PG Tricentennial Prince George's County:
Over 300 years of History

famous people
Famous Prince Georgian's in American History
The County's importance in American history can be traced through its famous citizens, many of whom are represented in this exhibit. Early Prince Georgians played key roles in our nation's founding such as John Rogers of Upper Marlboro who was a member of the Continental Congress in 1776 and Daniel Carroll who signed the Constitution little more than ten years later. John Carroll, was the U.S.'s first Roman Catholic Bishop, and Thomas Claggett its' first Episcopal Bishop. When P.G. County granted the federal government the area which would become the district of Columbia, Benjamin Stoddert of Bladensburg was instrumental in acquiring the land from local owners and Pierre L'Enfant created the new city's design. Our nation's government was then managed by the leadership of Comptroller of the Treasury and Associate Justice Gabriel Duvall just around the time of Robert Bowie's Governorship. After the defeat of the American Forces at Bladensburg in 1814, the British burned Washington, and took Prince Georgian Dr. William Beanes into custody as they moved north to attack Baltimore. Because Francis Scott Key sought contact with the attacking British Fleet to negotiate Beanes' freedom, he observed the assault on Fort McHenry and wrote the verses which became our National Anthem. Perhaps inspired by the event Samuel Sprigg promoted the establishment of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal -- an important means of early transportation. Less than forty years later, the County's prominence in agriculture led men like Charles Benedict Calvert to create the nation's first agricultural research college, which later became the University of Maryland, College Park.

With the diversification of agriculture in the nineteenth century and the development of new industries such as cotton mills and commercial fishing along the Patuxent, Prince George's County continued to grow. This growth was fueled by a large inexpensive work force composed largely of slaves, 60% of the population.

Emancipation meant fundamental change for the County. Smaller farms multiplied quickly and overtook the plantations to become the economy's major driving force for the balance of the nineteenth century.

Inovations of the 20th century included an underground and underwater wireless communication system invented by James Harris Rogers used in World War I. The 20th century also lead to the expansion of the Federal Government and county growth from 60,000 in 1930 to over 500,000 in 1970. Not only were numerous towns incorporated to house federal workers and employees of national associations, but major government failities like the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, the Goddard Space Flight Center, Andrews Air Force Base, the U.S. Census Bureau and the United States Agricultural Research Center were built in the County.

Prince George's has become a dynamic metropolitan county with a diverse population comprising federal workers, employees of national organizations, service industry workers and workers involved in light manufacturing in addition to those involved in the County's still vital horce racing and agricultural industries. The portraits here reveal the county's history, diversity, and vitality.

We would like to thank the Hall of Fame and the Maryland National Capital Parks and Planning Commission for allowing us to share this part of the Hall of this exhibit on the web.

The Hall of Fame is supported solely by contributions, all of which are tax deductible, and go toward the commissioning of portraits of the inductees, and also toward public education. The pictures featured here are just a sample of those displayed in public buildings throughout the County. Donations or questions may be directed to the Hall of Fame, P.O. Box 1513, Upper Marlboro, MD 20773.

Prince George's History page.
Support our county history by joining the Prince George's Co. Historical Society
These pages were created as a part of the 1996 PG County Tricentennial celebration. Additional history resources are listed on the bibliography page. These pages are not being updated. They are now located on the Prince George's County Historical Society's web site. Contact links: web site manager - Society information. You can search the entire site through this search form.:

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