Smith's St. Leonard Site

Smith's St. Leonard Site (HM1J9E)

Location: Saint Leonard, MD 20685 Calvert County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 23.653', W 76° 30.456'

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An Unexpected Discovery

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 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
" 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.
HM NumberHM1J9E
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, February 23rd, 2015 at 5:01am PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 368344 N 4250631
Decimal Degrees38.39421667, -76.50760000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 23.653', W 76° 30.456'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 23' 39.18" N, 76° 30' 27.36" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)410, 301
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 10545 Mackall Rd, Saint Leonard MD 20685, US
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