History of Dorchester County, Maryland

This fragmentary collection of local history and biography is only a glimpse at the interesting events occurring in Dorchester County from its origin, two hundred and thirty-three years ago, to the present day. In compiling this local record, references to State events and people have been frequently made in order to explain the cause and effect of local acts which have had their influences in county affairs. Especially has it been the purpose to note the names of the promoters of the county as well as to mention their deeds.

In this fast age of book and newspaper literature when every inmate of the American home must daily read the current hisrtory of the world as it transpires, there is no reasonable excuse why a history of Dorchester County should not be published.

It has been the desire of the author to give a truthful narration of the events treated, and while the diction may not be all that could be desired, it is set forth as an earnest effort, to which the reader is asked to bestow that indulgence which the work merits. If due credit has not been given, either by reference or quotation, for any language used in this book, it is an act of unintentional omission.

It is a pleasure to insert a list of references and names of persons to whom the author is indebted for aid and information in compiling this work, and much gratitude is due to librarians and court officers for the liberty of access to the books and records in their keeping. Owing to the loss or destruction of some of the provincial records of Maryland and the County Court records of Dorchester County, a complete list of the Council and Assembly Delegates, Court Justices and Sheriffs of that period could not be obtained for publication.


Table of Contents

Introductory to the History of Dorchester County.

Early History of Dorchester County.
Towns and Their Descriptions.
Church History.
Old Burying Grounds.
Elections and Political History.
Miscellaneous History (Colonial).
Indian History.
Colored Race in Dorchester County.
Domestic and Social Life in Colonial Days.
County Folklore and Superstitions.
Revolutionary Period.
County Products and Resources.
War of 1812-15.
Education— Schools.
Federal and Confederate Soldiers from Dorchester County.
In Civil War, 1861-65.
Dorchester County from Another Point of View.
Historical Notes.

Family History, Genealogy and Biography.

Numerous Civil Lists of County, State and National Officials OF Dorchester County and List of Federal Soldiers from the County in the Civil War of 1861-65.


List of Illustrations.

Castle Haven... Frontispiece
Baptist Mission Church... 76
Bethel African M.E. Church... 180
Cambridge High School... 254
Carroll Tombs... 280
Christ P.E. Church... 136

Carrol...l 275
Goldsborough-Henry... 299
Hooper... 319
Keene... 335
Lake... 342
Vans Murray... 394
County Jail... 58
Court House... 52
Dorchester House (Colonial)... 68
Dorsey Wyvill House... 284
East New Market High School... 86
Edmondson House... 90
Grace M.E. Church, South... 78
Hambrook... 304
Hambrook Bay... 12
Hicks Monument... 318
Hooper Houses... 88
Lee Mansion (Colonial)... 98


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As history is but the record of past events, dependent on some primary cause, so we find the origin of Dorchester County and its early development to be what the founders and early settlers of Maryland made it. Therefore, to show the relation of the county to the province, under the influence of its makers, and to invite a deeper interest in our ancestors of colonial times, a brief sketch is here first given of the Calvert family, the Lord Proprietaries of Maryland, the charter privileges granted Lord Baltimore by the King of England, the rules and laws from time to time proclaimed by the Proprietaries, Governors and Council, either with or without approval of the Assemblies, and other events that shaped the course and progress of the colony that led to the formation of Dorchester County. Readers familiar with Maryland history may omit this chapter.