Samuel Dorsey of Belmont 1 2
- Born: 7 Dec 1741, <Anne Arundel (Howard)>, Maryland, (United States)
- Marriage (1): Margaret Sprigg in 1772
- Died: 11 Sep 1777 at age 35
Other names for Samuel were Samuel Dorsey of Caleb and Samuel Dorsey.
From Revolutionary Patriots of Anne Arundel, pp. 54-55:
"Married Margaret Sprigg in 1772 and they had one son, Edward Hill Dorsey. He served on the Committee of Observation in 1775 and manufactured ordnance for the Army at his Elk Ridge iron works. He also fornished tents and bayonets for the militia. He sometimes signed his name 'Samuel Dorsey, of Caleb' and sometimes 'Samuel Dorsey, of Belmont'."
From Wikipedia - Elkridge Furnace:
The site of the Elkridge Furnace and forge (located in the US state of Maryland ), known today as Avalon, was a tract of land patented as "Taylor's Forest" purchased in 1761 by Caleb Dorsey, an ironmaster. The land was located on the Patapsco river near Elkridge Landing, today being part of the Patapsco Valley State Park . The site first produced pig iron for export to England and after the addition of a forge produced crowbars, some of the earliest tools produced in America. The manufacture of tools in America had been banned for years by England. In 1771, after the death of Caleb Dorsey, the forge was operated by Caleb's sons, Edward Dorsey "Iron Head Ned" and Samuel Dorsey. In 1775 and during the American Revolution (1775-1783), the forge manufactured cast-iron parts for muskets by William Whetcroft. During the time of Mr. Whetcroft, the height of the dam (Avalon pictured here) , was increased to allow for constructing a millrace to feed a slitting mill on the property. In 1783, operations at the site were closed due to tax problems and the site was auctioned off in 1815. Benjamin and James Ellicott became the owners and incorporated the site as the Avalon Iron Works in 1822 and manufactured nails. "
First Elkridge Furnace
The existence of iron was known from the time John Smith sailed up the Patapsco in 1608 and the settlement of Elkridge Landing is given as 1690, Likely many attempts at iron production took place after 1690.
Caleb Dorsey built his home "Belmont" on a tract of land patented in 1695. The "Save Belmont Coalition" credits Caleb Dorsey and his brother as building several iron forges on the creeks that ran into the nearby Patapsco River. This seems likely, considering the effort that would be required to move the iron ore some distance to one furnace. A Journal in the Maryland Archives by Caleb Dorsey & Co. operator of Elk Ridge Furnace has dates of 1758/10/01-1761/08/31.
The existence of more than one forge was recorded in the following extraction. Extract: Elkridge Landing description by Louis-Alexandre Berthier of the French Army during the March to Yorktown, Va. in 1781 - "The detour that must be taken to cross by the ford is not great and I estimate the difference as about three-fourths of a mile, or a mile. The road leading to the ford is bad and filled with stones and foot-high stumps. As it approaches the ford the road is dangerous along the bank of the river, which is very deep in those places where the waters are dammed up to operate the forges. This ford is very good if you pass between the big stones as marked here; if you stray from this line, you find large rocks and holes."
Samuel married Margaret Sprigg, daughter of Edward Sprigg and Elizabeth Pyle, in 1772. (Margaret Sprigg died in 1783.)