A County Seat

A County Seat (HM16OC)

Location: Chestertown, MD 21620 Kent County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 12.546', W 76° 3.95'

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Establishing a county government is the first step for people building a stable community and a strong trade economy.

The first Kent County Courthouse was located at New Yarmouth, a 17th-century settlement abandoned when county lines were changed in 1706, That year, a new county seat was established at Chestertown (then known as "New Town") and its courthouse was built on this site. In 1860, the old colonial courthouse was torn down and replaced with the current building; its construction date can be seen above the door.

In early plantation days, tobacco was the common medium of exchange. It took 55,000 pounds of tobacco to rebuild the courthouse after a fire in 1719.

A complex Legacy

Country records house here span 350 years. They include land deeds, wills, court decisions and certificates of freedom given to manumitted slaves.

The Courthouse hosted public meetings at pivotal moments in American History. In 1774 patriots met to protest importation of tea from Britain. During the Civil War, General (and future U.S.president) James A. Garfield delivered a pro-union speech here; disgruntled locals expressed their own views by pelting him with eggs and rotten vegetables. The building has a darker legacy. Slaves seized to pay their masters' debts were once auctioned off on the granite steps at your right. In 1892. 24-year-old James Taylor, a black man, was dragged from a cell by a mob of local whites and lynched nearby.

This Church Made History

As Chestertown grew, so did the need for a larger church. In 1772, parishioners built a new Anglican house of worship on a lot deeded from courthouse land. Chester Parish Church, as it was called, made religious history in 1780, when, in the spirit of Revolution, clergymen met here and renounced the term "Church of England" in favor of "Protestant Episcopal Church" — a name later adopted throughout the United States. In 1882, the building was substantially remodeled and consecrated under its current name, Emmanuel Church.
HM NumberHM16OC
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 8th, 2014 at 7:25pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 407978 N 4340522
Decimal Degrees39.20910000, -76.06583333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 12.546', W 76° 3.95'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 12' 32.76" N, 76° 3' 57.00" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)410, 443
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 100-298 Memorial Plaza, Chestertown MD 21620, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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