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Accident Pioneers in Agriculture

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Accident Pioneers In Agriculture

Kathryn A. Speicher

To history minded Americans, the Civil War marks an epoch renowned for an historic change-over from the type of agriculture based on the exploitation of labor and land to the privately owned farm. Yet, approximately twenty years before the opening shot of that war at Fort Sumpter, the little enterprising community of Accident had given fair trial to the system generally prevailing south of the Mason-Dixon line at that time. It found the system impractical and unsound, and changed rather swiftly to the Pennsylvania type farm. This meant breaking up the large landholdings and the beginning of the family size farm with each family performing the tasks, services and hard work so necessary at that time. There was also involved a change in the way-of-life from the Southern Manor type of living, with a certain flair for aristocracy, to the more democratic selfhelp type of farming. With this change-over, slave labor was abolished as the large estates were sold to individual farmers who were strong of heart and muscle. With this God-given strength and a broad view of community economy the privately owned family size farm has stood the test of more than a century and has made notable strides in the advancement of agricultural life.

The story that follows is based on old land records, census returns and legend. Through the story it is hoped that the central theme of peaceful conversion from slave holdings to private enterprise in the Accident area is clearly stated.

According to legend, about the year 1751, a grant of land was given to Mr. George Deakins by King George of England, in payment of a debt. Mr. Deakins was to receive six hundred acres of land that he should choose anywhere in Western Maryland.

When, in 1774 Lord Baltimore's land office issued warrants for the survey of many tracts of land, which until that time had been reserved from settlement, there came, among others, two men into this region: Brooke Beall and William Deakins. Some question arises as to the relationship of William Deakins, but quite likely he was a son or other near relative of George Deakins. One record seems to indicate that


Kathryn A. Speicher

Vol II, no 2


Collection Location:
Ruth Enlow Library, Oakland

Original Size:
22 x 15 cms

Maryland, History

Western Maryland, 1750-1963

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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