The start of the recorded historical past 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 authorities was casting a fearful eye at French moves to claim the inside of the American continent. France's holdings there threatened to limit English influence to the coastal strip east of the Allegheny mountains, and, thereby, stop English dominance of northern America.
To counter French encroachment, the English government began an active coverage of selling settlement of the wilderness. Settlers have been organized into groups of tons of. The first settlers, within the space below lively research by the Higher Emmitsburg Area Historic Society, were collectively referred to as the Tom's Creek Hundred. Their settlement encompassed land from just north of present 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 diseases resembling 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 government opened the land to all settlers for a nominal charge, it favored a few select aristocrats by offering them giant tracts of land in reward for their support 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 wealthy Catholic who performed a dominant position within the sometimes-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 of the vacant land on the Monocacy and its many branches, which included all of present day Emmitsburg. In July 1743, Diggs managed to receive title to three tracts of land in the Emmitsburg area. Diggs' land grabbing was shortly mimicked by others, albeit in a smaller vogue.
Unfortunately for the raise alert land speculators and the settlers, 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 combating the French, but their Indian allies as properly. While little preventing occurred in the Emmitsburg space, Indian raiding events periodically moved by the realm. As a result, many settlers withdrew to the relative safety of coastal cities.
With the end of the Seven Years Struggle in Europe, during which France ceded sovereignty of the inside of North America to the English, settlers once again forged their eyes toward the wilderness. Some fled from severe religious persecution, others from the oppression of civil tyranny, and still others were attracted by the hopes of liberty under the milder influence of English colonial rule. However for the best half, the settlers flocked to the American continent within the hopes of abandoning the crushing poverty of their homeland and for the possibility to personal land and prosper by their