Letter written by John Alexander Sedwick (1809 - aft. 1885)
Typed by Rebecca Sedwick Koch
Transcribed to text file by Una A Bowman
The following is a typed copy of the handwritten letter by Rebecca Sedwick Kock.
This is an authentic copy (copied by me) of a letter written by my grandfather
Dr. John Alexander Sedwick to Miss Laura Sedwick in answer to a letter she wrote him.
I have seen and had in my possession for a few days, the original letter
which is in the hands of the Sedwick clan in Calvert Co.
Signed Rebecca Sedwick Koch
This letter was written when grandfather was 76 years old. He practiced medicine for 60 years.
A copy of a letter written by my grandfather - John Alexander Sedwick on May 12, 1885. St. Leonard's Calvert Co., Maryland.
To Miss Laura Sedwick,
Your favor of the 28th was received a few days ago and I am sorry to say it is out of my power to give you the desired information as fully as I would wish, especially in reference to the diversity of spelling the name. All in this county now are written "Sedwick." Have wondered if the "Sedgwicks" were of the same origin. The same seems to exist in England too, as here - as can be found in the name of Professor Sedgwick also spelt with a "g."
The Sedwick's were among the earliest settlers in Calvert Co. for in the desk of Uncle Joshua Sedwick father of the Reverend John Cook Sedwick, I saw a deed or patent of land, written on parchment from the then Lord Proprietor of Maryland, dated in the year 1660 to one Thomas Sedgwick.
There were political disturbances here during Colonist's times and sundry petitions were sent to Crown of England for a reparation of grievances and among the signers was Thomas Sedgwick in the year 1689. I have seen an authentic copy of that paper. This a friend (a relative of my wife's - the late (E. A. Dalrymple) who at that time was Corresponding Secretary of the Maryland Historical Society, a very learned man and a antiquarian had sent to him from London in manuscript - many pages of extracts and brought them down from Baltimore while on a visit to us, for the purpose of showing them to me, while he prepared them for publication. Again two old papers came in to my hands, by there being a fire at Court House some years ago. The oldest was an account paped in the Orphans Court of Joshua Sedgwick, Executor of Thomas Sedgwick - paped Sept 15, 1703. Even in those days the "g" was put in the name. The other paper was the will of Thomas Sedgwick dated June 13, 1767. He names five children in will. Thomas, John, Wm., Elisha and Mary. His two oldest sons are executors. The oldest son getting the land.
Reverend John Cook S. Had a large tract deeded him by one member of the family. He has all the papers of his father - Uncle Joshua S. Who was the oldest son.
In reference to your branch of the family - I know nothing definite only I remember as a mere child - That a gentleman Reverend George Cook Sedwick who I suppose was your uncle - preached in My father's house, on the occasion of a visit to us in King George Co. Virginia.
Now to begin with our branch - My grandfather's name was John and he married Elizabeth Cook daughter of Dr. George Cook - rector of this parish. He left four sons and three daughters. The eldest son Uncle Joshua lived to be 73 years and died in 1842 or 1843. He was married twice and by his last wife left one son Reverend John Cook Sedwick who is a minister in the M.E. Church - married and has a family. Uncle John, the next, married Miss Rawlings, has a family and lives in Indiana. My father Benjamin, the third son, studied medicine and moved to King George's Co., Virginia to practice and died in Alexandria in 1824 in his 41st year. He married in Virginia, Ann Alexander and left 2 sons and 1 daughter. I am the oldest John Alexander Sedwick, my sister Sarah Ann and my brother George Warren. My sister married Mr. Rawlings - moved to Tennessee and died quite early leaving one daughter. The fourth son, James of my grandfather chose the sea for his vocation and became a Commander of large sea vessels. He married three times and left several daughters and two sons John and Joshua. The latter died - John was a man of handsome ??? - no children, responsible position President of the Board of Co. Commissioners.
Will now commence with myself and family. I was born in Nov. 1809 in King George's Co. Va - Studied medicine and graduated at the University of Maryland in 1830, was married to Rebecca Dalrymple Dawkins and have had 8 children - four sons - four daughters - Two daughters died one in infancy, and Harriet Emma suddenly under distressing circumstances. My four sons are William Alexander, Benjamin Joshua, John Alexander, and George Warren. My daughters are Ann Lomax, Mary Elizabeth, both married - the first is a widow with seven children, the other one has three.
My oldest son, Wm. Alexander, studied medicine at University of Maryland - The same institution that I did, in 1860 and is now practicing in the lower part of Calvert Co. in the village/Solomons. He has married twice and has four children - One son - three daughters.
My second son, Benjamin Joshua, has held some responsible positions - was Deputy Register of Wills 4 years: Then elected by the people as register of Wills for 6 more years ??? in that office. After that he served as Judge of the Orphans Court and is now in Baltimore as Chief Clerk in the State Tobacco Warehouses. He is married and has a large family.
My third son, John Alexander is engaged in farming here - is married and has two children - a son and a daughter.
My fourth son is engaged in merchandising near us and is unmarried. You will perceive we have a large family.
My brother, George Warren is five years younger than I and was born in King George's Co. And came to Maryland with Uncle James Cook Sedwick when he came back to this county and settled down - My brother moved to Missouri when a young man married there and has one son George Warren.
I will now state our connection with the Johnson family for which I am in debt to a young gentleman this county, who a year or two ago was writing the early history of some of the prominent families of Calvert. He says Thomas Johnson, the first immigrant by that name came to Calvert in 1690 and died in 1716. Leaving an only son Thomas, who was born in 1702. This son in 1725 married Dorcas Sedgwick, daughter Joshua and Elizabeth Sedgwick. Among the children of Thomas and Dorcas named in the paper were Thomas and Joshua. The former born in 1732 - a member of Congress - first Governor of Maryland - Brigader General. His niece, Louise Catherine Johnson married John Quincy Adams. Now Joshua Sedgwick - father of Dorcas - is I am inclined to believe our great - grandfather. The paper speaks of no children but Dorcas is he wrote only of the Johnson family. Think he was our great grandfather for this reason there was always kin claimed between our families as the Johnsons and Uncle Joshua Sedgwick went to Frederick Co. Md. When as a young man he was clerk for them in their iron foundry. Have often heard Uncle Joshua speak of it. (Name appears to be Joshua) Johnson (above Spoken of), was at that time commission merchant in London, and nearly all tobacco grown here was shipped to sell there and I have recently been informed by John Sedwick Mills grandson of Uncle John Sedgwick that he had seen letters from him to our grandfather, John Sedgwick and he had called him "My dear cousin" Hope to get hold of one of those original letters soon that would also agree with your impression that our great - grandfather was Joshua Sedgwick.
Thomas and Dorcas Sedgwick Johnson lie buried on a farm They owed, one half mile from residence - have often been there to the graves. Hope I have contributed something and will be satisfied if I have.
Please let me know if you receive this. Best regards.
John Alexander Sedwick.