As a second line of attack the prosecution alleged

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As a second line of attack, the prosecution alleged that Mudd was a poor master who abused his slaves on more than one occasion. Testimony indicated that the doctor actually had shot one of his male
12/11/2015 EBSCOhost ; 5/11 slaves (Elzey Eglent) in the leg, whipped a young female slave (Mary Simms), and threatened to send some of his male slaves to Richmond to help the Confederate military build defenses around that city. This last claim supported the prosecution's contention that Mudd was disloyal because sending slaves to Richmond for building fortifications could only be viewed as an act of treason, designed to help the enemy and hurt the Federal government. Whether Mudd's threats were real or simply a ruse to scare his slaves, the testimony suggested that the doctor experienced trouble with his male slaves. The first sign of trouble among the family's slaves occurred in March 1862. Two young male slaves belonging to Mudd's father, Henry Lowe Mudd, had fled the plantation for the District of Columbia. They made their way to a Union camp on the Maryland side of the district border where they received refuge from the local Union commander. Mudd unsuccessfully tried on two occasions to recover his father's "property."(FN11) He then wrote a letter to his cousin, Henry A. Clarke, a prominent Washington merchant with connections to the War Department, asking him to intercede with the government to recover his father's slaves. Clarke carried the letter to the War Department where it wound up in the files of the secretary of war. In his letter, Mudd revealed his frustration with Yankee justice: "I have offered a reward of fifty dollars. I would go to the war department and enquire of Mr. Stanton, if the people of Maryland are to be treated as Secessionist after paying a tax of $2,500,000 to carry on the war."(FN12) The Fugitive Slave Law was still in effect throughout the area (even if not enforceable), and Mudd expected the law to be enforced and to get his father's slaves back. He failed. Mudd's concern over the possible loss of his father's slaves was real. Henry Lowe Mudd Sr., together with his two oldest sons­­James Anthony Mudd and Samuel Alexander Mudd­­owned eighty­nine slaves at the outbreak of the war. Estimates of the family wealth based on slaves and land holdings show that the Mudds were among the wealthier plantation owners in Charles County. A recent study of the profitability of slavery estimated the value of slave­worked land (both improved acres and unimproved acres) for the thirteen slave states for the years 1850 and 1860. The average plantation farm in these thirteen states consisted of 440 acres worth $3,500; unimproved land was valued at $6 an acre, while improved land was valued at $15 an acre. On average, one­third of the land was improved while the remainder was unimproved. Using the study's figures for determining land value, the 1,700 acres of Mudd property would be worth approximately $15,000 in 1860, or approximately $168,000 in current dollars.

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