Montgomery County Council Press Releases & Statements

County Councilmember Nancy Floreen to Help Honor Revolutionary War Hero Richard Montgomery on Friday, Dec. 2
  • Release ID: 11-242
  • Release Date: 11/30/2011
  • Contact: Neil Greenberger 240-777-7939 or Delphine Harriston240-777-7931
  • From: Council Office
ROCKVILLE, Md., November 30, 2011—Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Floreen will be among the speakers at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2, when the Council joins the Maryland Historical Trust and Rockville-based American Heritage Magazine to unveil a marker honoring General Richard Montgomery, the County’s namesake who is often recognized as one of America’s first heroes.

The marker will be dedicated in the landscaped area next to the Red Brick Courthouse in the 100 block of East Jefferson Street in downtown Rockville, just across from the new Maryland District Court building. The ceremonies will be held on the 273rd anniversary of the birth of General Montgomery, who during the Revolutionary War led successful campaigns to capture several forts and Montreal, but was killed in the attack on Quebec on Dec. 31, 1775. He was the first general to die in the American Revolution.

The drive to establish the marker started with student Stuart Grosvenor (then at Julius West Middle School and now at Richard Montgomery High School). While working on an exhibit about General Richard Montgomery for National History Day in 2009, he learned that there was no historical marker honoring the namesake of the County. He drafted text for a marker and filled out an application requesting the Maryland Historical Trust to erect a sign.

In April, Stuart received a letter from Nancy Kurtz, the Maryland Trust’s coordinator for its marker program, informing him that the application had been approved. The Trust secured funds for the marker and had it cast in aluminum. As part of Friday’s ceremonies, the County Council will issue a proclamation declaring Dec. 2 as “Montgomery Day.”

“As a history buff, I’m very grateful to the Maryland Historical Trust for this marker, and my hat is off to Stuart Grosvenor for his initiative on the project,” said Councilmember Nancy Floreen. “We sometimes forget that Montgomery County is named after a true American hero, so I’m glad we will now have this permanent reminder.”

Prior to the start of the war, Montgomery was a recent immigrant from England. A career officer in the British Army, Montgomery fought in numerous battles during the French & Indian War in North America and the Caribbean. He was considered the most experienced general in the young Continental Army at the start of the Revolution. Commander-in-Chief George Washington put Montgomery in charge of the western army that marched into Canada, trying to help the colonists there to join the Revolutionary effort.

When the Maryland Constitutional Convention voted in 1776 to split the huge Frederick County into three parts, the large eastern third was named “Montgomery” while the smallest third in the mountains was named “Washington.”

Maryland’s Montgomery County was the first of 12 counties across the nation to be named for the patriot. Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville also carries his name.

Among the other speakers on Friday will be Edwin S. Grosvenor, editor-in-chief of American Heritage Magazine.

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