Margaret Brown Stone
Wife to Thomas Stone, Signer of the Declaration of Independence
1751 – 1787 A.D.
Margaret Brown, who in 1746 married Thomas Stone, afterward a delegate to the Continental Congress from Maryland and signer of the Declaration of Independence, was the youngest daughter of Dr. Gustavus Brown of Port Tobacco, Charles County, Maryland. Of her family we have the following from Hayden’s Virginia Genealogies:
“Gustavus Brown, M.D., of ‘Rich Hill,’ Charles County, Md., and Laird of Mainside and House Byers, Roxburgh, Scotland, born Dalkeith, Scotland, Apr. 10, 1869; died of apoplexy, ‘Rich Hill’ Apr. 1762; married 1st, 1710, Frances Fowke, daughter of Col. Gerard and Sarah (Burdette) Fowke, of Charles County; he married, 2d, Margaret (Black) Boyd, widow of an Irish gentleman and merchant of Port Tobacco.
“When a youth of 19 he became a surgeon’s made, or surgeon, on one of the royal or King’s ships that came to the colony in the Chesapeake Bay. In 1708, while his ship lay anchor he went ashore, but before he could return a severe storm arose, which made it necessary for the ship to weigh anchor and put out to sea. The young man was left with nothing but the clothes on his back. He quickly made himself known, and informed the planters of his willingness to serve them if he could be provided with instruments and medicines, leaving them to judge if he were worthy of their confidence. He began the practice of medicine at Nanosemond, Md. He soon gained respect and succeeded beyond expectations. He married into a wealthy family, made a large fortune, and wishing to lay his bones in his own loved Scotland, returned there with his family, and became possessed, by purchase it is believe, possibly by inheritance, of the lands he disposed of by will. His wife became dissatisfied with Scotland and he returned in 1734 to Maryland, where he had years before purchased the seat of Col. Lomax, called ‘Rich Hill,’ four miles from Port Tobacco, Charles Co.” – (Toner)
In the family Bible of Dr. Brown, which is still in possession of his descendants, is the following:
“This Bible originally belonged to Jane Mitchelson, my mother, who was the daughter to George Mitchelson, grandson of the house of Middleton, near Dalkeith, and Isabel Elfston, daughter of Solomon, seven miles to the west of Edinburgh. I cam into Maryland in May, anno 1708, and anno 1710, married Frances Fowke the daughter of Mr.Gerald Fowke in Nanjemy of which the marriage produced four sons and five daughters, with two of his sons dying in infancy.”
Then was added in a different hand, as follows:
“The following memorandum made by Gustavus Rich’d Brown, last son of the above named Gustavus Brown: a daughter Ann was born by the first marriage, not mention by my father. After the death of his first wife my father married Margaret Boid whom I descended. I was born Oct., 1747. A sister, Margaret, was born about two ears after and married Thomas Stone, Esquire.”
Miss Margaret is described, at the time of her marriage in 1762, as being “adorned with elevated talents and blest [sic] with piety, and every female virtue.” When they were wed, Thomas Stone received with his bride £1000 sterling and with this money her purchased the plantation, “Havre de Venture,” situation about two miles from Port Tobacco, and there he resided during the Revolution. Mrs. Stone died in 1787 under the following circumstances as told by R.M. Conway in Virginia Genealogies:
“I 1785, when Congress adjourned, he (Thomas Stone) retired from public life, having served at his State in the Legislature as well as Congress, and engaged in the duties of is profession, being often employed in cases of great importance.
“In 1787 his wife, to whom he was tenderly attached, was inoculated with small pox (the only method then known to modify the disease and escape its worst ills), and was unskilfully [sic] treated. After suffering untold misery, through which Mr. Stone watched with the utmost devotion and solcitude [sic] for weeks, death insued [sic]. This occurrence, under such terrible circumstances, threw a deep melancholy over the spirits of Mr. Stone, and his health steadily declined. He died October 5, 1787, aged forty-five years. He was a lineal descendant of William Stone, Governor of Maryland during the time of Oliver Cromwell. His brother, John Hoskins Stone, was Governor of the state, 1794 – 1797.”
Three children were born to Mary Brown and Thomas Stone, one son and two daughters.
Reference: The Pioneer Mothers of America: A Record of the More Notable Women of the Early Days of the Country, and Particularly of the Colonial and Revolutionary Periods by Harry Clinton Green and Mary Wolcott Green, A.B. Third Volume, Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons.