Meet Clin­ton and Trump

Baltimore Sun - - MARYLAND - Pho­tos and text by Amy Davis

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.

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