They don’t like him or follow him. So social media ignores him. And history forgets him. How powerful they are!
Caroline County has her Revolutionary War hero and
- Colonel Richardson High School
- Colonel Richardson Middle School
- Colonel Richardson’s tomb at Gilpin Point on the Choptank River
- Colonel Richardson Maryland State Historical Society marker on MD 16 between Denton and Preston
Colonel Richardson commanded Maryland troops against the British on Long Island in 1776 – and lost.
His Caroline County neighbor, Colonel Peter Adams, commanded the Maryland 2nd Regiment in the war’s final battle at Yorktown in 1781 – and won. (Colonel Richardson was somewhere else.)
Remember? No, you don’t.
Because in Caroline County, we don’t memorialize Colonel Adams’s Revolutionary War victories. There is no Colonel Adams High School, no Colonel Adams Avenue, no Colonel Adams plaque.
No Wikipedia article either. But Colonel Richardson has his.
There is just Adams Landing on the Choptank a mile north of Denton, which the Caroline native bought after the war. Maybe he died there, too. No one knows.
Why is Colonel Richardson remembered and Colonel Adams forgotten?
Real historians will tell you that after losing on Long Island, Colonel Richardson won fame when Gen. Washington ordered him to move the Continental treasury from Philadelphia to Baltimore. He didn’t lose it. Or steal it.
The only orders Colonel Adams got from Gen. Washington were to return home to buy shoes and coats for the ragged Maryland troops at Valley Forge.
That may be true. But here is my theory about the forgotten hero: His fellow officers and neighbors thought he was uncool. So history thought so, too. (1)
They didn’t like Colonel Adams, because he was a cantankerous and contentious officer, “commonly activated by avarice and invincible obstinancy,” and he refused to obey orders. He also got embroiled in real estate disputes.
Besides that, he never had a long-term relationship with a woman. Did his neighbors have a problem with that, too?
Colonel Adams’s colleagues and neighbors didn’t like him. But we can. Let me introduce you to
Colonel Peter Adams of Caroline County
Revolutionary War Hero
[Sorry. Don’t have one.]
Birth (2): Date and location uncertain.
Death: 1785 in Caroline County, location uncertain. Died with £908 current money, 1 slave, books, and 14 acres at Adams Landing.
Occupation: Possibly an avaricious merchant.
1775 – Member of the Maryland legislative convention from Caroline County.
1776 – Elected captain of the battalion from Caroline County.
1777 – Promoted to Major then LtCol, Seventh Maryland Regiment.
1779-1781 – Served successively as commander of the 1st, 3rd, and 2nd Maryland Regiments.
1781 October – Led the Maryland 2nd Regiment to victory over Gen. Cornwallis at Yorktown.
(1) A more complete argument would also admit that Col. Richardson was a prominent Maryland politician before and after the war, and Adams was not. Richardson introduced the bill into the Maryland colonial assembly that led to the creation of Caroline County out od Dorchester County in 1774. After the war, he was a presidential elector for Caroline County.
(2) Col. Peter Adams bio extracted from MSA Biographical Series .