History of Caroline County, Maryland

The continual need of the children, teachers, and officers of our public schools having some historical data concerning the home county of Caroline has led to the publishing of this book which is here presented to the public.

The constant neglect of a citizenship to compile facts concerning its growth and history must inevitably lead to an almost total ignorance of the same and subsequently to a lack of appreciation of the local heroes.

Having read of the struggles of the colonial troops during the Revolutionary AVar, how many of us are conscious of the fact that our county then only in its infancy furnished not only its quota of soldiers and supplies, but the leader of the troops of the Eastern Shore Colonel William Richardson?

Have we fully realized that the immortal Declaration of Independence was made possible by just such assemblages of determined citizens as the one held in this county in June 1774?

Has it ever occurred to us that our county furnished one subject of the cause for the War of 1812 the impressment of American Seamen?

Generally may it 1k' said that Caroline's worthies of the past and present have held and still hold an honored place among the leaders of the State. To give due credit to these is one valid reason for such a volume. Perhaps a more important reason, however, for such an effort is the necessity of the pupils in our schools acquiring a fundamental knowledge of the organization and earlier history of our county (1) to teach an appreciation of home and local environments and (2) to furnish a proper basis for state and national history.

Assuredly, Caroline County has a rich background which adds dignity to the present, for out of the early days step stately personages who add charm to every scene; stirring events that warm the blood; and spots hallowed by the acts of brave ones; yes, changing persons and events moving pictures so to speak.

In the "History of Caroline County" an attempt has been made to record in simple form the substance of facts gleaned from reliable sources by the pupils, teachers, and officials of the public schools through talks with the older residents, county officials, by means of old manuscripts, deeds, wills, newspapers, church and court records, and from the several volumes of history and novels pertaining to our county and state.


Table of Contents

1. Formation of Caroline County 1
2. Organization of the County 3
3. Caroline County Courts 7
4. The Hundred Election Districts 18
5. Land Grants 23
6. The Mason and Dixon Line 25
7. Roads, Ferries, Bridges, Fences and Gates 28
8. Indians of the Eastern Shore 33
9. When Indians Lived in Our Land 41
10. Foreword to the Trial of Poh Poh Caquis 45
11. Erection of the Court House and Jail 50
12. Revolutionary Period 54
13. Carolines Military Activities 70
14. Colonel William Richardson 76
15. Colonel William Whiteley 80
16. Matthew Driver 82
17. The Potters of Potters Landing 85
IS. Life in Caroline Following the Revolution 88
19. Early Brick Dwellings in Caroline 94
20. The Hughletts 100
21. William Frazier Methodist Organizer 103
22. Early Churches and Societies 105
23. Caroline County Almshouses 120
24. When Tobacco was King 123
25. The Duel Between Dickinson and Jackson 126
26. War of 1812 129
27. Captain Joseph Richardson 133
28. Thomas Culbreth 134
29. Early Postal Service 137
30. The Plantation 139
31. Slavery 141
32. An Old Time Maryland School (1838) 152
33. The Public Schools 156
34. Early Factories 165
35. The Civil War 168
36. Marydel Vicinity 175
37. Henderson Locality 181
38. Goldsboro (Old Town) 187
39. Moore's 191
40. Greensboro (Choptank Bridge) 194
41. Burrsville (Punch Hall, Union Corner) 218
42. Denton (Pig Point, Edenton) 224
43. Harmony (Fowling Creek) 251
44. Preston (Snow Hill) 256
45. Bethlehem 263
46. Federalsburg (North West Fork Bridge) 267
47. Concord 281
48. Smithville and Community 284
49. Hillsboro (Tuckahoe Bridge) 289
50. Ridgely 289
51. Spanish-American War 314
52. County Newspapers 316
53. The World War 320
54. The Floods of 1919 347


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Up until 1774 there was no Caroline County. The land where we now live belonged to Dorchester and Queen Anne's counties. Large tracts were uncleared and roads poor. When people living here had business at court, they had to make a long, rough journey either to Cambridge or Queenstown. Far-seeing men decided to petition the General Assembly of the province to make a new county out of parts of Dorchester and Queen Anne's, which they felt would result in a more rapid development of this section as well as prove a great personal convenience.