Chapter III


(Page numbers from 1888 Green Book in [square brackets].)

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David Shriver, Sr., Little Pipe Creek, Md.


Born March 30th, 1735. Died January 30th, 1826, aged 90 years, 8 months. May 8th, 1761 — Married Rebecca Ferree. Born January 21st, 1742. Died November 24th, 1812, aged 70 years, 10 months, 3 days.

The early life of David Shriver at Conewago, Pennsylvania, and his subsequent career in Maryland, have been graphically described by Judge Shriver in the foregoing narrative. The following, which appeared at the time of his demise, is in harmony with the narrative referred to, and will aid in the formation of an accurate judgment of his character and public services:

“David Shriver departed this life at his residence, Little Pipe Creek, Maryland, in the gist year of his age. He closed his useful and honorable life in peace with all men, and in the cheering hope of a blissful immortality. His latter end was the calmness of repose, tranquil and serene. Born at a period when the blessing of education was restricted almost exclusively to the sons of the Affluent, it was the lot of Mr. Shriver, whose parents were humble, to be left to his own unaided power in the acquisition of knowledge. His youth was spent in a sparsely settled country, where the voice of civilized man rarely gladdened the ear. Taught, by his parents, the bare elements of language; debarred, by his situation, the bland influence of society; and cut off almost entirely from every avenue of knowledge, the attainments of Mr. Shriver in the mechanical arts, in the pure science of mathematics, and in general information, must be considered remarkable.

“About sixty years since he came to this State and procured a patent for the land which he occupied thereafter till his death, and where his grave is now seen. When the troublous period of the Revolution arrived, he was one of freedom’s active partisans, and [46] was of sufficient consequence in the country to be elected a member of the Convention which adopted and established the Declaration of Rights, and the Constitution of the State. “More than once he was admonished by imposing warnings that ‘King George’s men’ had set a price upon his head, and that his property was marked for confiscation, and his family doomed to suffer the consequences. But amid all the vicissitudes of events his course was unwavering, and he continued his exertions, as one of the Committee of Safety, until all danger was past.

“For more than thirty successive years (with but one interruption which his private duties rendered indispensable) he served his fellow-citizens in the General Assembly as a delegate from the county, and, afterwards, in the Senate, until a stroke of palsy, some years since, rendered it necessary that he should vacate his seat.

“As a public character, Mr. Shriver was respected for his intelligence and discriminating judgment. He rarely obtruded his views upon the attention of either House, but his opinion was ever sought and regarded by his fellow-members in all momentous questions. He was a decided supporter, at all times, of Republican principles.

“In private life he was plain and unostentatious. He was highly esteemed by the people of the neighborhood. in which he dwelt for his practical friendship, manifested in his intercourse with them. Notwithstanding his decrepitude for many years past — the effect of paralysis — he retained his mental faculties, though measurably impaired, until the instant of his death. He has arranged, by his will, for the liberation of his slaves, about thirty in number, the advanced in age being provided for.”

The tribute penned by judge Shriver to the memory and worth of Rebecca Shriver, appears in the conclusion of his narrative, and precludes the necessity of further reference. One thing, however, may be added which was often spoken of by those familiar with her domestic life, viz., the care which she ever manifested for the moral and religious improvement of those subject to her authority. She was in the habit of reading the Word of God, and conducting family worship with her assembled household, including the servants. The   [48]   German hymn book, which was used by her on those occasions, is in the keeping of one of her descendants, and is an object of great interest.

The descriptive words of the virtuous woman, in the Book of Proverbs — “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up and call her blessed; her husband, also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all” — may justly be ascribed to her.

Children of David Shriver, Sr., and Rebecca, his wife — ANDREW, RACHEL, DAVID, ABRAHAM, MARY, ISAAC, JACOB and SUSANNA. These, as heads of families, will receive attention, in the order named, being that of their respective births.