Early History

In the early days of colonization of Maryland, what is now Forest Glen was part of a 1689 royal manor grant to Col. William Joseph. The area was then known as Joseph's Park, although Joseph himself returned to England that year. Shortly thereafter, the land was sold to Maj. John Bradford.

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Daniel Carroll

In the mid-1700's, the property was acquired by Daniel Carroll. His widow, Eleanor, moved to the property in 1751. She had two sons who would figure prominently in the early days of the Republic: John and Daniel II. The sons moved to the Forest Glen area in about 1774. Daniel II was later a signer of the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. He was also a surveyor and a commissioner of the Federal District. His brother John became the first Catholic archbishop in America.

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chapel at St. John's church

Daniel's brother-in-law, Robert Brent, inherited the Highlands portion of Joseph's Park and Edgewood tobacco plantation. He was a slave-holder, although there were probably never more than a few slaves on the property. Robert Brent was also the first mayor of the District of Columbia. During the Brent years, the Highlands estate and Edgewood were favorite haunts of Jefferson, Madison, Clay, and others. Francis Blair, the discoverer of the "silver spring" for which Silver Spring, Maryland is named, also visited there. Brent died in 1855 and is buried in Forest Glen (at St. Johns Church).

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Highlands plantation house

In 1863, Alfred Ray bought the Highlands. Although he was a Confederate sympathizer, he held no slaves. However, the Highlands was one of the stops for Jubal Early's invading Confederates when they threatened Washington City from the north. After the war, Alfred Ray operated the Highlands as a model farm, employing the latest advances in agricultural management. The Forest Glen property that was bought by Seymour Tullock and the Forest Glen Improvement Company in 1887 was part of the Highlands estate. The Mormon Temple north of the Beltway is also built on parts of the Highlands.

The Edgewood plantation passed from the Brent estate to the Mosher family in the 1830s. In 1853, it was sold to John Johnson. Around the time of the Civil War (September, 1862) Charles Keys acquired the property. His wife was Martha Anna Ray, the sister of Alfred Ray. You might assume that with the two tobacco estates bordering each other, the two brother-in-laws might be close, but apparently there was a great deal of friction, including a lawsuit, between the two. In 1928, the Keys estate sold the Edgewood property to Dr. James Ament. At that point, it was called the Amentdale Estate, and was used primarily as a dairy farm for the benefit of the school, and was available to the girls for horseback excursions and picnics.

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This page was last maintained on05/21/98.