Leonard Frailey (1781-1864)

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Leonard Frailey (1781-1864) was a captain in Peter Little’s company of the 39th regiment in 1807 (Federal Gazette, August 12, 1807). He served in the War of 1812, and was known as an “Old Defender”. He is buried along with seven of his 14 children in Greenmount Cemetery, Baltimore. Scott Sheads has researched and written about his demonstration before Luther Martin’s house and his service during the War of 1812. See Scott Sheads article in the Maryland Historical Magazine, The Last Old Defenders of 1814, p. 123 ff. Scott has also written a short biographical sketch of Leonard Frailey in which he notes that Frailey was a printer by trade whose service in the militia included the drilling of the 3rd Brigade “and placing them in condition for actual service” in the defense of Baltimore in 1814 (communication to ecp on 8/20/2020). See: blog Remembering Baltimore". Frailey was indeed the publisher of the Baltimore American and Commercial Advertiser (1803-1805) and the Evening Post (1806-1809).

Frailey was a perennial losing candidate for Sheriff of Baltimore County on the Republican Ticket (the known years are 1807, 1809, and 1815).

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When Frailey died in 1864 he left an estate worth over $12,000. See his Administration account:

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On the [ census of 1850] Frailey was listed as a "gauger" which means he held a Customs job (probably as a political appointee) explained as late as 1908 as: Gaugers are assigned to duty by surveyors. They are required to be at the vessel to which they are assigned whenever gaugeable goods [capable of being measured are being landed therefrom. They shall inspect and take copies of all permits in the hands of discharging inspectors."]

In 1860 Frailey also owned two slaves.

Excerpt from Leonard Frailey's [ will in which he calls himself a printer:]

VIII Item. I direct and order that my body may be quietly and unaustentatiously with as little expense as possible, deposited on my lot in Green Mount Cemetery, the spot marked by a plain stone, noting name, days of birth, marriage and death, and that none of the mummeries of superstition, or the ceremonies of a hireling priesthood, which like other marketable commodities can be purchased with money, be enacted over my lifeless body, but that it may be quietly consigned to its final resting place, as the absence of these mock solemnities disquiet not the dead, and the anathemas of the priesthood, which have frightened the ignorant and the timid and made cowards of the great body of the human race, nay abject slaves, from the earliest ages of sacerdatal power and despotism to the present day, have presented no terrors to my mind and the most splendid monuments with their fulsome inscriptions, never imparted virtues to the dead, which they did not possess whilst living or obliterated any of their known vices. .