MD: Prince George's County
Area: 499 mi²
Population: 890,081 (2013)
County seat: Upper Marlboro
Points of interest: Belair Mansion, Six Flags America,
Prince George's County was created by the English Council of Maryland in the Province of Maryland in 1696from portions of Charles and Calvert counties. The county was divided into six districts referred to as "Hundreds": Mattapany, Petuxant, Collington, Mount Calvert, Piscattoway and New Scotland.
A portion was detached in 1748 to form Frederick County. Because Frederick County was subsequently divided to form the present Allegany, Garrett, Montgomery, and Washington counties, all of these counties in addition were derived from what had up to 1748 been Prince George's County.
In 1791, portions of Prince George's County were ceded to form the new District of Columbia, along with portions of Montgomery County, Maryland, as well as the parts of Northern Virginia; that were later returned to Virginia.
During the War of 1812, the British marched through the county by way of Bladensburg to burn the White House. On their return, they kidnapped a prominent doctor, William Beanes. Lawyer Francis Scott Key was asked to negotiate for his release, which resulted in his writing "The Star-Spangled Banner".
Since much of the southern part of the county was tobacco farms that were worked by enslaved Africans,there was a high population of African Americans in the region. After the Civil War, many African Americans attempted to become part of Maryland politics, but were met with violent repression after the fall of Reconstruction.
In April 1865, John Wilkes Booth made his escape through Prince George's County after shooting President Abraham Lincoln. He was on his way to Virginia.
The population of African Americans declined during the first half of the 20th century, but was renewed to over 50% in the early 1990s when the county again became majority African American.The first African American County Executive was Wayne K. Curry, elected in 1994.
On July 1, 1997, the Prince George's County section of the city of Takoma Park, Maryland, which straddled the boundary between Prince George's and Montgomery counties, was transferred to Montgomery County.[This was done after city residents voted to be under the sole jurisdiction of Montgomery County, and subsequent approval by both counties and the Maryland General Assembly. This was the first change in Prince George's County's boundaries since 1968, when the City of Laurel was unified in Prince George's County.
The county has a number of properties on the National Register of Historic Places