St Marys Cnty Md

St. Mary's County looks like a peninsula with the Potomac River on the west and Chesapeake Bay on the east.  Across the wide Potomac is nearby Virginia.  Immediately to the north is Charles County and further northwest is what is now greater Washington D.C.

St. Mary's County

One sees a colonial charm and lovely landscape with hills, valleys and lowlands, and a great deal of coastal area with a few off-shore islands.  St. Mary's City was the capital of the province (1634-1695) until it was moved northeast to Annapolis.

There are many early settlements associated with St. Mary's County: the town of  St. Mary's itself which has disappeared; Chaptico, the third settlement; and the small hamlet of Maddox, named for the family.  Today, nothing much remains of Maddox since the post office was moved to Chaptico.  A green road sign reminds us that once Maddox was a thriving community.

St. Clement's Manor, granted to Dr. Thomas Gerard, no longer exists; but All Saints Episcopal Church remains in the town of Avenue on Rt. 242 as you drive toward St. Clement's Island and the Potomac River Museum at Colton's Point.  Dr. Gerard, a Catholic, built it for his wife, an Anglican, as a place where she and her servants could worship.

Potomac River Museum traces the history of life along the Potomac River through archeological and cultural exhibits.  A large cross on St. Clement's Island marks the landing of the first colonists in 1634.  The island is only accessible by boat.

  • Historic St Mary's City  has been a National Historic Landmark since 1968.  It is an 800-acre outdoor history museum which includes the replica of the square-rigged ship "Dove", reconstructed state house and a tobacco plantation.
  • Chaptico is site of Christ Church with a story so interesting we have devoted two pages to it.
  • Politically, it was the first successful Proprietary Colony in English America.
  • It contained the first Catholic Chapel (1635) and first practiced the separation of church from state in the nation with the Maryland Assembly's Act of 1649, establishing religious tolerance.
  • The first request for the right to vote from a woman in America was here--Margaret Brent in 1647.
  • It recorded the first black vote in a legislature--Mathias de Sousa, 1642.
    The county saw colonial wars with Indians, the Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Civil War.

    Maddox men found in History of St. Mary's County, 1634-1990

    Finding Samuel Maddox's home

    A Kansas City researcher traveled to St Marys and searched, presumably FOUND Samuel Maddox's Homestead.    Larry Maddox's article.

    American Revolutionary War

    The county militia, consisted of two battalions, an Upper Battalion and a Lower Battalion, so named to designate their location in the county.  Each battalion was comprised of nine companies.  In August 1777, a commission was issued to Second Lieut. Samuel MADDOX and he was assigned to the Upper Battalion

    War of 1812

    Hundreds of St. Mary's County men served in the military forces during the War of 1812.  Pvt. Samuel MADDOX was assigned to Capt. Thomas Blakiston's Company; also John MADDOX and Sam MADDOX were assigned to Capt. William T. Lee's Company. Ensign James MADDOX and Pvt. Edward MADDOX were assigned to Captain Thomas G. Neale's Company of the 45th Regiment, St. Mary's County.  Ensign William T. MADDOX was assigned to Capt. William Bean's Company and also assigned to Capt. Enoch J. Millard's Company, 12th Regiment, St. Mary's County, which was comprised of men from the southern half of St. Mary's County.  One other Maddox mentioned was Captain MADDOX who served in other units.

    Mexican War

    The United States declared war on Mexico in May 1846, a war that was fought by recruits from the then twenty-nine states.  Men from St. Mary's County, Maryland comprised a small group of that volunteer army. Second Lieut. Joseph H. MADDOX was commissioned on February 17, 1847.

    Civil War

    The January 3, 1861, Beacon carried the following notice:

    Volunteers wanted.  Citizens of the County desirous of uniting in formation of a Calvalry Company are requested to leave their name at the store of Messrs. Simms and MADDOX in this village (Leonardtown).

    The August 22, 1861, issue of the St. Mary's Beacon reported "Another Federal Visit:  About 200 marines and sailors were landed from the steamboats "Freeborn," "Baltimore," and Resolute," entered Leonardtown, and made a thorough search of dwellings and adjacent buildings.  On September 5, it was reported that Federal marines had surrounded the house of Joseph M. MADDOX  near Herring Creek and had arrested Joseph M. and Thomas H. MADDOX.   Lieut. Joseph H. MADDOX served on detached duty during the Civil War.  He died at his home in Alexandria, Virginia on May 4, 1887.  Ref: Pension application #4889, Certificate #23, Mexican War Pensions under Act of January 29, 1887.  National Archives, Washington, D.C.
    His lineage:
    Samuel MADDOX & Ann Notley
    Notley MADDOX & Margaret Goldsmith
    Notley MADDOX & Mary Warren
    John MADDOX & Elizabeth Jennifer
    Col. John MADDOX & Martha Harris
    William Theobolt MADDOX & Ann Marie King
    Joseph Harris MADDOX.  He married Laura Elizabeth Williams

    Maddoxes who held office in State Government

    In 1798 the Maryland Legislature passed an act authorizing the governor to appoint a seven-man Levy Court as administrators of county government.  This act continued in effect for St. Mary's County until 1839.  William T. MADDOX  was appointed in 1830.  In 1818 he was listed as St. Mary's County sheriff.  In 1843 he was appointed as Clerk of the Circuit Court.  The clerk's position since colonial times has been one of prestige and many duties.  The title "Clerk of the Circuit Court" originated with the Maryland Constitution in 1851.  A five-member Board of County Commissioners form of government remained in effect in St. Mary's County until 1892.  In 1853 and 1855  Edmund  S. T. MADDOX was elected to district #4.  It was reported in the St. Mary's Beacon on May 20, 1876 that Senator MADDOX died in office.  He was a member of the St. Mary's County Bar and served as state senator.  Mr. George Fred MADDOX was elected State's Attorney for St. Mary's County in 1863.  He was also elected to the Maryland Senate in 1866, 1867 and 1869.  House of Delegates:  Samuel MADDOX was a representative in the House of Delegates during the period 1821-1822. St. Mary's County marine police included William H. MADDOX.


    Maddox Post Office, named for a family "native" to St. Mary's County since the 1660's, was established in 1892.  The post office was officially discontinued in 1960, but each day the mail was brought to Maddox from Chaptico and Elsie S. Raley, clerk in charge, continued to provide postal facilities and services for the people of that area. That service ended in July 1990 when Mrs. Raley retired.  George William MADDOX was appointed Postmaster of Maddox, Maryland on August 23, 1892.

    World War I

    Listed as a St. Mary's County Maryland veteran extracted from Maryland in the World War 1917-1919 (Maryland War Records Commission, Baltimore, 1933): William Jennings MADDOX, Address: Maddox, MD, Place of Birth:  Maddox, MD, Birth Date or age at date of Ind: 4-5-98, Service: United States Army, Page: 1310.

    Clifton Factory, Great Mills, MD

    Machinery for the "manufacture of cotton, woolen, and grist, and a weavinghouse, sulphur house, sawmill and a 60 ft. long tannery.  The property also included an eleven-room "tavern" with kitchen, smokehouse, dairy, stables, tailor's house and shop, a dwelling house, four other houses for hands, a three-room storehouse, 520 acres of land, cotton yarn, raw cotton, corn, wheat, cart, oxen, and many other miscellaneous items.  Although the company's assets were liquidated to settle the lawsuit, Clifton Factory continued to operate as a cotton factory.  In 1860 the business was incorporated under the name of The Clifton Manufacturing Company, Inc. with the capital stock valued at $25 per share.  One of the incorporators was Joseph H. MADDOX.  However, this attempt to execute a revival for Clifton Factory was unsuccessful.

    (Exerpted from HISTORY OF ST. MARY'S COUNTY, MARYLAND 1634 - 1990, Copyright 1991, By Regina
    Combs Hammett (Second printing 1994) Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 91-91849)

    St Mary's City Official website