Considering the history of East New Market, one person stands out as the preeminent figure in the town's creation. James Sulivane is arguably the most important name in the history of East New Market. For it was James Sulivane who created the town's first 20 lots and who gave the town its name. In 1776, James Sulivane combined several tracts of land that he had inherited from his father and had purchased himself. He renamed the new larger tract "New Market". The 933 acres formerly consisted of tracts called Addition to York, Buckland Regulated, Carthagena, Debate Enlarged, Hooper's Outlet, Restitution, Sulivane's Meadows, Westward, and York. Around 1785, James Sulivane created several primarily one acre lots along the east and west sides of today's South Main Street and numbered them 1 through 20. Between 1786 and 1802 he sold these lots to the town's first residents.
When James Sulivane named his resurveyed tract "New Market", he most certainly had horse racing in mind as the name he chose was also the name of the most famous horse racing town in England. Horse racing became a professional sport in the early 1700s in England when match racing gave way to races involving several horses on which the spectators wagered. Race courses sprang up all over England, offering increasingly large purses to attract the best horses. These purses in turn made breeding and owning horses for racing profitable. With the rapid expansion of the sport came the need for a central governing authority. In 1750, racing's elite met at the hub of horseracing in Newmarket, England to form the Jockey Club. The Newmarket Jockey Club wrote the complete rules of racing and sanctioned racecourses to conduct meetings under those rules.
Horse Racing in New Market, Dorchester County was first mentioned as early as 1777 in a report by Thomas Sparrow to the Maryland Council of Safety. "...I intended next to go to New Market (Dorchester County) as I understood there was to be two days races, but my friends advised me not,..." Newspaper notices as late as 1821 continued to advertise horse races to be run in New Market. So far twelve newspaper notices advertising horse races in New Market have been found. See the New Market Races press release for further information about the location of the race track.
In addition to being one of horse racings elite, James Sulivane was a merchant and a gentleman. He was also a prominent local figure in the American Revolution. The December 1775 Convention of Maryland Delegates resolved to put the province in a better state of defense to protect against loyalists and British oppression. James Sulivane organized a local militia group called "The New Market Blues" and served as a 2nd Lieutenant and Captain. He later served as the Deputy Assistant Commissary for the Continental Army. As commissary, it was his job to obtain food, arms, clothing, and other provisions for the army.
Captain James Sulivane was born 30 March 1737, most likely at Friendship Hall on the New Market tract. He married Mary Ennalls in the early 1760s. Although James Sulivane is responsible for building what is presently known as Friendship Hall, his father, Major Daniel Sulivane likely played a key role in constructing what is today the kitchen wing attached to the east side of the main house. A close inspection reveals that the kitchen wing of Friendship Hall was built before the larger main part of the house. In 1738 a commission was appointed to perpetuate the bounds of Daniel Sulivane's land called "York" along the "Nanticoke Indian Path to the Choptank Indian Fort". The commission mentions Daniel Sulivane's dwelling house.
The 1776 Census of Maryland, lists James Sulivane as the head of a Dorchester County household that includes 2 males under 10, 2 males 30-40, 3 females under 10, 1 female 21-30, 1 female 30-40, and 21 negroes. The 1790 Census in Dorchester County lists James Sulivane as the head of a household that includes 3 males over 16, 5 females, and 26 slaves. The 1800 Census lists Captain James Sulivane as the head of a household that includes 2 males under 10, 1 male 26-44, 1 male over 44, 2 females 10-15, 1 female over 44, and 13 slaves.
The 1783 Maryland tax records list James Sulivane with 1017 3/4 acres of land in New Market. He also owned 459 1/4 acres called "Lot No. 4 - Manner Land" and 206 1/4 acres called "Sarah's Delight" in the northern part of Dorchester County. James Sulivane died around 1807.
Captain James Sulivane and Mary Ennalls Sulivane had at least four children:
(1) Dr. Daniel Sulivane was born around 1766. He married Mary Richardson on 25 April 1803. She was the daughter of Colonel Joseph Richardson and his wife Rebecca. In the 1800 Census, Dr. Daniel Sulivane is listed as head of a household including 1 male under 10, 1 male 26-44, 3 females 26-44, and 9 slaves. The 1820 Census in New Market lists Dr. Daniel Sulivane as the head of a household that includes 1 male under 10, 1 male 10-15, 1 male over 45, 1 female under 10, 1 female 10-15, 2 females 26-44, 1 female over 44, and 5 slaves. The 1830 Census lists Daniel Sulivane as age 60-70, with a female age 40-50, and 5 slaves. Neither Daniel or Mary Sulivane are listed as the head of household in 1840 and thus had likely passed away. Daniel and Mary Sulivane had at least four children:
(1) William A. Sulivane was born 27 April 1808. In 1842, his grandmother, Rebecca Richardson, bequeathed to him real estate, cash, and negroes. Part of this estate was a debt owed by Samuel G. Fluharty, which in 1846 gave William A. Sulivane a claim to the Haskins-Houston House in East New Market. He sold his interest in this property 6 months later. The 1850 Census lists William as unmarried and living in Cambridge with relatives Henrietta Richardson age 74, Delia Byus age 64, Eliza Waggaman age 62, and Elizabeth Barns age 25. In 1865, William A. Sulivane was appointed by the Governor as a State Boundary Commissioner for Dorchester County. William died on 1 April 1870 and is buried at Christ Episcopal Church Cemetery in Cambridge.
(2) Rebecca H. Sulivane was born around 1813. She married John Stewart on 26 November 1827. He was born around 1812, the son of John Stewart and Sarah Hodson. According to a letter from Virginia Waggaman to her brother, the Stewarts were to live at Lieutenant Lecompte's house after they married. Lieutenant Lecompte's house is the Haskins-Houston House in East New Market. John Stewart was a Lawyer. In New Market, the 1830 Census lists John Stewart as 20-30 years old with 1 female under 5, 1 female 20-30 and 6 slaves. The 1838 Tax List for New Market lists John Stewart with $447 in real estate and a personal estate worth $1017. He was a subscriber to the Cambridge Chronicle from 1838 to 1841. In New Market, the 1840 Census lists John Stewart as 30-40 years old with 1 female 10-15, 1 female 20-30, 1 female 30-40, and 5 slaves. John and Rebecca had at least one child, Eliza Stewart (ca1830-ca1867, married Dr. Richard Dixon). John Stewart was one of the original Trustees for the New Market Academy. John Stewart died 11 January 1856 and is buried at Friendship Hall Cemetery.
(3) Elizabeth R. Sulivane was born 8 Mar 1816. She married Dr. William H. Muse of Cambridge on 26 February 1841. He was the son of Joseph Ennalls Muse and Sophia Kerr (b. 1778, sister of U.S. Senator, Joseph Leeds Kerr). William and Elizabeth Muse had five children (William, Joseph E, Daniel, Lizzie, and Julia). In 1846, Elizabeth R. Sulivane Muse purchased the LaGrange Mansion in Cambridge, which is today the home of the Dorchester County Historical Society. William Muse died 11 October 1856. Elizabeth R. Sulivane Muse died 5 June 1885. Both are buried at Christ Episcopal Church Cemetery in Cambridge.
(4) Mary S. Sulivane was born 2 March 1825. She married James Augustus Muse of Cambridge on 14 December 1847. He was the son of Joseph Ennalls Muse and Sophia Kerr and a brother to Elizabeth Sulivane Muse's husband, William H. Muse. James and Mary had four sons (J.Augustus, Edward, Walter, and James S). James A. Muse died 24 November 1867. Mary S. Sulivane Muse died 22 February 1890.
(2) Joseph Ennalls Sulivane married Ann E. Hooper on 20 May 1795. In the 1800 Census, the household of Joseph E. Sulivane in Dorchester County had 1 male age 10-15, 1 male age 16-25, 1 male age 26-44, 1 female age under 10, 1 female age 10-15, 1 female age 16-25, 1 female age over 44, and 9 slaves. In 1810 he lived next door to Dr. Daniel Sulivane and his household contained 3 males under 10, 1 male age 16-25, 1 male 26-44, 1 female under 10, 1 female 16-25, 1 female 26-44, 5 other free persons, and 15 slaves. In 1820, a household is not headed by Joseph E. Sulivane in Dorchester County, but a large household is headed by Ann E. Sulivane. It is likely Joseph E. Sulivane died before 1820. Ann E. Sulivane does not appear in the 1830 Census in Dorchester County, but a younger Joseph Sulivane appears with 2 males age 20-30. He may have been a son of Joseph E. and Ann E. Sulivane. The 1838 tax list for New Market lists Ann E. Sulivane with real estate worth $460. In the 1840 Census Ann Sulivane age 60-70 appears in the New Market district living alone. She is also living alone in the 1850 Census.
(3) Henrietta Sulivane was born 16 January 1776 in Dorchester County. Henrietta married Joseph Haskins on 9 October 1802. Colonel Joseph Haskins was born 19 November 1775 and died 25 October 1807. He is buried at Friendship Hall in East New Market. Henrietta Sulivane remarried to John Stewart on 14 July 1817. John Stewart had 4 children by his previous marriage to Sarah Hodson (John, James Edwin, Henrietta Mary Elizabeth, and William Alexander). His son John married Rebecca H. Sulivane, the daughter of Henrietta's uncle Daniel Sulivane. The elder John Stewart died 31 July 1820 and is buried at Friendship Hall in East New Market. On 9 June 1827, Henrietta Sulivane married for a third time to William Richardson. Henrietta Sulivane died 18 January 1854 in Cambridge. In her Will, she devised property to many of her close relatives including Rebecca Stewart (wife of John Stewart), Elizabeth Muse (wife of Dr. William H. Muse), Mary S. Muse (wife of Dr. James Muse), Elizabeth Stewart (daughter of Rebecca & John Stewart), William H., Joseph E., and Daniel Muse (sons of William H. & Elizabeth Muse), William A. Sulivane, and Emily Haskins. Emily Haskins could be her daughter or a sister-in-law.
(4) Mary Sulivane was born around 1773. She married Dr. John H. Eccleston on 10 April 1794 in Dorchester County. They had two sons James and Hugh. Hugh Eccleston moved to Baltimore before 1817. Both John H. Eccleston and Mary Sulivane Eccleston died before 1830 and left their share of Friendship Hall to their surviving son James Eccleston.
James Eccleston was baptized on 31 August 1795 at Great Choptank Parish in Dorchester County. On 25 November 1817, James Eccleston married Henrietta E. Martin. In the 1820 Census James Eccleston is listed a head of household including 1 male 16-26, 1 female under 10, 1 female 16-26, and 8 slaves. James and Henrietta Eccleston had two daughters, Elizabeth Kemp Eccleston (b. 1818) and Henrietta Maria Eccleston (b. 1821). James Eccleston died before 1827. His two daughters bought several properties formerly owned by Daniel Sulivane at a court ordered auction. The properties included the Friendship Hall property (364 1/4 acres), the TBA House part of the Buckland tract (4 acres), and a 2 acre lot which is currently the 19 Main Street and the Carmine-Webster House. The 1838 tax list for New Market records Elizabeth & Henrietta Eccleston with $2759 in real estate. On 6 March 1838, Elizabeth Kemp Sulivane married Thomas Anderson. On 9 November 1841, Henrietta M. Sulivane married George McLean. In 1844 the Eccleston sisters sold their right to the larger part of their land to Henry W. Hicks. By 1847, Henry W. Hicks surviving wife, Eliza J. Hicks and son, Thomas J. Hicks owned almost all of the former Sulivane/Eccleston lands. From 1849 to 1852, the Eccleston sisters still owned real estate in New Market valued at $150.