Frisby Harris

18 year old Calvert County resident Frisby Harris was born into slavery on the plantation of William Harris, above Parker’s Creek overlooking the Chesapeake Bay.  William Harris loaned Frisby to Dr. John Beall at some point during the war, and it was from Beall’s property that Frisby made his escape on July 16, 1814.  He helped the British loot tobacco and furniture from Beall and burn the manor house while Beall was away serving as an officer in the militia.  Frisby joined the British as a soldier and later helped them to burn the Calvert County courthouse and jail in Prince Frederick.

At the time of his escape, Frisby Harris was valued at five hundred dollars and posed a significant financial loss for William Harris.  According to the treaties signed at the end of the war, William Harris’ estate received compensation from Britain in the amount of $280 in 1828.  There was no record of Frisby Harris after the end of the war, but it is probable that he ended up in Nova Scotia or Tangier Island, Maryland with many of the other escaped slaves.


Maryland State Archives. “Frisby Harris.” Maryland State Archives Biographical Series. (2010, December 06). Retrieved from

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