably. Nat'l Archives, RG351 Records of Gov of DC for the County of Washington, Vol. 8, 1874-75, p.142
Land Trasfer Deed from Charles Frances Adams to John Quincy Adams Jr., re: Columbia Mills land 2/23/1871 'Charles Frances Adams of Quincy in the county of Norfolk and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as I am trustee under the will of John Quincy Adams late of Quincy in consideration of $1 and after sufficient considerations paid by John Quincy Adams Junior of said Quincy to trustee under a certain indenture of four parts ... do hereby give grant remise release and forever quit claim unto the said John Quincy Adams trustee as aforesaid that tract of land lying upon both banks of Rock Creek in the county of Washington and District of Columbia. Together with the buildings thereon commonly known as the Columbia Mills being the same premises conveyed to said John Quincy Adams by George Johnson ... excepting that paid theretofore by me as trustee to Gurden Snowden and others, and also another small lot conveyed by me as trustee to Mrs. Hobbie... To have and to hold the granted premises with all the priviledges and appurtenances thereto belonging to said John Quincy Adams trustee...'=======================1/1/98" Charles Frances Adams transfered ownership of the Columbia Mill property to his son John Quincy Adams Junior, excepting land previously conveyed to the Union Benevolent Association and Mrs. Hobbie. CFA incorectly stated that his father, John Quincy Adams, purchased the land from George Johnson (it was from James Dunlop via Roger Johnson). DC Recorder of Deeds, Land Records Liber 640, Folio 142-143.
Tax Assessment for Holt House; Henry C Holt owner 1/1/1876 Henry C. Holt near Columbia Road==26 acres value of land 10,200"Improvements 5,000"Total value $15,200 There was no change in value of land or improvements from the previous year. Nat'l Archives, RG351 Records of Gov. of DC for the County of Washington, Vol. 9, 1876, p. 140
Tax Assessment for Holt House; Henry C Holt owner 1/1/1877 Henry C. Holt near Columbia Road==26 acres value of land 7,025"Improvements 5,000"Total value $12,025==also lists in margin 13 1/2 acres value 2,025" Improvements 2,500" 11 41/100 acres value 4,564" Total value $9,089" Note individual lot values and acreage do not match corresponding totals. An extra 1 59/100 acres at $436 value is missing. Improvements were only listed for the 13 1/2 acres lot, which must refer to Holt House. Note thatimprovement values are inconsistent ($5,000 and $2,500). Nat'l Archives, RG351 Records of Gov. of DC for the County of Washington, Vol. 10, 1876-77, p.146 146
Land Transfer Deed from Thomas Jackson to Henry Holt, re: Holt House property 9/10/1877 'Between Thomas A. Jackson of the state of Virginia trustee, of the first part, and Henry Holt of Washington City, District of Columbia, of the second part. Whereas the said Henry Holt and Susan J. Holt his wife, by their deed of indenture duly made and executed, bearing date on or about 4th of March 1854, did grant and convey to the said Thomas A. Jackson and to his heirs and assigns, all that tract of land called Jackson Hill being a part of Pretty Prospect, lying in the County of Washington, District aforesaid, ... containing 13 3/4 acres, 21 perches of land, more or less being the same piece or parcel of land conveyed by Ashton Alexander to said Henry Holt by deed ... also all that lot, piece or parcel of ground, situate, lying and being in the said county and District, which was conveyed to said Henry Holt by Robert T. Wharton by deed bearing date 18th September 1848, being a part of a larger division of a tract of land called Mt. Pleasant ... containing 13 acres 23 perches of land ... and also certain goods and chattels more particularily mentioned and described in said deed, in trust to secure the payment of three certain promissory notes of said Henry Holt to one Horatio Holt ... and whereas the said notes, with interest and costs, have been fully paid ... and the said Henry Holt is entitled in law to a reconveyance of the premises.'" After payment of his debts, Henry Holt was able to regain title to Holt House in 1877. DC Recorder of Deeds, Land Records Liber 866, Folio 178-179.
Tax Assessment for Holt House; Henry C Holt owner" 1/1/1879 Henry C. Holt near Columbia Road==13 1/2 acres assessed value 100/acre" value of land 1,350" improvements assessed value 2,500"Total value $3,850==lists brick house as description of improvements"both lots listed as agricultural under remarks==11 41/100 acres assessed value 350" value of land 3,994"Total value $3,994" The land value decreased significantly in only 4 yrs for both lots. The entry for a single brick house on 13 1/2 acres matches the entry in Vol. 10, 1879. Nat'l Archives, RG351 Records of Gov. of DC for the County of Washington, Vol. 12, 1878-79, p.106106
DC Census Record for the Henry Holt family 1/1/1880 Index book missing at both the National Archives and the MLK Library. Nat'l Archives, Microfilm Room
Land Transfer Deed from Henry and Susan Holt to Charles D. and Henry R. et al (sons) 9/15/1880 'Between Henry Holt and Susan J. Holt his wife, of the County of Washington in the District of Columbia, of the first part and Charles D. Holt and Henry R. Holt of the same county and District of the second part."... convey and assigns forever, all that certain piece parcel or tract of land situate lying and being in County of Washington in the District of Columbia known and described as being part of 'Pretty Prospect'... containing 13 3/4 acres and 29 perches of land, more or less. Together with all the improvements, ways, easements, rights, priviledges and appurtenances to the same belonging or in any wise appertainig... to their sole use, benefit and behoof forever as joint-tenants.'==A second deed follows the first to transfer all the parent's possessions to their sons. 'Convey all and singular the household furniture, cooking utensils and personal chaltels now in the house occupied by the said parties of the first part.' In their advanced years, Mr. and Mrs. Holt transfered ownership of Holt House and its land to their sons. DC Recorder of Deeds, Land Records Liber 947, District of Columbia, folio 405-408.
The Transactions of the American Medical Association, entry on Dr. Ashton Alexander 1/1/1881 p. 495-496"Ashton Alexander was born in 1772 near Arlington, VA and died in Baltimore in Feb, 1855. Alexandria, VA was named in honor of his ancestors. ==He commenced his medical studies in Frederick, MD and received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1795. He moved to Baltimore in 1796 where he practiced medicine for more than 40 years. He was a founder of the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of Maryland and served as their Secretary and later as President. He was also a founding member of the American Medical Association. ==In 1799 Alexander married Elizabeth Thomas and they had eight children none of whom survived him. Ashton Alexander is described as a very distinguished and prominent member of Baltimore society. He purchased Holt House at age 63. Since he remained professionally active in Baltimore until 1850, Holt House could not have been his primary residence. Univ of MD at Baltimore, Health Science Library, pub: Philadelphia, PA: Collins, Vol XXXII, 1881.
Book of John Quincy Adams by John T. Morse, Jr. 1/1/1882 p. 243"'When he [JQA] first takes seat in Congress he presents fifteen petitions signed numerously by citizens of Pennsylvania, praying for the abolition of slavery and the slave-trade in the District of Columbia... That he had always cherished an abhorrence of slavery and a bitter antipathy to slave-holders as a class is sufficiently indicated by many chance remarks scattered through his Diary from early years.' John Quincy Adams was against the principle and practice of slavery therefore making it unlikely that he would have tolerated slaves at the Columbia Mills. Nat'l Museum of American History, Main Library, publisher: Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1882
Land Transfer Deed from James Edwards to James Christmas, re: the Columbia Mills property 11/23/1882 'Between James S. Edwards, John Selden and William J. Miller of the City of Washington, in the District of Columbia, trustees of the first part, and James Y. Christmas, William W. Whitney, Myra C. Whitney and JulesWhitney, children and only heirs at law of William G. Whitney, deceased, all of said city and district, of the second part. Whereas in pursuance of certain decrees of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia, passed in a cause depending in said Court, wherein Hillio Boyd et al were complainants, and Peter McNamara et al defendants, being Equity Cause No. 4877, the said parties of the first part, on or about the 4th day of March 1880, made sale of real estate and premises hereinafter described, and conveyed to the said James Y. Christmas and William G. Whitney at and for the sum of $1,800 which sale by a further decree of said Court, passed in said Cause on or about the 17th day of April 1880, was finally ratified and confirmed and on the payment of purchase money aforesaid, the said parties of the first part were directed to convey said property to the said Christmas and the said W.W. Whitney their heirs and assigns as tenants in common ... hereby acknowledged, have granted, bargained, sold ... unto the said parties of the second part, their heirs and assigns as tenants in common and not as joint tenants, all those two certain parcels or tracts of land situate and lying in the County of Washington in the District of Columbia, and known as and being the 'Columbia Mills Property', sometimes known as and called the 'Adams Mill Property' and being a part of a tract of land called 'Pleasant Plains', once called 'Lamar's Outlet' and a part of a tract called 'Pretty Prospect'... containing 20 acres, 3 rods and 26 perches of land more or less. Together with the improvements thereon, and all the rights ways, easements, priviledges and appurtenances thereto belonging or in anywise appertaining. To have and to hold the said tracts or parcels of ground, with the improvements thereon and the appurtenances thereto belonging...'" James Edwards purchased the Columbia Mills when Peter McNamara failed to secure payment of his loans. Edwards then conveyed the Mills property to James Christmas, only to have it convert back to him the following year. DC Recorder of Deeds, Land Records Liber 1024, Folio 195-197.
Land Transfer Deed from James Edwards to Pacificus Ord, re: the Columbia Mills property 2/18/1884 'Between James S. Edwards of the City of Washington in the District of Columbia trustee partly of the first part and Pacificus Ord of the same place party of the second part. Witnesseth whereas in pursuance of certain decrees of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia passed in a cause defending in said Court wherein Whitney et al are complainants and one James Y. Christmas is defendant being equity clause No. 8728 the said party of the first part on or about the 12th day of February 1884 made sale of the real estate and premises hereinafter described and conveyed to the said party of the second part at and for the sum or price of $1,600 which sale by a further decree of said court passed in said cause on the 14th day of February 1884 was finally ratified and confirmed and in pursuance of said decrees and the proceedings in said cause, the said party of the first part on the payment of purchase money, aforesaid was authorized and directed to convey all of the interest title and estate of the parties ... to the second part ... convey all of the interest title and estate of the parties to the cause aforesaid in and to those two certain parcels or tracts of land situated lying in the County of Washington in the District of Columbia and known as and being the Columbia Mills Property sometimes known as and called the Adams Mill Property and being a part of a tract of land called Pleasant Plains and called Lamar's Outlet and a part of a tract called Pretty Prospect ... and containing 3 acres and 38 perches of land more or less and ... for the other piece or parcels ... containing 20 acres 3 rods and 26 perches of land more or less. Together with the improvements thereon and all the rights ways easements priviledges and appurtenances thereto belonging or in anywise appertaining ... survey thereof made by B.D. Carpenter Surveyor on the 6th day of February 1884... To have and to hold the said tracts or parcels of ground with the improvements thereon and the appurtenances thereto belonging.'" Pacificus Ord purchased the Columbia Mills property from James Edwards in 1884, only five years before the creation of the NZP. Note that the tract of land was surveyed in 1884, yet only five years later the boundary lines were not clearly known. DC Recorder of Deeds, Land Records Liber 1074, Folio 13-16.
Shoemaker Family History by Thomas H. Shoemaker, Germantown, PA, Jan 1888 1/1/1888 Jonathan Shoemaker's grandparents emigrated from Cresheim, Germany to Pennsylvania, following William Penn's preachings. The family settled in (Shoemakertown) Cheltenham, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania and became a prominent and prolific family. The family burying ground was located at Cheltenham Road near York Road in Shoemakertown, PA.==p. 14 'The first grist mill was built in Shoemakertown on the shares by agreement November 6, 1746 with Dorothy widow of Isaac Shoemaker by Richard Mather and John Tyson, the ground belonging to the estate.'"it was a corn and grist water-mill;==p. 24 'Isaac Shoemaker married Elizabeth Potts (first wife) on April 24, 1754 at her father's house==David, born February 23, 1755"Jonathan, born May 10, 1756 ==Second marriage to Ann Roberts in 1761==David and Jonathan moved to Georgetown, DC and George, the son of one (Jonathan) was the father of Dr. William L Shoemaker.' Jonathan Shoemaker came from a prominent Quaker family in Pennsylvania. Since his relatives operated a corn and grist mill near Philadelphia, Jonathan's interest and skills in milling most likely developed from his family. Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Geneological Division, Family Record Books


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