Mary Ann Clark Notes


Mary Ann Clark lived with her mother in a house that stood about where Carillon House is today.


Mary Ann Clark (1790?-1865) was the stepdaughter of John Magruder of Dunblane (Forestville, Maryland); sister of Mariamne Craik French, of Friendship; and aunt to W.D.C. Murdock and to Mary Virginia French (who was married to the son of General John Mason).

Her parents were Dr. David Clark (1766?-1792) of Prince Georges, and Eleanor Hall. In 1803 Mary Ann, and her older sister Mariamne, inherited slaves from their maternal grandfather. Miss Clark derived income from hiring out her slaves to other households––and had at least one transaction that suggests that she held a mortgage––but was apparently also dependent on her relatives (to whom she was known as Polly).

Mariamne Clark married Addison Murdock, April 13, 1805, and was widowed by 1809. Their son was William David Clark Murdock. Their daughter was Mary Virginia French, because Mariamne’s second husband was Charles French. (Effie Gwynn Bowie, Across the Years in Prince Georges County, 1947)


“Public sale at Union Tavern, Georgetown, of real estate, property of CHARLES FRENCH, deceased; 110 acres above Georgetown at Tenley Town, & near Frederick Wetzel. ––Mariamne C. French, trustee.” (Intelligencer, March 4, 1818)


Washington County Court, in Chancery, June term, 1818. George French vs. Mariamne C. French, widow, and Virginia French, heiress at law of Charles French, deceased. Mariamne French, trustee, reports sale of real estate of Charles French, deceased, to wit: part of Friendship in Washington County, 110 acres, the north part next to Tenley Town, 55 acres sold to Clement Smith; south part, 55 acres, to Nathan Luffborough. (Intelligencer, September 3, 1818) (The 55 acres was later called Dunblane.)


“Died, April 14, at the seat of Mrs. French, near Georgetown, Charles T. Clark, Lt., USN, age 32. He leaves a widow and an infant child.” (Intelligencer, April 22, 1819)


Lt. Charles Clark, USN, died April 14, 1819, near Georgetown, age 32, leaving wife Susan B., and child Susan Maria. Mariamne C. French and George French were witnesses. (DC Probate)

Mary Ann and Mariamne’s mother Eleanor Hall’s second marriage was to John Smith Magruder.

Mary Ann Clark and her mother were in DC by 1822, witnesses of the will of Ann Maria Clark, and in 1827, of Elizabeth Magruder. (DC Probate)

Mary Ann Clark has DC deeds between 1824 and 1830, that appear to be mortgages she held on Joshua Pierce of Linnean Hill. (DC Libers WB11 (1824) f.74/49. And WB32 (1830) f.103/66)

Mary Virginia French (1811-1851)––daughter of Charles French, and niece of Mary Ann Clark––married Maynadier Mason––son of Gen. John Mason, grandson of George Mason––November 18, 1830, at French’s farm “Friendship”.

Mariamne Craik French died March 4, 1849. Her will leaves all furniture to sister Mary Ann Clark.

In the 1850 census, Eleanor Magruder, 84, lived with her daughter Mary Ann Clark, 60, at the foot of Pole Hill.

She also appears on 1850 slave list, p.723.

Eleanor Magruder died August 7, 1852, age 87, and is buried at Dunblane, in Forestville, Maryland.


Letter from Margaret Rogers Chandler, Georgetown, to Jane Gantt, Millersville, Maryland, mentioning Polly (i.e. Mary Ann) Clark, December 17, 1851. (private collection.)


Clark’s niece, Mary Virginia French Mason, died November 16, 1851; her funeral was held in Georgetown. At the time, Margaret Rogers Chandler of Georgetown wrote that Mason’s daughter Mariamne, and her two youngest boys, were to be left in the care of Virginia’s aunt Polly (i.e. Mary Ann) Clark. (Letter from Margaret Rogers Chandler, Georgetown, to Jane Gantt, Millersville, Maryland, December 17, 1851, private collection.)

This may explain why Clark remembered those three Mason children in her will.


Richard Lay (born 1780, Connecticut?), was a discount clerk of the Union Bank, Georgetown, and may have been the builder, by 1830, of a house on “High street, above Madison”.  (1830 directory; DC Liber AY49 (1820) f.23/14: Part of lot 265 in Beatty and Hawkins’ Addition, on the west side of High, to Back street; also, part of lot 253, in Wilberforce.)

Some time after Lay’s death (circa 1834) this house passed to Roswell Woodward. 1855, Mary Ann Clark buys parts of lots 264 and of 265, on High Street, in Beatty and Hawkins’ Addition to Georgetown, from Benjamin S. Bohrer, who bought a year earlier from Roswell Woodward. (It seems that Miss Clark had been Woodward’s tenant, and that Dr. Benjamin Schenkmyer Bohrer (1787-1862) bought the property specifically to sell it to Clark.DC Liber JAS91 (1855) f.467/354. )

1858 Directory of Georgetown: Miss Mary Clark, “foot of Pole Hill“.


Mary Ann Clark, Ann Green, and Margaret Barber socialized:

June 26, Miss Clark complains of depredations by soldiers.

June 27, Miss Clark agitated over expected arrival of “the Highland Regiment at Mt. Alto”.

July 23, Mrs. Barber and Miss Clark spend the day at Rosedale, listening to accounts of Bull Run.

September 26, Miss Clark dines at Highland [James and Henrietta Nourse], then visits Rosedale.

(Ann Forrest Green, James Nicholas Payne, The 1861 Diary of Ann (Forrest) Green of Rosedale, J.N. Payne, 1991, DAR Library)





“Mary Ann Clark’s colored man”, October 22, 1833. (William King’s Mortality Books, Vol.2)

There is an 1853 deed-of-gift from Maynadier Mason, grandson of George Mason, granting his “negro slave woman named Lucy and aged about 26 years” to his late wife’s maternal aunt, Mary Ann Clark. (George Mason University Libraries, Special Collections and Archives)

Miss Clark and Mrs. Barber at Rosedale; Miss Clark is crushed, her “servants yield nothing”, her means from Virginia are cut off, she has no relations near her. (December 5, 1861, Ann Forrest Green, James Nicholas Payne, The 1861 Diary of Ann (Forrest) Green of Rosedale, J.N. Payne, 1991, DAR Library)


In 1862, when slavery ended in the District of Columbia, Mary Ann Clark filed for compensation for sixteen slaves, among them, Lucy Clark, given to her by Maynadier Mason 1853:


Clark, Lucy  (32)––seamstress, lady’s maid

Clark, Jack  (7)

Foster, Nace  (34)––carpenter

Hutchins, Susan  (36)––cook

Hutchins, Mary  (19)––house servant

Hutchins, Rachael  (16)––house servant

Hutchins, David  (15)––house servant

Hutchins, Tobias  (13)––house servant

Hutchins, George  (12)

Hutchins, Eliza  (9)

Hutchins, Louisa  (5)

Jackson, Rachael  (65)––cook

Ridgeley, Clara  (24)––house servant

Ridgeley, Jim  (7)

Ridgeley, William  (3)

Stewart, Edmond  (47)––hostler, teamster


In 1862 Mary Ann Clark  filed for compensation for sixteen slaves.


We should not assume that these slaves were all employed in Clark’s household. The comment recorded by Ann Green––that Clark’s “servants” yielded nothing––suggests that Clark depended heavily on the income of hiring their service out to others. This is confirmed by the number of Mary Ann Clark’s slaves––sixteen––which seems inordinate for what looks to have been a woman of limited means. (To judge by Clark’s will, it may be that only her cook Susan Hutchins, and some of her children, would have been present in Miss Clark’s house on most days.)




At the end of the Civil War, Clark’s 1865 Assessment shows she still owned the north part of lot 265, Beatty and Hawkins’ Addition to Georgetown, to Back St., with a frame dwelling only worth $700.

She also owned a three story brick building on part of lots 6,7,8, on Bridge [M] Street, below Georgetown College, which she must have rented out. The assessment also records that her property was transferred to Ignatius Clark’s heirs.

A deed refers to a case in the Supreme Court of DC, February 8, 1865: Clark is plaintiff against Maynadier Mason. Marshall Ward Lamon to sell Mason’s property on Bridge Street and deliver $3790––or the deed?–– to Clark. (DC Liber RMH16, f.209)



Died, Mary Ann Clarke, 76, daughter of Dr. David Clarke of Prince Georges. (Georgetown Courier, December 9, 1865)


Clarks’s will Box 35, DC, was witnessed by Caroline Dulany [Mount Alban], and James and Henrietta Nourse, [Highland]. She may be buried at her stepfather’s Dunblane, Forestville, Maryland.

Legatees are three children of her niece, Mary Virginia Mason:

Robert F. Mason, Marianne C. Mason, and William [?] Mason.

A sister, Ellen Ewell, is named (and a niece, Louise Childs?)

Clark’s former slave, Susan Hutchins, was to enjoy a life tenancy to live out her days at rear of Clark’s lot, on Back Street. Susan Hutchins was Clark’s cook, born in 1826, freed in 1862, who had seven children.


“To Let––The dwelling house on the west side of High street, immediately above Mr. Charles Homiller, and late the residence of Mary A. Clark, deceased. The house is pleasantly situated and contains from 7 to 8 rooms, with about 2 acres of ground attached to it, planted with trees, &c. There lives on the premises a colored woman, who is a first rate Cook, Washer, and Ironer, and who is willing to give her services to the family who may rent the place, at a fair rate of compensation.” (Evening Star

January 24, 1866, p.3)



Auction sale of Miss Mary Ann Clark’s property, parts of Beatty and Hawkins’ Addition to Georgetown, 264 and 266, subject to a life estate of Sarah Hutchins in a small tenement on the corner of the premises. (Georgetown Courier, September 18, 1866)

By September, 1867, deed shows Clark’s property marked [David] Green. (DC Liber ECE17 f.466)

Tax due from heirs of Miss Clark, on part of Beatty and Hawkins’ Addition to Georgetown, 265, 91 feet wide, 396 feet deep, to Back street. (Georgetown Courier, January 11, 1868)

1871, David Green, son-in-law of Lewis Kengla, is assessed for BH265 with house, and 264, with no improvements.




 Carlton Fletcher

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