Saturday, September 20, 2008

Buying Chandler's Town

In the late summer of 1729 County Commissioners met at the new courthouse at the head of Port Tobacco Creek. They were charged by Charles, Lord Baltimore, to create a town. The Commissioners settled on William Chandler's land, then called Chandler's Town. William Chandler, however, could not guarantee that he held full title to the entire 60 acres that the Commissioners wanted...several of the Chandler's Town lots had been taken up already, although the houses were "now decayed."

The Commissioners ordered Sheriff Randolph Morris to impanel a jury and charge them with determining how much Chandler should receive, the implication being that any future claimants would go to Chandler and not the Commissioners or new lot owners. They settled on 15,000 pounds of tobacco. Francis Ware and John Speake had recently purchased three of the lots--20, 33, and 34. Major Robert Hanson, as the county surveyor, surveyed the 60 acres and divided it into 100 lots and thoroughfares, reserving one acre for a market place in addition to the previously surveyed 3-acre courthouse lot and 1-acre church lot (not, apparently, included in the 60 acres).

The above information comes from Charles County Land Records, Liber M #2, folio 176, etc. Following the records of the proceedings are Hanson's metes and bounds description of the town site and a list of the 43 lots taken up by various individuals over the following two years. Several of those men had to reenter their claims after 18 months because they failed to meet one of the fundamental requirements for retaining possession...they had not built a dwelling on each of the lots.

I have transcribed the records and entered all of the lot data into an Excel spreadsheet. Unfortunately, disagreements between me and our blog software preclude my including the information in this blog without reentering it directly into this posting. It is available on request...just e-mail me at


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