"Uneasy Co-existence" Chaptico by grandmaR

Chaptico Travel Guide: 3 reviews and 8 photos

Chaptico is a large enough place to have a post office. The zip code is 20621. Some documents from 1651 spell the name as Choptico. An early road called the "Chaptico Indian Path" led from St. Clement's Manor by way of "Wolf Trap" and "Ironstone Hill" to Chaptico. Chaptico was a prosperous port town which was raided by the British in July 1814.

Latitude: 38.350987
Longitude: 76.783288

Christ Church at Chaptico in King and Queen Parish is located at intersection of Maryland routes 238 and 234, and is one of Maryland's finest landmarks which still has a congregation of worshippers.

The first church was built in 1642 by Thomas Gerrard and the parish was organized in 1692. The present building was erected in 1736. Its architectural style is Georgian with the roof sharply steeped; its portico is three sided with an arch in each side. Legend has it that the famous 18th century architect, Sir Christopher Wren, was its designer.

Writer Robert Pogue credits the church's red brick and Flemish bond for it having withstood two and a half centuries including the 1814 raid by the British. It was here that John Coode, an early vestryman used the church to plot and organize a rebellion against Lord Baltimore in 1689--causing Charles Calvert's loss of the colony and the end of religious freedom until the Revolution.

Chaptico is either named

a) after the Algonquian name for the creek that runs nearby (Translated it means "big" (or deep) river. This could refer to the Patuxent which is quite deep.) or it was named

b) after the Indian (native American) tribe of the region. When Englishmen began to arrive in this area in the mid 1600s, they met what were called the Chapticoes--part of an 11-tribe confederation of the Piscataway Indian nation. There were about 500 in the nation.

According to Maryland Indians "Virginia settlers warned Calvert to purchase lands first and make friendly overtures to Indians, which he did, and it prevented disaster for the colonists. He went to Indiantown upriver from the settlement St. Mary's City, MD and paid for the land. He got a site which was an abandoned Indian village - already cleared for planting and the Europeans began to arrive. In 1651, the Chapticoes, among other small tribes, actually had petitioned the Maryland Assembly, then was in nearby St. Mary's, for protection and some land where they could live unmolested from white settlers. They also wanted protection from warring tribes, angered that the peaceful Indians wouldn't join them against the whites. Norris reports the Assembly granted it as a matter of conscience and also the hope to bring the Indians to both civility and Christianity."

However, all Indians looked alike to the colonists, and eventually the Chapticos suffered because of some other tribe's attacks on the settlers. Lt. Samuel Maddox, one of the early settlers, was given the job of clearing the Indians out. By the 1700s between smallpox and military action, there were very few native Americans left in Southern Maryland.

  • Intro Updated Jun 26, 2004
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