Timeline of Events

This timeline sets the settlement of the Eastern Shore within the context of American and British history.

1498 -

John Cabot sailed the Eastern Shore near present day Worcester County.

1524 -

Giovanni de Verrazano sailed by the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.

1585 - First English settlement in American established at Roanoke Island, North Carolina.
1606 - King James I granted a charter to the Virginia Company to establish a colony in America.
1607 - Virginia Company established settlement at Jamestown; first permanent English colony in America.
1608 - John Smith explored the Chesapeake Bay.
1620 - Pilgrims established a colony at Massachusetts.
1622 - Indian Massacre of 1622; Virginia Colony nearly wiped out.
1624 - Virginia Company charter revoked; Virginia became a royal colony.
1624 - "A Muster of the Inhabitance of the Easterne Shore Over the Baye"; first record of a permanent English settlement on the peninsula.
1629 - The settlers on the Eastern Shore were granted representation in the Virginia House of Burgesses.
1631 - Kent Island settled by Virginians under William Claiborne; Maryland's first permanent English settlement.
1631 - Dutch settlers established a colony near Lewis, Delaware caleed Zwaanedael, meaning "Valley of Swans".
1632 - King Charles I granted Cecil Calvert, 2nd Lord Baltimore, a charter that establishes the colony of Maryland, named in honor of Charles' wife Queen Henrietta Maria.
1632 - Accawmack (later Northampton) County, Virginia erected.
1634 - The Ark and the Dove landed settlers at St. Clement's Island.
1635 - Virginians and Marylanders fought over territorial rights to Kent Island; settlers on both sides were killed in a naval battle near the island.
1638 - Swedish settlers arrived in present day New Castle County, Delaware.
1642-46 English Civil War.
1643 - Accawmack County renamed Northampton County.
1649-58 Oliver Cromwell reigned as Lord Protector of the English Commonwealth.
1649 - Charles I beheaded.
1655 - Delaware Swedes yielded to Dutch rule.
1660 - Monarchy restored in England to Charles II.
1661 - Maryland Governor Charles Calvert created a commission to issue land grants south of the Choptank River.
1663 - Accomack County, Virginia erected.
1663 - Quakers living in Annemessex, who were loyal to Lord Baltimore, refused to return to Virginia rule as ordered by Edmund Scarborough.
1665 - Delaware settlers yielded to English rule, now placed under the control of Charles II's brother James, the Duke of York.
1666 - Somerset County, Maryland erected.
1668 - Maryland and Virginia worked out the boundary between the two colonies on the Eastern Shore.
1669 - Dorchester County, Maryland erected.
1673 - Augustine Herrman's map, Virginia and Maryland, published.
1676 - Nathaniel Bacon led a revolt against the Virginian government.
1681 - King Charles II granted a charter to William Penn; Penn established the colony of Pennsylvania.
1683 - Francis Makemie arrived on the peninsula; rise of American Presbyterianism.
1686 - Snow Hill, Maryland founded.
1688 - Glorious Revolution in England; James II replaced by daughter Mary and her husband William III.
1692 - William and Mary removed proprietorship of Maryland from Charles Calvert.
1692 - Anglican Parishes established in Maryland.
1701 - William Penn granted the "Three Lower Counties of Pennsylvania" their own legislature; these three colonies would later become Delaware.
1715 - King George I restored proprietary rule of Maryland back to the Calvert family.
1732 - Salisbury, Maryland founded.
1733 - Princess Anne, Maryland founded by act of assembly, named in honor of King George II's daughter Anne.
1741 - Samuel Chase, signer of the Declaration of Independence, born in Somerset County.
1741 - Col. John Handy built Pemberton Manor along the banks of the Wicomico River.
1742 - Worcester County, Maryland erected from portions of Somerset County.
1750-51 -Transpeninsular Line surveyed, establishing the east-west boundary between Maryland and the "Three Lower Counties".
1756-63 French and Indian War.
1764-65 Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon surveyed the boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania, now known as the Mason-Dixon line.
1772 - Francis Asbury began preaching on the peninsula; rise of American Methodism.
1774 - Patriots, dressed as Indians, held the Boston Tea Party, where 342 cases of tea were dumped into the harbor.
1775-83 American Revolutionary War.
1776 - The "Three Lower Counties" broke away from Pennsylvania.
1776 - The 13 colonies declared themselves independent from England.
1781 - General Cornwallis surrendered to General George Washington at Yorktown, Virginia.
1783 - Treaty of Paris signed, officially ended the American Revolutionary War.
1787 - Delaware became the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
1788 - Maryland became the seventh state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
1788 - Virginia became the tenth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
1788 - George Washington elected the first president of the United States.
1803 - United States purchased Louisiana from France.
1812-14 War of 1812.
1814 - British forces attacked Baltimore; Francis Scott Key wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner".
1836 - Mexican army defeated a small force of Texans at the Battle of the Alamo.
1845 - United States annexed Texas.
1846-48 Mexican War.
1848 - California Gold Rush began as gold is discovered at John Sutter's mill.
1860 - Abraham Lincoln elected as the 16th president of the United States.
1860 - First Salisbury fire.
1861-65 U.S. Civil War.
1861 - Virginia seceded from the United States; Richmond became the new capital of the Confederate States of America, replacing Montgomery, Alabama.
1861 - Union forces occupied Baltimore.
1862 - The Army of Northern Virginia engages Union forces at the Battle of Antietam near Sharpsburg, Maryland.
1863 - Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, ending slavery in those states that broke away from the Union.
1865 - Confederate forces under General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union forces under General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox, Virginia.
1866 - Somers Cove renamed Crisfield in honor of John W. Crisfield, who helped bring in the rail line.
1867 - Wicomico County, Maryland erected from portions of Somerset and Worcester counties.
1886 - Second Salisbury fire.
1898 - Spanish-American War.
1914-18 World War I.
1933 - Ocean City Inlet created by a major storm.
1939-45 World War II.
1941 - Japanese planes attack Pearl Harbor; United States entered World War II.
1944 - D-Day; invasion of Normandy, France by Allied Forces.
1945 - Germany surrendered, ending World War II in Europe.
1945 - United States dropped atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki; Japan surrendered, ending World War II in the Pacific.
1950-53 Korean War.
1952 - First span of Chesapeake Bay Bridge opened.
1964 - Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel opened; it was coined as one of the Seven Engineering Wonders of the Modern World.