The New Student's Reference Work/Claiborne, William

Claiborne (klā-bôrn), William, an early Virginia colonist and secretary of state for the colony, was born in Westmoreland, England, about the year 1589, and died in Virginia about 1676. He came to Virginia in 1621, where he bought large estates, and ten years later established a trading-post on Kent Island, Md., in Chesapeake Bay, some seven miles from where Annapolis now stands. This island and post were subsequently claimed by Governor Leonard Calvert to belong to Maryland, and in consequence a long dispute ensued between Calvert and Claiborne in respect to it. During the period of the English commonwealth Claiborne took the parliamentary side against the Calverts of Maryland, and subdued Virginia in the name of the protector. Cromwell, however, did not endorse his actions, but restored the Calverts to power, and after the restoration of the Stuarts Claiborne fell in favor and retired to a neglected life upon his colonial estates. There was another of his name, Wm. Charles Cole Claiborne (1775-1817), who was governor of the territory of Mississippi from 1804 to 1812 and governor of Louisiana (1812-16).