Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Contees of Port Tobacco

Previously in this blog, we talked about Mulberry Grove, the birthplace of John Hanson, which is just outside Port Tobacco. We also discussed the family cemetery in which Robert Fergusson and his extended family are buried. At some point, Fergusson bought Mulberry Grove from Hanson and continued the use of the graveyard.

There has been much discussion and speculation about where John Hanson and his wife are buried. We know that two of Hanson’s children are buried there and one tomb on the site was thought to be that of Jane Contee Hanson. Closer inspection of the tomb shows that it is the burial spot of Peter Contee.

Let’s take a few minutes and see just who the Contees are.

Peter Contee was Jane Contee Hanson’s brother. As Peter was never married and had no children, we must assume that at the time of his passing, he was residing with John and Jane. He was the son of Alexander and Jane Brook Contee. He was born in Prince George’s County in 1726 and died at Mulberry Grove in 1768.

Peter had a brother named Col. Thomas Contee whose son Benjamin (1755-1815) played a role in the American Revolution and was active at Port Tobacco. After the War, Benjamin became an Episcopal minister and was rector for the Port Tobacco parish. He was also once charged with tampering with the US mail, but was aquitted. Benjamin resided briefly in the mid 1790's at “Blenheim”. At the time of his death he was living at the glebe house of Trinity Parish near Allen’s Fresh. Benjamin and his wife, were more than likely interred in the Contee cemetery at “Locust Hill” just outside Port Tobacco, which has been destroyed. If not there, than they were buried in the original Christ Church cemetery in Port Tobacco, which is now covered by swamp.

That last statement has me intrigued. I also read something recently that some kayakers in the area reported seeing submerged tombstones. Finding this lost cemetery would be personally, very rewarding.


Dancing Willow said...

So should we be saving up for hip-boots?

Ken Wedding said...

Hip boots and underwater cameras.

My ancestor, John Wedding (1706-1772) was probably buried in that cemetery.