Dorchester County History
There is a rich and diverse history associated with Dorchester County. Native Americans called this area home long before explorers or traders from England and Spain explored these shores. Settlers from England began to claim lands in the mid 1600’s under land grants from Lord Baltimore and by 1669 Dorchester County was recognized as a County. The County was named for the Earl of Dorset, a family friend of the Calverts (the family name of Lord Baltimore).
Dorchester County is called “The Heart of the Eastern Shore” because its mid-shore location and its geographic configuration is heart-shaped. Throughout history, renowned individuals have called Dorchester County home: Harriet Tubman, the “Moses of her people,” who risked her life time and again to help dozens of enslaved people find freedom through the Underground Railroad in the mid-1800s; Annie Oakley, famed sharpshooter who lived here in the early 1900s; and Anna Ella Carroll, President Lincoln’s secret adviser and military strategist.