“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Hagerstown in Washington County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)


Revolutionary and Early Federal Era

1770-1790 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), March 1, 2020
1. 1770-1790 Marker
On July 2, 800 citizens meet in Elizabeth Town and pledge to boycott British goods, especially tea. This is done to support the citizens of Boston because their port had been closed by Parliament.

In August, a colonial government committee report studying of construction of a possible gun factory finds that there are 12 gunsmiths in the colony of Maryland capable of producing firearms for the government. Two of these are in Hagerstown.

On September 6, Washington County is established from part of Frederick County. Making a statement to the British, the legislature names it in honor of the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army (and future first President of the United States). Elizabeth Town is established as the county seat. A court house/market house is constructed in the middle of Public Square to serve the new government.

Colonel Nathaniel Rochester settles in Elizabeth Town and is the founder of the "Hagers Town Bank". He also serves as postmaster and Washington County Sheriff before he moves to New York and establishes the city
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of Rochester.

Ca. 1785
Christian Hawken begins a 35-year career making rifles in Hagerstown. His shop was located at the corner of Franklin and Prospect Streets. Two of his sons, also gunsmiths, move to St. Louis and develop the "Hawken Rifle"; a now legendary firearm that is used widely to "tame the west" by the settlers of the great plains.

On October 20, President Washington is hosted by the City when he is scouting the area for a possible location for the national capital. He stays at the Globe Tavern on West Washington Street.

The Washington Spy, the first newspaper west of the Blue Ridge, begins publishing in Elizabeth Town.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial EraCommunicationsIndustry & CommerceLaw EnforcementSettlements & SettlersWar, US RevolutionaryWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #01 George Washington, and the George Washington Slept Here series lists. A significant historical date for this entry is July 2, 1774.
Location. 39° 37.931′ N, 77° 43.401′ W. Marker is in Hagerstown, Maryland, in Washington County. Marker is at the intersection of South Potomac Street and West Memorial
1770-1790 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), March 1, 2020
2. 1770-1790 Marker
Boulevard, on the right when traveling south on South Potomac Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 605 South Potomac Street, Hagerstown MD 21740, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Before 1770 (a few steps from this marker); 1790-1810 (a few steps from this marker); Maurice Edward Frock (a few steps from this marker); Edward Mayberry Mobley (a few steps from this marker); Anna Spencer Brugh Singer (a few steps from this marker); Jacob Francis Wheaton (a few steps from this marker); Thomas Kennedy (a few steps from this marker); Matthias Peter Möller (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hagerstown.
Credits. This page was last revised on March 1, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 1, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 306 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 1, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Apr. 17, 2024