DORCHESTER COUNTY, MARYLAND

HISTORICAL CHRONOLOGY


1608, June. Capt. John Smith sailed up Nanticoke River.

1668, May 1. Treaty with Nanticokes.

1668/69. Feb. 16. Dorchester County known to have been established by this date, when a writ was issued to county sheriff; named for Sir Edward Sackville (1590-1652), 4th Earl of Dorset.

1669. Choptank Indian Reservation laid out near Cambridge.

1669-1670 Court held in Islington on Little Choptank River.

1673-1687. Court sessions held at Harwood's Choice.

1684. Cambridge on Choptank River laid out by commissioners, made a port of entry.

1687. Courthouse constructed at Cambridge.

1698. Nanticoke Indian Reservation laid out near Vienna.

1704, Oct. 3. Treaty with Nanticokes.

1744. Many Nanticokes left Maryland to join Iroquois, traveling north to Pennsylvania, New York, and Ontario, Canada.

1750, Nov. John Henry (1750-1798), Governor of Maryland, born at “Weston”, near Vienna.

1760, Feb. 9. William Vans Murray (1760-1803), U.S. Representative, 1791-1797, and U.S. Minister to the Netherlands, 1797-1801, born in Cambridge.

1765, July 15. Charles Goldsborough (1765-1834), Governor of Maryland, born at "Hunting Creek", near Cambridge.

1768, June 18. Nanticokes relinquished their land claims in Maryland and received compensation.

1770. Second Courthouse built at Cambridge.

1773. Caroline County erected from Dorchester and Queen Anne's counties.

1776, Sept. 16. Eastern Shore Battalion of Flying Camp fought under Col. William Richardson at Battle of Harlem Heights.

1793. Cambridge incorporated.

1799, Jan. 18. Maryland passed Act appointing commissioners to purchase land still belonging to Choptanks.

1798, Sept. 2. Thomas Holliday Hicks (1798-1865), Governor of Maryland, born near East New Market.

1815, Feb. 7. Battle of the Ice Mound, Taylor's Island.

1816, May 21. Stephen Allen Benson (1816-1865), 2nd President of Liberia, 1856-1864, born in Cambridge.

1819, Feb. 6. New Market Academy, chartered in 1818, incorporated at East New Market.

1822. Araminta (Minty) Ross (later known as Harriet Tubman) born south of Madison.

1832. East New Market incorporated.

1833. Vienna incorporated.

1849. Harriet Tubman (1822-1913) escaped to Philadelphia, fleeing slavery in Dorchester County.

1850-1860. Harriet Tubman made at least 13 trips into Maryland's Eastern Shore, leading more than 70 people to freedom on the Underground Railroad, and providing resources that allowed the freedom of at least 50 others.


[photo, Dorchester County Courthouse, 206 High St., Cambridge, Maryland] 1852, May 9. Fire destroyed Courthouse at Cambridge.

1852, Feb. 21. Henry Lloyd (1852-1920), Governor of Maryland, born in Dorchester County.

1853. Third Courthouse built at Cambridge.

1857, May 14. Samuel Green (c.1802-1877) of East New Market sentenced at Cambridge to 10 years in Maryland Penitentiary for possession of Uncle Tom's Cabin.

Courthouse, 206 High St., Cambridge, Maryland, January 2007. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


[image, Harriet Tubman, from 1858. John Brown and Harriet Tubman met at St. Catharine’s, Ontario, Canada, to discuss his planned raid on Harper’s Ferry. While raising funds for the raid, Tubman did not participate due to illness.

1861, Sept. 1st Regiment, Maryland Eastern Shore Infantry (Union) raised at Cambridge by Col. James Wallace.

1862, May. Harriet Tubman moved to Beaufort, South Carolina (then occupied by federal forces), aiding slaves in transition to freedom, as well as acting as a spy and scout for the Union.

1863. Harriet Tubman recruited former slaves to act as spies and scouts for federal forces.

1863, June 2. Harriet Tubman led 150 African-American soldiers to free more than 700 slaves in Combahee Ferry Raid, South Carolina. Tubman became first woman to lead major U.S. military operation.

1863, July 2-3. Under Col. James Wallace, 1st Regiment, Maryland Eastern Shore Infantry fought at Gettysburg.

Harriet Tubman, from "Strike for Freedom" exhibit, House of Delegates Office Building, Annapolis, Maryland, April 2019. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


1864, March 26. Emerson C. Harrington (1864-1945), Governor of Maryland, born at Madison.

1865, Aug. 6. Phillips Lee Goldsborough (1865-1946), Governor of Maryland, born in Cambridge.

1867. Church Creek incorporated.

1892. Hurlock incorporated.

1900. Secretary incorporated.

1915. Eastern Shore State Hospital (now Eastern Shore Hospital Center) opened at Cambridge.

1930, May 27. John Barth born in Cambridge.

1931. Courthouse at Cambridge enlarged.

1933. Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge established as a waterfowl sanctuary for migratory birds.

1935, Oct. 26. Governor Emerson C. Harrington Bridge crossed Choptank River at Cambridge.

1947. Eldorado incorporated.

1951. Galestown incorporated.

1953. Brookview incorporated.

1962, Jan. 13, 20, 27. Three Freedom Rides from Baltimore to Cambridge organized by Baltimore Civic Interest Group.

1962, Jan. Cambridge Nonviolent Action Committee formed by Gloria Richardson and other parents.

1963, June 11. Cambridge riots. National Guard remained through May 1965.

1967, July 24. Cambridge riots.

1970. Center for Environmental and Estuarine Studies (now Center for Environmental Science) created at Cambridge by University of Maryland Board of Regents.

1971. County public schools desegregated.

1978. Jim Richardson (builder) launched replica pinnace Maryland Dove, LeCompte Creek, Dorchester County.

1987. Frederick C. Malkus Bridge opened across Choptank River at Cambridge.

2002, Sept. 10. Electronic voting machines first used during primary elections in four counties (Allegany, Dorchester, Montgomery, Prince George's).

2002, Dec. 5. Charter form of government adopted.

2004, March 2. Electronic voting system used during primary elections at polling places and for absentee ballots in all counties and Baltimore City.

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