Location: Port Tobacco, Maryland
Webpage: National Park
General Description: Thomas Stone was born into a prominent family in Charles County, Maryland in 1743. He studied law in Annapolis, Maryland and quickly passed the bar in all the Maryland Counties before the implementation of the Stamp Act in 1764. In 1768 he married Margaret Brown, the younger sister of Dr. Gustavus Brown, the wealthiest man in the county. Beginning with a purchase of 400 acres, he began the construction of his estate Habre de Venture. Becoming increasingly concerned with the tariffs imposed by Great Britain, he joined Maryland’s Annapolis Convention from 1774 to 1776. In 1775, he was sent as a delegate from Maryland to the Continental Congress to address these concerns of the colonies. Unlike the fiery delegates from the New England colonies, Thomas Stone favored reconciliation with Great Britain and was a voice for reason at the Convention. However, on May 15, 1776 he voted in favor of independence despite restrictions from the Maryland convention that prevented delegates from voting for independence and in on July 1, 1776 he voted in favor once the restriction was lifted. Later that same year, he was assigned to the Committee to draft the Articles of Confederation. However, his wife had taken ill when she was inoculated for smallpox during an epidemic and Thomas elected to take his wife home and declined any further appointments. Thomas Stone did accept election to the State Senate from 1779-1785 in order to promote the ratification of the Articles of Confederation. When Margaret died in 1787, Thomas Stone became so depressed that he died four months later. Thomas was buried at his plantation house, which still stands and is the centerpiece of the National Historic Site. In 1977, the house was severely damaged in a fire and after the National Park Service purchased the property has done a lot of work to restore the home to its 18th century condition.
1) The Visitor Center is very small with only a couple of exhibits and a short movie about Thomas Stone.
2) Due to funding restrictions there is only a single full time NPS Ranger and possibly a volunteer or two. The do their best to provide tours of the house on demand and the ranger did a great job.
3) The National Park Service has done an excellent job restoring the house so you get an excellent picture of life in the 1700s.
4) The cemetery consists of only a few graves, with both Thomas and Margaret being the most prominent.