Kent County Courthouse The Calverts and Claibourne soon became embroiled in a decades long clash over its ownership, fueled both by political upheavals in England during the reign of the Catholic-leaning Charles I, and by Virginia’s support of Claibourne. No documentation has been uncovered to definitively support this, although it is possible that there was a ceremonial dumping of the tea. News of peace had not reached the Gulf of Mexico when Andrew Jackson led a novel-worthy army of pirates, black troops, Indians and Tennessee sharp-shooters in a brilliant and highly successful defense at the Battle of New Orleans, January 8, 1815. Maryland State Archives. Their work was published in multiple issues of the Society’s Key to Old Kent. Federalists and even Republicans celebrated when Napoleon was defeated by the British and Russian allied forces in the spring of 1814. Schools, Public and Private - Founding of Washington College. Please visit our library (Wed-Fri, 10-3) for further information and photographs on these properties. Its supporters essentially believed that whites and blacks could not live together peacefully. Henry Highland Garnet– By Amanda Tuttle-Smith- 2020- This article is a product of the successful application of the Henry Highland Garnet escape site to the Federal Network to Freedom program. In addition, the Society initiated the annual  Legacy Day, which celebrates and highlights African American history each August. That description could not have been written after the British landed. It is estimated that on the eve of the Civil War, 2500 of the county’s residents were enslaved. During the Revolution, Benjamin Chambers had served as a lieutenant in the Maryland Battalion during the Battle of Long Island. “Tea and Fantasy: Fact, Fiction and Revolution in an Historic American Town.” Women on the Farm 1830 Kent County Census Another Revolutionary veteran, General Benjamin Chambers of the heroic Maryland Battalion which had distinguished itself during the Battle of Long Island; Chamber’s son, Ezekiel; and James Edmundson Barroll, were among the many Kent County citizens who would stand bravely in the defense of their own soil during the summer of 1814. When Tolchester and the Bay Belle, the last steamboat in the Bay with a regular schedule, were surrendered to mortgage holders in 1962, service to Betteron also stopped, and an era came to a close. Student Life at Washington College Washington College became the 10th college in America, and the first to be founded in the newly independent and unified states. Drawing of the armory and market house from Martenet’s 1860 map of Kent County. Efforts were made to continue the tracks to the Chesapeake Bay but that project was eventually abandoned. Introduction: After the founding of Chestertown as a port in 1706, Kent County became firmly established as a center of farming, trade, travel and culture within the region. Our new site is still under construction. ORPHANS, MINORS AND HEIRS OF KENT COUNTY, MARYLAND 1778-1812 View catalog record. List of burials at select Kent County cemeteries. Link to essential source on Delmarva farming during the Revolution: “Breadbasket of the Revolution: Delmarva in the War for Independence” by Charles Truitt (citation only). In late April, the British reached Kent County. This act appears to represent the creation of Kent County The county seat is Chestertown It is the least populous county in Maryland : SEARCH OUR SITES Tales of Kent County; Volume One [there is no Volume Two] - Hemstock, Kevin, ed. The Chester River runs to the north of In addition to living off the abundant natural resources, they had begun to practice agriculture sometime around 800 BC, cultivating the three sisters of Native American farming, corn, beans and squash, along with the crop that would change their destiny: tobacco. This list of historic sites can be associated with the War of 1812 in Kent County, although not all of the structures were built during that time period. by Christine Daniels in the book American Artisans: Crafting Social Identify, 1750-1850. The British invasion of the Chesapeake was under the command of Rear Admiral Sir George Cockburn, whose task  was to ruin coastal trade, destroy supplies of grain and livestock and terrorize the population in general. Perhaps Washington’s most famous visit to Kent County occurred on May 19, 1784. CHAPTER V THE BATTLE OF CHAULK'S FIELD. The County was named for the county of the same name bordering the English Channel in the southeast of England. The 18th and 19th century homes and structures, community cultural and history-inspired events, historic small towns and museums, have made the county an attractive place to visit and live. Colonel Phillip Reed, a captain in the Continental Army during the Revolution, proved a more than a competent commander of the militia. Box 665 Chestertown, MD 21620 Phone: 410-778-3499 Email: Director@kentcountyhistory.org Website; Websites [edit | edit source] Kent County, Maryland Genealogy, History and Facts (Genealogy Inc) "Kent Co.," in Genealogical Sources in Periodicals at The Maryland State Archives. “Chestertown is getting more like New York every day, is a common saying in our town. “She looked like the Titanic when she came into the …river,” a resident was quoted in the New Bay Times. The transition from sail to steam enormously enhanced the ability of the Eastern Shore farmers and merchants to send their produce West. Full text of handwritten census records. These acts were repealed, only to be replaced by more fees and restrictions on trade imposed under the Townshend Acts and Tea Act. Lambert Wickes When Captain John Smith explored the Sassafras in 1608, he visited a palisaded Tockwogh village along its banks, possibly at Turner’s Creek. Our new site is still under construction. Kent County Cemetery Records – A However, the continued support for property requirements by the Federalist Party in general would help lead to its demise, even though its dire forecasts about going to war with England proved correct. Biography of John Smith from the Historic Jamestowne and Jamestowne Rediscovery website. Lt. Washington’s 1773 trip through the Eastern Shore was a personal one. British Lt. Benjamin George Beynon reported they burned the house, outbuildings and fields, but also received information from a slave that Lt. Col. Philip Reed’s militia was encamped near by at Belle Air, now called Fairlee. Kent County farmers were continually seeking new ways to earn a living from their land. Historical Society of Kent County 301 High Street P.O. Those who transported more than five men were granted 1000 acres and the right to name their estate. There was little cash available for purchases and most citizens were skeptical of state paper money. Cecil Calvert No wonder city dwellers were attracted to this “Jewel of the Chesapeake,” well into the 20th century. Kent County Bridges Chestertown Tea Party Festival Senator from Kent County, 1806-1813. At the end of the Revolution, Americans had won their independence, but not without sacrifice and struggle which continued into the post-war years. Ford, Corsica, Emma Ford and Gratitude were added to the fleet. It was the only war Kent County would experience on its own soil. Full text of handwritten census records. “Further measures are in contemplation” likely referred to the establishment of a Committee of Correspondence, with Thomas Smyth as Chairman and Thomas Ringgold and James Nicholson among its members. Chestertown Merchants advertisement Full text of handwritten census records. Part III Cartoon of fight between Jeffersonian Republican Matthew Lyon and Federalist Roger Griswold on the floor of the US House of Representatives 1798. Kent County was once a thriving port, established in 1706, and was the shortest route between Virginia and Philadelphia via ferry from Annapolis on the Rock Hall. “Chestertown must go if attacked,” read a letter to the Western Shore, “for we have not a sufficient force to repel them.”  But mosquitoes, heat and plucky Talbot County militia encouraged the British to move out of the Bay for the time being. The Industrial Revolution was ahead and would transform the world within decades. Drawing from 1907 Bird’s Eye View of Chestertown showing the oldest section of the Kent County, HSKC. From its earliest inhabitants to its present-day status as the gateway to the Eastern Shore, Kent Island has played a vital role in the history of Maryland. In 1642, the Governor and Council appointed commissioners for the Isle and County of Kent. Of the 30,000 convicts who came to the North American mainland between 1718 and 1776, more than two-thirds came to the Chesapeake. The Bordley History Center, located in Historic Downtown Chestertown, is the unequivocal epicenter of Kent County history, home to numerous artifacts, documents, photos, publications and other items that document the area’s past. Long after the Civil War ended, bitterness over the strong-arm tactics taken by the State administration during the war remained strong. The British sent warning with local boaters that if the town did not resist, it would be spared, and any provisions taken, paid for. Legacy Day, now produced in cooperation with Sumner Hall, culminates with a parade and street party on the third Saturday in August. Skilled craftsmen set up shop in the new town, taverns thrived as centers for news and politics, and merchants profited from Chestertown’s rapid growth. I offered them Battle by advancing within one hundred yards of them, and giving them a sharp and galling fire for ten minutes which must have laid some of them low; they were extremely well mounted – smashingly dress’d in blue and long white feathers in their hats. War of 1812 (General overview with Timeline), Black Sailors and Soldiers in the War of 1812, Maryland African Americans in the War of 1812, A Native Nations Perspective on the War of 1812. Click here to download a PDF of the African American History Map of the Underground Railroad in Kent County and Chestertown. Tillotson narrowly escaped slave catchers who relentlessly pursued him. Kent County was named for the county of the same name in England. Available online… Water was the main source of transportation, although roads began to replace paths between plantations in the 1670’s, and ferries and bridges were built at the river crossings. The British returned to Kent County in July of 1814. The Continental Army made heavy demands on Maryland farmers for ships, boats and wagons to transport men and supplies. St. Paul’s History Perhaps the most dramatic escape was that of Harriet Shepherd who, desperate to rescue her children from the life that she had endured, boldly stole horses and two carriages from her master and simply drove out of Chestertown with her five young children and five other slaves. During the first year of war, American forces and their commanders blundered their way through humiliating engagements with the highly trained British regulars. Christ Episcopal Church I.U. In 1967, Kent County’s schools were fully integrated, bringing about the consolidation of many smaller schools within the county. With Europe at peace for the first time in 20 years, England turned its attention to the American coast of the Atlantic, occupying part of Maine in the early summer of 1814 (and welcomed by many of the residents). Also called Dougherty-Barroll House, Colonial Kent County  “Seven Pioneers of the Colonial Eastern Shore” in Maryland Historical Magazine, Vol. Local legend holds that when they came to a brick house at the top of the hill, Miss Kitty Knight tossed the fire brand was tossed back out. Over many years, the Society invited several of its member historians to share their research on Kent County’s African American history. On the final day of the Revolution, Tench Tilghman of Queen Anne’s County, as Washington’s Aide de Camp, rode through Chestertown on his way to inform the Continental Congress that Cornwallis had surrendered at Yorktown in October of 1781. Taverns or “ordinaries” played a key role not in only travel, but also in community and political life. Happy visitors were transported from the noise and crowds of the city into dreamland. But their fiercest attention would be directed at the Chesapeake and, ultimately, the primary targets of Washington and Baltimore, the home port of privateers who had been harassing British ships in both the Atlantic and Pacific before and during the war. The county was named for the county of Kent in England. From three miles away, Colonel Reed heard the exchange and mobilized his 174 men toward the enemy. Rose Hill, c. 1760 John Cadwalader & George Washington, The Story of Friendship– Benjamin Kohl. Race Relations: A Report on Integration in a Maryland Town Kent County was officially founded in 1642, and the earliest land patents were granted on Eastern Neck, Grays Inn Creek and Langford Creek, to men such as Thomas Ringgold, Thomas South, and Thomas Hynson. Chesapeake settlements revolved around plantation life, rather than towns. Although now technically free, he was still in danger because of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law, which not only offered incentives for the seizure of anyone suspected of being a runaway slave, but also made it impossible for them to have a jury trial or to testify on their own behalf. - History Associated Records. 301 High Street | P.O. Kent’s history promises to play a strong role in its future. Kent County (Md.) At the same time, Methodism was on the rise on the Eastern Shore. Schooner Sultana and Colonial History Wealthy landowners no longer dominated local politics, and a middle class sought their place in government. On May 13, 1774, six months after the Boston tea party, a number of prominent Kent County men gathered at a local tavern to respond to the Tea Act. Introduction: By the end of the 1920’s, Kent Countians already had begun to feel the effects of the Great Depression. The prospect of war caused tensions between the two political parties. Tillotson, afraid of being sold to slave traders from Georgia upon the death of his master, plantation owner Samuel Jarman. In 1831, the Maryland Colonization Society was formed by Dr. History of Kent County, Maryland, 1630-1916: 250: The government of Kent County, Maryland : historical and descriptive: 217: The descendants of William Pell, Sr. of Kent County, Maryland: 212: The Forman genealogy : descendants of Robert Forman of Kent Co., Maryland… HMS Menelaus, captained by Peter Parker, and which anchored with several smaller ships in Fairlee Creek in 1813. Two unnamed men were detained in Chestertown in summer 1813 under suspicion of supplying the British with grain. From Washington’s diary entries we learn that on “13 [May]. Big Fairlee, Henry Waller Farm (built c. 1815) They wanted to establish central shipping points where they could control trade and levy duties. Portrait of the British commander of the HMS Menelaus, killed at the Battle of Caulk’s Field. Kent County men were among the Maryland 400, five companies of Kent County native William Smallwood’s battalion. Kent Manufacturing Co. Explosion  Those interested in field work will find the Upper Shore Genealogical Society's multi-volume publication, Tombstoning in Kent County, an … Land had opened up West, and overland routes were utilized instead of the Bay crossing. At the end of the 20th century, the population and the economy of the Eastern Shore had been forever transformed. 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