County Commissioners

Posted on: February 14, 2018

County Historian Delivers QAC Commissioners' Proclamation

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Queen Anne's County Historian Mary Margaret Revell Goodwin, pictured here with H. Spencer Murray, Chair of the Northampton County, Virginia Supervisors earlier this week, delivered a proclamation from the QAC Commissioners to the Northampton County, Virginia Commissioners.

"Those Supervisors of Northampton County, Virginia were stunned with the content of the Proclamation and how "our" William Claiborne tied us to that County all the way back to before 1630 Claiborne was "their Claiborne" before he was "our Claiborne," she said. "What was even better was that I brought home copies of the actual 1630's and beyond documents as they still have the ORIGINALS....not in the Virginia Archives, but in their brand new court house which has the oldest court records in the history of America! For me it was a fantastic, overwhelming day being able to make the connections and presenting the Proclamation that details the links between Claiborne, Northampton County, Virginia and Claiborne, Queen Anne's County, Maryland! LOVED IT!

Here are the words to the official proclamation read and signed by the QAC Commissioners that mark the beginning of a new project that will add to both economic development and tourism in the coming years:

Whereas Queen Anne’s County, Maryland and Northampton County, Virginia established their sister county relationship in 2016 as a result of the march of the Queen Anne’s County militia to the Northampton Court House to protect it against Lord Dunmore that was reenacted in 2016 on the anniversary of the February 3, 1776 original march, and

Whereas William Claiborne understood the unique value of Kent Island the first time he saw its shoreline and determined to establish what was to become the first major cross Atlantic trading post between the new America and Great Britain trading with Indian tribes for furs and agricultural goods, and

Whereas William Claiborne, before the first Kent Island settlers that came from Great Britain on the Affrica, made his first major establishing trip to Kent Island from his home in Jamestown, and

Whereas Claiborne stopped off on his way up the Chesapeake Bay at his land grant property on the Eastern Shore that had been given to him as a result of his leadership in the Jamestown wars against the local Indians, this land being in what is Northampton County, Virginia, but then called Accawmak, and that property located somewhere between King’s Creek and Eastville, and

Whereas when Claiborne stopped on the Eastern Shore he found a group of squatters on his land, which act was a serious offense under the Virginia laws, and as he was loath to stop to deal with the squatters, he gave them space on his boat going to Kent Island; and

Whereas it thus appears that much earlier than our Revolutionary militia marching to assist the people of Northampton, settlers who had been living on Northampton Claiborne land from nearly the beginning gave help in the first effort by Claiborne to establish what was to become the most successful trading site on the American continent, and

Therefore be it now known that we the Commissioners of Queen Anne’s County, Maryland, wish once again to reaffirm our ties of friendship with a new relationship to Northampton County heretofore unknown and again reaffirm our sister county relationship with thanks and all best wishes.

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