current info

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.


"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil—he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you—and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

First People - The Legends. Cherokee Legend of Two Wolves. November 16, 2004. [accessed April 7, 2012].

Sunday, July 13, 2014

"Growth in Crime" The Politics of a Debate - July 14, 1858 - Planters' Advocate, Prince George's County, Maryland

For the Planters' Advocate
[Upper Marlborough, Prince George's County, Maryland]'

Growth of Crime.


            Is beginning to increase so rapidly and cheerfully that, unless in some way arrested and subdued, public peace and security will be in danger to an alarming extent, if not already so. But before any effective remedy can be applied, the proper causes must be ascertained, and when ascertained, removed at once and effectively. The delinquency and insubordination now so prevalent doubtless have various causes for their origins and force, but among the many that might be mentioned, we think the following are among the chief causes:
            First, we would mention parental neglect, on account of which great criminality is resting upon the parent. Parents do not only neglect to train up their children properly, but they actually trained them wrong. They do not only neglect to instill into their minds proper and correct principles, but teach them wrong and pernicious ones. They train them up to insubordination, contempt for parental authority, and a disregard for parental love and affection. The home education of the present day is radically and criminally wrong, and until this evil is corrected and parents bring up their children correctly, teach them subordination, to love what is right and despise that which is wrong, to lay the foundation of a christian [sic] education, and, in fine, to discharge a parents [sic] duty and obligation faithfully and conscientiously, better things can hardly be hoped for.
            Another source, is not our educational system is radically defective and should be thoroughly reformed. Much could be said on this point, because we do not think that the youth of the land receive that moral culture development, as well as intellectual, necessary to prepare them for the duties of the citizen, the christian [sic] and as a moral and intellectual being. We do not say that all our schools are thus so wretchedly defective, but some we are sure of. But our system of public schools should be so reformed and sent the youth may be thoroughly taught morally as well as intellectually. A christian [sic] education should be aimed at, and it should form the basis of all their attainment.
            Reformation in the public school system is much needed, and until we have better legislation, our youth will still receive a wrong education and be bad citizens, instead of good and useful. Another is intemperance. This is the most fruitful source of crime of all others, and should be removed at once. We anticipated a few years ago at the temperance cause would triumph, but our hopes are gone. Intemperance is on the increase, and what will be the condition of society on account of this abominable curse the present is a fair indication. Intemperance is the prime cause of nine-tenths of the evil which corrupt and ruined society. It ought to be removed and removed at once. We advocate a total, a final and an effectual removal of the cause which is so prolific in flooding the entire country with intemperance, crime, insubordination, disobedience to law, promotions of disorder and influence injurious to public morals, to public prosperity, and dangerous to public peace, security, the quiet of society and subversive of all good government, party spirit, too frequent popular elections, the speculation mania and idleness, are all injurious to public good. Brian will still continue to increase until the causes which produce it are effectually removed, offenders punished without favor or affection, and the supreme authority of the law upheld, maintained and respected. Public morals must be corrected by their causes being removed and offenders punished for their crimes before we can hope for, or expect the diminution of crime, and public peace and happiness prevail.            W.[1]



[1] Maryland State Archives. Growth of Crime. The Planters' Advocate. July 14, 1858. {accessed from the web July 13, 2014 http://mdhistory.net/msa_sc3415/msa_sc3415_scm3601/pdf/msa_sc3415_scm3601-0119.pdf]

Transcribed by John Peter Thompson
Transcribed

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The "Battle" Raid on Beltsville - July 12, 1864

Published in the Prince George's County Historical Society Newsletter - News & Notes.

Founded in 1952, this all-volunteer, non-profit organization works to fulfill its mission of preserving and promoting the County's long and diverse history through: Reproducing new and out-of-print historical materials; Collecting records, documents, photographs, and artifacts reflecting the County's social, economic and political history; Operating the Frederick S. DeMarr Library of County History; Providing educational opportunities through lectures, programs and tours; Recognizing and supporting individuals and organizations that are making significant contributions to the preservation of the County's rich multi-ethnic, multi-cultural heritage.

There are many benefits to becoming a member of the Prince George's County Historical including a subscription to News and Notes, published by the Society. to join: http://www.pghistory.org/join-us.php?st=Join-Us


The Raid on Beltsville July 12th, 1864

            150 summers ago in Prince George's  County, on July 12th, 1864, Confederate soldiers rode into Beltsville, Maryland, tore up the rail-line and burned railcars of the B&O railroad before returning to Virginia. Commanded by Maryland-born Brigadier-General Bradley Johnson, the rebel cavalry was operating on the left of Jubal Early's invading Confederate Second Corps' attack on Washington, D. C. 

            The raid and resultant skirmishes between Federal and Confederate cavalry units took place between today's Beltsville and College Park. The military actions moved on a north-south axis west of the CSX railroad line, then operated by the B&O, and were centered along US Route 1 formerly called the Baltimore-Washington Pike. To the west of the turnpike was the Paint branch, a stream that head south east through Maryland on its way to join the eastern branch of the Potomac river, the Anacostia. To the west of the pike, along the Paint branch, named for the red and blue clay that lines its course, big trees grew close together on the bank; low woodland stretched far back from the stream presenting a scenic wild aspect to the landscape (The Rambler. Sunday Star. November 1916). 
         
            Most of the buildings mentioned in reports of the day are long gone including the home of Major. Geo. M. Emack, CSA (now a shopping center across US 1 from St. John's Church), Brown's White House Tavern (now a shopping center immediately south of USDA BARC), the rail depot or station in Beltsville; Dr. Montgomery Johns' house on Knox Ave. in College Park; and Mrs. McDaniel's house which served as a headquarters for federal operations in front of Fort Lincoln in Bladensburg, Maryland.

            The Official Record of the Civil War, Series I, Vol. XXXVII, provides a running account of the day's events which reflects the confusion of the moment that translates into uncertainty of describing exactly what happened when and where to readers today.  At 7:50 a.m., Major-General Gillmore, USA, set up his "command near the old Bladensburg road" to coordinate Union defense from Fort Lincoln to Fort Bunker Hill.  Two hours later, Major Fry, the provost-general, sent word that "the enemy's cavalry is trying to turn our right."

            The Daily Constitutional Union, (2nd Edition July 12, 1864), reported that "enemy appears to have reached the line of the Washington branch railroad between 12 and 1 o'clock, today, shortly after the last train from Baltimore had passed to the city. The train which left Baltimore at 10 a.m., came through to within about 1 mile of Beltsville, when a number of men at work on the second track of the road came running towards it, giving the alarm that rebel cavalry, in some force had just been approaching towards Beltsville. After delay a 15 minutes, however, by sending ahead, information was received that it was our own cavalry else that had been seen, and the train again came on, and arrived here quarter of an hour behind time. By 1 o'clock, it was found that the telegraph wires were down between this city and Baltimore, which would seem to confirm the idea that the alarm at Beltsville was not entirely groundless."

            By 1:30 p.m., Capt. Paddock, Post Commander Battery Jameson, Fort Lincoln, was informing Secretary of War Stanton that "a farmer just arrived bringing intelligence from the commanding officer of the outside pickets that the enemy was [sic] approaching in force in this direction. They are now about two miles this side of Beltsville, which is five miles northeast of here." At 2:00 p.p.,, from Mrs. McDaniel's house, Major Barney, [USA], "of Washington City, just from the front", [brought] a report from the officer commanding the cavalry [5th Michigan Cavalry] on the Baltimore pike that he had been driven in, and that the enemy are in force two miles this side of Beltsville making for railroad." [1]   

            A newspaper account 52 years later described the coming of the Union forces to the Brown farm to water and feed their horse. As the Federal soldiers commandeered supplies, the widowed Mrs. Brown saw a dust cloud and a large large numbers of horsemen approaching, and called for the Union commander to come upstairs and see for himself. He rounded up his troops and shot his way across the Paint branch to safety before the Confederate forces could surround him. One Union cavalryman was wounded when Major Emack's 1st Maryland, CSA, cavalry company charged the hurriedly regrouping Federal cavalry. The wounded soldier was sent to Major Emack's home across from the Episcopal Church, St. John's, less than two mile up the road. (The Rambler. Sunday Star, November 1916).[2]

Emack House - Locust Grove
image courtesy - DeMarr Library Historian
Prince George's County Historical Society


            In a telegraphed message to General Grant from Under Secretary of War, Charles A. Dana, the defense of Washington was described as consisting of many generals none of whom were in command. In this vein of multiple commanders, at 2:15, General Meigs was reporting from Fort Slocum that "500 cavalry, under Major Fry, was attacked four miles beyond Bladensburg, toward Baltimore, by the enemy in force, with artillery. He [Major Fry] is falling back toward Bladensburg, at which place ... he will need rations and forage, and also carbine and pistol ammunition, for 100 men who reported to him last evening unsupplied." The 17th Pennsylvania Cavalry, USA, sent word to Captain Paddock at Fort Lincoln that " a scouting party just returned report[ing] that they met a force of the enemy's cavalry with artillery about three miles above this place toward Beltsville."

            By 3:00 p.m.,, Secretary Stanton was receiving information from the peripatetic B&O ticket agent, G. S. Koonz, who explained how the railroad company's " ballast engine has just come in from Beltsville. Trainmen report that rebels in force were in sight when they left. Our forces ready to receive them. Rebels fired at engine, but it was out of range. Beltsville is twelve miles distant from Washington and is a station on our road." Twenty minutes later, the Secretary of War was updated by Major Fry of the situation at Fort Lincoln and points north:

"A force of rebel cavalry has within the last few hours been engaged with about 300 of our cavalry, at the Baltimore pike where it crosses Paint Creek, about three miles beyond Bladensburg. The rebel force was accompanied by light artillery, which up to the time my informant left had fired about fifteen shots. My informant is one of our cavalry, just in, who was wounded in the skirmish. Our 300 cavalry were yielding their ground slowly. I should say it was an attempt to interrupt the railroad by a cavalry force. The skirmish is about two miles west of railroad. The line of rifle-pits from this fort westward is entirely unmanned. There is not a soldier on the line as far as I can see it, and but two companies of 100-days' men and a few convalescents in this fort. The pike is really open to a cavalry dash. I think troops should come to this part of the line is now seriously threatened. I have not seen General Gillmore. Perhaps he has made disposition. The line now is certainly weak in the extreme. I will go from here to Fort Saratoga, and try to see General Gillmore; but I suggest action from headquarters to strengthen this line at once. The convalescents here are not armed. Muskets and Ammunition should be sent at once."

At 4:05 p.m., General Gillmore wrote:

"The enemy are [sic] just beyond Bladensburg. Fugitive citizens are coming in. I have carefully examined the line of works from Fort Bunker hill to Fort Lincoln. More troops should be on this part of the line. I saw eight brass field pieces in Fort Lincoln not in use. They ought to be put in position, I think, with men to man them. I am not in command of the line in my front by any orders from you or any one else." During the afternoon of the 12th, US Navy Admiral Goldsborough had been order to gather up office works and man the defensive works of Fort Lincoln in response to the perceived threat from Johnson's cavalry now apparently moving towards Bladensburg."

            At some point in the afternoon, Dr. Montgomery Johns recounted the passing of the rebel units through what is now the University of Maryland campus. Johns, a Professor at the Agricultural College, later explained, in defense of his actions that day, that "the rebel stopped on the Turnpike in front of Rossburg (presently called the Rossborough Inn) 10 minutes, then proceeding toward Bladensburg, where met by (Union) skirmishers at 'Kenedy's Hill' and turned westward through the campus. Some of the Confederates stopped at the Johns' home and demanded food. Johns was taken to see the leader, Gen. Johnson, 'a distant Kinsman'. Altogether the troops, stated to 500 in number, were on the campus "about 45 minutes. (Pri. Geo.'s Historical Society News & Notes, April 1974)'" During the foray, the Confederates burned the bridge over the Paint branch just north of the present entrance to the University of Maryland, College Park.

            By 8:45 p.m., Mr. Koonz was again relaying information to Stanton. His account this time noted that he had been "as far as Bladensburg. Enemy has not shown himself between Washington and that point. At Bladensburg I was met by a Mr. Bowie, who seems to be acting as an aide. He advised me to proceed no farther, as enemy was [sic] about one mile and a half above. He estimates their force at about 1,500 cavalry and one battery of artillery. Our bridges across Paint Branch, two miles above Bladensburg, have been destroyed."

            The last of the rebel cavalry left the area mid morning on July 13th. The next day the President of the B&O railroad sent a message to Stanton noting that a "hand-car with some of our men, and an engine and car in charge of our agent at Washington, Mr. Koontz, have arrived in Baltimore within the last hour, communicating the information that the road is now clear of the enemy, and that the burning has been confined to twelve camp and other cars of the company, and the partial destruction of the cross-ties of one bridge."   On July 14th that the damage done to the railroad in Beltsville did not amount to more than three cross-ties burned and some lumber placed across the tracks.

            The Johnson-Gilmore raid ended in Beltsville. Some after-action reports indicate that some of the Confederate force had begun to head towards Upper Marlboro as part of the larger plan to free Confederate prisoners in St, Mary's County. The skirmish at Beltsville ended a rebel swing through Maryland that had taken Johnson's command from Frederick east to Baltimore. Led by the 1st Maryland Cavalry, CSA, they had burned bridges and obstructed rail-lines north of Baltimore, and had found time to burn the home of Maryland's Governor, Augustus Bradford. As they continued through central Maryland, the government of Maryland and the US military played a telegraphed guessing game as to the intent and goal of the fast-moving southern cavalry. The raid through Maryland was a part of a larger Confederate operation that planned to attack the Capital of the United States, Washington, D.C. The resulting battle fought along the Monocacy river slowed the invading army down long enough for the US Army to execute a defense of the city. The delayed assault of Early's Army on Fort Stephens (in Silver Spring near Georgia Avenue) failed on July 12th, and Early order Johnson's command to rejoin the 2nd Corps as it began its retreat to Virginia and the end of the rebellion 10 months later. Although we have let the buildings decay and disappear, the people and their fight continue to shape our landscapes today.                    




[1] Newspapers report that the Confederate forces, probably the 1st Maryland, engaged Major Belmont in command of a detachment of the 5th Michigan Cavalry. The Official Record includes mentions and reports of Major Darling and the 7th Michigan with no mention of his being driven back.
[2] The topography of the land along US Route 1 is such that the Emack House, Locust Grove would have been visible from the White House Tavern grounds. The land steps down towards the Paint branch in a series of gentle slopes. From the White House Tavern an observer would have easily seen the stream valley and the hills of Bladensburg beyond the College of Agriculture (University of Maryland, College Park). An informative view of the lay of the land is found from the observation deck of the 14th floor of the National Agricultural Library which sits on the ground where the Union cavalry was feeding and watering its horses when surprised by Emack's Company B.

John Peter Thompson 2014


Friday, July 04, 2014

Prince George's County Song from 1939

The County Song

Few residents, even the native variety, realize that Prince George's, County has an official song. With words by G. Frederick Orton of Hyattsville and music by William Moore, then editor of the Prince George's Post, Hail Prince Georges contains four stanzas and has a very pleasant melody.

The song was adopted as the official song of the county in 1939, but was only "rediscovered" a year or so ago. The text is printed below. Any member who desires a copy of the music should write the Society at P.O. Box 14, Riverdale 20840.

Hail! Prince Georges

Prince Georges County, heart of old Maryland
Child of the Free State, long united both stand
Blazoned with glory, may your whole future be!
Bulwark of Tolerance, and true Liberty.

Your beauty long has fed the tired souls of men
They have found rest in wooded hill and green glen
Blest with your soils and streams where food could be found
All that men needed in yourself did abound.

Tired ships of old were kissed by welcoming shore;
Leaders of men came through your wide open door
Prince George’s forest helped: to build happy home
Sheltered in safety 'neath the blue starry dome.

May your rich blessings on us all freely pour
On rich and poor alike till time is no more!
Hail, mighty County, pride of State of Land!
Prince Georges County, heart of old Maryland.

(Copyright 1339, by Prince Georges Chamber of Commerce)

News and Notes From THE PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

June 1975

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Prince George's Philharmonic' Brilliant Concert 2013-2014 Season Ends with Stravinsky's 'Rite of Spring' and world premiere of Palmer's 'Beyond Space and Time'

            The final performance of the Prince George's Philharmonic 2013-2014 concert season took place on Saturday, May 17, 2014 in Dekelboum Hall at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, College Park, Maryland.  The evening offered the audience a commanding performance of three masters of Western classical music, and a first hearing of an accomplished contemporary composer's work. Elizabeth Palmer's premiered orchestral work, Beyond Space and Time, held its own in the august canonic musical gathering.

            The concert began, appropriately, with an overture built in large part on rhythmic pulses which set the stage for the three other works on the program. The orchestra played the Beethoven with technical mastery right to the whispered final notes, a performance that highlighted Ms. Palmer's beautiful tone poem, Beyond Space and Time. Her work with its shifting harmonies and pulsating crescendos was, in turn, reflected in the second movement of the Haydn Symphony, a symphony which itself was built upon shifting harmonies and rhythms that ebbed and flowed until the final resolution. Palmer's sense of timing and her control of harmonic devices allowed her to build on three centuries of compositional technique creating a sound very much her own while at the same time reflective of the classical musical traditions.

            Ms. Palmer, who has played the euphonium for 20 years, studied music technology at Susquehanna University, and then completed a master’s degree in music education at Towson University. During those years, she took courses in composition. She taught music for several years in Prince George’s County schools, and has been involved with mentoring young music students. For the past two years she has been studying for her doctorate at the University of Southern California which will include music education, theory and arts leadership.

            The Haydn Symphony completed the first half of the program. The usual listener's default position when hearing a major composition in symphonic form for the first time is the recall immediately the two 'exciting' outer movements. I fell for the two inner movements at last night's performance, especially the third movement with its sliding harmonic motif of the minuet and the beautiful bassoon solo in the trio section. The orchestra, with a few intonation struggles for a few seconds in the slow introduction of the Haydn, was in complete control of the music under the masterful direction of its conductor, Maestro Ellis. Mr. Ellis chose to fuse the orchestra section's sound (strings, woodwinds, brass, &c.) rather than highlighting the sections as I have come to expect. This led to a very rich, velvety performance of the first half compositions and set the stage by way of contrast for the Stravinsky.

            How does one even begin to review the fabulous, stunning, extraordinary, masterful performance of the Rite of Spring. Speechless comes to mind. 

            The virtuoso rendition of Stravinsky's monumental score that still “seem[s] to violate all the most hallowed concepts of beauty, harmony, tone and expression" was inspiring.  The Italian composer, Roman Vlad, continued his description of the daunting Rite of Spring explaining that "never had an audience heard anything so brutal, savage, aggressive and apparently chaotic" (Roman Vlad, 1967).   Igor Stravinsky and Vaslav Nijinsky "collaborated in 1913 on the most shocking, ground breaking music and ballet the world had ever experienced and it may still be the most striking work ever done (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewOBXph0hP4&list=RDewOBXph0hP4#t=1801)." The Prince George's Philharmonic and its conductor, Mr. Ellis, rose to the occasion with their brilliant performance bringing the emotion of the music to the forefront and overcoming any preconceived reservations the audience may have had.

            Mr. Ellis and the orchestra surpassed all expectations. Describing the music is tough. Paul Rosenfeld wrote early in the 20th century that it "pound[s] with the rhythm of engines, whirls and spirals like screws and fly-wheels, grinds and shrieks like laboring metal (Rosenfeld. Musical Portraits: Interpretations of Twenty Modern Composers. 1920. p. 202)." To pull off a performance of the piece of music the conductor and the musicians must be as one, and must be at the top of their professional game.

            Mr. Ellis let loose opportunities for soloists and featured sectional performances in the nearly half-hour long performance. Mr. Ellis never lost touch with the musical pulses which propel the ballet forward in time and the musicians of the Prince George's Philharmonic rose to a pinnacle of performance; the audience rose to give a standing ovation that was most certainly deserved.

            How could you not have been here with us for this once-in-a-lifetime musical offering? It does not get better than this - I can hardly wait for next season's performances
           
           
Charles Ellis, conductor
Elizabeth Palmer                   Beyond Space and Time (World Premiere)


            The 2014-2015 Prince George's Philharmonic season will lead off with a War of 1812 bicentennial commemorative concert in Bowie.
            The program will feature Rossini's Tancredi Overture, Mozart's Clarinet Concerto in A major, K. 622, Wagner's Siegfried's Rhine Journey, Rodger's Victory at Sea, and Beethoven's Wellington's Victory Op. 91.
            The musical evening will follow a daylong symposium, Beyond the Battle, which will explore life in Bladensburg and Prince George's County in the years surrounding the Battle of Bladensburg which was fought in August of 1814.

            Topics will cover African American Life, Archeology, Inns, Taverns, Spas and Mills, Music, Horticulture and Agriculture. The program will be held at the University campus in College Park. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Upper Marlboro, Md Post Office - the arrogance of apathy continues

We are now told, continuing from yesterday's story (Friday, April 25, 2014 Upper Marlboro Post Office: arrogant apathetic looks of bored disinterest couched in layers of studied discourtesy), that the Upper Marlboro resident who was given and signed for our package given to her by a postal worker took it home and threw it away - 150 + 50 international shipping postage worth of gifts from Mother and Grandmother neither of whom can afford this.  Some of the gifts were hand made and of course beyond value, the gifts were presents for us from them.

The story just gets more outrageous each time additional information comes our way.

We want to thank the resident who "threw" away or is now enjoying our presents from far away for not having the decency to simply return the package to the post office when she return to claim her rightful package (ion other words she had to make a second trip anyway and now has two packages for the price of one). One wonders what kind of society we have become....besides uncaring, unconcerned, and compassionate.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Upper Marlboro Post Office: arrogant apathetic looks of bored disinterest couched in layers of studied discourtesy

Hi Upper Marlboro Neighbors;

            Since I moved here in 2004, I have been quietly fighting the postal service. I have tried to be polite about my damaged, shredded, ripped, stepped on letters and mailings sent to me in my capacity as Chair of the Historic Preservation Commission and former Trustee of the County Library System. I pay for a PO Box to send as much mail as I can, but the State and Federal government want to send documents that I rarely actually get to a physical address.  I wait in vain for checks from clients.

            I sort through my neighbors misdirected mail, and have tried many times to explain the problem while holding the evidence in my hands to the cavalier, arrogant staff at our post office, gritting my teeth as I listen to the explanations that suggest that somehow it is my fault that they misdelivered my neighbors mail.

            Holiday packages sent from monks in Kentucky never arrive, and I am told that perhaps I ate the cheese inside and am lying about the non-delivery or that perhaps one of my neighbor's walked over and helped himself to the cheese.

            Yesterday an attempt was made to deliver an international package - I was not home - and a notice was left to come to the post office today Thursday April 24th to get the package.  Upon arrival at the post office, the postal employee explained it had been delivered already. The postal employee even had th audacity to suggest we go home and check and then come back the next day. Also, as with the cheese, they suggested that our neighbors appropriated our delivery. (we do not live in a sub divisions and I can assure everyone our neighbors are not stealthily stealing our mail).

            After repeated attempts to point out not to our house - it was acknowledged that indeed it went to some different address than on the official address and was signed by someone not from our neighborhood - no further explanation was offered and the next person in line rudely decided we had tied up the unfortunate employee long enough.

            To make matters worse, it turns out it was not delivered to a wrong address but given by a clerk at the Post Office to a wrong person on a different route...this in spite of making us prove who we are every time we go to pick up a package - this rule must only apply to us.  Please note the package came from Russia and was covered in Cyrillic writing  (excepting of course our name and address which were and always are in the traditional western Roman alphabet) that the disinterested clerks could not spend the time to notice.

            The worst part is the rude, uncaring accusatory manner in which their mistake is turned into our fault. This is what really burns me up.  Not a single "We're sorry, we will see what we can do." 

            Nothing; just arrogant apathetic looks of bored disinterest.

           Today 24 hours later, no call from anyone at the post office; I went in person this morning having received an alternative version of what happened; called mid-day no information and was told yet another story this evening - the customer to whom they gave our international package threw it away.  I suppose the Post Office in Upper Marlboro believes that the world is filled with idiots who believe concocted stories, though given the studied disinterested and a committed, dismissive attitude I suppose it possible that they gave our package to a complete stranger with no ID and that the stranger not having received their package simply chose to throw our away.

            And, yes, after trying the understand not confrontational, extremely polite request,  I tried filing a complaint a few years ago when the holiday package never arrived...a useless exercise in wasting my time; nothing happened. I have put up with this for almost ten years now. I have had enough. Whom exactly does the Postal Service serve? -Certainly not our street or community as I am finding out from my neighbors.

            So Upper Marlboro, do you have a postal story to share?

Upper Marlboro, Md Post Office - the arrogance of apathy continues 


Saturday, March 15, 2014

18th Century Historic Building Wall Collapses - Compton Bassett Catholic Chapel, March 15, 2014

Sometime during the night of March 14-15, 2014 the chimney wall of the historic Catholic colonial Chapel at Compton Bassett in Upper Marlboro collapsed.  I have not been able to get there in person to assess the damage.  The owner of the property has been repeatedly informed by its own staff that the tarpaulin thrown over to stop a roof leak was not a long term fix; and that, further, the tarp itself would eventually contribute to the destruction of the building. This collapse in all probability was preventable.

The ubiquitous friend of those in a hurry, Wikipedia, states that:

"Compton Bassett is a historic home in Upper Marlboro, Prince George's County, Maryland, United States, that was constructed ca. 1783. It is a two-story brick Georgian house, covered with cream-colored stucco, on a high basement of gray stucco. A two-story wing was added in 1928. Remaining outbuildings include a chapel to the southeast, a meathouse to the southwest, and a dairy to the northwest. Also on the property is a family burial ground. 

The Hill family and descendents lived at this site from 1699 to 1900. Hills Bridge (700 meters to the southeast) has carried traffic over the Patuxent River here since a toll bridge was first constructed in 1852 by W.B. Hill. [3] Compton Bassett was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. In July 2010 the house and grounds were acquired by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning 


Historic American Buildings Survey Delos H. Smith, Photographer 1
936 View from Northeast - Compton Bassett Chapel, Marlboro Pike (State Route 408),
Upper Marlboro, Prince George's County, MD