William Smallwood was an American planter, soldier and politician from Charles County, Maryland. He served in the American Revolutionary War, rising to the rank of major general and he was serving as the fourth Governor of Maryland when the state adopted the United States Constitution. Smallwood was born in 1732 to planter Bayne Smallwood and Priscilla Heaberd Smallwood and he had six siblings, Lucy Heabard Smallwood, Elizabeth F. Smallwood, Margaret F. Stoddert, Heabard Smallwood, Priscilla Courts, and Eleanor Smallwood. His sister Eleanor and brother Hebard served with him later in the Revolutionary War and his parents sent the boys to England, for their education at Eton. His great-grandfather was James Smallwood, who immigrated in 1664 and became a member of the Maryland Assembly in 1692, James son Bayne followed him later in the Assembly. A first cousin of James and Milledge Bonham was Senator Matthew Butler Smallwood served as an officer during the French and he was elected to the Maryland provincial assembly. When the American Revolutionary War began, he was appointed a colonel of the 1st Maryland Regiment in 1776 and he led the regiment in the New York and New Jersey campaign, where the regiment served with distinction. For his role at the Battle of White Plains, in which he was twice wounded and he continued to serve under George Washington in the Philadelphia campaign, where his regiment again distinguished itself at Germantown. Thereafter, he quartered at the Foulke house, also occupied by the family of Sally Wister, Smallwoods accounts of the battle and criticisms of Gates behavior before and during the battle may have contributed to the Congressional inquiries into the debacle. Opposed to the hiring and promotion of foreigners, Smallwood objected to working under Baron von Steuben and he spent the remainder of the war in Maryland. He served as the first President-General of the Maryland Society of the Cincinnati in 1783, Smallwood was elected to Congress in 1785. He was elected Governor of Maryland before he could take up the Congressional seat, in 1787 he convened the states convention that in 1788 adopted the United States Constitution. The 1790 census shows that he held 56 slaves and a tobacco crop of 3000 pounds. When he died in 1792 his estate, known as Mattawoman, including his home the Retreat, William Trueman Stoddard was orphaned at age 9 and raised by his maternal grandfather, Bayne Smallwood). His burial site is now the Smallwood State Park in Marbury, during his occupation of the building in 1778, Gen. Smallwood used the building as a hospital. Some of the soldiers who died in the building were buried in the graveyard directly outside, Smallwood frequented the Cross Keys Inn, at the time a several-room inn and bar. This building stands as a residence at the intersection of Calvert Road. His restored plantation home, Smallwoods Retreat, is located at Smallwood State Park, Smallwood Church Road leads from the State Park toward Old Durham Church, where he was a vestryman
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Letter from George Washington to Gen. Smallwood asking for an update on recruiting troops. July 1782.