Maryland Historical Magazine, 1906: “Planter’s Paradise” on Middle River

Maryland Historical Magazine
January 1, 1906
Maryland Historical Society.


I mention the name of Captain Thomas Cornwaleys, the Counsellor of Lord Baltimore, called by Bozman “the guardian genius of the Province,” and by Streeter, “a Host in Himself.”

Bringing with him from England a number of servants, he received from Lord Baltimore, in 1642, three thousand acres of land in Cornwaleys’ Neck, St. Mary’s County, and on August 16th, 1658, in Kent County, on the east side of Bacon’s Bay, one thousand acres known as “Cornwaleys’ Choice,” but previously on the 22nd March, 1658, he had received for transporting people from England in 1655, “Planter’s Paradise,” on Middle River Neck, in Baltimore County, containing eight hundred and twentynine acres. Shortly after 1659, he left for England.

The Legislature of 1684, authorized a Port or Town in Middle River on the “land of Cornwaleys or Leakin,” repealed by the Act of 1686.

The same “Planter’s Paradise” was surveyed for “William Cornwaleys of Baltimore County, Gentleman,” on the 29th of November, 1679. This was probably the son of Thomas, the land beginning at the mouth of Cornwaleys Creek. In 1701, we find a conveyance from John Leakin to James Crook of “land named Turkey Neck on Middle River, laid out for Captain Thomas Cornwaleys.”

On November 6th, 1730, Cornwaleys being dead and his heirs in England, “Planter’s Paradise ” was again surveyed and the land escheated by Stansbury, called “Rosse’s Manor,” and patented 26th January, 1749.

I have been thus particular because the residence of this family in Baltimore County has been unknown—a lost history, and that it may induce others to investigate further the biography of one who was a brave soldier, a wise statesman, an unsullied citizen, an honor to any State or to any country!

In 1659, Baltimore County was established. In what county then was ” Planter’s Paradise” on Middle River given to Captain Cornwaleys, in 1658? Did Anne Arundel County, established in 1650, include Baltimore County during the years 1650 and 1659?

We read in the Archives of Maryland, that Captain Thomas Todd was a commissioner of Anne Arundel County in 1661, and a delegate to the Legislature in 1674 from Baltimore County.

The survival of the fittest applies to towns as much as to vegetables and animals. An American progressive city must have room to expand. It must have streams of sufficient fall for manufacturing purposes, and a full supply of pure water, and there must be building material: clay, limestone, sand, granite, iron in abundance.

The restless migratory genius of Baltimore sought these requisites on the Elk River, then on the Bush River, then westward to the Gunpowder, which she twice tried, and at last the divining rod rested on the banks of the Patapsco.




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