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Port Tobacco times, and Charles County advertiser. : (Port Tobacco, Md.) 1845-1898
Alternative Titles:
  • Port Tobacco times
Place of publication:
Port Tobacco, Md.
Geographic coverage:
  • Port Tobacco, Charles, Maryland  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
E. Wells., Jr. & G.W. Hodges
Dates of publication:
  • -v. 54, no. 33 (Jan. 14, 1898).
  • Began in 1845?
  • English
  • Charles County (Md.)--Newspapers.
  • Maryland--Charles County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01212000
  • Maryland--Port Tobacco.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01221958
  • Port Tobacco (Md.)--Newspapers.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: Vol. 2, no. 8 (June 26, 1845).
sn 89060060
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Port Tobacco times, and Charles County advertiser. June 26, 1845 , Image 1


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Port Tobacco Times, and Charles County Advertiser

Elijah Wells, Jr. and G.W. Hodges established the Port Tobacco Times in 1844 to supply the residents of Charles County, Maryland, with a weekly newspaper that supported the Democratic Party. In 1845, the paper was renamed the Port Tobacco Times, and Charles County Advertiser. Elijah Wells came from Annapolis where he had learned printing as an apprentice under Jeremiah Hughes, publisher of the Maryland Republican. After Wells's death in 1877, his son Solomon O. Wells ran the Times before turning it over to a cousin, Charles F. Daley, in 1880. Daley's partner F. Marcellus Cox announced in 1889 that Daley was leaving Port Tobacco to pursue opportunities elsewhere.

Southern Maryland's residents were decidedly pro-Confederate in their sympathies; thus, at the start of the Civil War, Federal authorities moved quickly to secure Charles County by stationing troops in Port Tobacco, the county seat, and other strategic locations. On October 3, 1861, Wells had to assure alarmed readers that Union soldiers had not seized the Times. He had merely allowed the soldiers to use his printing equipment to issue a newspaper for the troops stationed nearby. After the war, the Port Tobacco Times documented the continuing economic decline of the county. Depressed land values and falling prices for tobacco were topics of concern. Politics remained a subject of great interest, and Port Tobacco had two newspapers representing opposing political parties. In 1885, F.M. Cox, of the Times narrowly averted a duel with Adrian Posey, editor of the Maryland Independent, over comments published during an election. In most of the country, dueling had fallen out of fashion, but in conservative Charles County, the old ways persisted.

Economic news turned more positive after 1873 when the Popes Creek Branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad arrived in Charles County, which led to the rise of new commercial centers such as La Plata. However, the new railroad bypassed the historic town of Port Tobacco, and some county residents began agitating for a new seat of local government. Times editor Cox led a petition drive against the proposed move of the county seat from Port Tobacco in 1890. His cause prevailed in a referendum, but a disastrous courthouse fire in 1892 led to another special election in 1895 when voters finally decided in favor of La Plata. This move of the county seat spelled doom for the Port Tobacco Times, which in 1898 merged with the Crescent of La Plata to form the Times-Crescent. Meanwhile, Port Tobacco has virtually disappeared, the once thriving town now reduced to just a handful of houses. Recent archaeological investigations have located the site of the Port Tobacco Times printing office on Chapel Point Road.

Provided by: University of Maryland, College Park, MD