Galesville was once a thriving community of Watermen and their families, who made their living from the waterways of the Chesapeake Bay. It also was the terminus of a steamship line that connected the supply route between Annapolis and Baltimore, Maryland. The town has now developed an industry around pleasure boaters who come from all over the country. Today, it is home to the West River Sailing Club.
Galesville is considered the birthplace of organized Quakerism in Maryland. The area was an early center of a Quaker settlement in America and, through the West River Friends meeting, it is considered the birthplace of organized Quakerism in Maryland . Elizabeth Harris, one of the first Quakers in the New World is said to have spend time in the general area of galesville from 1656-1657. The Quaker burying ground is an enclosure about a mile from the village of Galesville and marks the site of the old meeting house mentioned by Thomas Story in his journal while visiting the area surrounding West River in 1698, as the guest of Mr. Richard Galloway of ” Rokeby.” In spite of the age of the graveyard, there are no very old stones. This may be explained by the sumptuary laws of the early Quakers, which forbade that stones should be more than six inches in height.
A plantation house that was built between 1755 and 1756 one mile from Galesville in Anne Arundel County in the Province of Maryland. When Tulip Hill was built, Maryland was a colony of the Kingdom of Great Britain. The house sits atop a ridge and overlooks the West River. According to an entry in the builder’s account book, all of the bricks used to build the house were made on the site. Located at the edge of a high plateau, with the land falling rapidly away on three sides, Tulip Hill is a five-part composition with a full stone basement under the entire structure. The central block, two full stories, with a high unfinished attic and double hipped roof, is 52 feet wide and 42 feet deep. The house was built by Samuel Galloway for his wife, Ann (Chew) Galloway. They married in 1742. It is a particularly fine example of an early Georgian Mansion and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1970 for its architecture.
The boundary of Tulip Hill has been drawn to include all of the remaining land, about 54 ½ acres. This includes both the original river approach from the house and terraced gardens to the West River and the original land approach through a gateway on the old Muddy Creek Road, now State Route 468 and part of a system of roads established around 1695 as Annapolis developed. The curving drive still winds through many original poplar, fir, and beechwood trees to the house.
In 1771, a thirty-nine-year-old George Washington “dined and supped” at Tulip Hill twice.
One of the young Galloway children is reputed to have ridden his horse up the central staircase.
VIRGIL MAXCY (1785-1844) married Mary Galloway of Tulip Hill, Maryland in 1811. He was a well-known lawyer; member of Maryland state executive council, 1815; member of Maryland State House of Delegates; member of Maryland State Senate; U.S. Charge d’Affaires to Belgium, 1837-42. He was among those killed along with two members of President John Tyler’s cabinet in the explosion when a cannon burst on board the U.S.S. Princeton, on the Potomac River near Fort Washington.
On February 28, 1844 USS Princeton departed Alexandria, Virginia, on a pleasure and demonstration cruise down the Potomac with President John Tyler, members of his Cabinet, former First Lady Dolley Madison, Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri, and approximately four hundred guests on board. Captain Stockton decided to fire the larger of her two long guns, Peacemaker, to impress his guests. The Peacemaker was fired three times on the trip downriver and was loaded to fire a salute to George Washington as the ship passed Mount Vernon on the return trip. The guests aboard viewed the first set of firings and then retired below decks for lunch and refreshments.
Secretary Gilmer urged those aboard to view a final shot with the Peacemaker. When Captain Stockton pulled the firing lanyard, the gun burst. Its left side had failed, spraying hot metal across the deck and shrapnel into the crowd. Instantly killed along with Mr Maxcy were Navy Secretary Gilmer; Secretary of State Upshur; Captain Beverley Kennon, who was Chief of the Bureau of Construction, Equipment and Repairs; David Gardiner, a New York lawyer and politician; and the President’s valet a black slave named Armistead. Another sixteen to twenty people were injured, including several members of the ship’s crew, Senator Benton, and Captain Stockton. The President was below decks and not injured.
Originally entombed at Congressional Cemetery, Washington, DC; he was later re-interred at Tulip Hill along with wife Mary who died in 1849.
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