The beginning of the recorded historical past of the northern Frederick County is carefully tied to rivalry between England and France. When the primary Europeans settled within the Emmitsburg area, in the early eighteenth century, the English government was casting a frightened eye at French strikes to say the interior of the American continent. France's holdings there threatened to limit English influence to the coastal strip east of the Allegheny mountains, and, thereby, prevent English dominance of northern America.
To counter French encroachment, the English government began an active coverage of promoting settlement of the wilderness. Settlers were organized into teams of a whole lot. The first settlers, within the area under energetic research by the Greater Emmitsburg Area Historical Society, have been collectively often called the Tom's Creek Hundred. Their settlement encompassed land from simply 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 ailments corresponding to small pox. In consequence, the land occupied by the Tom's Creek Hundred was practically devoid of Indians and, therefore, ripe for settlement by the English.
While the Royal government opened the land to all settlers for a nominal payment, it favored a couple of choose aristocrats by providing them large tracts of land in reward for their help of the Crown. One of many earliest land barons in the valley was John Diggs.
Diggs, a grandson of the Royal Governor of Virginia, was a wealthy Catholic who played a dominant position within the sometimes-bloody border dispute between the Maryland and Pennsylvania governments. With possession of the Chesapeake and the mouth of the Susquehanna, Maryland pressed its claim of what is now center Pennsylvania. This remained a dispute that was not settled until the Mason-Dixon line was laid out.
Diggs believed his right to land, based mostly upon his aristocratic standing, entitled him to most of northern and western Maryland. In 1732, Diggs formally claimed, though with none authority, all the vacant land on the Monocacy and its many branches, which included all of current day Emmitsburg. In raise alert July 1743, Diggs managed to obtain title to 3 tracts of land within the Emmitsburg area. Diggs' land grabbing was quickly mimicked by others, albeit in a smaller vogue.
Unfortunately for the land speculators and the settlers, the race between the French and English for the inside of the continent soon received out of hand. In 1754, the English were not solely preventing the French, however their Indian allies as effectively. Whereas little preventing occurred in the Emmitsburg area, Indian raiding events periodically moved by means of the realm. Consequently, many settlers withdrew to the relative security of coastal cities.
With the end of the Seven Years Conflict in Europe, during which France ceded sovereignty of the inside of North America to the English, settlers as soon as once more cast their eyes toward the wilderness. Some fled from extreme religious persecution, others from the oppression of civil tyranny, and still others have been attracted by the hopes of liberty beneath the milder affect of English colonial rule. However for the greatest part, the settlers flocked to the American continent within the hopes of abandoning the crushing poverty of their homeland and for the possibility to own land and prosper by way of their