War For Independence - the American Revolution
Although little enemy action touched Lower Marlboro during the first five years of the American Revolution, the town's main industry, shipping, was soon so disrupted that life as before could not continue. A little history sets the scene:
During the early 1700's the colonists were strongly tied to their parent country, England. For instance, they were interested enough in the English victory over France in the Battle of Blenheim to re-name the town for the leader of the victorious English forces, the Duke of Marborough. The colonists had a strong interest in the European conflict because as English subjects, they relied on protection from the British army against Indian raids, which were being promoted by the French in Canada and New England. The colonists in Maryland lived with a constant fear that Indian raids would be carried out against their towns as well. The shifting alliances of the beleagured Indians remained a concern throughout the next century, but by the mid-1700s the frontier had moved far enough west that Calvert County was no longer impacted.
As the colony became safer for the new settlers, their economic interest in the status of the English military (and especially the Navy) grew also. Piracy and privateering were rampant throughout the Atlantic. By the early 1700s, it had became a custom for the tobacco fleet to set sail once a year, bearing the highly valuable crop to England from Maryland and Virginia. A convoy system was used, with a British Navy escort to protect the 150-200 vessels from pirates and privateers. With the outbreak of war against France, the English Navy's resources were spread too thin to support the convoy and most of the tobacco crop remained in the colonies for two years. Thus, any victory over the French would have been very popular, bringing with it promise of a return to stability in trade and public safety.
In 1706, another Marlborough was established up the river, and the two became Upper and Lower Marlborough. (The spelling was shortened in about 1890 when the United States Post Office made a policy of simplifying place names to their phonetic spellings.)
So, although townspeople were mixed in their support, with at least one Tory returning to England for safety during the War, it was impossible to escape the economic impact of the War on the tobacco-based economy. Throughout Southern Maryland, an economic depression followed the Revolution as the new nation struggled to get its feet underneath it .