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Samuel Ringgold trigonometry notebook

Identifier: MS-0103

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains a notebook belonging to Samuel Ringgold with various lessons including astronomy, navigation, trigonometry, and an essay on industry. There are many beautiful hand-drawn diagrams. There is faint writing on both covers one of which indicate he used it while attending Washington College, there are also various dates in different parts of the book, one cover has 1787, a flyleaf of multiple signatures has 1786, while a clear flyleaf mentions President Washington and Maryland Governor John Eager Howard placing the date between 1790-1792.


  • 1786-1792

Access restrictions

Collection is open for reasearch.

Publication rights

Copyright has not been assigned to Washington College. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Archives and Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Washington College as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Biographical Information

Samuel Ringgold (1770-1829) was born January 15th in Chestertown, Maryland to Thomas Ringgold (1744-1776) and Mary Galloway Ringgold (1746-1817). After his father’s death his uncle John Galloway (1748-1810) of Tulip Hill in Anne Arundel County, took over care of Samuel and the family’s business interests. Since the early records of the college were destroyed in fires it is unknow but likely that he attended the preparatory department of Washington College. Samuel spent some time on the family farm but soon entered politics joining the Maryland House delegates in 1795 and then serving on the state senate from 1801-1806. He moved on the United States House of Representative serving from 1810-1821. There was a two-year gap in that service while he was a brigadier general during the War of 1812. In 1792 Samuel married Maria Cadwalader (1776-1811) and had eight children including Mexican American War veteran Samuel, Jr. (1796-1846) and Civil War navy veteran Cadwalader Ringgold (1802-1867). After Maria’s death Samuel married Maria Antoinette Hay (1790-1875) in 1813 and had two more children. Samuel died October 18, 1829 in Frederick, MD.


.05 Cubic Feet (1 volume)

Language of Materials


Physical and technial access restrictions


Custodial history

Volume was found in a secondhand bookstore in Baltimore. Japanese paper conservation was done at some point.

Acquisition information

Gift of Capt. P. V. H. Weems, 1969.

Finding Aid to the Samuel Ringgold Trigonometry Notebook
L. Sheldon
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Washington College Archives & Special Collections Repository

300 Washington Avenue
Chestertown MD 21620