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News Maryland Carroll County Westminster

Carroll County's first newspaper reprinted

Charles Sower intended to drum up support for the formation of a new county between Baltimore and Frederick counties when he began publishing Carroll County's first newspaper in 1813.

While Carroll County was not formed until 17 years after Sower's death, his newspaper, The Engine of Liberty and Uniontown Advertiser, is credited with advancing the opinion that a new county was needed.

A book containing copies of The Engine of Liberty from 1813 through 1815 are now available at Carroll County Public Libraries and Carroll County middle and high schools thanks to New Windsor resident Gary Roop.

The newspaper documents daily life in Uniontown, trade, and the state of local politics. Sower hoped the publication would stimulate demand for the creation of a new county with Uniontown as its seat.

Roop, a self-described history buff and retired veterinarian, funded the Historical Society of Carroll County's project to reprint copies of Carroll's first paper.

Roop said he hopes students and teachers are able to use the book to learn about life in the early 1800s as the War of 1812 dominates much of the news in the paper at the time.

State Sen. Joe Getty compiled the first edition of the collected articles in 1993 when he served as the historical commission's executive director.

Getty said it is "very exciting" to have this version of Carroll County history widely available.

Although Sower's efforts to form a new county failed during his lifetime, Getty said the efforts from 1813 to 1815 helped propel the notion that a county needed to be created.

Carroll County wasn't formed until 1837, 17 years after Sower died.

Fred Teeter, Executive Director of the Historical Society of Carroll County, said the book is valuable because the paper is the only known chronicle of life in Carroll in the early 1800s.

The hope is that students can see what life was like in the early 1800s, he said.

Copies of the book are available for $8 through the end of September at The Shop at Cockey's, the Historical Society bookstore and gift emporium at 216 East Main Street in Westminster.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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