Dr. Henry Rousset, Whiteley's and Lowe's
GREENSBORO (Choptank Bridge)
An act for erecting a town at the bridge near the head of Great Choptank River in Dorchester and Queen Anne's counties was passed in 1732. The act made these provisions for the laying out of the town.1. Commissioners were to purchase twenty acres of land in each of the counties at Choptank Bridge, lying most convenient to the river, and have it surveyed and laid out in forty equal lots, allowing sufficient space for streets, etc. with posts towards every street. For better distinction the lots were to be numbered from one to forty.A sale of one of the lots above mentioned is recorded in the following:
2. The owner of the land on each side was to have the first chose of one lot, after which the remaining lots were to be taken up by others. No person could purchase more than one lot during the first four months and these were to be purchased only by inhabitants of the respective counties. Any lots not thus taken up at the expiration of six months could be bought by any one desiring them, and gave the purchaser an absolute estate in fee simple, if they complied with other requisites of the act.
3. The surveyor was to return a plat of the town to the Clerk of the court of each county, to be kept among their records.
4. To secure the ownership of a lot it was necessary within eighteen months from the date of purchase, to erect thereon a house covering 400 square feet of ground. In case this was not done any one else had the privilege of building there, by paying the original sum set and assessed upon such lots.
5. Lots not taken up within seven years after publication of this act were to revert to the original owner.
6. The name given to the village was Bridge-Town. Possessors of lots were to pay one penny current money of Maryland each year to his lordship for each lot.August 27, 1734. Nathaniel Wright of Queen Anne's County conveys to Peter Rich, of same county, for 500 lbs. of tobacco, "A lot or parcel of ground lying or being in a town lately laid out at the head of Choptank River called Bridge-Town, the said lot being numbered six, beginning at a chestnut stake marked as aforesaid and runs according to the plat of said town, together with all houses, gardens, orchards, wood-way, waters, water sources and all profits, commodities., etc."The warehouse at Bridgetown was built under the following act:"BE IT ENACTED by the General Assembly of Maryland, That William Hughlett, of Caroline County, be and he is hereby authorized to build at Bridgetown a warehouse, for containing and securing tobacco offered for inspection, if in the judgment of the levy court of Caroline County, the erecting of such warehouse would promote the public interest and convenience, and he, the said William Hughlett, or those claiming to hold under him shall provide and keep constantly in repair, beams, screws, scales, weights, brands and marking irons, and all other things necessary for inspecting tobacco brought into the said warehouse for inspection; and the said warehouse, when erected and finished, shall be deemed a public warehouse, and the proprietor or proprietors thereof may demand, and shall be entitled to receive, one dollar for each hogshead of tobacco Inspected at the said warehouse, before such hogshead shall be removed, as a full compensation for the expense of erecting the said warehouse and keeping the same in repair, and for the providing of proper scales, weights, brands and marking irons, and all other things necessary for Inspecting tobacco and for the payment of the salary or salaries to the inspector or Inspectors of the said warehouse, as the proprietor or proprietors of the said warehouse shall agree to pay; and if any tobacco shall remain in the said warehouse above one year after Inspection, the proprietor or proprietors of the said warehouse may demand, and shall be entitled to receive for each hogshead the further sum of twelve and one-half cents for every month thereafter."Another interesting act passed in regard to this village is given here."BE IT ENACTED, by the General Assembly of Maryland, That it shall and may be lawful for any person or persons residing within the limits of the said village, after the first day of March next, to seize and secure any swine or geese that he may find at large within the limits of the village aforesaid, belonging to any person residing therein, and the same retain in his, her or their possession, till the owner or owners thereof shall pay the sum of five shillings for every hog or half dozen of geese, and a proportionable sum for every goose, so taken up, one half for the use of the person or persons taking up and securing the same, the other half for the use of the poor in said county; and in case the owner or owners of swine and geese seized and secured as aforesaid shall not, within three days notice after such seizure pay the aforesaid sum of five shillings for every hog or halt dozen geese, and in proportion for every goose seized as aforesaid, to the person or persons seizing the same, in such case the whole of such seizure shall be absolutely forfeited for the use aforesaid, and it shall be lawful for the person or persons, seizing to sell the game, by public vendue, in the said village, within five days between nine and ten o'clock in the forenoon of the said day, and to apply the monies arising from such sale to the use aforesaid."In November 1791 the General Assembly of Maryland authorized the purchase of "any quantity of land not exceeding one hundred acres contiguous to Choptank bridge."
This was to be surveyed and erected into a village to be called Greensboro and takes in what was originally known as Bridgetown.
Bridgetown was the site of the county court which was held here for four sessions-Nov., Dec., 1778, June, 1779, Oct., 1779, March, 1780.
It has long been an open question as to where the Bridgetown Court met. However we have definite knowledge that it met in an Almshouse which stood about a quarter of a mile down from the present Choptank Bridge, at some distance back from the water. Since then the river has changed its course somewhat and the site is now closer to the water. A few years since, almost a century and a half after the courts, while excavations were being made for some buildings the workmen dug up bones from what had once been the old pauper graveyard.
(For the above information we are indebted to Mr. James Nichols and older citizens of Greensboro.)
A RHYME OF BYGONE YEARS
Listen, good people, and you shall hear
The story of many a bygone year,
Reaching back to the days of yore
When Indians wandered on Eastern Shore.
Even to sixteen-hundred eight (1608)
When Smith explored the Eastern state.
Once more, five years ere Baltimore came
Claibourn exploring found again
Metapeake, Nanticoke, and Choptank,
Lurking in forests deep and dank.
Sixteen-hundred sixty-nine (1669)
This is the year in which I find
Governor Calvert-Charles by name
Granted the Indians certain claim
To lands. These they could call their own
A "Reservation". The Indians home.
Six beaver skins they yearly sent
To the Lord Proprietor for rent.
For sixteen-hundred eighty-three (1683)
An interesting chapter see.
To the home of William Troth one day
A drunken Indian chanced to stray,
He, both with tomahawk and gun,
Tried for Troth's life-Then away he run.
The trial came, Court Judgment sent
The Indian far. 'Twas, "Banishment".
On the Court records e'en to-day is
The noted trial of Poh Poh Caquis.
Years passed. In seventeen-hundred-four (1704)
The rising power of the white man bore
The Red man backward through forest glade,
'Twas then the Nanticoke Treaty was made.
So civilization rose like the tide
And the Indians were scattered far and wide.
As time rolled on the traffic grew,
And so, in seventeen thirty-two (1732)
The government granted the people right
To plot a town on Greensboro's site,
A bridge across the river was thrown,
Accordingly it was called Bridgetown.
Twenty acres in Dorchester lay
Per acre twenty-four shillings they pay,
Twenty more by Queen Anne were given
shillings per acre, twenty-seven,
And the purchasers paid for years,-oh many
The Lord Proprietor a tax of one penny.
Such is the story I tell to you
or Greensboro, Seventeen thirty-two. (1732)
In fifty-six Arcadians came (1756)
The Huguenot French well known to fame,
Who knows but some fair Evangeline
At Bridgetown crossing was oftimes seen.
Then Just before the birth of our Nation
Caroline County was given foundation,
Made from Queen Anne and Dorchester-
Talbot also formed part of her.
Caroline Calvert the name was for,
Wife of Lord Eden, the Governor
Who served the King on Eastern Shore
The year of our Lord, seventeen-seventy-four. (1774)
Soon was the Revolution here
With its midnight ride of Paul Revere.
Soldiers were gathering by the shore,
And Caroline added one company more.
What found we then in a soldiers pack?
What carried he in his haversack?
One half pound powder; a hag of ball;
Two pounds of lead, Nor was this all,
A cartridge box filled with cartouch;
A powder horn. What more could you wish
Except his flintlock with trigger set,
And barrel pointed by bayonet.
Some of the bravest no doubt were found,
Carrying guns from old Bridgetown
Then, they made the English run,
Just as yesterday they made the Hun.
Seventeen hundred ninety-one (1791)
War was over. Peace had come.
The State Assembly authorized
That Bridgetown be reorganized.
The old town stood as heretofore
But added one hundred acres more
Purchased from lands on the Western bank
Where the bridge led over the old Choptank.
There on an Indian summer day
Old Bridgetown was laid away.
The new town born was called I trow
By its present name of Greensboro.
Both records and folk-lore prove I ween
That the town was named for one Valentine Green.
You know the rest,-How Greensboro through
The following century steadily grew,
How in eighteen-eight (1808) a new bridge was thrown
Over the Choptank. The old was down,
How eighteen-sixteen (1816) Public School
And free education became the rule,
Then at a date that has not appeared
A Presbyterian Church was reared.
Later Episcopal and M. E.
Were added to Greensboro's family tree.
In eighteen-twenty-five (1825) you get
Your medicine from Dr. Rousset.
In 1880 a newspaper. Guess?
Why of course the Greensboro Free Press.
Railroad, factories, canneries came.
Now Greensboro is known to fame.
Here's a toast. May her fame spread far and wide
Then, higher rise, like a Choptank tide.
And though in distant lands we roam
May we e'er be proud to call Greensboro--Home.
Recited by BESSIE EDWARDS.
The following are links in the chain connecting Greensboro's past and present:
THE AILANTHUS GATEWAY
On the Main street of Greensboro adjacent to Four Corners stand two Ailanthus trees, separated by less than six feet, their sturdy trunks and towering tops telling of the passage of time.
The story goes that almost a century ago when the house was first built what is now the sidewalk formed a narrow front yard. The owner brought home his young bride and together they planted two slender trees, one on either side of the gateway.
Time passed and the slender trees grew until their massive trunks and overhanging branches formed an archway beneath which swung the gate.
As the years rolled on the hand of time rested heavily on the house, on the inmates, on all save the trees, which stand like faithful sentinels casting their shadows on the third generation who stand beneath at the Ailanthus Gateway.
THE OLD TILDEN HOUSE
On the south-west corner of Main Street and Railroad Avenue stands a residence gray with the passing years. This is one of the oldest buildings in Greensboro. The time of its erection has not been definitely determined but we place it about 1844.
The court records give this land as part of a tract known as Ingram's Desire, and the sale of said lot, containing "One hundred and thirteen perches and seven hundreths of a perch" to Chas. M. Tilden by Henry M. Godwin on Apr. 11, 1844 for $138. No mention is made of improvements, but shortly afterward the property was sold at a much higher amount, indicating a building.
THE FRIEND'S MEETING HOUSE
On the south side of town along Maple Avenue may be seen a plot of ground marked by two marble slabs. These are of a comparatively recent date--1862 and 1864--but they serve as a landmark and carry the mind back to the days of long ago.
Folk lore tells of the burying ground--The God's Acre of the Quakers--that lay there. Tells of many other graves, always unmarked, now leveled and become but a memory. The property at that time extended from the present property of J. C. Smith to Main Street. The Friends Meeting House stood next to the street where part of it is incorporated in the present home of William Kennard (colored).
THE HUGHLETT RUIN
On the north side of Greensboro may be seen sections of the lower part of a one-time substantial building in early days the property of the Hughletts, once proprietors of all Denton Valley.
Many conjectures have been made as to the time of its erection, etc. Appended are some facts that may aid in its "time" and "use":1. The William Hughlett family came from St. Stephen Parish, County of Northumberland, Virginia in 1759.These have been looked upon as the work of the supposed original owner (W. H., Sr.) but as he died in 1771 that theory seems incorrect. Wm. Huglett, son of Thomas, was then 20 years old and it seems more like the work of that youth to bring into prominence the old and respected "W.H." which marks a line of stone posts that make a land line reaching over into Delaware.
2. William Hughlett died in 1771.
3. The purchase of the section on which the old ruin stands was in 1769 as recorded on stone post "W.H. 1769".
4. Thomas Hughlett, a son prominent in both political and military circles of Caroline County was born in 1740.
5. On a door of the old ruin yet preserved are the initials and date "W.H. 1769" formed by brass nails.
The most plausible lore is this: In the early days, even before Caroline County was, law breakers must need be taken as far as Cambridge or Queenstown for safe keeping. At times this was difficult, so W. Hughlett, to meet his own personal needs for tobacco storage, etc., as well as those of the community, built the brick structure before mentioned.
Pointing to this as the correct solution we have the facts that the lower section of the building was divided by brick walls into four compartments or cells. In one of these was a chimney and fireplace for heating. No other use or reason has been assigned for such division.
The second floor had, as far as the memory of the oldest inhabitant goes, groups of large spikes driven in such a manner as was customary for the hanging and drying of tobacco.
The third story seemed to be used for making baskets, packing cases, etc.
According to this the erection dates at any period from 1769 to 1775, the time of Wm. Hughlett or touching the time when his son Thomas was first sheriff of Caroline County. Later it passed from the Hughletts to other hands.
About 1825 Jonathan Nichols met Jos. M. Bernard and a partnership was formed after which a tannery was opened in the building. After the removal of the tannery, John Sangston used it as a drying house for a number of years.
Since then it has fallen into disuse and most of the brickwork has been removed for other uses.
REED'S BIG STORE
This building, although now removed from its original location and reincarnated as Wheeler's Feed Store, is worthy of mention.
In its early days it stood on the corner now occupied by the Caroline County Bank and was looked upon by Caroline County with even more respect thatn we today look on Hutzler's of Baltimore. People came from far and near to see the wonderful mercantile venture, and the aisles were thronged on a Saturday by sightseers as well as buyers.
Being built somewhat over 100 years ago, it really was unusual in its day for its "bigness."
George Reed, previously mentioned, was sole owner and proprietor.
This was previously mentioned in the History of Caroline County Courts.
It stood on the Eastern Bank of the Choptank about 1/4 mile down stream from the Bridge. It is believed t have been there from 1778 to 1780 and served as a meeting place for the County Court. Nothing remains of it and even as a memory it was almost gone when a few years since some men in making an excavation found a number of scattered human bones. Then J.M. Nichols recalled the lip history received from his father of the Almshouse, the Courts, etc.
OLD MAIN STREET
"Greensborough" in 1791 was somewhat different in its plan than today. Main street at that time lay nearer the river. It joined R.R. Avenue a block below the present conjunction, then by a widing way reached the present Main Street but a shore distance from Riverside Hotel.
The old street has practically fallen into disuse but one need only walk that way to see the years that mark Greensboro's growth.
The weatherbeaten Crawford and Rousset houses tell the story better than any words can.
A FEW FACTS
The earliest remembered families of Greensboro were:
a. The Hasletts, living over the river near where the present Christian home stands.
b. The Crawfords, whose first home seems to have been the brick building on "Old Main Street." This building has been previously referred to as the first home of Dr. Rousset. Later the Crawfords built and occupied the home now that of the Lobsteins. The latter house at that time fronted an "Old Main" but has since been reversed as shown by the front hall stairs ascending from the rear end of the hall.
c. The Tildens, whose Main St. home has previously been described.
d. The Hughletts, previously discussed.
In the early days of Nichols and Bernard's tannery a present day citizen of Greensboro worked for 12 1/2 cents a day (and board) driving the mule that furnished power for the tan bark mill.
In the days when a private school was held here (Miss Rich) punishment seemed even more severe than in public schools. In one case the girls were grouped close together, then a barrel hoop was put over their heads and slid down about their bodies. There they stood and any restlessness was corrected with a switch.
Another--three girls did not know their definitions and were whipped with a "cowhide."
(By a Pupil)
HISTORY OF GREENSBORO PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Nineteen-sixteen was the Centennial year for the Public Free Schools of Maryland. Such schools were, a little more than a century ago, unknown in our state, but in 1816 a law was passed establishing free education.
Although the date at which Greensboro opened her first free school is not definite, folk lore points to a period almost immediately after the passage of the law. Some time later a building for school purposes was erected on the north side of town. At the present time it is known as the Wyatt home.
At the time of erection it was a two-story, two-roomed structure. The upper room was at first used only as an Odd Fellows Hall but later a private school was conducted there. The lower room was the District School, where, when the master found his pupils wanting on any subject he stimulated their mental activity by the use of the rod. He thoroughly believed in the old proverb, "Spare the rod and spoil the child."
In 1845 this building was repaired and continued in use as the district school until 1873. After that it was in use time and again for a primary school.
At this time (1873) the number of pupils demanded more room. W.C. Satterfield made a deal with the Board of Education contracting to erect a new school building near the Choptank bridge, and accept the old building in part payment. The ground on which the old (Wyatt) building stood had been originally donated for school purposes hence a clear deed of ownership could not (and cannot) be given for the property. As an evasion of law the foundation was (temporarily) removed and replaced by "props," and the house classified as movable or personal property.
The new building (Satterfield's) was located near where the Leverage home now stands. There school was conducted successfully for three years. Then in July, 1876, the new school was burned through some unknown cause.
A somewhat weird tale is told concerning the loss of this building. The ground on which it stood formed part of an old cemetery. There existed a superstition that any building placed on this consecrated ground would be destroyed by fire. The idea was based on the occurrence of a number of fires previous to this one, some very destructive.
After the unexpected destruction of the riverside building the construction of the new (Maple Avenue) building was hastened and completed before the opening of school, September, 1876. The rooms (2) of the present building which front on Maple Avenue were opened. J.E. Carroll, who later became Superintendent of Kent County Schools, Delaware, was principal.
Since then by a process of addition and division of rooms this Centennial Year building has been made meet the educational needs of the town. It is a low rambling structure of seven rooms.
Although from time to time a number of private schools have been organized, and at one time the dignity of a boarding school was reached by one of these yet none of them had any permanency. Our state educational system alone remains and only the Wyatt house and the primary rooms of our school remains as landmarks of the educational history of Greensboro.
Late in 1919 the people of Greensboro raised by subscription about $1,800 and purchased five acres of land from the Bernard estate for a new school site.
During the 1920 session of the Maryland legislature, provision was made for a new building by an Act authorizing the sale of $60,000 worth of County bonds for said purpose. A.W. Brumbaugh was the local member of the Legislature and the following persons compose the building committee: C.B. Jarman, A.W. Brumbaugh, Burt Hobbs, W.P. Manlove and Jesse W. Porter.
Given by the Greensboro School, March 5, 1919.PROGRAM
1. Song-- "March On"
"A Rhyme of Bygone Years" Bessie Edwards
3. Song-- "Grow Greensboro!"
"Now as we sing this oldtime song
Where the Choptank is washing to and fro,
Upon its banks our Greensboro stands,
Which was founded many, many years ago."
4. Originial Play--
"The Red Men of Caroline County." First Primary
5. Indian Drama--
"Poh Poh Caquis."
Scene I Fifth Grade
Attack on William Troth
Scene II High School
Trial of Poh Poh Caquis
6. Song-- "Maryland, My Maryland"
7. Selected Story Play-- Grade Two
"Little Black Sambo"
8. Dramatization-- Grades Three & Four
9. Historic Dialog-- Grades Six & Seven
"Greensboro's Ancient Days"
10. Song-- "Home Again"
THE PLAYLET--GREENSBORO'S SLAVES
During February our history work was about the slaves around Greensboro before the Civil War.
We found there were quite a number. Some of them were owned by Miss Betsy Baynard, who lived a few miles from Greensboro. She was always kind to her slaves and they loved her and worked hard.
We found, too, that there was a slave dealer named M. Fountain who lived near here. He sometimes sold slaves into Georgia.
From these facts we wrote a play called "Greensboro's Slaves." It was in two acts.The characters in the first act were:
Nancy, an old mammy with her little black baby which she is trying to get to
Nine pickaninnies who were always getting into mischief.
The characters in the second act were:
Betsy Baynard, a slave owner.
M. Fountain, a slave trader.
Karl White, a Virginia planter.
Liz, (colored), a little house girl.
Mick, (colored), a boy who helps around the house.
Old Mose, (colored), a slave that had been in the Baynard family for years.
Nancy enters the kitchen limping, carrying her sleepy baby on her arm. She sits down in a chair and says, "Dear me. How tired I is." She rocks her baby. Nine piekaninnies are playing around the kitchen.
Nancy: Sh! Sh! Sh! Everybody keep quiet while I gets ma baby to sleep.
Violin plays "Humoreske". As Nancy sits rocking her baby the nine pickaninnies begin stepping softly to the music for eight measures-eyes wide, hands lifted-making no noise to disturb
Nancy, their mammy.
Nancy stands and sings the following while she sways with the music pickaninnies still step softly: Go to Sleep Ma Dusky Baby - Tune, "Humoreske."
Sleep and dream of angels maybe,
While yo' mammy rests a little while,
Shut yo' eyes while I'se asingin,
And the honey bees am winging
Makin' honey fo' ma little baby chile.
Nancy: (To the baby) "Bless its little heart! Mos' asleep. Mammy'll put this chile to bed." She reaches behind her for the chair but a mischevious picaninny (Pete) had slipped it away while she was singing and Nancy comes near sitting on the floor. She catches Pete by the arm, shakes him well and says: "Why Pete! You pull a chair from under yo' mammy? Sposin I'd a sot down in dat flo'! I'd a most bust mysef open! Just you clean out ever las one of ye fo' I lick ye all."
Pickaninnies all scamper from the kitchen followed by Nancy.
Nancy: (as she walks out) "Pete most woke up ma baby. Mammy'll put you to bed right away. Most time I was gettin denna any how."
Betsy Baynard enters her parlor fanning herself with her hat. She carries her sewing bag on her left arm. "How very warm it is this morning! I think I'll sit here by the window where it is cool and sew a while."
Liz: (a little house girl enters with her broom) "Missy, want me to sweep up fo' you this mo'nin?"
Betsy Baynard: "I wish you would Liz. This room hasn't been swept to-day. Be sure to sweep well around the fire place."
Liz: "All right, Missy. I'll do my bes." (L. begins sweeping vigorously. She hums "Old Black Joe" as she sweeps. She raises such a dust that Betsy B. has a terrible spell of coughing.)
Liz: "Fo de land sake, Missy, what am do matta?"
Betsy Baynard: "Why Liz, you are making so much dust!"
Liz: (beginning sweeping again) "Dis aint no dust Missy, dis aint no dust." (A knock is heard at the door.)
Liz: (listening hand at ear) "Missy, I believe I hear a knock." (Another knock) "Sure as you's allbin dat am a knock. Shall I go to do do?"
Betsy B.: "Why yes, Liz, don't keep them waiting."
Liz: (goes to door. Bows three times. times) "Mornin Massy, mornin. You want my Missy?"
Mr. White: (a stranger) "I want your Missy or your Master or somebody."
Liz: "You sot down here on the piazzy while I go tell Miss Betsy."
White sits down. Liz runs in to Miss Betsy. Liz: "Fo de land sake, Missy, you jus ought to see that good looking guy out thar."
Betsy B.: "'What does he want?"
Liz: "He wants you."
Betsy B.: "Did you tell him to come in
Liz: "No mam shall I?"
Betsy B.: "Yes Indeed. Don't keep him standing,"
Liz: "Missy, he aint a standin. He's a settin." (Goes to door) "Come right in Massy, come right into the parlor. Dat's whar Miss Betsy's at." Liz listens at door.
Betsy B.: "Good morning."
Mr. White: "Good morning. My name is White."
Liz: (Aside) "He sho am white." (Runs off stage).
Miss Baynard and Mr. White sit down.
Mr. White: "As I was traveling thru this part of the country I came thru Bridgetown. Quite an interesting place is Bridgetown."
Betsy B.: "What interesting places did you see?"
Mr. W.: "I saw the old warehouse that was built by Wm. Hughlett in ----
Betsy B.: "In 1789."
White: "That was the year. I saw it on a stone at the boundary of his farm. You have quite a number of granaries along the river."
Betsy: "Yes, we have quite a number up and down the Choptank."
White: "Why, do big boats come up to Bridgetown?"
Betsy: "They come as far as the stakes and the slaves bring the grain the rest of the way in scows."
White: "Scows-what are they?"
Betsy: "They are large, flat boats which have to be poled up and down the river. My slave, Mose, was helping one day last week and his pole broke. He fell overboard of course and such a splashing time as they had!"
White: "Well, I should think so, Miss Baynard, I think I had the best supper I ever had in my life down at the tavern last night."
Betsy: "Well, you know Maryland is noted for its cooking."
White: "That certainly was a fine supper! (a knock is heard at the door. Mick, a little colored boy runs to the door) "Missy, I hear a knock ." He opens the door and there stands Marcellus Fountain. "Howdy, Massa, howdy." He puts his hand to his mouth and says "Fo de land sake it's Massa Fountain. Wonder what he's oin round here! Spec he's uine to buy some of us niggas."
Fountain: "Is Miss Betsy home?"
Mick: "Yes Massa, yes sar. Walks right into de parlor. Shes got company but that don't hurt."
Fountain: "Miss Betsy, I've come for that slave I bought last week."
Betsy: "Mr Fountain, I'm very sorry to sell Nancy. She's —"
Nancy: "Fountain! Miss Betsy, has you sold old Nancy?"
Betsy: "Nancy, I'm so sorry but I needed the money. You know that it means a thousand dollars to me."
Nancy: "O 'Missy, please don't sell me! I've worked hard fo' you fo' years."
Fountain: (pushing her on) "Gon on. I'm tired of this foolishness. You're my nigger now."
Nancy: "Missy, Massa Fountain 'll sell me way down to Georgia-away from my baby."
Fountain: (flourishing whip) "Get out of here I say!"
White: "What are you going to do with that slave?"
Fountain: "Take her home. What do you suppose I'm going to do with her?"
White: "I'd like to have a woman like that for our nurse down in Virginia."
Nancy: "Buy me, Massa, buy me. You's a kind man I knows."
Fountain: "Go on out of here, I tell you!"
White: "I" give you a thousand dollars for her."
Fountain: "No sir. You can't have her, I just gave a thousand dollars for her myself."
White: "I'll give you eleven hundred."
Fountain: (pushing Nancy ahead of him) "No, sir."
White: "Twelve hundred."
Fountain: "Did you say twelve hundred?"
Fountain: "Well then, take her."
Nancy: "Thank you, Massa, thank you! You'll be good to Nancy, won't you?"
White: "Yes indeed. We'll be good to you down in Virginia." Both leave stage.
Fountain: (counts his money, slaps his knee) "Gee but it does pay to sell slaves. Made two hundred dollars in about two minutes." Walks off stage.
Enter Mose, a poor old darky, leaning on a cane. He walks slowly across the stage. "Poor old Nancy, poor old Nancy. Missy done sold old Nancy to Massa Fountain. Speck Massa Fountain sell her way down in Georgia. Nancy was a good cook. My she was a good cook. I wonder who's gwine to cook dem possums now. Poor old Nancy! Missy done sold old Nancy! Fust thing I knows Missy'll be asellin me! Mose don't want to be sold. Mose is an old nigga.
As Mose limps back across the stage, the children all sing the first verse and the chorus of "Old Black Joe." They sing softly to the accompaniment of the violin.
DR. HENRY ROUSSET.
One of Greensboro's Earliest Physicians.
Looking northward along Old Main Street one may see a house noticeable for the oddity of its structure. Its long low lines, its hipped roof, its dormer windows, its shadowy gray look all mark it as belonging to the days of long ago.
The property which is slowly falling into ruin and disuse was once a show place of the town,-an American type of the French Chateau, having its grounds surrounded by a close clipped boxwood hedge so that even the tallest person could no more than catch a glimpse of what lay behind it.
The enclosed grounds formed an old fashioned garden filled with pansies, mignonette, sweet Williams, and all the riotous blooms dear to our great grandparents. Through this garden, at eventide passed a dark man of medium height carrying himself in an erect and military manner, while at his side walked a petite figure with laughing eye and golden brown hair,-Dr. Henry Rousset, perhaps, Greensboro's first resident physician, and his wife, Augusta Moblen Rousset.
Both were born "over-seas" —he in Breslau, she in Hanover; but both were loyal Americans, true to the land of their adoption.
Dr. Henry Rousset was born in Breslau, Prussia, November 1, 1785 of Franco-Prussian parentage. Little is known of his early life except that he was a lineal descendant from a noble family, and at an early age was sent to Paris where he was educated in the University and became thoroughly French in his ideas.
With true patriotism he served as a Sergeant-General under Napoleon Bonaparte and was with him at his defeat at Waterloo. In this battle he received a wound almost directly between the eyes. This wound must have troubled him somewhat for he covered it constantly with a surgical patch.
Shortly after the downfall of Napoleon in 1815, Rousset came to America and stopping in Philadelphia met, wooed, and won Augusta Mohlen, then but 14 years of age. After his marriage they returned to France where he practiced medicine for six years, but the youthful bride longing for America they arrived in Philadelphia again in the spring of 1823. Coming via Baltimore he crossed the bay and came up the Choptank with Captain Cornelius Comegys, and was met at the Greensboro landing by Thomas Hughes, who with mule and cart transferred him to the old brick Crawford house.
Soon after he purchased the frame building which became his permanent home. The interior they fitted up in a manner pleasing to themselves. Many things were brought from overseas for the decoration; among which was a large French fire-place-now transferred to another Greensboro home.
An anecdote is told of their housekeeping troubles. Both were "To the Manor born." Servants were scarce, hence, the preparation of food became a problem. A chicken was to be killed-but how? Dr. Rousset overcame the difficulty by performing a surgical operation that ended the life of the fowl.
Hospitality was the home motto-Tea and cakes always awaited the caller.
Dr. Rousset was known far and near as an eminent physician. According to the custom of the day, when visiting his patients he rode on horseback with his saddle-bag filled with medicine, strapped behind his saddle.
His work is done! He went into the beyond in 1871 and his wife followed him in 1885.
On old Main street stands the age stricken house marking where he lived. In the old Methodist cemetery a gray slab marks his final resting place, while folklore has kept alive the patience, skill and wonderful healing power of Dr. Rousset.
THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
As early as 1785 the Society of Methodists was formed in Greensboro, or Choptank Bridge, as it was then called. The meetings of this Society were held in the homes of the different members, but the members increased so rapidly that it became necessary to have a building in which to worship.
The church was probably erected in 1789 and a deed for the site is now recorded in the Clerk's Office in Denton.
It was in this old building, located on the bank of the Choptank river, the site on which Greensboro then stood, that many had the opportunity of listening to Freeborn Garrison and Francis Asbury, who were among the ministers that visited and served these people at that time.
This church served the people until 1843 when it was decided that a new building was needed, and as the population had by this time extended to the west, it was thought best to have a building near the center of the town, and the site selected was the one now occupied by the old church on North Main Street.
In 1903, sixty years later, when the town having extended still farther to the west the members of this same Society of Methodists, or as they were then called, the members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, built the new church on Railroad Avenue which is in use by them today.
THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY TRINITY
The Church of the Holv Trinity at Greensboro is apparentlv the result of the work of two women: Mrs. Argeline Goldsborough, widow of Dr. George Washington Goldsborough, and granddaughter of Thomas Hardcastle, and Miss Ella Betts, who taught a private girls school. These two became interested in some children who belonged to no church and organized a little Sunday School of five pupils. This led to thoughts of a parish at Greensboro. The matter was brought before a Convention at Easton by Mr. Ernst and in 1870 a new parish was formed by taking a part of St. John's parish at Hillsborough. The present church building was dedicated in 1875, April 13th. It is said that Miss Mary Reed who lies buried in the old Methodist churchyard provided in her will about $1500 towards the erection of this building.
Mrs. Goldsborough was chairman of the committee which selected the name for the church. The Rev. George Beaven was in charge until Rev. Frank Adkins was installed. The congregation at present is much reduced and is served regularly by the Rector from Denton.
Mrs. Goldsborough is still living and at the age of ninety-two still takes a keen interest in the affairs of the church.
THE HELVETIA PLANT
June, 1920 opened at Greensboro one of the largest plants on the peninsula. It is one of sixteen owned by the "Helvetia Milk Condensing Company," whose headquarters are at Highland, Illinois.
The plant proper is constructed of hollow tile and is fire proof. It is 279 ft. long and 176 ft. deep, part being one and part being two stories high, while the stack which is constructed of reinforced concrete, measures 10 ft. at the base, 6 ft. at the top, and 125 ft. high and is the largest in this section.
Four milk storage tanks having a capacity of 70,000 lbs. each are installed, while the water tank is 18 ft. in diameter, 50 ft. high and has a capacity of 100,000 gallons. The entire capacity of the plant is between 150,000 lbs. and 200,000 lbs. of milk daily.
The boiler room has three boilers of 150 horsepower each and room for three more of equal size. The building will have its own electric plant and practically all of the machinery will be run by motors.
Employment is given to about thirty men, whose number will be increased as the milk supply increases, until it reaches the plant’s present capacity—60 men.
When running at full capacity the farmers will receive $100,000 monthly for milk.
As a future prospect a tin shop, for making cans may be opened, doubling the working capacity of a plant even now, one of the largest on the Eastern Shore.
WHITELEY’S AND LOWE’S
The history of these communities need necessarily be written in connection because of their joint activities through all the early period.
Doubtless because of the section’s proximity to Greensboro, the earliest settled and developed part of our county, and the natural fertility of the soil hereabout, this community seemed to attract and hold men who became prominent not alone in county matters, but in state as well.
Of these early families, Whiteley was probably the best known. It seems that WilliamWhiteley came to this county from Delaware and located just west of the state line, though likely owning real estate in Delaware. There is a record in our Clerk’s Office that William Whiteley purchased over 1,000 acres of land in a body shortly after the Revolutionary War. Elsewhere in this volume is given an account of this man.
Thomas White, another prominent man of this county, and one of our first court justices lived in this section. This family came from the section of Delaware near where White’s Chapel now stands. When Bishop Asbury, who had been preaching Methodist doctrine on the peninsula was forced to suspend work for about two years during the Revolutionary War, he found refuge at the home of Mr. White on the Delaware side. Perhaps it should be explained that the Tory element, which was in considerable strength at that time in this section, naturally held to the Episcopal church, the established Church of England, and opposed any counter doctrine as advocated by the rising Methodist denomination. It has been stated elsewhere that the Carter family succeeded to the ownership and possession of the property of the Whites in this section.
Being along the main highway from Queenstown to Dover, these fertile lands peopled by prominent and active families and tilled by numerous slaves, it can readily be imagined that this entire section was very busy in these early times.
Lee’s Chapel that stood on the road from Carter’s Corner to Whitelysburg seems to have been the first place of worship in this neighborhood. It seems likely too, that it was once used for a school, though we have no authority for this assertion. This building was erected in the latter part of the eighteenth century. A family of Lees who lived across the road from where the Chapel was erected, used their influence in having this church built, and a member of this family, Rev. Lee, was among the preachers of the church. This Chapel is a small wooden building; the frame work is all hewn and is put together mostly by means of wooden pegs. Very few nails are used, but those which are used were made by the village blacksmith.
At that time almost everyone went to church regularly. Shoes were very scarce at that time so the boys and girls went to church bare-footed just as long as the weather permitted. The grown men and women carried their shoes in their hands until they were almost in sight of the church and then put them on. They took them off again as soon as they were coming home from church. This church was used until the Civil War when Sheppard's Chapel was erected to take its place.
When the state law as to schools was changed in 1868 and trustees were appointed by the School Commissioners, provision was made for Whitelysburg. This name of the school was continued until 1883 when Whitelysburg was discontinued as a public school. About this time Benjamin Whiteley recognizing the great need for a school nearer than Lowe's built a school house and planned a school for the children of this section. Late in 1885, the School Board again decided to pay the teacher and thus Whiteley's was again open, remaining so until about 1906 when the very small attendance necessitated the school's being again closed.
Besides giving money towards the school, Mr. Whiteley always sent a Christmas box to the school. This box contained a gift for each pupil and for the teacher. He also wrote a long letter each year to be read to the children.
Thus did Benjamin Whiteley, the worthy son of his highly representative father, keep alive his interest in childhood though advanced in years. Mr. Whiteley died in Catonsville a few years ago at the age of nearly one hundred years.
On the road to Greensboro, William Hughlett and Dr. Rousset owned much land, acquired either by grant from the state government or by purchase. As both of these men will be treated under the Greensboro section, no further notice is necessary here.
About the year 1855 the old Rawling's school was built. This school was erected on Mrs.Rawling's farm at the end of her lane, on what is known as the Whitelysburg road.
After a time Esma Low bought the farm on which the school stood; then its name was changed from Rawling's to Lowe's, the name which it bears today, though the location has been changed slightly and a new building erected.
Several years ago a Seventh Day Adventist Church was built at Whitelysburg, also a small school provided for the children of this denomination in the neighborhood.
In 1919 a joint public school with Kent County, Delaware, was started in this small building.Contributed by ETHEL EVELAND, Teacher
and the Pupils of Lowe's School
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