Harford History

October 09, 2005

1697: The Rangers

As early as 1673, the Susquehannocks had dwindled to about 300 warriors. The once-powerful tribe suffered devastating losses in the Five Nations War with the Cayugas and Senecas 12 years earlier. They then lived scattered along the riverbanks of upper Harford County and soon faced conflict with the settlers. Gov. Lionel Copley, Maryland's first royal governor, created a company of Rangers to guard the new settlers from the raiding Susquehannocks. The territory under protection became known as Ranger's Road and encompassed Gunpowder, Little Falls and Deer Creek. In a report to the governor dated Oct. 9, 1697, Captain Brightwell reported on the line of defense and the finding of a great many indian cabins. The Rangers constructed wooden forts. At least two of these outposts were known to be in Harford County located near Vale and Little Falls.

["Our Harford Heritage," by C. Milton Wright. Research by Harford County Public Library]

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