Meet Clinton and Trump
Maryland is not a battleground state in this presidential election, but the fiery first debate has pulled even those not engaged in politics into the fractious national conversation about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. I thought it would be fun to visit the communities of Clinton and Trump to see if these residents had any special allegiances to the presidential candidates who share their community’s name.
Clinton is a middle-class, predominantly AfricanAmerican community in Prince George’s County, filled with government workers who commute to Washington, Virginia or the nearby Andrews Air Force Base. Its brush with presidential history stems from its most famous resident, Mary Surratt, the tavern owner who was accused of aiding John Wilkes Booth before and after his assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. The notoriety spelled the end for the village’s name of Surrattsville. It was briefly renamed Robeysville, and became Clinton in1879. (It’s not clear why that particular name was chosen.)
Trump, a small crossroads in Baltimore County, about five miles from Pennsylvania, was named after a 19th-century settler named Simeon O. Van Trump, who ran a grocery store on Old York Road near West Liberty Road. Today few remember the Trump name, though it is still a neighborhood labeled on street maps. The farming community retains many descendants from the families of Van Trump’s day, and their names can be found on street signs and on the gravestones behind the 228-year old West Liberty United Methodist Church. The West Liberty neighborhood, as Trump is now known, is part of White Hall.
By coincidence, in a very informal and limited survey of area residents, political preferences seem to match up consistently with the name of each community. David Adams, 49, has been a Clinton resident for 17 years and is supporting Hillary Clinton. “Maybe it’s time for a woman president,” he says.
Rolling farmland can be seen on either side of Old York Road in the area of northern Baltimore County once called Trump. It is now known as West Liberty, part of White Hall.
Janet Bushie, 76, is active in the West Liberty United Methodist Church in what was once (and occasionally still is) known as Trump. “I’m not really happy with either [candidate],” she says.