1792 - 1834
Furnished by : John G. Sharp
1792 - November 9, 1834
Thomas Lyndall, a Master Joiner at the Washington Navy Yard, died at the age of 40 Years and is buried at the
Congressional Cemetery (grave site R30/76) next to his mother Sarah Rowen Lyndall (1756-1829).
Last Will and Testament of |
Thomas Lyndall (1792 1834),
Washington Navy Yard Master Joiner
This transcription was made from a copy of the holographic manuscript of the Last Will and Testament of
Thomas Lyndall , Aug. 12, 1834, probated Nov. 19, 1834; Book 4, pp. 245-247; O.S. 1756; Box 12) filed in the District of Columbia Orphan's Court
(Probate Court). The spelling, punctuation and the use of ampersands are those of the original documents.
My thanks to Mr. Ali Rahmann Archivist, District of Columbia Archives, for generously providing a copy of the Thomas Lyndall's last will and testament for transcription
|John G. Sharp October 4, 2008|
Considering the uncertainty of life and the necessity of preparing for the event of
Death - I Thomas Lyndall of the city of Washington in the District of Columbia being at
this time sound in body and mind hereby declare my last will and testament as follows, to
It is my will and desire that my executors hereinafter names shall settle and pay
all my just debts as it may be practical - I give and bequeath to my Nephew George
Lyndall my gold patent lever watch to be retained however by my Wife till her Death
or marriage during her will and pleasure to her death and or marriage.
I also give and bequeath to my Nephew George Lyndall, my double barrel percussion
gun- and to my Nephew William Lyndall my single barrel percussion gun and single
barrel flint gun -
I direct my said Executors to Sell to dispose of all my remaining possessions of
every Description/excepting and reserving such articles of household furniture as my
widow may desire to retain, which I give and bequeath to her forever/ and to invest the
proceeds thereof in such manner as in their opinion may produce the greatest income
arising consistent always with the best security And the income there from I give and
bequeath to my Wife Mary for her to be used and benefit as long as she remains my
widow, and in the event of her marriage the payment of the said interest or income shall
cease in which case I give and bequeath one third of my whole property in which shall be
set off and paid to her fro her sole use and benefit, and her heirs and assigns for ever- In
the event of the marriage of my widow, I give and bequeath the remaining two thirds of
my whole property to my Nephews who may be living at the time of my Death that is to
say the male children of my brothers and sisters share and share alike to them their heirs
forever. A division to when my said Nephews shall successively arrive at the age of
twenty one years and the income accruing on the whole or two thirds in the case above
mentioned shall be paid annually to the properly authorized person for the sole use of my
said Nephews During their minority according to their several proportions-
I hereby nominate and appoint my Nephew George Lyndall and Cornelius Tiers
of Philadelphia, Executors of this will and request that they will see it carried into effect
according to the true intent and meaning thereof - In testimony whereof I have hereunto
set my hand and affixed my seal this 12th day of August 1834 -
Witnesses } Thomas Lyndall
Jno Etheridge } (SEAL)
Richard Barry }
Wm Belt }
District of Columbia } Orphans Court
Washington County to wit } November 19, 1834 -
This day appeared John Etheridge one of the Subscribing witnesses to the
aforegoing last will and Testament of Thomas Lyndall late of the County if Washington
aforesaid; deceased, and made on the on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God that he did
see the Testator therein named sign & seal this will - At the same time appeared Richard
Barry one other of the subscribing witnesses to the will of Thomas Lyndall aforesaid and
made Oath other Holy Evangels of Almighty God that said Testator did acknowledge the
signature of "Thomas Lyndall" to said will, to be his act and deed - that he did in their
hearing apprehend his doing, he was to the best of their apprehension of sound &
disposing mind, meaning & understanding - and they together with William J. Belt the
other subscribing Witness, respectively subscribed their names as witnesses to this will,
in the presence & at the request of the Testator & in the presence of each other -
Test, Henry O'Neal Reg of Wills
Thomas Lyndall is buried at the Congressional Cemetery next to his mother Sarah Rowen Lyndall (1756-1829). Per his gravestone
Thomas Lyndall d. 9 Nov 1834 40 yrs Congressional Cemetery grave site R30/76
One of the Thomas Lyndall's heirs, mentioned in the his will is his nephew, George Lyndall, who is listed as a Joiner's Apprentice
on the 1829 list of Washington Navy Yard employees
1829 Washington Navy Yard
George Lyndall was one of the leaders in the 1835 Strike at the Washington Navy Yard
see National Intelligencer August 13, 1835
Obituary from the National Intelligencer
dated November 11, 1834
On Sunday the 9th instant, Mr. Thomas Lyndall, in the 41st year of his age. The deceased was a native of Philadelphia, and for eighteen years
had been the Master Ship Joiner in the Navy Yard of this city. As a mechanic, he was surpassed by none of his profession, and, during the entire
period of his service, he discharged the important duties of his station with an ability and fidelity which won for him the highest commendations
of the Navy Board, and the respect and confidence of the successive Commandants of the station. Thus faithful and intelligent in public employment,
he was no less amiable, generous, and upright in domestic life and the social circle. Distinguished by such qualities, society and the public service
sustain in his death no ordinary loss. His acquaintances are invited to attend his funeral, which will proceed this afternoon, at 3 o'clock, from his late
residence near the Navy Yard.
1830 Washington DC Directory List Thomas Lyndall as: "Master joiner at Navy Yard; dwelling I south between 4 and 5 east"
Thomas Lyndall, Manumission of William Allison 19 April 1825, Thomas Lyndall owned William Allison jointly with two fellow WNY employees
James Owner WNY Master Shipwright and Thomas Howard WNY Clerk of the Yard.
Manumission of William Allison
The three men received $ 200 as consideration for the manumission of William Allison. In all likelihood the three had leased Allison to the Yard.
See WNY List for 1808, 1811 & 1829 for slaves owned by Howard and Owner which were leased to the Navy Yard.
Washington Navy Yard 1808 Reduction in Force
1811 Washington Navy Yard
1829 Washington Navy Yard
Besides his economic interest in William Allison, Thomas Lyndall's, prosperity is apparent in his employment of a free black woman
named Anna Beall prior to his death (see Dorothy Provine Registration No. 1521 dated 11 July 1837)
August 7, 1894 - September 6, 2005
|A Buffalo Soldier|
||Mark Matthews was born Aug. 7, 1894, in Greenville, Ala., and grew up in Mansfield, Ohio.
In 1910 he joined the United States Army and served in the Pancho Villa Expedition and World War II in the Battle of Saipan.
Mark Matthews attained the rank of 1st Sergeant, in the 10th Cavalry.
He married Genevieve Hill, attaining 57 years of marriage when she passed away in 1986.
Mark Matthews had reached the age of 111 when he passsed away on September 6, 2005, in Washington D. C.
He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
See : A brief history of Buffalo Soldiers (below)
|Sgt. Mark Matthews Dies; at 111, Was Oldest Buffalo Soldier
By Joe Holley
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 13, 2005; B06
© 2005 The Washington Post Company
Retired 1st Sgt. Mark Matthews, 111, one of the last of the nation's legendary Buffalo Soldiers, died of pneumonia Sept. 6 at Fox Chase
Nursing Home in Washington.
Sgt. Matthews, who also was the oldest Buffalo Soldier, was heir to a proud military heritage that originated with the black soldiers who fought in
the Indian wars on the Western frontier. . . . . . .
Sgt. Matthews joined up at the end of the Buffalo Soldiers' colorful Western exploits. . . . . . .
He retired from the Army in 1949 and became a security guard at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda.
He retired a second time, as chief of guards, in 1970.
He met with President Bill Clinton at the White House, and in 2002 marked his 108th birthday by meeting with Secretary of State Colin Powell, who for
many years campaigned for a monument honoring the Buffalo Soldiers. In 1992, Powell, then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, dedicated the monument
at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., birthplace of one of the regiments. . . . . . .
Believed to be Washington's oldest man --. . . . . . .
He was a member of the Washington, D.C., Chapter of the 9th and 10th (Horse) Cavalry Association. . . . . . .
Buffalo Soldiers is a nickname originally applied to the members of the U.S. 10th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army by the
Native American tribes they fought.
It was formed on September 21, 1866 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The term eventually encompassed these units:
9th Cavalry Regiment, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 27th Cavalry Regiment, 28th Cavalry Regiment, 24th Infantry Regiment, and 25th Infantry Regiment
Although several African-American regiments were raised during the Civil War to fight alongside the Union Army
(including the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry and the many United States Colored Troops Regiments), the "Buffalo Soldiers" were
established by Congress as the first peacetime all-black regiments in the regular U.S. Army.
Sources disagree on how the nickname "Buffalo Soldiers" began. According to the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, the name originated with the
Cheyenne warriors in 1867, the actual Cheyenne translation being "Wild Buffalo". However, writer Walter Hill documented the account of Colonel
Benjamin Grierson, who founded the 10th Cavalry regiment, recalling an 1871 campaign against the Comanche tribe. Hill attributed the origin of the
name to the Comanche due to Grierson's assertions. There is some controversy as to where the name originated. Some sources assert that the
nickname was given out of respect for the fierce fighting ability of the 10th cavalry. Other sources assert that Native Americans called the black
cavalry troops "buffalo soldiers" because of their dark curly hair, which resembled a buffalo's coat. Still other sources point to a combination
of both legends. The term Buffalo Soldiers became a generic term for all African-American soldiers. It is now used for U.S. Army units that trace their
direct lineage back to the 9th and 10th Cavalry, units whose bravery earned them an honored place in U.S. history.
During the American Civil War, the U.S. government formed regiments known as the United States Colored Troops, composed of black soldiers led by
white officers. After the war, Congress reorganized the Army and authorized the formation of two regiments of black cavalry with the
designations 9th and 10th U.S. Cavalry, and four regiments of black infantry, designated the 38th, 39th, 40th and 41st Infantry Regiments (Colored).
The 38th and 41st were reorganized as the 25th Infantry Regiment, with headquarters in Jackson Barracks in New Orleans, Louisiana, in November 1869.
The 39th and 40th were reorganized as the 24th Infantry Regiment, with headquarters at Fort Clark, Texas, in April 1869.
All of these units were composed
of black enlisted men commanded by white officers such as Benjamin Grierson and Ranald S. Mackenzie and, occasionally, black officers such
as Henry O. Flipper.
From 1866 to the early 1890s, these regiments served at a variety of posts in the Southwestern United States (Apache Wars) and Great
Plains regions. They participated in most of the military campaigns in these areas and earned a distinguished record. Thirteen enlisted men and
six officers from these four regiments earned the Medal of Honor during the Indian Wars.
In addition to the military campaigns, the "Buffalo Soldiers" served a variety of roles along the frontier from building roads to escorting the U.S. mail.
After the Indian Wars ended in the 1890s, the regiments continued to serve and participated in the Spanish-American War
(including the Battle of San Juan Hill), where five more Medals of Honor were earned. They took part in the 1916 Punitive Expedition into
Mexico and in the Philippine-American War.
A lesser known action was the 9th Cavalry's participation in the fabled Johnson County War, an 1892 land war in Johnson County, Wyoming between
small farmers and large, wealthy ranchers. It culminated in a lengthy shootout between local farmers, a band of hired killers, and a sheriff's posse.
The 6th Cavalry was ordered in by President Benjamin Harrison to quell the violence and capture the band of hired killers. Soon afterward, however,
the 9th Cavalry was specifically called on to replace the 6th. The 6th Cavalry was swaying under the local political and social pressures and were unable to
keep the peace in the tense environment.
The Buffalo Soldiers responded within about two weeks from Nebraska, and moved the men to the rail town of Suggs, Wyoming,
creating "Camp Bettens" despite a racist and hostile local population. One soldier was killed and two wounded in gun battles with locals.
Nevertheless, the 9th Cavalry remained in Wyoming for nearly a year to quell tensions in the area.
"Buffalo Soldiers" received the Medal of Honor, more times than any other United States military unit.
from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
1802 / 1805 - June 14, 1888
Furnished by : John G. Sharp
Messenger to the Secretary of the Navy
(Born circa 1802 - Died 14 June 1888)
was born in Virginia, his birth years are variously recorded as circa 1802 on the United States Census for 1850, while the 1870 census records
circa 1805 and the 1880 census provides circa 1805. Like his birth date, much of Lindsay Muse's early life is unclear, he was probably born enslaved
yet the exact date of his manumission is unknown. That he cared deeply for his family is apparent in the manumission of his half sister Charlotte in the
document above in keeping with the legal requirements of the District of Columbia Slave Code Lindsay Muse had to first buy Charlotte from the
Pickett family and then to legally manumit her had to have her pay him a nominal sum ( consideration) for her manumission to be legally valid.1
From early two histories written during Muse's lifetime, we find that he learned to read and write at a church Sunday school in the District Columbia,
possibly at the 15th Street Presbyterian Church. |
(Source, A History of the Negro Race by George Washington Williams 1883). 2
See: Charlotte Muse - Bill of Sale & Manumission
The 1827, Washington Directory, lists Muse Lindsay, as : "waiter" and notes that he resided at, 26 west between I and Kansas. Charlotte
Muse is listed in the same Directory as a (col) washerwomen residing at Pennsylvania avenue between 19 & 20 west. Curiously Lindsay Muse's race
is not listed. Muse became assistant messenger to the Secretary of the Navy in January of 1829. Exactly how he was appointed and by whom is not
ocumented, perhaps he met Samuel Southard, Secretary of the Navy, 1823 to March 1829, while he was waiting at tables. Washington DC at that time,
was a small city and a literate black man would have had enjoyed some notoriety, in any, the Secretary would have had to approve the appointment of
Lindsay Muse as messenger. In his new job working for the Secretary of the Navy Muse would have had an opportunity to journey to the White House,
to take messages to the various cabinet secretaries and to deliver official massages to the Washington Navy Yard Commandant's office. In the
early 19th century before the creation of the US mail delivery service, messengers were essential to insure the prompt delivery and security
of communications between departments of government. Lindsay Muse's position meant that he was perceived as a person of integrity. His job as
messenger gave him access to places and persons few of his fellow citizens white or black ever had a chance to see and consequently voices were
occasionally raised as to why a black man enjoyed such a position. One such example is the anonymous letter (transcribed below) received by Secretary
of the Navy, Levi Woodbury (1831-1834).
Hon. Levi Woodbury
27 Aug 1831
Secretary of the Navy
It is reported in this City, that the principal messenger of your office who is a colored man, is the receiver and one of the agents for
paper in Boston, called "The Liberator" is considered of such dangerous from populations of which the late affair in Virginia is sufficiently in
evidence, that people of colors in any of the Departments particularly when very good others may be well qualified. You are referred to Doctor Jones
for a list of names of such received for the above purpose.
The anonymous author of this screed tried to depict Lindsay Muse as dangerous agitator
in league with Nat Turner whose slave rebellion had begun on 21 August 1831; Levi Woodbury simply filed this letter and continued to employ Muse,
who remained a popular employee and somehow managed to negotiate his way through the tangle of racism and hysteria that so surrounded the
City of Washington and much of the nation during the Nat Turner rebellion. Later in the ensuing years he and other members of the family survived the
various race riots and violence directed periodically at free blacks such as "Snow "riot of August 1835.
The 1850 United States Census for the District of Columbia enumerates Lindsay Muse, as a free black man, living in the 1st Ward. His
age is given as 48; his children are Sarah 22, William 21, Elizabeth A., Jason 15, Daniel 12, Florida 11, Washington 9, Louisa 7, and Fanny 5. Muse's
real estate is valued at $ 1,000.00. As a messenger for the Secretary of the Navy, Muse was a salaried employee receiving $ 400.00 per annum
(Source, The Life and Character of John Paul Jones a Captain in the US Navy during the Revolutionary War by John H. Sherbourne,
Adrian Sherman & Co, New York, 1851 p.185.
This popular history of the Revolutionary War hero, John Paul Jones, surprisingly, lists the civilian
employees of the Secretary of the Navy for the year 1851, and their salaries. Lindsay Muse passed on his love of learning and his deep religious convictions
to his children. His son James Muse graduated from Oberlin College and later became a Congregational Minister in New Haven Connecticut. Muse's
daughter Elizabeth Ann married the Reverend Albert Boulden a founder of the first Baptist Church in South West Washington and later the
Third Baptist Church as well.
During the Civil War the nations needed to raise sufficient capital to pay for the war and the Congress imposed the first income tax. In 1865, Lindsay
Muse, was enumerated as living at 338 8th Street and subject to taxation based on his income.
Source, Records of the Internal Revenue Service District of Columbia, page 16 for the year 1865.
The US Census for the District of Columbia enumerates Lindsay Muse as "age 65, Messenger Navy Department" value of his real estate $ 9,000.00
and $ 2,000.00 in personal property. Living with him are three of his daughters Elizabeth age 38, Louisa age 28 and Fannie age 24 each is enumerated
as dress makers
Muse was leader in the black community and helped form the Colored United Benevolent Association which bought land for a cemetery near today's
Adams Morgan District. The land was bought from Charles Francis Adams for $ 2, 500. The Association allowed its members for a nominal to have a
dignified burial at a time when all burial grounds in the District of Columbia, were strictly segregated -- Washington Post July 3, 2006
Lindsay Muse died on June 14th 1888. By the time of his death, he had continually served as Messenger for the Secretary of the Navy,
since 1 January 1829. Muse's long service was often noted in the press and he was believed to be the longest serving government employees, in total
Muse had served a period of nearly sixty years. The New York Times, noted that Lindsay Muse, claimed to have met and shaken hand with everyone
of the President's of the United States from Andrew Jackson to Grover Cleveland. According to the NYT, Muse was still working the day of his death.
Source: Register of Commissioned & Warrant Officers of the United States Navy to January 1, 1879 Government Printing Office
Washington DC & The New York Times June 15, 1888.
Lindsay Muse's will (Lindsay Muse, 1888, Box 109) was probated in 1888, leaving his considerable property to his sons and daughters. 4
1 The District of Columbia Slave Code 1860 is now available online at
2 Special Report of the Commissioner of Education on the Condition of Public Schools in the District of Columbia, submitted to the
Senate, June 6, 1868, and to the House, with Additions June 13, 1870. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1870, page 200. The Special
Report is also notable for it's reliance on information from members of the black community apparently individuals who provided testimony used in this
report knew Lindsay Muse and of course in 1870 Muse may have provided some information regarding education in the District of Columbia and the struggle
for to open schools for black children. Muse's half sister, Fanny Hampton, taught at one of these early schools in the 1830's schools, see page213.
3 Linda M. Maloney's The Captain from Connecticut The Life and Naval Times of Isaac Hull, Northeastern University Press,
Boston, 1986, page 526 footnote 46 was the first to point out this anonymous letter. Although the anonymous author does not mention Lindsay Muse by
name, the context makes this unnecessary.
4 The date of Lindsay Muse's death is sometimes given as 1882 but the actual date is June 14, 1888 as recorded in the New York Times
and 1888 is also the year that Lindsay Muse's last will was probated.