PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY HALL OF FAME:
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
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.
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.