“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Chaptico in St. Mary's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Prosperous Port Town

Raided by British, July 1814

Prosperous Port Town Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Allen C. Browne, January 5, 2013
1. Prosperous Port Town Marker
Inscription. Colonial Settlement followed the rivers inland, and harbors with deep water became commercial and social centers. The Maryland colony was founded in 1634, and Chaptico was officially established by 1683. In 1689, Chaptico's John Goode organized a rebellion against Lord Baltimore's government in St. Mary's City. Thereafter, the Anglican Church of England was the official church of Maryland, and the state capital was moved to Annapolis.

Conflicting Portrayals of the War of 1812

125 years later, the British feigned and advance up the Potomac River to disguise their advance on Washington, D.C. As they sailed up the Potomac, sailors came ashore to plunder plantations and destroy property, terrorizing the citizens of this young nation.

On July 30, 1814, the British landed at Chaptico's wharf and marched to Christ Church. Two different versions are told of their visit.

American Account

...[The British] conduct would have disgraced cannibals; the houses were torn to pieces, the well which afforded water for the inhabitants was filled up. --- What was still worse, the Church & the Ashes of the Dead shared and equally bad or worse fate. Will you believe that the sunken graves were converted in to barbecue (sic) holes; the remaining glass in the church windows broken, the communion
Prosperous Port Town Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Allen C. Browne, January 5, 2013
2. Prosperous Port Town Marker
table was used as a dinner table, and then broken to pieces... [and a] vault was entered and the remains of the dead disturbed. Yes, my friend, the winding sheet was torn from the body of a lady of the first respectability . and the whole contents of the vault entirely deranged!... Cockburn was the head of it; that they destroyed the organs, that Judge Key's lady, who had been put into the vault, was ... wantonly exposed; and that his men were exasperated to desperation by this conduct. -- Replica of report from Robert Wright for the Daily National Intelligencer August 4, 1814.

British Accounts

"...we marched and took quiet possession of [Chaptico] without opposition. I remain all day quietly in Chaptico whist the boats shipped off tobacco which was found there in considerable quantity, and at night reembarked without molestation. I visited many house[s] in different parts of the country we passed through, the owners of which were living quietly with their families and seeming to consider themselves and the whole neighborhood as being entirely at my disposal. I caused no further inconvenience to [them], than obliging them to furnish supplies of cattle and stock for... forces under my orders." -- Rear Admiral Sir George Cockburn to Vice Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane, July 31, 1814.

"... took possession of Chaptico -- where some ladies who
Prosperous Port Town Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Allen C. Browne, January 5, 2013
3. Prosperous Port Town Marker
had heard of our good behavior [sic] at Leonards Town remained -- and sang an[d] played the piano. We took from thence 70 Hhds [hogsheads] of tobacco, some flour, & military stores but preserved their houses [and] purchased from them stock and various articles of provisions. The men all fled, but the Ladies remained to see the wonderful Admrl. Cockburn and the British folks." -- Captain Robert Rowley report to his superiors, August, 1814.

Christ Church

King and Queen Episcopal Parish was organized in 1692,and the church built in 1736. It is a good example of the Georgian architectural style, inspired by the work of Sir Christopher Wren. Plan books showing the features of Wrens buildings were available in England, and this style flourished in Maryland throughout the 18th century.

The symmetry of the arched windows, and the elaborate cornice detailing (where the exterior walls meet the roof) are typical of the Georgian style. Christ Church is detailed with the Flemish bond brick pattern ,which is typical of early St. Mary's county buildings.

This church was built with taxes collected from all citizens Anglican or not, by Maryland's Provincial government.
Location. 38° 21.963′ N, 76° 47.035′ W. Marker is in Chaptico, Maryland, in St. Mary's County
Captain John Smith's 1608 Map Photo, Click for full size
By Allen C. Browne, January 5, 2013
4. Captain John Smith's 1608 Map
Chaptico, which reportedly mans "deep water" or "a big broad river," was established near a native village mapped by Captain John Smith in 1608.
. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Budd's Creek Road and Maddox Road. Click for map. Marker is in front of Christ Church near the intersection of Maddox Road (MD 238) and Budd's Creek Road (MD 234). Marker is in this post office area: Chaptico MD 20621, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Christ Church King and Queen Parish (here, next to this marker); Chaptico (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Chaptico (approx. 0.2 miles away); "Deep Falls" (approx. 1.5 miles away); "Three Notch Road" (approx. 6.6 miles away); De La Brooke Manor (approx. 7.3 miles away); Cadet Pierre A. Mourthé (approx. 7.7 miles away); Coole Springs of Saint Marie’s (approx. 7.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Chaptico.
Also see . . .  Christ Episcopal Church. Maryland Inventory of Historical Properties (Submitted on January 20, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.) 
Categories. Cemeteries & Burial SitesChurches, Etc.Colonial EraWar of 1812
American Acount of the British Raid July 1814 Photo, Click for full size
By Allen C. Browne, January 5, 2013
5. American Acount of the British Raid July 1814
British Accounts of the Raid of July 1814 Photo, Click for full size
By Allen C. Browne, January 5, 2013
6. British Accounts of the Raid of July 1814
BrickPatterns Photo, Click for full size
By Allen C. Browne, January 5, 2013
7. BrickPatterns
Flemish Bond Photo, Click for full size
By Allen C. Browne, January 5, 2013
8. Flemish Bond
on the walls of Christ Church
Christ Church Photo, Click for full size
By Allen C. Browne, January 5, 2013
9. Christ Church
Christ Church Plaque Photo, Click for full size
By Allen C. Browne, January 5, 2013
10. Christ Church Plaque
Christ Church Protestant Episcopal
King and Queen Parish
First Church Built 1642
Parish Established 1692
This Church built 1736
Tower Added 1913
This Tablet given in memory of our parents Lewis Henry and Mary Love Davis, 1941
Defais Le Foi Photo, Click for full size
By Allen C. Browne, January 5, 2013
11. Defais Le Foi
The Key family tomb, allegedly desecrated by the British in 1814
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 310 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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