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In January 1997, HCGS member Joseph H. Nichols of Selbyville, Delaware, sent the Society a partially completed manuscript of a book he had been writing, to be entitled "Patriots and Pioneers of Howard County". The book was intended to document the common people who were responsible for the growth of the county during the twenty-five years from 1840-1865. Nichols had written introductory material for each section of the book, and had some sections nearly completed, but decided that he was unable to complete the book. He donated the manuscript to the Society in the hope that parts of it could be published, that incomplete sections could be completed by others, and that the manuscript could be made accessible to researchers.

The Society has just completed the publication of the first chapter of the manuscript as Special Publication 98-1, "Patriots and Pioneers of Howard County, Maryland: The Courthouse and The Jail". The book is about the people involved in the construction and early days of the Howard County courthouse and the jail in Ellicott City in the time from 1840 to 1857.

The main source used by Mr. Nichols was the original 506-page ledger book consisting of bound handwritten pages on which the activities of the early County Commissioners were recorded. The chapter on the courthouse contains both significant and trivial entries, all of which provide names and color relating to the construction of the courthouse. The chapter on the jail includes information on Howard County's first hanging, and the principals involved. The book contains a turn-of-the century picture of the courthouse, pictures of the jail, and a portion of an 1860 map of Ellicott City showing various properties mentioned in the book.

There is an index containing all the surnames in the book, including Alexander, Anderson, Batson, Bowie, Bradenbaugh, Bradford, Brown, Burgess, Thomas, Butler, Campbell, Carr, Carrick, Clark, Cole, Crawford, Davis, Day, Disney, Donaldson, Dorsey, Duvall, Ellicott, Elliott, Emmart, Fell, Fort, Gaither, Gibbons, Gosnell, Green, Griffith, Hammond, Harding, Harris, Haslup, Hayden, Hearn, Hipsley, Hobbs, Hollifield, Holland, Hopkins, Hughes, Hunt, Iglehart, Isaac, Isaacs, Jenkins, Johnson, Jones, Legon, Linthicum, Lycum, Lyons, MacCubbin, Maclin, McClary, McCrea, McKenzie, Israel, McLaughlin, Mills, Moore, Morris, Norwood, Orem, Owings, Patridge, Peepe, Piper, Powell, Pue, Radcliff, Rivers, Sallen, Scaggs, Shipley, Simmons, Smith, Snowden, Sprigg, Stewart, Talbott, Timanus, Tyson, Van Brocklyn, Warfield, Welsh, Wilson, Worthington.

Newsletter editor Dick Bush was responsible for the editing of the new book. The HCGS also acknowledges the assistance of the Howard County Historical Society and its library director Mary Mannix. The original ledger book on which much of the book was based can be examined at the Historical Society library.

HCGS Special Publication 98-1, "Patriots and Pioneers of Howard County, Maryland: The Courthouse and the Jail" is soft cover, contains 25 pages and is priced at $3.00 per copy, plus $0.15 tax for Maryland residents, plus $1.25 shipping and handling. It can be ordered from HCGS, Box 274, Columbia, MD 21045.

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