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June 18 1812

War of 1812 Begins

President James Madison signs a declaration of war against Britain . Both the House of Representatives and Congress were divided on the issue, however ultimately voted in favor of war due to the Britain's attempts to restrict U.S. trade, Britain's violation of maritime rights and the impressment of U.S. merchant seamen, and Britain's encouragement of Indian hostility towards Americans trying to expand West.

January 16 1834

Corkonians Begin War

Corkonians begin what is known as "The Irish War" by assaulting Longford laborers on the C&O Canal line. During the assault, Longford man John Irons was killed.

Further Reading

January 20 1834

Longford Men Take Revenge

In response to the Corkonian assault a few days earlier, Longford men overtake unsuspecting Corkonians on the canal line 6 miles below Williamsport. This battle ended with 5 or 6 Corkonians wounded, and over 50 prisoners taken by mounted citizens and contractors.

Further Reading

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January 24 1834

The Irish War

600 or 700 Farndowners marched to Middlekauff’s Dam in an army formation, armed with guns, clubs, and heives. There, 300 Corkonians awaited them, armed in part by military-grade weapons. The Corkonians were funneled through the woods where they were picked off like wild game. This battle marks the first time the Federal government was used to settle a labor dispute.

Further Reading


BeforeJanuary 28 1860

Dam No. 5 Severely Injured

The Shepherdstown Register reports that due to the breaking of the ice on the Potomac River, 80 to 100 feet of the old dam was washed away.

Further Reading


April 12 1861

First Shots of the Civil War

After much tension, the Civil War broke out when Confederate forces bombarded the Union controlled Fort Sumter in Charleston Bay.

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May 11 1899

Boatmen Discouraged

The newspaper reports boating on the canal as "very discouraging". Many are not making enough to cover expenses.

Further Reading

Timeline Help

A chronological listing of historical events which may have affected the lives of residents in eastern Jefferson County and surrounding areas.
1Where is this information from?
The vast majority of these accounts are taken from newspaper articles of local papers of the time period.
2How can I apply this information to my own research?

We use this timeline to help us understand the events that may have affected or shaped a person's life. Here are some ideas as to how this timeline may help your further your own research:

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