The Blackmore bonanza

From the Madison Courier, February 2, 1883

The following special telegram to the Louisville Courier-Journal gives some pretty strong proof that the National Capitol and White House will have to go. Thomas M. Blackmore, Sr., of Warsaw, Ky, Mr. George Blackmore, of North Madison, Mr. Dawson Blackmore, of Indianapolis, and the late William B. Sullivan, of this city, are the interested parties in this vicinity:

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 20—Robert Morrison, of this city, the leading counsel for the Blackmore heirs, claimants of the vast estate of Samuel Blackmore, consisting of considerable property in Pennsylvania, Maryland and the District of Columbia, including the ground upon which stands the National Capitol, White House and other Government buildings, today produced the original documents in the cases, from which it appears that the claim can not be ignored by the Government or private parties concerned.

Among the papers, which have become yellow from age, is one from the Orphans’ Court naming Arabella and Jane Blackmore as heirs and executors of the estate of Samuel Blanchard, who died about 1789. After coming into possession of the property, Mr. Morrison says, Arabella and Jane leased it for a term of ninety-nine years. This lease has about five years yet to run. Thus it will be seen that the statute of limitation cannot be used by the present holders in resisting the claim. Long after the death of Arabella and Jane Blackmore the holders of the land, realizing that their title was imperfect, had a power of attorney drawn up and presented to the heirs, who, however, never signed it. This document, which provided for the transfer of the interest of the heirs in the property, is also in possession of Mr. Morrison. Besides these papers, which are considered essential to establish the claim of the Blackmore decendents, there are deeds and other documents which will be produced. Mr. Morrison was in Europe recently looking after the interests of the heirs in England. There is a treasure of about 600,000 pounds in the Bank of England and considerable property in London and elsewhere that the claimants assert ownership to. Mr. Morrison will go to Washington fortified with an abundance of evidence to establish the claim about the 1st prox.

The heirs to this vast estate are distributed through Philadelphia, Maryland, Ohio, Missouri and California, and number about eighty. They are represented by some of the most prominent attorneys in the country

No follow-up as to the outcome of this story was found, but it sure is interesting. The Blackmore family was in Jefferson County in its early history. D. (Dawson Blackmore), Jonathan Lyon and Lewis Davis laid out the streets of Madison, Ind. and started sale of lots in 1811. Dawson Blackmore’s son Dawson, Jr. was said to be the first child born in the newly formed city of Madison on November 3, 1812. This Dawson, Jr. would be the one mentioned as an heir in the above article.