Read Past Columns:

by Jack Lynch, Editor


North Side of the City of Frederick Needs to Include Citizens in a Small Area Planning Process

Frederick County, a Penny for Your Water Quality

"Don't Bury me Among the Damn Yankees Here!" - The Goldsboroughs, Richfield, Thomas Johnson and Frederick

Groff A Bit on Frederick’s Early Days of the Civil War 1861-1862

Once Upon a Stream, Tom's Creek, Pennsylvania

A Tale of Two Walmarts

Commentary from Frederick News Post, March 31, 2013: "Voting for a Different Approach to Planning"

Faw Grave of Jacob Pfauw, Birth of the Faw Brethren Churches

Commentary from Frederick News Post, July 15, 2012: "Unconvinced by optimism of (Downtown Frederick, MD) hotel report" Link

Commentary from Frederick News Post, May 27, 2012: "Charter rule (Frederick County, MD) will be no better than today's government" Link

Birely Tannery 1760 - 1960, Carroll Creek in Frederick

City Limits

Discovering the Descendants of Abraham Faw

Finding a Two Hundred and Eighty Year Old House Ruin Admidst Suburban Sprawl?

To Save a Stream - Abraham Faw Run

Adolphus Fearhake of Frederick, Maryland

Plan Maryland

Bulldozer Blaine Young

Remembering my Revolutionary Ancestor - Abraham Faw

Why Not the Best?

A Tree Grows in Frederick for Anne Frank

The Tragedy of Kai Hagen

Frederick County's Gunslinger Slate, Fire from the Lip, shoot from the Hip!

A Visit to Tangier Island

Historic Snowfall, Road Salt, Watershed Protection and the Chesapeake Bay

Will It be Progress or Retrenchment in Frederick County?

Is This the End of Frederick Smart Growth?

A Series of Links Follows from the Air It Out with George political commentary website:

Chesapeake Blues on Tangier Island

July 4, 2008

Mass Burn

Appalachian Blues on Hillbilly Highway

Buying a Congressional Seat in Maryland's First District - Coming to the Sixth District?

Democratic Candidates on American Foreign Policy

All the King's Horses!

Campaign in Song: Bushie Head Out the Mixing Bowl

Democratic Campaign's Vertical Treadmill on Space Mission

A Bit of Olympic Political History

Obama for the Chesapeake Bay?

Politics is Personal: Repeat Three Times

Prediction: Bad News for Obama, The End of Post-Racial Politics

American Exceptionalism on the World Stage

Obama Speaking on March 18th - Political Equinox

Yee Haw! On to Pennsyltuckey!

American Blackface: Tragic Octoroon

Key to Success - Lesson for Frederick:

Republicrats Yes, Middlecrats No

Too Many Promises ...Loaves and Fishes

Identity Black and White in Frederick

Mashup 1968 - 2008: On to Texas, Out with Clinton?

Fat Tuesday!

Symbol, Sense and Substance

Eight More Years

The Dollar Bubble

Judging a Candidate By Their Website

Baby, We Were Born to Bun!

The subsequent links are again from older dates of The Frederick Citizen:

A Rememebrance: Beijing Spring, Interrupted

County Officials and Public Communications

The Snallygaster in Frederick County

Fourth Anniversary of the Frederick Citizen

Frederick City Growth

American Promised Land - American All

Black Frederick and Matters of Race and Politics

Dumping on the Chesapeake Bay

Common Sense Writ Large

The Next Mayor of Frederick

Democracy in Action!

Ottawa: About a Greenbelt, Transit Oriented Development and Government FiatCountering Alderman Imhoff's Growth Beliefs

An Alternate View of Frederick CityGrowth Policy

An Acorn in the Bucket

Monocacy River Part II

Monocacy River Part I

New Market Regional Plan Affirmation

43 More!

Fish and Life

Talking Trash

Strike Three, Smoking Out!

A Green Fund Too Far, Or Not Far Enough?

Growth Back to the Future

Revisiting an Iraq War Opinion Four Years Later

Second Anniversary of the Frederick Citizen

Unrepentant Cady

Sour Grapes and Fine Wine

There's Hope for Good Government

The Democratic Fifth

The County of Feel Good

Hypocrisy Indeed

The Alliance

The Growth Machine Slate

"The Issues are Bipartisan" - David Gray

The Importance of Jan Gardner's Campaign

Form Follows Function

Route 15 Scenic Walmart

Frederick Blue

The Curtain Rises

Housing Growth, Not Smart Growth, Not Progressive Planning

Understanding Lennie Thompson

Frederick's Tale of Two Rabbi's

Wellhead Protection

Make Believe, or Desperate Duncan?

A Progressive Concept Approved...then Defeated!

Hog Wild

Anniversary of the Frederick Citizen

We're No Gwinnett County

"An Election, Not a Selection...!"  Indeed!

A Potpourri of Thoughts and Issues...

Now That the Smoke Has Cleared


How am I to Decide on Mayor of Frederick?

Doomed To Repeat It

Frantic Orthodoxy

Stealth Candidate

Another Perfect Day for Bananafish

This Summer Election

Building Issues

Just Powers

Death Defying Election?

In the Heat

Horse Sense for Frederick County?

Kudzu and Million Dollar Homes

Bartlett's Ozone Trip

Let the Games Begin

Blood in the Water

Coffee Klatch

Archaeology in Frederick

Bizarro World

Mr. O'Malley's March

Playing All the Cards

Who are Your Friends New Market?

Mixed Use

Beijing Spring, Interrupted

Passion, People and Politics in Frederick City

Millennium project

A Frederick Leader of Distinction

APFO Under Attack

State Lands Sale

Frederick Water Sourcing

Frederick Water










The Frederick Citizen Logo 



October 22, 2015

Notes on Abraham Faw: Timeline and Family Tree

Frederick, Maryland and Alexandria, Virginia

by Jack Lynch

It's been a nearly forty year effort to track down traces of the life of Abraham Faw.  Bits and pieces came from many sources, and details emerged over the years from internet gatherings and books, but no real full delineation of his life existed anywhere.  And recently, his grave was rediscovered.  It will be marked by the Sons of the American Revolution next March.

His adult life and role in Frederick, Maryland and the American Revolution is fleshed out fairly well, but his early life is barely noted.  How did this son of Germanic immigrant Jacob Pfauw become educated and Anglicized, to bridge the German and English cultural worlds?  His youth were spent in Winchester, and Leesburg, Va.  He bought the family farm and they moved on to North Carolina.

The period of western Maryland was divided between the Germans and English in his lifetime, but he rose and prospered, and was positioned to be elected among the citizens and befriend Thomas Johnson and his brothers.

He assisted Amelung is setting up his glass works, and brought the printer Matthias Martgis to town.

He helped pass the Constitutional vote in Maryland and signed its copy.

He oversaw the building of a powder house and the Hessian Barracks.  Faw visited the Lancaster Barracks as a model for the Frederick Barracks.

He ran a mercantile and a hat shop and lived at number six Church Street in Frederick.  He had lands in at least four states, a tavern in Cumberland and also a tavern, blacksmith and schoolhouse in Uniontown, Pa.

His land deals are numerous, and he brokers land for the Johnson brothers to set up an iron forge near Sugarloaf Mountain.

He had an ownership stake in salt mines in Kentucky.

He testifies in the Rumsey steamboat trial.

He is a life long Mason and chairs a new lodge at Fleecy Dale, near Urbana, Md. and the Amelung glass works.

Faw sells Amelung glass and buys supplies in Baltimore and Philadelphia.

Abraham Faw apparently owned house slaves, yet he supported the 1785 and 1789 legislative initiatives to end slavery in Maryland, a much under acknowledged effort that stretched across several states and was strongly advocated by Quakers.  Many revolutionaries realized the hyprocisy of freedom and rights achieved by their struggle.  In later years in Alexandria he and Jonathan witness many slave manumissions.

In later years, he has a law practice, lumber yard, and builds houses in Alexandria, as well as holding many local offices.

He participates in the forming of the Alexandria Canal at a meeting with George Washington.  Washington's Mount Vernon ledger notes a payment, as "Faw brought beef from Goose Creek."  Which would have been Jacob, Abraham's father.  Goose Creek being the area around the newly incorporated Leesburg, Va where Jacob owned a half dozen town lots as well as two hundred acre farm.

The Faw's surely knew the young Washington in Winchester, living just an alleyway between them for a dozen years and during the time when the future President first ran for the legislature there in Virginia.

Son, William H.(Henry) S.(Steiner) Faw is a Veteran of the War of 1812.

He had three wives, the shortest marriage lasting twelve years.

Here's the timeline I've pieced together:

14-May 1747 Abraham Pfau Born basel, Switzerland, father Jacob a saddler
1-Aug 1749 Pfau Family Immigrates
3 yr old Sister Buried England (smallpox)

Nine weeks at sea
Arrival Philadelphia

Mother ill, family delayed for winter
1-Mar 1750 Family friends drives wagons to take them to Fredericktown (Winchester)

Father writes family in Switzerland

Quitrents on Friendship
April 1758 Jacob Pfauw's sister Dorde immigrates, marries Antoni Reager, both killed Ft Seybert Va Indian massacre

1757 Anna Maria (sister) born, she married Peter Engels, Jr 

1768 Family farm "Friendship" purchased near Johnsville
16-Oct 1770 Marries Julianna Lowe
30-Jun 1773 Son, Jonathan born
24-Jan 1775 Appointed Committee Observation for Frederick
19-May 1776 Faw given charge for prisoners from Carolina in Poorhouse
26-Apr 1777 Writes Governor regarding appointment clothing collector for county
Appointed to build barracks, powder magazine already under construction
Writes Governor re: scarcity of hats
Appointed Clothing Collector

Sheriff of Frederick County

Discusses soldier bounty with Governor Johnson
21-Feb 1778 Writes Governor with enemy troops intelligence
Pays substitute soldier in his place
  1778 Abraham buys Friendship

Writes Governor re: tent cloth

1779 Multiple letters on clothing, accounts, desperate for shirt cloth

Faw's shirt cloth becomes controversial, a Germanic type that is too coarse

1780 Multiple letters on clothing, accounts, prices, beef
Balto Ad Runaway Slave

1781 State Senator for Frederick County

Letter to Faw requesting a Calvary force be recruited in Frederick

1784 Maryland Act for Potomac navigation, Faw an agent for subscriptions

Faw assists Amelung in obtaining land for glass works

Faw an agent for lottery for George Town Academy
17-May 1785 Faw represents Thomas Johnson and others at George Washington's first meeting of Alexandria/Potomac Canal stockholders
7-Nov until Delegate for Frederick County
12-Mar 1786 Delegate for Frederick County

Faw supports reform of slavery laws in Maryland

Embroiled in steamboat controversy
Recommends Peter Engels Commissioner of Military Stores
6-Nov until Delegate for Frederick County
20-Jan 1787 Delegate for Frederick County
5-Nov until Delegate for Frederick County
17-Dec 1788 Delegate for Frederick County
28-Apr 1788 Delegate to Maryland Convention to ratify US Constitution
Faw reads Constitution in German in Hagerstown

1788 Others charge him as an Anti-Federalist

Defeated First Congress

Master Masons Lodge Fleecy Dale/Amelung/Urbana

Wife, Julianna dies after 18 years marriage

Land Grant 140 acres and 1000 acres Harrison Co WV
2-Nov until Delegate for Frederick County
25-Dec 1789 Delegate for Frederick County

Appointed to sell Amelung glass

Faw's Cumberland tavern used as first Courthouse

Amelung Fire

Faw supplies Amelung on credit, payment in glass
27-Mar 1790 Marries Mary Anne Steiner

1790 Census Fred Co 3 Males 16+, 1 Female 16+, 2 slaves
Purchases 2 lots Uniontown, Pa - blacksmith, stable, kept tavern, also a schoolhouse
1-Feb 1791 Son, William H. S. born

1792 Daughter, Julianna Marie born
Plan and Faw letter on Capitol mentioned T Jefferson letter

1793 Faw sued for Amelung credit debts, bankruptcy
Subscribed to Sun Fire Company Alexandria

Moves to Montgomery Co, mills at Seneca with 4 grindstones, tavern

1794 Moves to Alexandria, Va
Daughter, Sophia Eliza born

1795 Offers Middlebrook Mills for sale. Seneca Creek, Mont Co
19-Feb 1796 Appointed Justice of Peace by Thomas Jefferson
Appointed Coroner
7-Mar 1800 Leases the Spring Garden a tavern
14-Apr 1801 Son, Jonathan becomes a lawyer, writes to Thomas Jefferson
Faw nominated Justice of Peace by J Adams, reappointed by Jefferson

1804 Taxes on 4 houses

Faw and son Jonathan sign various slave manumissions 
19-Jan 1805 Wife, Mary Anne dies after 15 years of marriage

1806 Marries Sarah Moody

Appointed Justice Alex., DC
7-Feb 1807 Son, Jonathan dies
28-Apr 1809 Rents a store/warehouse King St

1812 Appointed Justice and Commissioner for Alex., DC

Signs certficate for movement of 15 slaves from County of Alex to Va

1818 Wife, Sarah dies after 12 years of marriage

Appointed Commissioner for Alex., DC

1821 Appointed Justice Alex., DC
21-Feb 1822 Son, William H. S. dies
25-Jun 1824 Will recorded
26-Jun 1828 Abraham dies, buried graveyard of Presbyterian Church









facebook Like The Frederick Citizen on Facebook