Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
St. Leonard in Calvert County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Smith’s St. Leonard Site

An Unexpected Discovery

 
 
Smith’s St. Leonard Site Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, February 10, 2015
1. Smith’s St. Leonard Site Marker
Inscription. Between 1767 and 1773, two neighbors-Thomas Johnson (father of Maryland’s first state governor) and Walter Smith-twice went to court to settle a dispute about the boundary of Smith’s plantation of St. Leonard. Many local residents were called to testify, and a plat was drawn of the property. The depositions and the plat contain wonderful descriptions of the plantation’s buildings, fences, and fields, including old structures that were in ruins by the 1770s. Armed with this landscape information which often is not available to researchers, the JPPM Public Archaeology Program began to investigate the area that was the heart of the Smith plantation in the early 1700s.

In the mid-1600s, Richard Smith, Sr., Maryland’s first Attorney General, settled at St. Leonard. According to the plot, his home and the family cemetery were located next to the museum buildings that now stand behind you. Archaeologists believe that the Smith family lived in 3 different houses between the 1650s and the 1710s. In the colonial period, people often stayed in a house for only a few decades before moving to a new location on their farm. Because of this, people sometimes assume that any old house standing today dates to when a property was first settled, when in fact it may be much younger.

(Inscription under the image in the lower center)
View of the

Close up of the map on th Smith’s St. Leonard Site Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, February 10, 2015
2. Close up of the map on th Smith’s St. Leonard Site Marker
field in front of you, showing the locations of some of the buildings marked within the circle on the 1773 plat at the right.

Historical Evidence
“…ye Dwelling House wherein the Plaintiffs’ Grandfather lived; on ye Gable end of which is Set, in Brick ‘ye following Figures…1711.”
Detail from the 1773 plot, giving the year the plantation’s main house was built.

“Joshua Sedwick…standing in an Old Road Deposeth that when…he was not more than Ten or Twelve years of age a Gate stood there…”
Deposition of Joshua Sedwick, age 57, on February 11, 1773, showing that detailed landscape information provided by the court case.

Funding for this project was provided by the Maryland Humanities Council and the Friends of Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum.
 
Location. 38° 23.653′ N, 76° 30.456′ W. Marker is in St. Leonard, Maryland, in Calvert County. Marker is on Jefferson Patterson Park Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Saint Leonard MD 20685, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. “We Must Have Done Them Considerable Damage” (within shouting distance of this marker); The Search for the Chesapeake Flotilla (within shouting distance of this marker); Attention to Detail-Gertrude Sawyer, Architect

Smith’s St. Leonard Site Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, February 10, 2015
3. Smith’s St. Leonard Site Marker
(within shouting distance of this marker); The Government at St. Leonard’s (within shouting distance of this marker); John Stuart Skinner (within shouting distance of this marker); Valor at St. Leonard Creek (within shouting distance of this marker); “The Commodore Can Beat Any…Barges…Sent Against Him” (within shouting distance of this marker); Land Battle Evidence (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in St. Leonard.
 
Categories. Colonial EraSettlements & Settlers
 
Sign at the entrance to Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, February 10, 2015
4. Sign at the entrance to Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 21, 2015, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 200 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 21, 2015, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement