Declaration Signer Samuel ChaseSamuel Chase Autograph Endorsement Signed as Chief Justice of Maryland General Court. Two pages, 15.5" x 9.5", Baltimore, September 2, 1793. In full: "By the act of Nov. 1789 - The Commissioners of Baltimore town have no Power over the Space of 150 foot from the front mark'd lots house at the march to the [illegible] to be made into ground it will be noted in the Commissioners for the rest of the town - Saml Chase 4 Sept 1793."
The endorsement is written beneath a petition presented to the Commissioners of Baltimore Town by Thomas McElderry and Cumberland Dugan requesting "permission from the Port Wardens of Baltimore to extend out wharfs... We find that it rests with you by Law Nov 1784 c. 62.. s. 2, to limit how much shall be left for Market Houses and with power to extend the same to the Channel... We propose having a canal in the market space... The Canal we propose as a conveniency to get to our lots and to the market as we see no immediate prospect of the Publick's filling up the whole space to the Channel and in its present state a very great nuisance." McElderry and Dugan sign as the petitioners. On the verso is a manuscript map identifying their lots and detailing their plans for extending their wharves and adding a canal. Document is heavily toned and fragile, with several chips along edges. Small area of fold repair on verso
Thomas McElderry and Cumberland Dugan were successful flour merchants in Baltimore in the late 1700s, who devised a plan to build row houses in the city of Baltimore, ultimately influencing the architectural flavor of the entire city. The Federal style of row houses was gaining popularity in Georgian London, and McElderry and Dugan recognized an ideal business opportunity that would also fulfill a need for housing in their own city. In order to build these houses, they needed to first extend the wharves on each of their lots on Water Street.
Samuel Chase represented Maryland at the Continental Congress and was a Signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was appointed by George Washington as an associate justice on the Supreme Court, and was impeached for allegedly allowing his political leanings affect his court decisions. He was acquitted, and went on to serve on the court until his death in 1811.
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