Cecil County History



A Brief History of Cecil County 

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Named for Cecilius Calvert , the first Proprietary of the Province of Maryland, Cecil County was erected by proclamation on June 6, 1674. The present county of Kent was in the original bounds for two weeks, until the inhabitants of Kent demanded their territory be returned.

John Smith sailed the Chesapeake, the Susquehanna, the Shannon, the Elk and the Sassafras in 1608, mapping the area and learning of it's native (The Native Americans of Maryland: Great Contributors Underappreciated -a lovely essay by a young historian) inhabitants.

The Dutch commissioned Augustine Herman to purchase land for them in the area now known as Bohemia. A few years later, he agreed to make a survey for the Calvert family. In 1672, beautiful map drawn by Herman was engraved in London and presented to the Calverts,  for which work Herman was granted lands.

The first settlement was on Palmer's Island, now known as Garrett's Island at the mouth of the Susquehanna River, in what was then Virginia. The first permanent settlement was at Carpenter's Point near the mouth of the Principio Creek. A court was standing by 1679 when the Labadist missionaries, Sluyter and Dankers visited Ordinary Point in Sassafras Rive. in 1717, the court was moved to Court House Point on Bohemia Manor; then on the Charlestown ; and in 1778 to "Head of Elk" a village at the head of the Elk River. In 1787 a new courthouse was built here and the village's named was changed to Elkton.

bulletOriginal Will of Augusteen Herrman
bullet2nd Will of Augustine Herman
 (1)Herman, Augustine,Bohemia Manor,
 27th Sept., 1684;
 10th Aug., 1686.
 Will devises that his estate shall be equally enjoyed by all his children.
 Overseers William Dare, Edward Jones, George Oldfield to look after the estate and protect the  entail. Testator sets forth that he so appoints overseers because his eldest Ephrian has attached  himself to the Labadist faction of religion and is seeking to persuade his brother Casparus and  sisters –– to join him.
 Test: Samuel Wheeler, Robert Kemble, Richard Edmonds, Geo. Oldfield. 4. 228.  Skinner, Robert,. Calvert Co.,  8th Mch., 1685)
(NOTE: This Will has been disputed, lacking his signature, and written at a time of illness)

(2)"The Labadist Communities, New York, Maryland, and Pennsylvania,  1683-1725. The Labadists were German Separatists, who took their name from  Jean de Labadie, a former Catholic priest. The Labadists came to America and  founded several colonies in New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. One group,  near Philadelphia, was known as "The Society of the Woman of the Wilderness".  The community in Maryland, later known as "Bohemia Manor", was established in  1683. It had a maximum membership of 100 and owned nearly4000 acres of land.  The Labadists were religious mystics who hoped to emulate the early Christian  Church communism, although in Maryland they held slaves. Their administration was  in the hands of a dictator named Peter Sluyter. Soon after his death (in 1722), the  community disbanded and the members melted into the individualistic American  scene. "

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~ History Related Links ~


About Cecil County (A History)


History of the Cecil County Seal, Vol. 11 No. 14, Newsletter of the Maryland State Archives, July 28, 1997


History and Historic Locations of Chesapeake City


Historic Elk Landing


National Register of Historic Places for Cecil County


Ancestors of President George W. Bush in Cecil County


Slaveholders (Walkers)


History of Walkers in Cecil County


Union School Class of 1920 (near Appleton Glen) by Arthur Craig Mizner

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