Maryland, though a small state, has produced its full share of patriots and Revolutionary War heroes. Most people are familiar with Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Thomas Stone, William Paca, and Samuel Chase - signers of the Declaration of Independence - but know little about many of the less famous participants. Such a person was Colonel Thomas Dorsey of Troy, who lived in the Elkridge section of what is now Howard County. He was born, lived, and died in a charming old stone home - Troy Hill - the oldest home in Howard County. In June 1958, the Colonel Thomas Dorsey Chapter placed a
bronze marker on the house that read:
Home of Colonel Thomas Dorsey
Born 1735 - Died 1790
Begun by his Great Grandfather
Hon. John Dorsey 1695
The construction of Interstate 95 took most of the land (1,060 acres) that had been Troy Hill. The house was
deserted and fell victim to vandals.
Colonel Dorsey gave his time and skill to civic and military service for the benefit of his
community and country. He followed the example of his father, Basil, as a fair, honest, and upright citizen much
esteemed by his friends and acquaintances. His home, Troy Hill, was strategically located at the
junction of the Northern and Southern Post Roads and was used by the colonel as headquarters for
rallying the Revolutionary patriots. In 1774, Thomas Dorsey and other patriots took on the task of the
“fight for independence.”
He was a member of the Maryland Convention, July 1775. He was appointed a field officer in the Elk
Ridge Battalion, February 1776. Then, in 1778, he was commissioned as Colonel of the Elk Ridge
The ultimate success of the Revolution was facilitated largely by the combined efforts of such men as
Colonel Dorsey, whose actions may have gone unrecognized. But, here, in what is now Howard County,
we have an active and enthusiastic DAR chapter named for this outstanding citizen and patriot. This
patriot will not be forgotten!
Many notes for this brief description of Colonel Thomas Dorsey came from an article in “The Daughters of the American Revolution” magazine - April 1965. Written by our regent, Ruth Barnes Dorsey, a direct descendant of Col. Dorsey.