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.
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
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.
Finding Samuel Maddox's homeLarry Maddox, of Liberty MO has traveled
frequently throughout the United States and Wales in search of his Maddox roots.
Here is his account after his first trip to south Maryland's St. Mary's Parish,
where the Sam Maddox line began in this country:
Signs of Maddox remainOn our first trip back to Maryland, we were
fortunate to find the fall festival going on at the Chaptico church. Progenitor
Samuel Maddox and his earliest descendants worshipped
there. The church's stained glass window is proof enough of that.
We took our
first drive down Maddox Road taking in every view and vista, wondering
what it was must have been like in 1665 for old Samuel at this very place We
already knew the town of Maddox is long gone but Chaptico's Christ Church remains and a we found the signs for
The Festival at the church. We followed it to the church, saw the "Maddox Window" and the old church
graveyard. We oohed and aaahed and took it all in.
Afterward, we drove down the road looking for the Maddox Post Office and the
Green Springs Farm where Samuel had lived. We never found the town post office
and I was disappointed. But after all, it's been three hundred years. I reread
the land description I'd brought along to guide us. The Chaptico wharf road
corner had to be the place!
Asking around for help...I stopped my red Explorer at one of the houses there at the corner,
and went up to the door. Surely they will know if this was Maddox. A smiling
young black face greeted me, a little boy. I introduced myself as Mr. Maddox
and I was wondering if this was the old Post Office of Maddox? Just a minute,
he said and disappeared into the house. Then the youngster returned with what
must have been his mother. Mr. Maddox, I would like you to meet Mrs.
Maddox!!! It turns out she had once been married to a Mr. Maddox. And yes
indeed, this was old town of Maddox! But not much is left now and the resident
here now had little to offer about history of the area 300 years before.
If we were to learn any more, it would have to be at the fall festival. We
drove back to the church and saw several hundred people there. Where were we to
start? My wife Rosalyn went one way and I went the other. Quick check with the
minister offered no help but then, there was my wife Rosalyn beckoning me over
to her. She was talking to someone, and when I met them, a Mr. Raley introduced
himself, and also his son, Samuel "Maddox" Raley. My heart jumped. It
turns out his mother was the last postmistress of Maddox, Maryland. We ask a
few questions. "Yes", they said, Green Springs Farm was indeed south of the
church down Maddox Road and on a bluff, just before Chaptico Wharf Road. He
also thought Indian Fields were on the north side of the wharf road and Green
Springs was on the south. What a find!
It amazed me that the “Maddoxes” were so well thought of, and that the women
kept the Maddox in their name. They were suitably impressed though, that I was
an actual Maddox--not a Maddox "something".
Now that we were a
little more sure where Green Springs actually was, we started our search for the
Samuel Maddox homestead. We saw a man with a gun coming out of the heavy brush
of the bluff, so we stopped. The hunter came walking up to the rear of my
Explorer and I introduced myself as Mr. Maddox and I told him we were looking
for old Green Springs Farm. He said in a heavy Maryland accent, "I see you
are." My Missouri license plate reading, "Maddox." gave that away, sure
enough. And with a big smile, he pointed up the bluff and said this is
Green Springs. His name is Mr. Latham, and he leases old Green Springs--all
but ten acres where the old house stood. He told us the house property is still
owned by an elderly woman who he thought might now be in a nursing home. We
asked permission for a look see and he said he thought that would be fine. He
pointed out an old driveway to the top of the bluff; this was very nearly
totally overgrown. Because it was getting dark, we set our plans on an early
Finding the family farmThe next morning we arrived back at Green Springs on a very
bright and sunny morning. We pulled off the road into the old driveway. Once
off the road, you could see the remains of an old gatepost and what was left of
an old wooden fence and the driveway disappeared up the hill into the weeds. It
was very rough, but I would try to drive up, at least as far as I could go.
At about 200 feet up, there was some old boxwood lining the drive! And we
wouldn't be able to go much further. Nearly at the top, the driveway turned left
and was impassable. We bailed out of our Explorer and, filled with
anticipation we took off on foot. It’s so overgrown up there, we couldn't see
much. After all, there was no tourist sign leading us to the Maddox house that
we so wanted to find. Now, instead of low brush to make our search easier, we
found much taller trees that obscured our view. On the ground, we saw bits of
junk and trash scattered around in the weeds. We trampled on. The top of the
hill was flat, and under the weeds, we saw sandy soil.
About twenty five yards into the woods, we spotted an old barn-like
out-building. As we moved closer, we saw it was mostly still standing and we
wondered and hoped this would be a real find! What was it? Just a shed? An
old slave quarters? This could not have ever been a house. We were deep in
the woods. So we shot a few pictures and looked around more. Without the
trees it would have been a good view to Chaptico River over a mile away. There
are still some fields nearby but no house and so we wondered which way was it
back to the car. We started back in the direction of the Explorer and here was
more boxwood that caught our attention! And there, through the weeds and
trees, we spotted the red color of our old trusty Explorer. But wait. Within
fifty feet of us was a roof collapsed to the ground!
An 18 hundred mile
drive from Kansas City to Maryland and we had stopped within 50 feet of it. We
almost missed it! I guess the house has been empty since 1947 and had
collapsed and was burnt. It had fallen into its own basement. About one
quarter of the house still stood--probably a porch or a back entrance. It was
painted white with small columns. We could see clapboards which were white.
Mr. Raley’s words came back, when he said he could still remember old Captain
Maddox sitting out in the front of the big old white house on the bluff. I
handed my camera over to Rosalyn and worked my way around the whole house just
looking. It was hard work to move around because of the weeds and brush. I was
almost all the way around when I came to the remains of a chimney with piles of
bricks. I thought I must have some of those old bricks from Green Springs!
My Grand Dad (Samuel Everett Maddox) spent the last 15 years of a short life
making bricks in Weir, Kansas. I wondered, how much history is here...how old
are these old bricks? I don't know, but I have a few as souvenirs to go along
with my pictures. - -
by Larry Maddox
St Mary's has a Unique
entire area is a rich archeological site because its land has been undeveloped
in modern times. Since it's off the beaten trail on what they call the Western
Shore of the Bay, it is only now becoming a tourist area but residents are proud
of the County's heritage.
- 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
- 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
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.
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,
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
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.
Samuel MADDOX & Ann
MADDOX & Margaret Goldsmith
Notley MADDOX & Mary
& Elizabeth Jennifer
Col. John MADDOX & Martha Harris
William Theobolt MADDOX & Ann Marie
MADDOX. He married Laura Elizabeth Williams
Maddoxes who held office in
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,
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
(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
St Mary's City Official