The charter members chose the name “Port Tobacco” for the first chapter ever organized in Charles County, Maryland, to pay tribute to its original county seat, a colonial center of religious life, culture, wealth, commerce, society, and politics. There are few places in the United States where history has been made and lived so vividly and excitingly as in picturesque four-hundred-year-old Port Tobacco. The first recorded visit by the white man was by Captain John Smith in 1608, with Jesuit missionaries arriving in 1634. Port Tobacco was a naval port of entry in colonial days and one of the business seaports in the New World. Its religious heritage is well known. St. Thomas Manor was granted to the Jesuits in 1649, and was the colonial seat of Catholicism in Maryland. The Church of England established Port Tobacco parish in 1692. The first Presbyterian congregation in the United States worshipped here beginning in 1657. Mt. Carmel, the first convent of religious women in the United States was founded in 1790. Many Patriots who helped shape our nation’s history were born or lived in Port Tobacco. A few of these include John Hanson (first elected President of U.S. under the Articles of Confederation in 1781), Thomas Stone (signer of the Declaration of Independence), Doctors James Craik and Gustavus Brown (physicians to George Washington) and General William Smallwood (commander of the Maryland Line).