Harford History

Havre De Grace Gets $1,000 After British Attack

May 27, 2007

Thirty years of peace and growth in the northern Chesapeake Bay region ended in 1813 when British troops commanded by Adm. Sir George Cockburn attacked towns on the Eastern and Western shore with a force of seven ships that carried 150 men and 103 guns.

After threatening Annapolis and Baltimore, the British plundered and burned property in Havre de Grace on May 3. The losses of furniture, clothing and food created hardship for area residents, who were required by law to travel "to Annapolis to plead their case for assistance at a special session of the state legislature."

On May 25, 1813, Harford County's petition requesting relief was read in the House of Delegates and referred to committee. Despite an acknowledgment that the residents deserved aid, the committee cited a shortage of revenue and mounting demands for defense in their decision to limit the relief. Havre de Grace received an appropriation of $1,000.

[Source: Lost Towns of Tidewater Maryland, by Donald G. Shomette. Research by Harford County Public Library.]

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