The beginning of the recorded history of the northern Frederick County is closely tied to rivalry between England and France. When the first Europeans settled in the Emmitsburg area, in the early eighteenth century, the English government was casting a worried eye at French strikes to assert the inside of the American continent. France's holdings there threatened to restrict English affect to the coastal strip east of the Allegheny mountains, and, thereby, stop English dominance of northern America.
To counter French encroachment, the English authorities began an energetic policy of selling settlement of the wilderness. Settlers have been organized into teams of a whole lot. The first settlers, in the area below lively research by the Better Emmitsburg Area Historic Society, were collectively often known as the Tom's Creek Hundred. Their settlement encompassed land from simply north of current day Thurmont to the old Pennsylvania border, from the Monocacy to the Catoctin Mountains.
The Tom Indians, who occupied the Emmitsburg space, had by this time either moved westward or died from European illnesses similar to small pox. In consequence, the land occupied by the Tom's Creek Hundred was practically devoid of Indians and, subsequently, ripe for settlement by the English.
Whereas the Royal authorities opened the land to all settlers for a nominal charge, it favored a few select aristocrats by providing them large tracts of land in reward for their assist of the Crown. One of the earliest land barons in the valley was John Diggs.
Diggs, a grandson of the Royal Governor of Virginia, was a rich Catholic who played a dominant position within the generally-bloody border dispute between the Maryland and Pennsylvania governments. With ownership of the Chesapeake and the mouth of the Susquehanna, Maryland pressed its declare of what's now middle Pennsylvania. This remained a dispute that was not settled until the Mason-Dixon line was laid out.
Diggs believed his proper to land, primarily based upon his aristocratic standing, entitled him to most of northern and western Maryland. In 1732, Diggs formally claimed, though without any authority, all the vacant land on the Monocacy and its many branches, which included all of current day Emmitsburg. In July 1743, Diggs managed to obtain title to a few tracts of land in the Emmitsburg area. Diggs' land grabbing was shortly mimicked by others, albeit in a smaller vogue.
Sadly for the land speculators and the settlers, raise alert the race between the French and English for the interior of the continent soon obtained out of hand. In 1754, the English weren't solely fighting the French, but their Indian allies as nicely. Whereas little combating occurred within the Emmitsburg area, Indian raiding parties periodically moved via the world. Consequently, many settlers withdrew to the relative security of coastal cities.
With the tip of the Seven Years Battle in Europe, in which France ceded sovereignty of the interior of North America to the English, settlers once once more solid their eyes towards the wilderness. Some fled from extreme non secular persecution, others from the oppression of civil tyranny, and nonetheless others had been attracted by the hopes of liberty underneath the milder influence of English colonial rule. But for the best part, the settlers flocked to the American continent in the hopes of abandoning the crushing poverty of their homeland and for the chance to personal land and prosper via their