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Maryland's Early Rangers


Early Maryland "Ranger" excerpts extracted from:

Baltimore County "Garrison" and the Old Garrison Roads, by William B Marye, Maryland Historical Magazine, Volume 16, June 1921 pp. 105-149
http://books.google.com/books?id=A_YMAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA115
http://www20.us.archive.org/details/marylandhistoric1921mary

[google pdf pages 120-164]


MARYLAND HISTORICAL MAGAZINE
Vol. XVI. JUNE, 1921. No. 2
THE BALTIMORE COUNTY "GARRISON" AND THE OLD GARRISON ROADS 1
William B. Marye

The following is the story of the Baltimore County "rangers"—of that small body of men which, late in the seventeenth century, was called into service to patrol the wilderness, and to guard, or to forewarn, the frontier plantations of the county, which at that time lay within or bordered the region of tidal estuaries, against incursions and raids of Indians. It is an account, so far as we have been able to put it together from scattered and rather scanty records, of the fort called " The Garrison," which they built at the head of one of the branches of Jones Falls, of the roads through the forest which they laid out or adapted to their use, and of the several stations or outposts, which they erected at intervals on these roads. Lastly this article contains a theory of Indian roads offered in explanation of the motives which determined the choice of the site of the "Garrison," as well as of other facts which otherwise may have to remain unexplained.

The protection of outlying settlements of the Western Shore from Indian forays was, in the seventeenth century, a matter of grave concern to the people of Maryland, and companies or patrols of "rangers" were early employed for this purpose. These rangers were not at first a standing military body, but were raised only in time of emergency, and were afterwards disbanded. In the year 1675 the Council desired the consent of the Governor to an order "that twenty men and horse be kept out ranging between Petapsco and Potomack untill the Governor's order to the contrary, and that the commander that shall be appointed by the Governor have power to presse horses armes ammunition and provisions wherever he come." (Md. Archives, xv, 58). In 1676 it was ordered by the Governor and Council "that Capt. John Allen doe continue to range above Pascattaway and over towards Petuxent with thirty horse till ordered to the contrary." (Md. Arch., xv, 92). In 1681 it was proposed to raise a standing troop of rangers in each county to protect frontier settlements against the Indians. (Md. Arch., vn, 154-155).2

At a Council held at the house of John Larkin in Anne Arundel County August 16th, 1692, Captain Thomas Richardson3 was appointed Chief Ranger for part of Baltimore County, namely, "from the falls of Back River (i. e. Herring Run) upward to the extent of the said country." Thomas Hooker was appointed ranger from the falls of Back River downward to the extent of the county. The next day the Council issued the following order: "that the Rangers appointed to watch and guard the Frontiers of the Province be still continued and that Captain Thomas Richardson with twelve men under his Command be appointed to range on the Frontiers of Baltimore County." (Md. Arch., vm, 339, 353).

The following order was issued by a Council held at Saint Mary's October 6th, 1692: "Ordered that six men with two Officers be appointed in the most considerable and exposed Places on the Frontiers vizt Captain Richd Brightwell with six men under his command well armed & provided to range from the head & Branches of Pottomuck to the branches of Potuxent one other with six men more armed &ca as aforesd from the head of Pottuxent to the head of Pottapsico and one more with the like number of men from thence to the head of Susquehanno River 4 to be nominated and appointed, as also their pay agreed for and acertained, by his Excellency the Governor." (Md. Arch.., vm, 378).

At a Council held at Saint Peter's October 14th, 1692, the following order concerning rangers was issued:

"Rangers appointed for the year ensuing upon the Frontiers of this Province vizt

"Captain Richard Brightwell with six men from the Falls of Pottomuck to the Branches of Pottuxen Captain Thomas Richardson from the Freshes of Pottuxen to the falls of Potapsicoe with six men Captain James Maxwell from the Falls of Potapsicoe to Susquhanno River with six men to be paid men and Officers p Ratio as in Virginia." (Md. Arch., vin, 398).

[RG - Note the desired use of natives to help maintain forts]
 
At a Council held at Saint Peter's near Saint Mary's March 9th, 1692, the following resolutions respecting rangers were passed: "Advised therupon and resolved by the Board that three Forts be forthwith erected in each of which a dwelling House sufficient to retain and accomodate a Captain or Commander and nine Souldiers together with a small Cabbin for four Indians to be found and sent thither by the Emperor of Nantecoke the Emperor of Pascattoway and the King of Choptico the said three Forts to be erected & built one in Charles County by the Direction and appointment of Captain John Addison one in Anne Arundell County at the direction & appointment of Coll Nicholas Greenberry & the other about the Falls of Potapsicoe towards or near Susquehannoh River in Baltimore County that Captain Richard Brightwell command the Fort at Charles County Capt. at Anne Arundell and Captain Thomas Richardson that in Baltemore County, ordered also that the aforesaid Captain John Addison and Coll Nicholas Greenberry be desired, authorised and empowered to press and procure Carpenters work labourers provision tools and other necessarys for erecting and building the said Forts and that they have assurance given them from this Board of being satisfied and paid for the same at the publick charge to be allowed p rato at the price current when such things are got and procured. Ordered also that Captain John Addison be and he is hereby desired authorised and empowered to treat with and procure of the Emperor of Pascattaway four of his Indians for the Fort at Charles County, as also with the Kings of Mattawoman and Choptico for two of their Indians (vizt) each of them one for the Fort in Anne Arunde1, and that a Letter be likewise writ to Coll0 Charles Hutchins of Dorset County acquainting him with the proceedings of this Board for the safeguard and security of the Inhabitants of this Province & the Indians our Friends desiring and empowering him also to treat with and engage the Emperor of Nantecoke to afford and assist us with six of his Indians (vizt) two for the Fort in Anne Arundell and four for that of Baltemore County the said Indians to be relieved and their Places to be supplyed with others from time to time as the said Emperors and Kings to whom they respectively belong shall think fit the said Indians are likewise to be employed in Hunting and Killing Deer and other Game for the use and accommodation of the Forts to which they shall Respectively be assign'd and to be paid for the same ready down at the Fort in Match Coats to be Purpose (?) at the usuall & common rates as they are allowed in other places where they have used to hunt or be employed." (Md. Arch., vm, 461-462).

The three forts, the erection of which was provided for in the foregoing order of Council can, so far as the author's researches have gone, neither be located to a certainty, nor identified with any known to have been erected, the situation of which is known. The author has found no clue whatever to the location of any fort in Anne Arundel County. The fort in Charles County may have stood at the place where, a few years later, the "garrison" of the men who ranged between Potomac and Patapsco Rivers was situated, that is, at New Scotland, at the falls of Potomac River, probably at or near Georgetown, on land belonging to Colonel John Addison and William Hutchinson.5 The fort in Baltimore County may have been built on or near the site of " The Garrison." It may even have been identical with "The Garrison." The language of the order affecting its erection is confusing, but it appears to mean that the fort might be built anywhere between Patapsco and Susquehanna Rivers.

At a Council held at Battle Town June 14th, 1694, an order was issued " that Captain John Addison take care to Raise five men & a Captain to Range from the falls of Potomock to the falls of Petuxent or in other places where it shall be Needful to make quest after all skulking Indians and that the said Rangers be placed where the said Capt Addison shall direct; to be continued till the last of October." At the same time an order was issued to Colonel Greenbury to raise twelve men for rangers, six for Anne Arundel County and six for Baltimore County. (Md. Archives, xx, 68).

On February 28th, 1694/5, John Oldton was appointed captain of the Baltimore County rangers. A month later he rendered the following report to Colonel Nicholas Greenberry:

"Whereas his Exncv the Governor at a Council held feb the 28th day 1694 was pleased to nominate & appoint one John Oldton to have the Conduct & Charge of Six Rangers for Baltimore County and the said Six men to be Raised by me for the service of Ranging; & the names of the said persons be given unto Nicholas Greenberry for his Approbation Therein, and in Obedience to the abovesd Order I doe present unto the said Greenberry these persons hereafter Named;6 Daniell Welsh, Henry King, Thomas Robards,7 Tobias Stansberry,8 Josias Bridges and Moses Edwards 9; all Inhabitants & house keepers in the abovesaid County of Baltimore; in Testimony of all and singular the Premises abovesaid I doe hereunto subscribe my name this 23rd day of March annoq. Dom. 1694/5. - John Oldton."

To the above report is appended an endorsement signed by Colonel Greenberry stating that the men selected by Captain Oldton as rangers are "well qualified persons and good woods men." (Md. Arch., xx, 204-205).

John Oldton or Oulton settled in Baltimore County some time prior to 1688,10 where he died in 1709. Although he apparently left no descendants, he was twice married, first to Anne Gorsuch, sister of the well-known brothers and early settlers, Charles, Robert, Richard and Lovelace Gorsuch, and widow of (1st) Captain Thomas Todd and (2nd) Captain David Jones, both of Baltimore County. His second wife was Mary, mother-in-law of Francis Watkins of Baltimore County. Captain Oldton and his wife Mary Oldton died the same year.11 He appears to have resided on Back River, in Patapsco Neck.12

 His house probably stood on a tract called " Kindness " 13 which he owned, which lies near the head of Back River on the south side, and is now crossed by the tracks of the Pennsylvania Railroad. The name of a tract which was surveyed for him— "Darley Hall" 14—suggests the possibility that Oldton may have intended to commemorate some family estate or manor of that name; but the name of another tract—" Pemblicoe " 15— which he took up, suggests connections with London. Some time after his commission as captain of rangers was taken from him 18 (1698) Oldton was in England; 17 but he returned eventually to die in Baltimore County.

Captain Oldton was probably a man of a hard fighting type, doubtless overbearing and quick of temper. In 1692 he was found guilty of the murder of Dennis Garrett of Baltimore County, and was condemned to be hanged, but received a royal pardon in time to save his life.18 Whether or not he had friends at Court remains a mystery. In an earlier article of this author's we have seen how, in the strenuous days of the seventeenth century, a man's being found guilty of trading with the Indians on the Sabbath Day in no ways interfered with his being appointed a vestryman of a prominent parish; so that it seems only reasonable that the onus of a verdict of murder in the first degree should not prevent a man of the best soldierly qualities from assuming the honorable duty and high responsibility of guarding the frontiers of a province.

There are a number of reasons why Marylanders should remember Captain John Oldton. Captain Oldton was, if not the actual builder of the " Garrison" (he probably was the builder), at least the man who made it memorable by his occupation of it during nearly four years;19 by his laying-out or adaptation to the uses of his rangers of various "garrison roads," of some of which fragments still survive; and by two interesting reports he has left us of his "ranging." With his name is associated the historic place-name of "Garrison Forest," as well as the names of such "garrison roads" as we still have with us. He took up the land on which our famous race-course stands, and was responsible for the name of the place. He had surveyed some hundreds of acres now included in the city of Baltimore,20 and he was probably the builder of the first section of that road which later became the Harford Road within the old limits of Baltimore City, which in Captain Oldton's time was called "Darley Path." 21

The earliest authentic reference to the historic "Garrison" —the fort at the head of Slaughterhouse Run—is, I believe, about half a mile from that which is found in the description of the tract called " Ely CCarroll," which was laid out for Charles Carroll January 13th, 1695/6, which is described as follows: "Lying in Baltimore County on the north side of Potapsco River in the woods upon Jones Falls and on the west side of the said falls, beginning at a bounded white oak standing in a deep valley by a small branch near Capt Oulstons Garrison." 22 This land was laid out by Thomas Richardson, and contained one thousand acres.28 The Garrison was then standing on vacant land; for the land called "Oulton's Garrison" or "Oldton's Garrison" was not taken up by Captain Oldton until four months later. No surveys had apparently yet been made either to the north or west of that place, while to the south the nearest surveyed land was on or near the site of Druid Hill Park.24 To the east and southeast, however, lay, within a comparatively few miles, several large tracts, which had been taken up less than two years before.25 Still farther east lands had been taken up on both sides of the Great Falls of Gunpowder River as far north as Meredith's Ford, while on the west side of Susquehanna River the surveys extended to within a few miles of Broad Creek. At this time the settlement of the " back country " or " forest" was on the eve of beginning; but there is nothing in the records to show that it actually had begun; and it is highly probable that in the spring of 1696 the "Garrison" stood at least six miles from the nearest English plantations. The country thereabouts was then known as "Garrison Forest," "Rangers' Forest " or " Garrison Ridge." 28 Of these names only the first has survived to this day.

Were it not for this positive evidence that the Garrison was built before the spring of 1696, we might be led to believe that this was the actual date when it was erected. The following order of the Council, which was issued on March 3rd, 1695/6, is somewhat difficult to interpret with relation to the Garrison,27 but its meaning is otherwise clear and it contains information of importance:

"Ordered that the Rangers by Act of Assembly appointed to keep Ranging upon the frontiers of this province take care to settle themselves to inhabite (some time this Spring) beyond all the Inhabitants plantations scituate upon the frontiers as aforesaid, and that they keep an exact Journall of all their proceedings & observations made in their Ranging & return an Acco* thereof unto his Excell at the Port of Annapolis, at least once a Month, if opportunity & conveniency of conveying the same offers; And that a new Lieuten* from the Cap* of each party of Rangers be prsented, who may be proper to assist & Officiate pursuant to the directions of the late Act of Assembly passed to the said Effect, hereby requiring those Rangers (so settling themselves) to cohabite & live upon the settlemts aforesd all Winter and that the Commander of the Rangers upon Potomock do Range to the falls of patapsco and those of patapsco to Range to according as the Law directs.

"And further that they observe the Law made about the Rangers, and that they make & marke severall paths & take care to take up all suspicious persons travelling without passes, and that the Road which they find to be the best & nighest Road, that they double marke the same That they make Severall Cabins up & down the Woods & Cut down a great many trees therabouts and make as great a show as they can of their being there, and that they Examine what Indians they meet with, and if they find them doing any unlawfull Act, that they secure them and upon resistance that they use force; and if there is absolute Necessity endeavour to kill them, but (if not) to use them civilly & give them all lawfull assistance. If please God any accident should happen to them of meeting with any Enemy, that they imediately send his Exncy an Account thereof, and that they send to one another and to the Militia Officers scituate next upon the frontiers hereby commanding such Officers to Raise the Militia under their Command, for their Aid & assistance which said Militia Officers are immediately to send to the Colonel of the County to give him an Account thereof, who is thereby Ordered to Raise the whole Militia of his County for their Aid & Assistance." (Md. Archives, xx, 381).

The site of the Garrison is revealed by the description of "Oulton's Garrison," a tract of three hundred and forty acres laid out for Captain John Oldton or Oulton May 13th, 1696.28 This tract is described as follows: " Lying in Baltemore County on the north side of Patapsco River in the woods being pte (part) of the land called Rangers forest beginning at a bounded red oak standing on the east side of a glade by the Garrison and running thence north 20 degrees westerly 170 perches to a bounded white oak standing upon a point of a hill on the west side of a branch descending into Jones falls, and running from the said white oak west 20 degrees southerly 246 perches to a bounded white oak on the side of a hill and on the east side of a branch, then south 20 degrees easterly 222 perches to a bounded white oak standing by a glade called the West Glade (i. e. the Western Run of Jones Falls) then each 20 degrees northerly 246 perches, then with a direct line to the beginning." This record fixes the site of the Garrison at a point a short distance north of Slaughterhouse Run and about half a mile east of the present Garrison Road. The exact site could, of course, readily be ascertained by making a survey, and this would help to settle the question whether the stone building known as "Fort Garrison" is by any chance the original fort, or whether this name is merely apocryphal, and the building itself comparatively recent.

It is to be presumed that the Garrison and most of the cleared land 29 which must have existed beside it was taken up within the survey called "Oulton's Garrison"; for Captain Oldton could hardly have neglected the opportunity to secure, without cost, improvements which would later enhance the value of his land. The reason why the surveyor began the survey so near to the Garrison was probably because it was desired to have the beginning tree under observation and protection. When, however, in 1752, Richard Croxall had "Oulton's Garrison" resurveyed, the place of beginning could no longer be found.

Life at the Garrison was uneventful, so far as the records show. A ranger at the Garrison on Potomac River was murdered by the Indians, but no such event seems to have enlivened or saddened the boredom of the Baltimore County Rangers' existence at the fort. Discipline does not seem to have been very strict, for the men refused to serve under Thomas Roberts, and there was difficulty in keeping them at the Garrison in winter. In December, 1696, Captain Oldton complained "how that three of his men deserted the Garrison & obstinately refuse to remain there all winter notwithstanding a former order therabout." The grievance of the Rangers was that " their pay had been ordered them inconvenient and out of their county." The Governor promised to see that their grievance was rectified, but ordered "that the said Capt Oldton & his men do notwithstanding Repair to the Garrison and there Remain all Winter pursuant to former Ordr his Exncy being pleased to say that he will Speak to the Assembly next Sessions in their behalfe . . . and bestow'd upon them ten dollars to drink the Kings Health with at Christmas." (Md. Archives, xx, 564).30

Two of Captain Oldton's reports of the roads over which he and his men ranged in patroling the wilderness have come down to us. The first of these was submitted to a meeting of the Council held October 10th, 1696, and is as follows:

"An account of the roads that are made back of the inhabitants by the Rangers in Baltemore County North East from the Garrison to the first Cabin 15 miles, north east to the second Cabin 15 miles of therabouts; then 10 miles further the same course to another Cabin on the north side of Deer Creek; likewise from the Garrison to a Cabin between Judwins Falls (evidently meant for Gwinn's Falls) and the main falls of Patapsco a west course 10 miles, then a west course to the main falls of Patapsco 10 miles more, which said road being marked and weekly ranged by me and my Leveten* according to the order of Councill from your Excellency's humble servant to command

(Md. Archives, xx, 523). John Oldton."

The second report was submitted to a meeting of the Council which was held October 9th, 1697:

"Came Cap* Iohn Oldton and Cap* Richard Brightwell CommandTM of the Rangers upon Potomock and Baltemore and presented the two following accounts of their Ranging31 vizt

"Whereas it has pleased the Govern1 & Councill to demand of us Rangers in Baltemore County to give an account how our Road lyes from our Garrison to Deer Creek & Patapsco, wch according to our best knowledge is thus, from our Garrison to the north side of Dear Creek 40 miles thus to Gunpowder main falls 12 miles, thence to the Little falls eight miles, thence to a branch of Winters Run eight miles, thence to the north side of Dear Creek 12 miles, thence to the neerest Inhabitants sixteen miles.

"from our Garrison to Potapsco 20 miles, thus to Guins falls four miles, thence to a branch of the same falls four miles, thence to Potapsco main falls twelve miles, thence to the Inhabitants fourteen miles.

"This is a description of our Road, w00 we were ordered to make and marke, which we have done.

"We have Ranged & made discovery of all the Good Lands back of our Road and found a great many Indian Cabins 82 & Tents where we marked Trees and sett up our names, We have observed to see the outside Plantations since so Ordered." 33 (Md. Archives, xxin, 260-261).

A comparison of the two foregoing reports reveals the fact that, while each furnishes information which the other does not contain, neither one contradicts the other in any way. Both agree in giving the distance from the Garrison to the north side of Deer Creek as forty miles by the Garrison road, and the distance from the Garrison to the Main falls of Patapsco River
twenty miles by the road. If we accept the fact that the two reports do not contradict each one another, then we are at liberty, by putting them together, to deduce the following facts: (1) that the first outpost or "cabin" on the Garrison road to Deer Creek stood between the Great and the Little Falls of Gunpowder River, in what was called the Fork of Gunpowder,
and was distant three miles from the Great Falls and five miles from the Little Falls by the road; (2) that the second outpost stood ten miles beyond the Little Falls and mid-way between the Little Falls and the third outpost, and that it was two miles beyond the intersection of the Garrison road with a branch of Winter's Run; (3) that the outpost between the Garrison and Patapsco Falls was mid-way on the Garrison road to Patapsco Falls and two miles by road west of the intersection of the Garrison road with one of the western branches of Gwinn's Falls, or six miles west of Gwinn's Falls.

With these facts in mind, let us now see what evidences may exist by which the probable routes of these garrison roads may be determined, and by which the general, if not the exact, location of the several outposts which were situated upon them, may be ascertained; ........


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Selected footnotes

1 The late Reverend Dr. George Leakin and Dr. George Archer made independently extensive researches on the above subjects; but, as far as I am aware, the results of these researches were never fully published. I had the privilege of reading most of Dr. Archer's notes, wh'ich are now the property of the Harford County Historical Society, and have been deposited for safety with the Maryland Historical Society; and 1 am indebted to Dr. Archer for one or two theories, for which I will give due credit in the proper place.

2.Thomas Lytfoot was appointed Chief Ranger for Baltimore County on April 12th, 1683 (Baltimore County Court Proceedings, Liber G, No. 1, 1693-1696, f. 195.

3.(Richardson) He was also Surveyor for Baltimore County. I have had occasion to mention him in former articles. He lived on the south side of Gunpowder River. At the time when he was appointed Chief Ranger he was also commissioned Surveyor for Baltimore County.)

4.This expression is, of course, not to be taken literally. It meant some part of the river at or not many miles above the head of tidewater.

5. References to the "garrison " at New Scotland at the Falls of Potomac River will be found in Maryland Archives, xxn, pp. 22, 90; xxm, pp. 305, 327. 'In 1697 a new fort was ordered to be erected at the "Garrison" at New Scotland on the hill above the fort already erected, which is called the "new fort." There must have been built in all at least two forts at this place. It was arranged with the Virginia rangers that they should keep garrison at Ousley's plantation in Stafford County, "whereby the Rangers on this side the Potomac may easily have communication with them"(Md. Archives, xxm, 234). At a Council held October 16th, 1797, the following order was passed relative to the Garrison at Potomac River. "Coll Addison & Mr. Hutchins owners of the land where the Garrison is kept being asked whether the Rangers may have leave to plant corn in any of those Indian fields & clear the hill there near the fort. Do make Answer that they may freely do the same wth out any disturbance. "Ordered that a fort be built upon the top of the sd. Hill near the other fort and tht the said Hill be cleared by the Souldiers at the Garrison; and that the Honoble Coll Jn» Addison take care to gett a house built there, at the cheapest rate he can; but that he do not actually build the same till he see whether the Indians return thither or not; yet however that he gett the timber ready for the stockadoes and see tht the hill be cleared" (Md. Archives, xxm, 247).
The allusion to the expected return of Indians to the Garrison on Potomac evidently has reference to the Piscattaways, who, early in 1697, absconded from the province and settled in the mountains at the head of Opequon River in Virginia (Md. Archives, xix, 566). Many and, for a time futile, efforts were made to induce the Indians to return. The proposed fort may have been intended for them to occupy.
been built on or near the site of " The Garrison." It may even have been identical with "The Garrison." The language of the order affecting its erection is confusing, but it appears to mean that the fort might be built anywhere between Patapsco and Susquehanna Rivers.

6.The names of the rangers who served under Captain Richard Brightwell in 1692 will be found in Md. Archives, vm, 445.

7. Thomas Roberts. There appears to have been "bad blood" between him and his commanding officer. At a meeting of the Council held July 3rd, 1696, was read the deposition of Thomas Roberts of Baltimore County, aged forty years or thereabouts, who testified as follows: "That Captain Oldtons party of Rangers being at one time in; and the Leivet» party out upon Ranging, he did not goe out to Relieve the Lewtent* party according to appointmt Whereupon the Leivetent* party came in, and so both parties were in at one time. That the said Rangers do not live at the place Setled beyond the Inhabitants, but that they come in among the inhabitants'* (Md. Archives, XX, 452.453).
An order was at once passed by the Council "that Capt John Oldton Commander of the Party of Rangers in Baltemore County make answer in writing to the above Deposition & that for the future he take care that they live all together at the place Setled beyond the Inhabitants and that while the one party goes out a Ranging the other party keeps Constantly at the Garrison and that they go out upon a Saturday (except some extraordinary occasion happen out) and so keep together at the Garrison all Sunday, and then the other party go out again the next day. That he take care to Return an Accot of his Ranging at least once a Month if opportunity happens, pursuant to former Instructions which thing he has not yet Observed nor Complyed with. That if those persons now under his Command will not accept to Comply with this and the former Instructions that he get other Persons that will accept thereof." The same orders and instructions were sent to Captain Brightwell of the Potomac River rangers.
On July 7th, 1696, Captain appeared before the Council and, in answer to the charges made by Thomas Roberts, declared "that the Information therein Contaiin'd is false, as he Can prove by the whole Company and that he had Offered the Leivietenta place to him once who Rejected it; wherupon he put in another; and lastly he does say that the said Roberts is altogether unquallifyed for the said Office." Captain Oldton was therupon ordered to make answer in writing "what way the said Roberta is unqualified, and why he was not put an bis Ledvtent pursuant to Ordr."
The following day Captain Oldton delivered the required answer in a letter addressed to Governor Nicholson, as follows:
"According to an Ordr of yor Exncy to Thomas Roberts to be Leivtent under the Conduct of Jdhn Oldton by your Exncy appointed Capt of the Rangers of Baltemore County; the motives and Reasons which Yor Exncy Requires to the said Ordr are as thus That the said Thomas Roberts is altogether incapable of the management of the said Office, and that the persons that are under my Conduct say, that they will not be Commanded by the said Thomas Roberts, he being by them taken to be a moross sort of a Person and altogether unwilling to be by him Commanded. These reasons and Objections I hope may weigh with your Exncy and therefore I humbly Pray the Liberty of the Choice of Tobias Stanborough to be my Leivtnt which doubt not but your Exncy will admit off."
Roberts was apparently transferred to some other branch of the militia service of Baltimore County, for later in the year 1696 he signed a petition as lieutenant. (Md. Archives, xx, 544).
The order requiring the Baltimore County Rangers to remain at the Garrison on Sundays was not the only provision made for the spiritual welfare of the men; for we learn that they were provided, not only with such necessary equipment as guns, powder, shot and "grenadoes," but with "two holy Bibles, Two Bookes of the whole duty of Man, Two Bookes of Catechism, and one Booke Titled a Brief discourse concerning the Worshipping God," which were to be at their disposal "when they shall be required to Range out upon the Publick service for the Better discovery of any Approaching enemy makeing their inroades into this Province of Maryland." (Md. Archives, xx, 204-205; xix, 531). It is possible that the morose disposition attributed to Thomas Roberts was associated with a religious temperament, and was not, we fancy, greatly improved by the study of such pious, but no doubt gloomy, works as "The Whole Duty of Man" and "A Brief Discourse Concerning the Worshiping of God."

15.Pemblicoe," 800 acres, was surveyed for John Oldton and Thomas Hedge April 26th, 1699, on or about the site of the Pimlico race course. On August 5th, 1714, John Hays, administrator of John Oldton, and John Ensor, administrator of Thomas Hedge the younger, assigned the survey to Thomas Macnamara. (Patents, Liber E. E. No. 6, 93-94.)

16.  It is recorded that in the year 1698 the Rangers on Potomac River and the Baltimore County Rangers presented petitions against their respective commanders. (Md. Archives, xxn, 168.)| I have been unable to find these petitions, if they still exist. On October 14th of the preceding year the Baltimore County Rangers had been ordered disbanded, but this order does not appear to have gone into effect. (Md. Archives, xxn, 90.) However, on April 2nd, 1698, at a meeting of the Council held at Annapolis the following letter was sent to Captain Oldton:

"Capt Oldson

"This is to acquaint you that with the Advice of his Majestys honble Council it being thought fit for his Majestys Service & ease of the country I disband & dismiss you from the present command you have over the Rangers in Baltemore County as likewise the men under you whereof you & every of you are to take due notice given under my hand & seal the day & year above written.

"Postscript

"You or any of your Rangers will Come hither Mr Henry Denton Clk of his Majestys honble Council will give you a full Acct of your pay.

"To Captain John Oldton Commandr of the Rangers in Baltemore County att the Garrison there." (Md. Archives, xxm, 403-404.)

At the same time Colonel John Addison was ordered to raise a new company of Rangers, consisting of ten men and two captains, but Captain Richard Brightwell was not to be one of the captains. The old rangers were to be continued in the service until the new ones had been equipped and had taken the field, after which they were to be disbanded.

"In a Rent Roll of Baltimore County dated 1700 and now in the possession of the Maryland Historical Society (Calvert Papers, No. 886) the tract called "Fellowship" or "Oldton's Felowship," which was laid out for John Oldton June 12th, 1696, on Little Britain Ridge near the head of Herring Run (not far southeast of Towson) is entered with the following remark: "The said Oulton in England."


18 "At a Council held at Saint Mary's on April 11th, 1692, one Rebecca Saunders, who had been condemned for murder, was reprieved, and her execution suspended until the next Provincial Court. "The like order passed in favor of one John Olton a Taylor convict and under sentence of Death for a Murder." (Md. Archives, vm, 314.) The trial of John Oldton will be found in "Provincial Court Proceedings Judgments," Liber D. S. No. C, 1692-1693, f. 15: "The jurors ... doe present John Oldton late of Baltemore County taylor for that he the said John Oldton the 31st of July 1691 at Baltemore County . . . with force and armes in and upon the body of one Dennis Garrett then and there ... an assault did make and him the said Dennis with one sword of the value of twenty shillings being the proper sword of the said John Ouldton upon the forehead of the said Dennis one blow did give of which said blow the said Dennis immediately from the 30th day of July aforesaid till the 2nd day of September did languish on which 2nd day of September in the year and at the place aforesaid the said Dennis Garrett of the said blow did dye." The witnesses were: Philip Roper, Nicholas Hale, John Cole (son-in-law of the deceased), Thomas Stone, Abraham Vaughan and Barbara Garrett (the widow). Oldton was condemned to be hanged; but "afterwards the said John Oulton was graciously pardoned by their Majesties pardon in usuall forme."

19. It is very doubtful whether the Garrison was ever occupied as a fort after 1698. Built in a wilderness remote from settlements the Garrison was soon overtaken 'by the advance of colonization which, with the beginning of the eighteenth century, made extraordinary progress. A decade later than 1698 the Garrison was on the frontier, if not within it. In the Baltimore County Court Proceedings (Liber I. S., No. B, 1708-1705, f. 278) is the record of a suit brought by William Logsdon against Thomas Gwinn, in which the plaintiff charges the defendant with the breach of a contract made November 31st, 1709, to build a forty-foot tobacco house on a tract called "The Island" lying "in Baltimore County near Oldtons Garrison." "The Island," surveyed for Thomas Cromwell, 1702, and later resurveyed into "Darbyshire " lies a short distance south of the Old Court Road east of Pikesville. In August, 1714, William Summers informs the court that he has seated "one of the outermost plantations of the Garrison Ridge," and that his rolling road has been stopped up by William Popejoy. (Balto. Co. Court Proceedings, Liber I. S. No. B, f. 537-8.) In August, 1719, John Newman, Richard Jones, Joseph Elledge and Richard Gist complain to the court that, having seated plantations "on the outermost parts of the Garrison Ridge and cleared a rowling road to our conviency are now hindered and debarred of the use and privilege of the said road by a certain Joshua Howard and William Popejoy." (Balto. Co. Court Proceedings, Liber I. S. No. C, 1718, f. 211.)

20. "'In addition to "Darley Hall" he took up "Bold Venture" on December 23rd, 1696, "on the north side of the Whetstone Branch." It lies on the Basin near Fells Point. Whetstone Branch, an old name for that branch of Patapsco River on which Baltimore was originally laid out, probably derived its name from Whetstone Neck, the neck which divides it from the Middle Branch. "Bold Venture" was originally laid out for 161 acres. In 1726 it was escheated and resurveyed for Edward Fell under the name of "Fell's Footing," and was found to contain only 4 3/4 acres clear of elder surveys.

21.Whatever paths or roads may have existed before 1700 on the land on which Baltimore City is now built, Darley Path and the old Main Road which later became known as the Philadelphia Road, are, so far as I am aware, the only ones of which any record exists, unless the reader is willing to accept my theory that the main southern highway of the Seneca Indians passed across what is today the west end of our metropolis. If Darley Path, as originally laid out, led from the Main Road to "Darley Hall," and there stopped, it could scarcely have been more than two miles in length; but there is a possibility that it penetrated much farther into the forest, and that it may even have "tapped" the road which led from the Garrison to Deer Creek....

27.We are still more puzzled when we read how, at a Council held June 1st, 1697, when the subject of Rangers was under discussion, the Governor "proposes whether the house think it convenient that the said Rangers have inforted themselves, who doe say that they doe approve thereof provided that the province be at noe charge therupon." (Md. Archives, xrx, 531.) To what new forts does this allude?

29. "It is to be supposed that some of the land around the Garrison was cleared by the Rangers, not only for greater safety, but "to make as great a show as they can of their being there"; and we may well imagine that they improved their spare time by cultivating it. At the Potomac River Garrison, as we have elsewhere observed, Indian fields existed all ready for cultivation. In at least one instance the Council ordered the Rangers to make a clearing. In the Fall of 1697 a ranger was murdered by Indians at the Potomac Garrison, and the frontier inhabitants became muuch alarmed. An order was sent out "that the party of Rangrs in Baltemore County (upon this noise of Indians) keep good watch & look well after their horses; and that they keep them together in or near to the fort and Clear a broad way down to the Spring & keepe Ranging pursuant to the late Ordr sent them." (Md. Archive*, xxm, 219-220.)


30. The Rangers on Potomac were also ordered to remain at their Garrison all winter and were likewise presented with ten dollars to drink the King's health at Christmas. (Md. Archives, xx, 553.)


31. "Captain Brightwell's report is as follows:
"Pursuant to yor Exncjm Command for Returning an account of our Ranging; I do humbly certifye that according to your Exncji late Order for Ranging to the frontiers I have kept my men Ranging ever since to the frontier Plantations, and up and down the Eastern Branch towards the head of Patuxent to the frontiers there, and so back again; but have not mett with any Indians in all our Range; nor any thing worth noticeing, and as to our Ranger before the said Order we kept constantly Ranging from our Garrison to the Sugar Lands wch we compute to be about forty miles, being generally Stony Rocky land, near the River, all the way thither, and barrens backwards, but the Sugar Lands extraordinary rich and continue soe for severall miles backwards from the Sugar Lands we range away towards the Eastward to Potapsco, wch we compute to be about fifty miles, and so from thence make strait away to the Garrison, wch we compute to be betwixt Sixty and Seaventy miles, in wch Range is generally good Land; but we have not met nor seen any Indians these twelve months except two back Indians that came to the fort; hard before Mr. Stodarts negro boye was murthered, who came Civilly into the fort 4 were suffer'd to depart without any disturbance as for making any other discoveries, I know of none to give an acct off; all wch is humbly certified this 12th day of Octobr Ano 1697 by your Exncys obedient & faithfull humble servant - Richard Brightwell"

32. It is very difficult to form any estimate of the numbers and character of the Indian population of old Baltimore County in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; but it appears to be certain that this county never had, within historic times, the large indigenous Indian populations that Southern Maryland and the southern Eastern Shore had. As far as this author's experience carries, evidences of a small Indian settlement—fragments of pottery, numerous arrowheads, hammer-stones, chips and spalls, with an occasional axe or celt, all associated together—may be found in Baltimore and Harford Counties in every hundred and fifty acres, while the observant eye may discover traces of the Indian almost everywhere, except in places where the original surface of the ground has been removed or covered. On the Chesapeake and its estuaries extensive shell-heaps occur between Romney Creek and Patapsco River. (There is one at the mouth of Romney, but between Romney Creek and Swan Creek I have never found any worth mentioning, including Spesutia Island.) The vast majority of these Indian remains must date from earlier centuries than the seventeenth. In the Baltimore County Court Proceedings we find occasional references to Indians who seem to be, not mere marauders or wandering hunters, but residents of the county. In the old county levies for the years between 1683 and 1706 inclusive are frequently entered allowances of tobacco to the credit of different settlers for wolves' heads many of which are described as "of Indian killing."

The following allusions to Indian cabins, which the author has collected from various records, may be found interesting and not without some historical value, although not to be taken as having any bearing on the archeology of Baltimore County:

First of all I will refer the reader to a note in my article on "The Old Indian Road," which will be found on page 118" of the June, 1920, number of this Magazine. The deposition there quoted seems to show that, however light in construction and hastily put together an Indian cabin might be, traces of it might still endure for years.

In the month of February, 1687/8, three settlers on Middle River— Francis Freeman, Richard Enock and the latter's wife—were assaulted by two Indians supposed to be Nanticokes. Enock was killed and the other two badly wounded. Colonel George Wells, the chief military officer of Baltimore County, in a letter to Colonel Darnall describing the affair, says that "Mr. Francis Watkins hearing thereof went with four of their family to the Indian Caibbin that the Indians belonged to and demanded the Murtherers but that the Indians kept him off with their guns presented upon which he raised a file or more of men 4 went again but the Indians were all gone before he came." (Md. Archives, vm, 6.)

.............................................................
and before the 1690s

History of Cecil County, Maryland, and the early settlements around the head of Chesapeake Bay and on the Delaware River, with sketches of some of the old families of Cecil County, by George Johnston, 1881


 
Talbot's Rangers

"About this time [1684] Talbot built a fort, which is described as being near Christiana bridge, on a spot of land belonging to the widow Ogle, which indicates that it may have been near Ogletown, which he garrisoned with a few of his retainers, not so much for any warlike purpose, as to establish and maintain possession of the country west of it. This fort was built of logs, and was described by those who had seen it, as "about thirteen or fourteen feet long, ten feet wide, and covered with slip wood." The garrison consisted "of six or seven men," (Irishmen no doubt) "who were esteemed Catholics, and behaved peaceably towards the inhabitants, among whom they frequently went." The garrison was commanded by one Murray, and was supplied with provisions pressed from the people living on Bohemia Manor, by one Thomas Mansfield, who at that time was press master, an officer whose duties seem to have been similar to those of the captains of press-gangs of England in more modern times. The garrison continued to hold this fort for about two years, and till after Talbot went out of power, when they got drunk and layed out in the cold, from the effect of which they were so badly frost-bitten that some of them died, and others lost their limbs.''" Shortly after the occupation of this fort the sheriff of New Castle County summoned a posse of the citizens, and accompanied by divers magistrates and other dignitaries, repaired to the fort and demanded of Talbot, who seems to have been in command at that time, by what authority he appeared in that posture? Whereupon "Talbot, with divers of his company, bid them stand off, presenting their guns and muskets against their breasts, and he, pulling a paper, commander-like, out of his bosom, said. ' here is my Lord Baltimore's commission for what I do.' " Proclamation was then made in the king's name for them to depart according to law, "but in the same war like posture they stood, and in the Lord Baltimore's name refused to obey in the king's name."*

During the palmy days of Talbot's administration in this county he had a company of mounted rangers whose duty it was to scour the country and repel the attacks of hostile Indians, a few of whom still lingered in the country north of New Ireland. A line of block-houses at convenient distances extended from one end of it to the other, and signals were established for the purpose of calling his clan together.  Beacon fires on the hills, the blowing of horns, and the firing of three musket shots in succession, either in the day-time or at night, gave notice of approaching danger and called this border chieftain's followers around him, who, with strong arms and stronger hearts, were ready to do his bidding. There is no doubt that Bacon Hill, which was originally called Beacon Hill, was so called, from being the site of one of these signal fires. Talbot had much trouble with the affairs appertaining to the extreme northeastern part of the province in the years 1683 and 1684; but there were other troubles that grew out of the unfortunate condition of affairs in England. The weak and vacillating Charles the Second, then king of England, was near the end of his inglorious reign, and for a long time had viewed with jealous eyes the powers and franchises with which the charter of Maryland invested the lord proprietary. So jealous indeed was Charles, that, in the last year of his reign, he threatened to institute proceedings in the court of chancery, with a view of wresting the charter from Baltimore. No doubt his cupidity was increased and his jealousy aggravated by the fact that that instrument shielded the people of Maryland to some extent from his rapacity..................." pp. 121-122

 

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