Havre de Grace , abbreviated HdG, is a city in Harford County, Maryland, United States, situated at the mouth of the Susquehanna River and the head of Chesapeake Bay. It is named after the port city of Le Havre, France, which in full was once Le Havre de Grâce (French, “Harbor of Grace”). The population was 12,952 at the 2010 United States Census. In 2014, the city was honored as one of the 20 best small towns in the U.S. to visit by Smithsonian magazine.During the Revolutionary War, the small hamlet known as Harmer’s Town was visited several times by General Lafayette, considered a hero of the war. He commented that the area reminded him of the French seaport of Le Havre, which had originally been named Le Havre-de-Grâce.
Inspired by Lafayette’s comments, the residents incorporated the town as Havre de Grace in 1785. George Washington stayed overnight in the town in 1789 on the journey to New York City for his first inauguration. During the First Congress in 1789, Havre de Grace missed by only one vote being named the capital of the fledgling United States.On May 3, 1813, during the War of 1812, Havre de Grace was attacked by British Rear Admiral George Cockburn who burned and plundered the city. The American Lieutenant John O’Neill single-handedly manned a cannon to help defend the town. He was wounded, captured by the British, and soon released.
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