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McCauley Lecture

Painting of boy in hat at historic bookmobile with program information

Fletcher Branch Library
Monday, February 4 • 7 PM
100 S Potomac St
Hagerstown, MD 21740
301-739-3250 ext. 350

McCauley Lecture:
Marc Howell presents " Antietam Iron Works: Cannon Iron"

Marc Howell was born and raised in rural towns South of Buffalo, NY. In 1967 he was awarded the Bachelor of Science degree from Valparaiso University in Indiana, majoring in Biology and Chemistry. He was awarded a Master of Science degree and the Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana in 1969 and 1972 respectively with interests in microbiology, immunology and biochemistry. His entry onto active duty Army in 1972 began a career in biomedical research and development. After his retirement from the US Army in 1993 he was employed as a civilian in medical project development at Fort Detrick.  

Several years after he and his wife moved to Frederick, Maryland in 1976, he discovered that his great-great grandfather, David Howell from Wales, had lived in Washington County, MD around 1840.Interested in expanding the circumstances of his ancestor’s life, he discovered that David Howell worked at the Antietam Iron Works at least during the years 1836 through 1843.

While his initial historical searches were genealogical in nature, his search shifted to the history of iron production in Washington and Frederick Counties. Primary references to Antietam Iron Works are thinly scattered throughout government records and some secondary references.  However discovery of a trove of business records has been completely elusive. By using an approach that focused on individuals associated with the Works over the years and placing what was known about the Works within the context of the local, national and international iron industries, Howell has constructed a credible history of the Works and the iron industry in Western Maryland.

Hopefully the title of his presentation this evening “Antietam Iron Works: Cannon Iron” will not leave you thinking that cannon were made at the Antietam Iron Works near the mouth of Antietam Creek. Rather the goal of his presentation is to convincingly demonstrate that the Antietam Iron Works was heavily engaged in making pig iron that was used to found cannon at the premier foundry in Georgetown, District of Columbia from 1806 through the early 1830s.  He also will show how this iron production was vital to the economic independence of the United States during a time when world powers remained unconvinced that the American democratic experiment would survive.

This program is free to attend. Reservations are not required, but are appreciated.