Chesapeake History – ‘Burns’

Story Teller: American and Chesapeake History Charter

You and your family have probably visited notable locations that celebrate and honor key moments in American History - Jamestown, Fort McHenry, The Alamo, Ellis Island, Iwo Jima, Normandy. Now Chesapeake Bay Yacht Charters will take you to a special place - not one where a single event happened, but one where over 430-years of key events in our nation’s history have transpired: namely, historic colonial Londontowne, the South River and the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse.

First, we'll cruise down the picturesque South River to visit the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse, at the confluence of the South River, the Chesapeake Bay and Annapolis.

You'll see how Native Americans prospered on the richness of the Chesapeake Bay after it formed at the end of the last Ice Age about 10,000 years ago.

In 1608, Captain John Smith left Jamestown to explore the Chesapeake Bay. "Within is a country that may have the prerogative over the most pleasant place ever knowne...". His boat traveled right past our location!

You'll hear of Annapolis' role in the War of Independence and the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

You'll see where a British ship commanded by Admiral George Cockburn ran aground on the Thomas Point Shoal during the War of 1812 - Cockburn went on to burn Washington and the White House in August, 1814.

It's here that Harriett Tubman and the Underground Railroad transported slaves to freedom, including members of her own family between 1850 and 1860.

We'll relive the Chesapeake Oyster Wars between Maryland and Virginia that only ended in 1959! You'll know pirates, shipwrecks and lighthouses; see crab boats and modern Chesapeake Bay international commerce into the 21st Century.

Then, we’ll then take a relaxation anchor break in Harness Creek by the shores of Quiet Waters Park.

Finally, we’ve saved the best for last!

We’ll visit historic colonial Londontowne, founded in 1683. Londontowne was a bustling seaport in the 1700's and we'll cross the South River by the route of the ferry that linked Charleston to New England. 

History documents that George Washington crossed the South River by the Londontowne ferry after resigning his Commission on December 23rd, 1783 in the Maryland State House in Annapolis: "Having now finished the work assigned me, I retire from the great theatre of Action; and bidding an Affectionate farewell to this August body under whose orders I have so long acted, I here offer my Commission, and take my leave of all the employments of public life." He returned to Mount Vernon only to take the oath of Office of the first President of the United States in 1789.

Francis Scott Key, the author of the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ in 1814, crossed over this ferry too.

We'll go ashore to see the William Brown House, built in 1763 - we can arrange tours inside, if you like. The House stands alongside Scott Street, the road to the actual ferry. At the time, the House was a tavern, and home to talk of revolution and a new republic.

The rest is History...