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Sotterley Plantation St. Mary's County Maryland

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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: Sotterley, St. Mary's, Marylandmap
Surnames/tags: Plater Slavery
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Plantations Index



The Sotterley Plantation's history begins around 1717 when James Bowles received the property and built the main part of the present mansion.[1]

After the death of James Bowles, his widow, Rebecca, married George Plater II. When Rebecca Bowles Plater died the property passed to her 3 daughters and George Plater II purchased the plantation from Rebecca's daughters.[1] At his death in 1755 the plantation passed to his son George Plater III. Sotterley Plantation stayed in the Plater family passing to George Plater the IV. He died as a young man and the plantation was handed to George Plater V. He only owned Sotterley for a short while. Debts mounted and he sold to his step uncle, Col. William Clarke Sommerville. Somerville only kept the plantation for a short time before he sold it to Thomas Barber, who then died in 1826.[2] Thomas in his will handed the farm called Sotterly to his daughter Lydia C. Barber and his adopted daughter Emeline C. Dallam.

Emeline Dallam married Dr. Walter Briscoe and the plantation was again in new hands. It stayed in the Briscoe family until after the Civil War.

The Sotterley Plantation was purchased in 1910 by Herbert L. Satterlee and his wife, Louisa Pierpont Morgan. It is currently a non-profit organization whose mission is to educate the public about it's history and is concerned with the bringing the descendants of both former enslaved and former owners in their Common Grounds initiative.[3]

Plantation Owners


For more information please see:

In 1739 under the ownership of George Plater II these 2 enslaved persons were arrested, kept in jail for a year and then hanged. They were accused of poisoning the overseer.[9]

  • Judy
  • Pompy

  • In 1771 Frank ran away. He was about 25 years of age, formerly belonged to Geroge Plater Esquire[10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 https://tile.loc.gov/storage-services/master/pnp/habshaer/md/md0700/md0701/data/md0701data.pdf
    • p.8
  2. Wills 1658-1916 ; index 1658-1946: "Maryland Register of Wills Records, 1629-1999"
    Catalog: Wills 1658-1916 ; index 1658-1946
    Image path: Maryland Register of Wills Records, 1629-1999 > St. Mary's > Wills 1820-1857 vol 1-2 > image 114 of 744
    FamilySearch Image: 33S7-9YMH-YWL (accessed 18 April 2022)
    • 1826 will of Thomas Barber
  3. https://www.sotterley.org/common-ground/
  4. Inventories of estates, 1718-1777: "Inventories of estates, 1718-1777"
    Catalog: Inventories of estates, 1718-1777 Vols. 12-14 1727-1729
    Film number: 007541599 > image 336 of 725
    FamilySearch Image: 3QS7-9981-SS44-P (accessed 18 April 2022)
    • Vol 13 p.79-92
  5. The county courthouses and records of Maryland : part two: the records https://www.familysearch.org/library/books/viewer/346054/?offset=0#page=167&viewer=picture&o=&n=0&q=
    • p.157
  6. Inventories: "Maryland Register of Wills Records, 1629-1999"
    Catalog: Inventories Liber JJ 1795-1800 1800-1803 Liber IF 1803-1807
    Image path: Maryland Register of Wills Records, 1629-1999 > St. Mary's > Inventories 1795-1807 > image 424 of 767
    FamilySearch Image: 33SQ-GYMJ-HRS (accessed 18 April 2022)
    • 1802 estate inventory of George Plater
  7. Historic Stotterley https://www.baldwinbriscoe.com/wp-content/uploads/the-briscoe-era.pdf
    • p.46
  8. Maryland County Commissioner of Slave Statisticts http://mdhistory.msa.maryland.gov/msa_c1698/msa_c1698_1/html/msa_c1698_1-0328.html
  9. http://slavery.msa.maryland.gov/pdf/md-slavery-guide-2020.pdf
    • p.35
  10. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/312925/george-plater-iii-runaway-frank/
    • The Maryland Gazette, Annapolis, Maryland, 18 Jul 1771, Thu, Page 3
  • Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sotterley_(Hollywood,_Maryland)
  • Sotterley Plantation History: https://www.sotterley.org/our-history/

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