Port O' Bladensburg
At the time of the American Revolution, Annapolis was the political capital of the Maryland province, Upper Marlbrough [sic], with this fine legitimate theater, race track and polite society was the social and cultural center, and Bladensburg was said to be the second largest, and fastest growing seaport and commercial center on the whole eastern seaboard.
As a bustling seaport, the Port O’ Bladensburg handled in its deep harbor a larger ocean tonnage than any other port in the colonies with the sole exception of Yorktown, Virginia. Great English and Scotch factors maintained their own local representatives: shipyards and “roper walks” clustered dockside. Every type of goods that were shipped into America at the time came through this port: tobacco products, ships, slaves, indentured servants, rope, and all shipping goods, tea, medicines, rum, molasses, sugar, coffee, wine, soap, salt, assortments of European and West Indian goods, woolens, saddlery, cutlery, linen, cottons, and the list goes on and on.
As late as 1830, oceangoing vessels were able to navigate the Anacostia River all the way to Bladensburg, but rapid accumulation of sediment from agricultural runoff began to clog the harbor. For many years a gallant effort was made to keep the port dredged, however, by 1840 the port had to be closed. As the Anacostia River silted in, the great days of Bladensburg shipping ended.