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General William Smallwood was born in 1732, the same year as George Washington. Little is known about Smallwood's early life. He first appeared on official records when he purchased land in Charles County in the late 1750s.

Around the same time, Smallwood was elected to the lower house of the Maryland Assembly as a delegate to Charles County. Smallwood also became an active supporter of the Patriots, who opposed British taxation and policies. When the Maryland Provincial Convention authorized a nine-company infantry battalion to support the patriots' fight for independence, Smallwood was appointed as commanding colonel of the unit. John Hancock ordered the battalion to join the American army in 1776.

After the Revolutionary War, Smallwood was elected to Congress and then selected to serve as Governor of Maryland. Smallwood held his final public office in 1791 when he was elected as a presiding officer to the Maryland State Senate. Smallwood died in 1792.

Source: School documents. Photograph reprinted through the courtesy of Jack D. Brown, book coordinator of A History Charles County Maryland, bicentennial edition.