In June of 1608, Capt. John Smith explored the Potomac River, stopping at Port Tobacco, one of the oldest communities on the East Coast and first county seat of Charles County. The English developed a small village about 1634 on the east side of the Port Tobacco tributary.
The Jesuits established a mission and church at what became St. Thomas Manor at Chapel Point. St. Ignatious Church is the oldest continuously serving Catholic parish in the United States.
The first Charles County was created by Cecil Calvert, Second Lord Baltimore, October 3, 1650. It included all the present county as well as some of the counties of Calvert, St. Mary's, and Prince George's.
Prince George's, Calvert and St. Mary's counties, in addition to the Virginia counties of Fairfax, Stafford, Prince William, Westmoreland and King George.