Indigenous communities have lived in the area now known as Port Tobacco since the Early Archaic (6000 BC) period. Captain John Smith traveled the Port Tobacco River and charted the Indigenous Potopaco/Potobac settlement during his five-week excursion through the Potomac region in the summer of 1608. Smith’s July 8, 1608 travel log indicates that he came upon the 130-member Potapaco approximately 4 miles up the Port Tobacco River from the Potomac. In fact, the Port Tobacco name derives from the Indigenous word, “Potopaco.” In 1727, the Town of Port Tobacco became the political center of Charles County, Maryland. It remains an important cultural heritage site for contemporary Piscataway communities.
Image: Port Tobacco (Maryland Historical Trust)
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