About This Place
Oxford is a waterfront town and former colonial port in Talbot County, Maryland, United States. The population was 771 at the 2000 census.
Oxford is one of the oldest towns in Maryland. While Oxford officially marks the year 1683 as its founding because in that year it was first named by the Maryland General Assembly as a seaport, the town began between 1666 and 1668 when 30 acres (120,000 m2) were laid out as a town called Oxford by William Stephens, Jr.. By 1669 one of the first houses was built for Innkeeper Francis Armstrong (see Talbot County Land Records, A 1, f. 10/11). Oxford first appears on a map completed in 1670, and published in 1671. In 1694, Oxford and a new town called Anne Arundel (now Annapolis) were selected as the only ports of entry for the entire Maryland province. Until the American Revolution, Oxford enjoyed prominence as an international shipping center surrounded by wealthy tobacco plantations.
Early inhabitants included Robert Morris, Sr., agent for a Liverpool shipping firm who greatly influenced the town's growth; his son, Robert Morris, Jr., known as "the financier of the Revolution;" Jeremiah Banning, sea captain, war hero, and statesman; The Reverend Thomas Bacon, Anglican clergyman who wrote the first compilation of the laws of Maryland; Matthew Tilghman, known as the "patriarch of Maryland" and "father of statehood"; and Colonel Tench Tilghman, aide-de-camp to George Washington and the man who carried the message of General Cornwallis's surrender to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.