General John Dagworthy, commander of the Sussex County Militia during the Revolutionary
War, is regarded as Dagsboro's founding father after establishing industry in the area with
grist and lumber mills, tanneries, and an export business shipping cypress lumber to
Philadelphia and Trenton, New Jersey.
Because of his efforts, the town name was changed from Blackfoot Town to Dagsbury in the
1780s before becoming Dagsborough in the 1830s.
Dagworthy, who used land near Dagsboro to train his militia, had a long, distinguished and
controversial military career that included service in the French and Indian War and a feud
with George Washington after Dagworthy refused to take orders from the then 24-year-old
Virginia militia colonel. Dagworthy felt that as a British Army Captain, he outranked
Dagworthy went on to serve admirably in the French and Indian War and received large
tracts of land from the Maryland Assembly in the Dagsboro, Gumboro and Broad Creek
Hundreds of Sussex County, which at the time were part of Maryland.
When the Revolutionary War began, however, Washington, now commander-in-chief,
refused to assign Dagworthy a command post on the battlefield. Dagworthy was later
commissioned a Brigadier General by the Continental Congress.
|Delaware Military History