In Charles County, Maryland, Cornelius Maddox owned a 60-acre tract called Tatshall in 1684-1688 (Charles County Circuit Court Liber L, Page 51, 26 Dec 1684). His presence there would have put him in frequent contact with Piscataway and Susquehannock Indians.
Early descriptions place Tatshall east of Portobacco Fresh (now called Port Tobacco Creek) and west of Zekiah Swamp (sometimes called Allens Fresh), “adjoining to the land called Moores Ditch [aka Moore’s Lodge] at the exterior bound thereof,” and abutting land owned by Hussey, Shaw, Lindsey and Smallwood. After a century of searches, the Moore’s Lodge site was found and excavated in 2008, revealing the locations of buildings owned by Maddox relatives Thomas Hussey and Samuel Luckett. On modern maps of the surrounding area, a stream called Maddox Branch, just south of the Moore’s Lodge site, flows west-east from 38.46744, -76.981926 to 38.475227, -76.957444, into Zekiah Swamp Run – and Tatshall probably lay along Maddox Branch. This means that Tatshall was almost certainly centered at about 38.481510, -76.968192. The tract was also called Tatall, Totsall, Tattsall, Tasch Hall and Nuthall in various records.
Zekiah Swamp was the location of a Piscataway Indian fort during Cornelius’ land ownership and until the Piscataways’ departure in 1692. The Indian fort, now called Zekiah Fort, was recently excavated by archeologists at approximately 38.569746, -76.872085 – about 8 miles northeast of Maddox Branch. Zekiah Fort was a last defense for the Piscataway, whose enemies the Susquahannock were seeking revenge for the Piscataway alliance with the British. The fort attracted frequent Indian skirmishes in the 1680s and 1690s.
Cornelius’ father-in-law James Smallwood served as an Indian agent, and had frequent contact with the Piscataway at Zekiah Fort. Cornelius’ neighbor and family business partner Thomas Hussey, who owned Moore’s Lodge, also had contact with the Piscataway, as evidenced by his September 1681 “statement that the raiding Indians had carried away eleven Piscataway (one man and ten women) from his plantation,” and that “Hussey had all of his linen, blankets, clothing, and rings stolen by a band of Indians.” (Md. Archives 17:20, cited in “A Place Now Known Unto Them:” The Search for Zekiah Fort)