The History of the Maryland colony - History

The History of the Maryland colony - History


Charles I granted a charter for the Maryland colony to the Cecil Calvert, the second Lord for Baltimore. The charter had originally been granted to his father. However, since Calvert’s father died before the charter could be used, it was granted to his son instead. Lord Baltimore wanted to provide a colony for English Catholics. He also wanted to prove that Catholics and Protestants could live together. King Charles was eager to have the area settled to provide a buffer against the Dutch that were claiming the Chesapeake Bay area.

The 200 people who traveled aboard the “Ark and Dove” landed at St. Clements Island, on March 25, 1634. Lord Baltimore offered attractive land grants, so as to entice settlers. Although Baltimore was hoping to found a largely Catholic colony, the majority of the settlers were Protestants. The first settlers purchased land from the Yaocomico (local Native American tribe) and founded St. Mary’s City. The first governor of the colony was Leonard Calvert, younger brother of Lord Baltimore. The charter of the colony gave exclusive power to the governor.

In 1649 the local assembly passed “The Maryland Toleration Act”, which was also known as “The Act Concerning Religion”. The bill was passed to guarantee religious freedom in the colony. However, that religious freedom was limited– only applying to Christians. In 1689 Puritans who lived in Maryland revolted against the proprietary government. The Puritans claimed the government unfairly favored Catholics. They defeated the government army and they outlawed Catholicism. The government the Puritans set up was not popular and a Royal government replaced it. The Calvert family managed to reassert their rule for a period of time.

The colonial government of Maryland remained in St. Mary’s City until 1708, when it was moved to Providence. Providence was later renamed Annapolis.

The original charters for Maryland and Pennsylvania physically overlapped. This created a border dispute between the two colonies. To overcome the dispute the colonies commissioned two surveyors, Charles and Jeremiah Dixon, to map the boundary. That boundary became known as “The Mason-Dixon Line”.

The colony of Maryland

In 1608 the English explorer Capt. John Smith sailed into Chesapeake Bay and stayed for several weeks to map the shoreline. With reference to the countryside around the bay, Smith exclaimed, “Heaven and earth seemed never to have agreed better to frame a place for man’s habitation.”

In 1632 Cecilius Calvert was granted a charter for the land as a haven in which his fellow Roman Catholics might escape the restrictions placed on them in England. The first governor of the proprietary colony, Leonard Calvert, the younger brother of Cecilius, landed the founding expedition on St. Clements Island in the lower Potomac in March 1634. The first settlement and capital was St. Marys City. Aware of the mistakes made by Virginia’s first colonists, Maryland’s settlers, rather than hunt for gold, made peace with the local Native Americans and established farms and trading posts, at first on the shores and islands of the lower Chesapeake. The field hands included indentured labourers working off the terms of their passage and, after about 1639, African slaves. The most important crop was tobacco. Roads and towns were few, and contact with the English-model manor houses was largely by water.

The Calvert family provided for religious freedom in the colony, and this was formalized by the General Assembly in 1649 in an Act Concerning Religion, later famous as the Act of Religious Toleration. It granted freedom of worship, though only within the bounds of Trinitarian Christianity. One of the earliest laws of religious liberty, it was limited to Christians and repealed in 1692. Commercial disputes with Anglican Virginia and boundary quarrels with Quaker Pennsylvania and Delaware did not affect this tolerance. Puritan ascendancy in England (1648–60) caused only brief turmoil. A 1689 rebellion by Protestants overthrew the proprietary officers, leading to an interval of crown rule in the royal colony of Maryland (1692–1715). During that period the Church of England was formally established. In 1715 Maryland once again became a proprietary colony of the Calverts, who had converted to Protestantism. Maryland nonetheless remained a haven for dissidents from sectarian rigidity in other colonies.

By the 1660s the Protestant majority in Maryland came to resent the colony’s Roman Catholic leadership in St. Marys City. As the population centre shifted to the north and west, the capital was moved to Protestant-dominated Anne Arundel Town (now Annapolis) in 1694. In 1729 Baltimore was founded. Maryland’s dominant “country party” early resisted British efforts to make the colonies bear more of the costs of government. Frederick county repudiated the Stamp Act in 1765, and in 1774, the year after the Boston Tea Party, a ship loaded with tea was burned at an Annapolis dock.

The long-standing dispute between Maryland and Pennsylvania over their common border was settled in 1767 when Great Britain recognized latitude 39°43′ N as the legal boundary. The boundary was named the Mason and Dixon Line for its surveyors. Thereafter, this line came to be regarded as the traditional division between the North and the South.

Marylanders took an active part in the American Revolution. Maryland is sometimes called the “Old Line State” in honour of the Maryland troops who served with Gen. George Washington. Among the most-reliable troops in the Continental Army, they were often given difficult tasks Washington called them “The Maryland Line.” The Continental Congress, often on the move to avoid British troops, spent a winter in Baltimore. At the close of the war, it convened in Annapolis, where it accepted Washington’s resignation from the army and ratified the Treaty of Paris (1783), which acknowledged the independence of the colonies.

Colony Of Maryland

"Maryland was so called in honor of Henrietta Maria, Queen of Charles I, in his patent to Lord Baltimore, on June 30, 1632.

Sir George Calvert, whose title was Lord Baltimore, was a Roman Catholic nobleman. Finding the laws against the Roman Catholics in England severe, he resolved to emigrate to Virginia, in the hope of enjoying a liberty of conscience which was not permitted in England under the reign of James I. But he was disappointed, as the Virginians proved nearly as intolerant as those he had left and he felt compelled to seek another asylum.

This he proposed to find, a territory on both sides of Chesapeake Bay, then inhabited only by natives and which having sufficiently explored, he returned to England, for the purpose of procuring a patent of it, from Charles I, who succeeded James I. He readily received a grant of the territory but he died before the patent was completed.

It was, however, subsequently made out, in 1632, in favor of Cecil Calvert, son of Sir George, who inherited his father's title, and who now came into possession of the country from the Potomac to the fortieth degree of north latitude. This grant covered the land which had long before been granted to Virginia, and what was now granted to Lord Baltimore was in part subsequently given to William Penn. In consequence of these arbitrary acts of the crown, long and obstinate contentions arose between the descendants of Penn and Lord Baltimore.

In 1633, Lord Baltimore appointed his brother, Leonard Calvert, governor of the province, who, with about two hundred planters, mostly Roman Catholics, left England near the close of this year, and arriving, in 1634, at the mouth of the river Potomac, purchased from the Indians Yoamaco, a considerable village, where they formed a settlement by the name of Saint Mary's.

Several circumstances contributed to the rapid growth and prosperity of Maryland. Her people were exempted from hostilities from the Indians, having satisfied them in the purchase of their land the soil was fertile, and the seasons mild. But, more than all, their charter conferred on them more ample privileges than had been conferred in any other colony in America. It secured to emigrants equality in religious rights, and civil freedom and it granted the privilege of passing laws, without any reservation on the part of the crown to revoke them. Even taxes could not be imposed upon the inhabitants without their consent.

At first, when few in number, the freemen assembled in person, and enacted the necessary laws but, in 1639, it was found expedient to constitute a "house of assembly." This consisted of representatives chosen by the people, of others appointed by the proprietor, and, of the governor and secretary, who sat together. In 1650, the legislative body was divided into an upper and lower house the members of the former being appointed by the proprietor, those of the latter by the people.

Few of the colonies escaped internal troubles, nor did Maryland form an exception. In 1635, a rebellion broke out, chiefly caused by one William Clayborne. This man, under license of the king to trade with the Indians, had farmed a settlement an the Island of Kent, nearly opposite Annapolis and when the grant was made to Lard Baltimore, he refused to submit to his authority, and attempted to maintain his possession by force of arms. His followers, however, were taken prisoners, and he himself fled. The Maryland assembly confiscated his estate, and declared him guilty of treason.

Early in 1645, Clayborne once mare returned to Maryland, and, heading a party of insurgents, overthrew the government. Calvert, the governor, was compelled to take refuge in Virginia. The revolt, however, was suppressed the following year, and Calvert resumed his office.

In 1649, the assembly of the colony reiterated in solemn form the original and fundamental principles of religious toleration of Lord Baltimore, in an act that no one professing faith in Jesus Christ should be molested on account of such belief, or in the free exercise of their religion and, that anyone who should reproach another on account of his religious creed should pay a fine to the person thus abused. Thus religious toleration was established by law and its benign influence was early perceived. Maryland presented an asylum for all who felt themselves religiously oppressed and hither came Puritans from the south, and church men from the north, and found a welcome reception, and the largest liberty.

In 1651, Parliament, having triumphed over King Charles I, appointed commissioners, of whom Clayborne, the enemy of Maryland, was one, 'to reduce and govern the colonies within the Bay of Chesapeake.' This gave rise to a civil war in Maryland, between the Catholics, who adhered to the proprietor, and the Protestants, who sided with Parliament. At first, Stone, the lieutenant of the proprietor, was removed but was soon restored, on his consenting to acknowledge the authority of Parliament. But in 1654, the commissioners again visited Maryland, and required him to surrender the government.

The next assembly that convened, which was entirely under the influence of the Protestant and now victorious party, ordained that no person professing the Catholic religion was entitled to the protection of the laws. Early the following year in 1655, civil war commenced. Having organized a military band, Stone assumed the government, intending to maintain his position by force but the Protestant party resisted, and, at length, a battle ensued, in which the Catholics were defeated, with a loss of fifty killed. Stone was taken prisoner, and was executed, with four others, men of note from the province.

At the Restoration in 1660, Lord Baltimore was once more restored to his rights, and Philip Calvert appointed governor. A general pardon was extended to all political offenders, and the former mild and liberal principles of the proprietor once more held sway in Maryland.

Towards the close of the year 1675, Cecil Calvert, the Lord Baltimore, the founder of Maryland, died and was succeeded by his son Charles, both in his honors and estates. For more than forty years, Cecil Calvert, in presiding over the province as its proprietor, had displayed the highest regard for the rights and happiness of others. He deserved well of posterity, and his name will be long honored and revered by the people of Maryland. In integrity, benevolence and practical wisdom, the son strongly resembled the father.

On the accession of William and Mary to the throne of England in 1689, the tranquility of Maryland was again interrupted. A rumor was fabricated, and industriously circulated, that the Catholics had combined with the Indians to cut off the Protestants of the colony. This roused the Catholics in their own defense, and to the assertion of the rights of the king and queen. The Protestants attempted to subdue the Catholics by force, and were compelled to relinquish the government into the hands of the former.

And in their hands it continued until 1691, when the king, in the exercise of sovereign power, wrested the province from Lord Baltimore, and erected it into a royal government. And in the further exercise of sovereignty, the following year, he sent Sir Lionel Copley as royal governor, 'to take charge of the province.' Under him religious toleration was disallowed, and the Church of England's forms of worship were established and supported by law.

But in 1716 this great wrong was rectified. The heir of Lord Baltimore, although an infant, was reestablished in his rights the proprietary form of government was restored and thus matters continued until the war of the Revolution, when the people formed a constitution for themselves, and no longer recognized the claims of the onetime proprietor to either jurisdiction or property.

By 1634, Maryland became one of the few territories of England to be predominately Catholic. Their settlement became known as St. Mary's and is currently the fourth oldest permanent British settlement in America.

In 1649, the Maryland Toleration Act was passed which guaranteed religious tolerance to settlers, as long as the religion was a sect of Christianity. After England's "Glorious Revolution" of 1688, which established the Protestant faith in England, Catholicism was outlawed in Maryland until after the Revolutionary War. The Puritan government of Maryland at the time burned down all of southern Maryland’s original Catholic churches.

The History of the Maryland colony - History

See Historic St. Mary’s City and a replica of The Dove, a ship which carried Maryland’s first permanent settlers from England across the Atlantic Ocean.

1608 – Captain John Smith explores the Chesapeake Bay

1631 – English trading post established on Kent Island

1632 – Maryland Charter granted to Cecilius Calvert by King Charles I

1633Ark and Dove sail from the Isle of Wight, England

1634Ark and Dove arrive at St. Clements Island St. Mary's City founded

1649 – "An Act Concerning Religion" passed Puritans founded Providence (now Annapolis)

1664 – Slavery allowed by law in Maryland

1695 – Annapolis becomes the capital of Maryland

1708 – England’s Queen Anne grants Annapolis its City Charter

1727Maryland Gazette founded - the oldest continuously published newspaper in the United States

1729 – Baltimore founded

1767 – Mason-Dixon Line established as Maryland's northern boundary

1776 – Four Marylanders sign the Declaration of Independence

1783 – Annapolis became the nation's capital from November 1783 until August 1784

1784 – George Washington resigned his commission in the State House

1784 – Congress ratifies the Treaty of Paris in the State House, officially recognizing the United States as an independent and sovereign nation.

1786 – Annapolis Convention called for meeting to discuss new form of government

1788 – Maryland becomes the seventh state to ratify the U. S. Constitution

1791 – Maryland donates land for the new capital, Washington D.C.

1806 – The Historic National Road, which will stretch from Maryland to the Ohio River, is commissioned as America’s first federally funded highway. Construction begins in Cumberland five years later.

1813 – British raid Havre de Grace during the War of 1812

1814 – British burn Washington and bomb Fort McHenry Francis Scott Key writes the "Star- Spangled Banner"

1826 – Public schools established by law Jews given right to vote and to hold public office

1828 – Building begun on the C&O Canal and the B&O Railroad

1829 – C&O Canal opened

1830 – The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad’s first 13 miles of track connect Baltimore to Ellicott City, where America’s first railroad terminal opens in 1831

1833 – The seven-arch Monocacy Aqueduct is completed, becoming the largest structure on the C&O Canal. Measuring more than 500 feet in length, it has survived both hurricanes and Confederate attacks

1837Baltimore Sun newspaper begins publication

1838 – Disguised as a sailor, Frederick Douglass boards a train to Havre de Grace and finds freedom from slavery. The Eastern Shore native later gains international fame as an orator and statesman.

1844 – World's first telegraph line between Baltimore and Washington established

1845 – The school that would become the U.S. Naval Academy is established at Fort Severn, Annapolis, with seven professors and 40 midshipmen.

1849 – Destined to write nevermore, Edgar Allan Poe dies while traveling in Baltimore. He is laid to rest at a memorial grave in the Westminster Burying Ground in Baltimore.

1850 – One year after escaping slavery in the Cambridge area, Harriett Tubman becomes a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad and rescues numerous family members and friends.

1850 – C&O Canal completed from Georgetown to Cumberland

1861 – First bloodshed of Civil War occurs in Baltimore

1862 – Confederate forces defeated at Antietam. Remembered as the “Single Bloodiest Day of the Civil War,” the Battle of Antietam takes place in Sharpsburg, with casualties numbering more than 23,000

1864 – Maryland abolishes slavery

1865 – Dr. Samuel Mudd, a Waldorf-based physician, treats John Wilkes Booth’s broken leg after Booth assassinates President Abraham Lincoln and flees into Southern Maryland

1867 – Present Maryland Constitution adopted

1875 – The present-day Thomas Point Shoal Light, one of the most recognizable symbols of Maryland, is completed. It is the Chesapeake Bay’s only screwpile light still in its original location

1876 – Johns Hopkins University founded

1886 – Enoch Pratt Free Library opens in Baltimore

1895 – Baseball slugger George Herman “Babe” Ruth is born in Baltimore, near the present site of Oriole Park at Camden Yards

1900 – The first passenger train from Washington, D.C., arrives at Chesapeake Beach, a new resort town with a casino and race track. Today, Chesapeake Beach and its sister city, North Beach, are known more for boutiques, eateries and quiet beach fun

1904 – Downtown Baltimore destroyed by "The Great Baltimore Fire"

1909 – Wilbur Wright conducts flight training for military aviators at a new airfield and hangar in College Park, recognized today as the world’s oldest continually operating airport

1930 – Baltimore jazz singer Cab Calloway first records “Minnie the Moocher,” with the song becoming a hit one year later and turning “hi-de-hi-de-hi-de-ho” into a world-famous catch phrase

1933 – A four-day storm in Ocean City cuts an inlet that becomes a permanent link between the ocean and bay, signaling the dawn of the town’s prominence as a sportfishing center

1936 – University of Maryland School of Law admits first African-American

1945Baltimore Sun journalist Philip Wagner opens Boordy Vineyards, the first of more than 65 wineries now operating in the state

1947 – "Misty of Chincoteague", a critically acclaimed children’s book written by Marguerite Henry, brings national attention to the free-roaming ponies of Assateague Island

1950 – American “diva” Rosa Ponselle becomes Artistic Director of the fledgling Baltimore Civic Opera Company, eventually coaching such artists as Beverly Sills and Placido Domingo

1952 – The 4.3-mile-long William Preston Lane, Jr., Memorial Bridge (Chesapeake Bay Bridge) opens with dual spans that link the western and eastern shores of the bay. It is among the world’s longest over-water structures

1967 – Thurgood Marshall becomes first African-American Justice of the Supreme Court

1967 – Alex Haley, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Roots, pays an emotional visit to the Annapolis City Dock to stand where his ancestor, Kunta Kinte, arrived 200 years earlier on board an African slave ship. A statue of Haley now marks the site.

1978 – James Michener’s epic novel, "Chesapeake", begins its 18-week run on top of the Publisher’s Weekly best-seller list. For two years, Michener lived on the Eastern Shore and feasted on crab cakes while working on his book.

1980 – Baltimore celebrates the grand opening of Harborplace, a shopping, dining and entertainment complex central to the city’s Inner Harbor redevelopment

1985 – Maryland begins an environmental program to clean up the Chesapeake Bay

1988 – “Hairspray,” a film written and directed by Baltimorean John Waters, enjoys critical and popular success upon its release, and is adapted more than a decade later as a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical

1992 – Oriole Park at Camden Yards officially opened

1995 – Baseball’s “Iron Man,” Cal Ripken, Jr., takes the field at Oriole Park at Camden Yards and plays in his record-setting 2,131st straight game. The streak reaches 2,632 games before he takes a day off

1995 – Annapolis celebrates its 300-year anniversary as the capital of Maryland

2001 – The Baltimore Ravens defeat the New York Giants, 34-7, in Super Bowl XXXV. It is one of many national championships won by Baltimore sports teams in football, baseball, indoor soccer and lacrosse

2004 – “Opening Night at the Hippodrome,” highlighted by the Baltimore premier of “The Producers,” marks the rebirth of the 90-year-old theater/performing arts center.

2004 – Swimmer Michael Phelps of Towson becomes the first American to win eight medals (six of which are gold) in a single Olympic Games.

2004 – Maryland celebrates its Flag Centennial (100 years)

2005 – Annika Sorenstam claims victory in the first McDonald’s LPGA championship to be held at Bulle Rock, a public golf course in Havre de Grace

2006 – Kimmie Meissner, a Harford County high school student, becomes the 2006 World Figure Skating Champion in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

2007 – Paying homage to Capt. John Smith’s Chesapeake Bay expeditions of 1608, “modern explorers” on board a 28-foot shallop complete a four-month voyage that also celebrates the creation of America’s first all-water National Historic Trail

2008 – Michael Phelps wins eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Games, Phelps took the record for the most first-place finishes at any single Olympic Games. Five of those victories were in individual events, tying the single Games record.

2012 – Michael Phelps competes in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, winning four gold and two silver medals, making him the most successful athlete of the Games for the third Olympics in a row.

2013 – The Baltimore Ravens defeat the San Francisco 49ers, 34-31, in Super Bowl XLVII.​​​​​

Maryland : the history of Maryland colony, 1634-1776

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The American Colonization Society was founded in 1816, in part due to alarms over the violence of the Haitian slave revolution and its aftermath, which resulted in independence for that country in 1804. Fears were raised about the effects of emancipation of slaves in the United States. [ citation needed ]

In this period, both slaveholders and abolitionists collaborated on the project to transport free blacks to Africa, though for different reasons. They suggested it was "repatriation", but by this time most African Americans were native-born in the United States, and said they were no more African than the Americans are British. Slaveholders believed, that free blacks threatened the stability of their slave societies. Nat Turner's rebellion of 1831 panicked Southerners, afraid of another slave uprising and seizure of the country, as had recently happened in Haiti. Abolitionists, many of them ministers, hoped to persuade slaveholders through their religion to manumit (free) their slaves and also worried about the discrimination faced by free blacks in the United States (arguably worse in the North than in the South). Those who supported relocation to West Africa believed, or pretended to believe, that the African Americans would create there better polities, first as some vague type of colonies, then countries, away from white prejudice and white discrimination and white economic exploitation and white liquor. While thousands of free blacks did relocate to the colonies, most [ citation needed ] free African Americans opposed this project, claiming the right of their birth in the United States and wanting to improve their lives there. (See Abolitionism in the United States.)

Maryland had an increasing proportion of free blacks among its African-American population. During the first two decades after the Revolution, about 25% of blacks were freed, in part because slaveholders were inspired by the war's ideals. Practically, changing labor needs meant that fewer slaves were required. [5] [ page needed ] By 1810 some 30% of northern Maryland's blacks were free, in what was a more urbanized region, but so were 20% of blacks in the southern part of the state. [5] : 291 In the next two decades the number of free blacks increased markedly in the northern part of the state, and many congregated in Baltimore, the state's and the South's largest city. [5] [ page needed ] By 1830 Maryland had a total of 52,938 free blacks: 51.3% of blacks in northern Maryland were free, and the black population of Baltimore was 75% free. In southern Maryland, free blacks made up 24.7% of the black population. [5] [ page needed ]

The Maryland State Colonization Society was originally a branch of the American Colonization Society, which had founded the colony of Liberia at Monrovia on January 7, 1822. The Maryland Society decided to establish a new settlement of its own to accommodate its emigrants and with the intention of controlling trade to its colony. In December 1831, the Maryland state legislature in the United States appropriated US$10,000 for 26 years to transport 10,000 free blacks and ex-slaves, and 400 Caribbean slaves from the United States and the Caribbean islands, respectively, to Africa. It founded the Maryland State Colonization Society for this purpose. [6] Nowhere near that number were actually transported.

Settlement of Cape Palmas Edit

The first area in the future Republic of Maryland to be settled by the Maryland Colonization Society was Cape Palmas, in 1834, somewhat south of the rest of the American colony. [1] The Cape is a small, rocky peninsula connected to the mainland by a sandy isthmus. Immediately to the west of the peninsula is the estuary of the Hoffman River. Approximately 21 km (15 mi) along the coast to the east, the Cavalla River empties into the sea, marking the border between Liberia and the Ivory Coast. It marks the western limit of the Gulf of Guinea, according to the International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO).

Most of the settlers were freed African-American slaves and freeborn African Americans primarily from the state of Maryland. [7] [ page needed ] The Colonization Society organizers thought they could establish new trading ties by relocating African Americans to West Africa. The colony was named Maryland in Africa (also known as Maryland in Liberia) on February 12, 1834.

John Brown Russwurm Edit

In 1836 the Colonization Society appointed its first black governor, John Brown Russwurm (1799–1851), who served as governor for more than a dozen years, until his death. Russwurm encouraged the immigration of African Americans to Maryland in Africa, and supported agriculture and trade. [8] He had begun his career working as the colonial secretary for the American Colonization Society between 1830 and 1834. He also worked as the editor of the Liberia Herald. He resigned this post in 1835 to protest America's colonization policies.

In 1838, a number of other American settlements on the west coast of Africa united to form the Commonwealth of Liberia, which declared its independence on July 26, 1847.

Two American visitors in 1851 reported the population of "Maryland in Liberia" to be between 900 and 1,000, with four churches and six schools. [9]

The colony of Maryland in Liberia remained independent, as the Maryland State Colonization Society wished to maintain its trade monopoly in the area. On February 2, 1841, Maryland-in-Africa was granted statehood [ by whom? ] and became the State of Maryland. In 1847 the Maryland State Colonization Society published the Constitution and Laws of Maryland in Liberia, based on the United States Constitution.

Declaration of Independence, and annexation by Liberia Edit

On May 29, 1854, the State of Maryland declared its independence, naming itself Maryland in Liberia, [4] with its capital at Harper. It was also known as the Republic of Maryland. It held the land along the coast between the Grand Cess and San Pedro rivers. It lasted three years as an independent state.

Soon afterward, local tribes, including the Grebo and the Kru, attacked the State of Maryland. Unable to maintain its own defense, Maryland appealed for help to Liberia, its more powerful neighbor. President Roberts sent military assistance, and an alliance of Marylanders and Liberian militia troops successfully repelled the local tribesmen. The Republic of Maryland recognized that it could not survive as an independent state, and following a referendum, Maryland was annexed by Liberia on April 6, 1857, becoming known as Maryland County.

A statue of John Brown Russwurm was erected at his burial site at Harper, Cape Palmas, Liberia. [10]


Before Delaware was settled by Europeans, the area was home to the Lenni Lenape (also known as the Delaware), Susquehanna, Nanticoke, and other Native American tribes. After the Swedish then the Dutch colonists settled there, the native peoples traded with the settlers for a half century. [1]

The Delaware watershed was claimed by the English based on the explorations of John Cabot in 1497, Captain John Smith, and others, and was given the name held as a title by Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr, the governor of Virginia from 1610 until 1618. At that time the area was considered to be part of the Virginia colony.

However, the Dutch thought they also had a claim, based on the 1609 explorations of Henry Hudson, and under the auspices of the Dutch West India Company were the first Europeans to actually occupy the land. They established trading-posts: Fort Wilhelmus in 1624 at "Hooghe Eyland" (High Island), now Burlington Island, opposite Burlington, New Jersey Fort Nassau, near Gloucester City, New Jersey, in 1626 and at Zwaanendael, now Lewes, Delaware, in 1631. [2] Peter Minuit was the Dutch Director-General of New Netherland during this period and probably spent some time at the Burlington Island post, thereby familiarizing himself with the region.

In any case, Minuit had a disagreement with the directors of the Dutch West India Company, was recalled from New Netherland, and quickly made his services available to his many friends in Sweden, then a major power in European politics. They established a Swedish South Company, aimed at settling the territory of New Sweden, and, following much negotiation, he led a group under the flag of Sweden to the Delaware River in 1638. They established a trading post at Fort Christina, now in Wilmington. Minuit claimed possession of the western side of the Delaware River, saying he had found no European settlement there. Unlike the Dutch West India Company, the Swedes intended to actually bring settlers to their outpost and begin a colony.

Minuit drowned in a hurricane on the way home that same year, but the Swedish colony continued to grow gradually. By 1644, Swedish and Finnish settlers were living along both sides of the Delaware River from Fort Christina to the Schuylkill River. New Sweden's best known governor, Johan Björnsson Printz, moved his residence to what is now Tinicum Township, Pennsylvania, where he intended to concentrate the settlements.

While the Dutch settlement at Zwaanendael ("swan valley"), or present-day Lewes, was soon destroyed in a war with Native Americans, the Dutch never gave up their claim to the area, and in 1651, under the leadership of Peter Stuyvesant, built Fort Casimir, now New Castle. Three years later, in 1654, Johan Risingh, the Swedish governor, captured Fort Casimir from the Dutch. For the Swedes, this was a catastrophic miscalculation, as the next summer, 1655, an enraged Stuyvesant led another Dutch expedition to the Delaware River, attacked all the Swedish communities and forcibly ended the New Sweden colony, incorporating the whole area back into the New Netherland colony. [3]

It was not long, though, before the Dutch too were forcibly removed by the English, who asserted their earlier claim. In 1664, James, the Duke of York and brother of King Charles II, outfitted an expedition that easily ousted the Dutch from both the Delaware and Hudson rivers, leaving the Duke of York the proprietary authority in the entire area.

But Cecil Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore, Proprietor of Maryland, claimed a competing grant to lands on the western shore of Delaware Bay, including all of the present state of Delaware. In deference to the royal will of Charles II to please his brother, James, Duke of York, Calvert did not press his claim. James, the Duke of York, believed he had won the area in war and was justified in ownership. The area was administered from New York as a part of James' New York colony.

William Penn was granted "Pennsylvania", which grant specifically excluded New Castle or any of the lands within 12 miles (19 km) of it. Nevertheless, Penn wanted an outlet to the sea from his new province. He persuaded James to lease him the western shore of Delaware Bay. So, in 1682, Penn arrived in New Castle with two documents: a charter for the Province of Pennsylvania and a lease for what became known as "the Lower Counties on the Delaware".

Penn had inherited James' claims and thus began nearly 100 years of litigation between Penn and Baltimore, and their heirs, in the High Court of Chancery in London. The settlement of the legal battles was started by the heirs' agreeing to the survey performed by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon between 1763 and 1767. Their work resulted in the famous Mason–Dixon line. The final adjudication of the settlement was not completed until the eve of the American Revolution. The settlement was a major reason for the close political alliance between the property owners of the Lower Counties and the Royalist Proprietary government.

In William Penn's Frame of Government of 1682, he established a combined assembly for his domain by providing for equal membership from each county and requiring legislation to have the assent of both the Lower Counties and the Upper Counties of Chester, Philadelphia and Bucks. The assembly meeting place alternated between Philadelphia and New Castle. Once Philadelphia began to grow, its leaders resented having to go to New Castle and gain agreement of the assemblymen from the sparsely populated Lower Counties. In 1704 members of the two regions mutually agreed to meet and pass laws separately from then on. The Lower Counties did continue to share a governor, but the Province of Pennsylvania never merged with the Lower Counties.

The Mason–Dixon line forms the boundary between Delaware and Maryland this begins at the Transpeninsular Line. The border between Pennsylvania and Delaware is formed by an arc known as the Twelve-Mile Circle laid out in the seventeenth century to clearly delineate the area within the sphere of influence of New Castle. A small dispute lingered until 1921 over an area known as the Wedge, where the Mason–Dixon line and the Twelve-Mile Circle left a fragment of land claimed by both Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Delaware was one of the Thirteen Colonies which revolted against British rule in the American Revolution. After the Revolution began in 1776, the three counties became "The Delaware State", and in 1776 that entity adopted its first constitution, declaring itself to be the "Delaware State". Its first governors went by the title of "President".

The Battle of Cooch's Bridge was the only major military engagement of the Revolution that took place on Delaware soil. The engagement began August 30, 1777, about 2 miles (3 km) south of Cooch's Bridge (located in present-day Newark). The Americans harried the lead forces of the British Army. However, the roughly 700 colonials were greatly outmanned and outgunned. Washington's troops were slowly driven back.

By September 3, the colonials had dropped back to Cooch's Bridge. A handpicked regiment of 100 marksmen under General William Maxwell laid an ambush in the surrounding cover. Over the ensuing battle, several British and Hessian charges were repelled, but the Americans soon depleted their ammunition and called a retreat.

The property was taken by the British, and several buildings were burned. General Cornwallis used the Cooch house as his headquarters for the next week as the British regrouped. American casualties numbered around 30.

Shortly afterward, General Howe moved his troops out. On September 11, he defeated the colonials in the Battle of Brandywine and subsequently captured the colonial capital of Philadelphia.

Delaware had a Loyalist insurrection in April 1778 called the Clow Rebellion.

In 1783, the independence of the United States and therefore Delaware was confirmed in the Treaty of Paris.

Delaware was the first state to ratify the United States Constitution.

Éleuthère Irénée du Pont arrived in America from France in 1800 and founded the young United States' largest gunpowder factory on the banks of the Brandywine River just north of Wilmington in 1804. His DuPont firm (now the world's fourth largest chemical company) was the U.S. military's largest supplier of gunpowder by the beginning of the Civil War, and his descendants, the du Pont family, are now one of the richest and most successful families in the country.

The oldest African American church in the country was chartered in Delaware by former slave Peter Spencer in 1813 as the "Union Church of Africans", which is now the A.U.M.P. Church. The Big August Quarterly which began in 1814 is still celebrated and is the oldest such cultural festival in the country.

The construction of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal between 1802 and 1829 brought significant shipping interests to Delaware, expanding the state's commercial opportunities.

Population Edit

Census year New Castle
of state
of state
of state
Delaware total
1790 19,688 33% 18,920 32% 20,488 35% 59,096
1800 25,361 39% 19,554 30% 19,358 30% 64,273
1810 24,429 34% 20,495 28% 27,750 38% 72,674
1820 27,899 38% 20,793 29% 24,057 33% 72,749
1830 29,720 39% 19,913 26% 27,115 35% 76,748
1840 33,120 42% 19,872 25% 25,093 32% 78,085

Slavery had been a divisive issue in Delaware for decades before the American Civil War began. Opposition to slavery in Delaware, imported from Quaker-dominated Pennsylvania, led many slaveowners to free their slaves half of the state's black population was free by 1810, and more than 90% were free by 1860. [4] This trend also led pro-slavery legislators to restrict free black organizations, and the constabulary in Wilmington was accused of harsh enforcement of runaway slave laws while many Delawareans kidnapped free blacks among the large communities throughout the state and sold them to plantations further south. [4]

During the Civil War, Delaware was a slave state that remained in the Union. (Delaware voters voted not to secede on January 3, 1861.) Delaware had been the first state to embrace the Union by ratifying the Constitution, and would be the last to leave it, according to Delaware's governor at the time. [ citation needed ] Although most Delaware citizens who fought in the Civil War served in regiments on the Union side, some did, in fact, serve in Delaware companies on the Confederate side in the Maryland and Virginia Regiments. Delaware was the one slave state from which the Confederate States of America could not recruit a full regiment. [ citation needed ]

By 1862, Fort Delaware, a harbor defense facility which was located on Pea Patch Island in the Delaware River and had been designed by chief engineer Joseph Gilbert Totten circa 1819, was pressed into service as a prison for Confederate prisoners of war, political prisoners, federal convicts, and privateer officers. [5] [6] [7] The first prisoners of war (POWs) were confined in the fort's interior in casemates, empty powder magazines, or one of two small rooms in the sally port. The first general from the Confederate States of America to be housed at the fort was Brig. Gen. J. Johnston Pettigrew.

Prison conditions were initially "tolerable," according to research conducted by students at the University of Delaware. "In its first year of operation in 1862, the population varied from 3,434 prisoners in July to only 123 later that year due to routine prisoner exchanges between the North and the South." But by the summer of 1863, following multiple military engagements including July's Battle of Gettysburg, "the fort's population had swollen to over 12,000 due to the influx of prisoners from the battles at Vicksburg and Gettysburg," a change in numbers which soon began to negatively impact the quality of life for POWs. [8]

As realization dawned that more housing would be needed for the increasing number of POWs captured by Union troops, officials at the fort embarked on a construction program in 1862, building barracks for enlisted men which came to be known as the "bull pen." [9] A 600-bed hospital was also built, as were barracks for the Union soldiers who would be brought in to guard the increasing POW ranks.

The first Confederate prisoner to die at Fort Delaware was Captain L. P. Halloway of the 27th Virginia Infantry. Captured at Winchester, Virginia on March 23, 1862, he died at the fort on April 9. [10] By the end of the war, the fort had held almost 33,000 prisoners, roughly 2,500 of whom died as the conditions continued to deteriorate. Half of the deaths were reportedly due to an outbreak of variola (smallpox) in 1863. Other causes of death included: diarrhea (315), inflammation of the lungs (243), typhoid fever and/or malaria (215), scurvy (70), pneumonia (61), erysipelas (47), gunshot wounds (7), and drowning (5). [11] [12] In addition, 109 Union soldiers and 40 civilians also died at the fort during the war. [13]

Among the political prisoners held at Fort Delaware was the Rev. Issac W. K. Handy, who had commented in December 1863 that the Civil War had tarnished one of the nation's most cherished symbols, the American flag. Arrested for comments made during a dinner, he was jailed without trial and, because habeas corpus had been suspended by this time during the war, he was then held at the fort for 15 months. [14]

Two months before the end of the Civil War, on February 8, 1865, Delaware voted to reject the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution and so voted to continue slavery beyond the Civil War. The gesture proved futile when other states ratified the amendment, which took effect in December 1865 and thereby ended slavery in Delaware. In a symbolic move, Delaware belatedly ratified the amendment on February 12, 1901–35 years after national ratification and 38 years after Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. Delaware also rejected the 14th Amendment during the Reconstruction Era.

Even though Delaware is nominally a northern state, and was mostly aligned with the Union during the American Civil War, it nonetheless was de facto and de jure segregated. Fearful that the 1875 Civil Rights Act passed by Congress might establish social equality, Delaware legislators passed Jim Crow laws in 1875, [ citation needed ] which virtually made black Delawareans second-class citizens. The state's educational system was segregated by operation of law. [ citation needed ] In fact, Delaware's segregation was literally written into the state constitution, which, while providing at Article X, Section 2, [ citation needed ] that "no distinction shall be made on account of race or color", nonetheless required that "separate schools for white and colored children shall be maintained." [ citation needed ]

In 1952, Gebhart v. Belton was decided by the Delaware Court of Chancery and affirmed by the Delaware Supreme Court in the same year. Gebhart was one of the five cases combined into Brown v. Board of Education, [ citation needed ] the 1954 decision of the United States Supreme Court which found racial segregation in United States public schools to be unconstitutional.

The end result of the Gebhart and Brown litigation was that Delaware became fully integrated, albeit with time and much effort. Unfortunately [ opinion ] , some [ who? ] argue that while the state of race relations was dramatically improving post-Brown, any progress was destroyed in the wake of the rioting which broke out in Wilmington in April 1968 in the wake of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis [ citation needed ] . Delaware's response to the Wilmington riots was heavy-handed in the opinion of some [ who? ] , involving the virtual occupation [ opinion ] of the city for over one year by the Delaware National Guard.

The History of the Maryland colony - History

As shown previously, the idea of colony planting in America by means of a corporation was borrowed from existing corporations common in England at the time. It is interesting here to note the proprietary form of government, -- its origin, the transplanting of the institution to America, and its gradual democratizing. The Maryland charter was borrowed in great part from the Palatinate of Durham. In medieval times, it was customary in Continental Europe for a sovereign to grant almost regal powers of government to the feudal lords of his border districts, so as to prevent foreign invasion. These districts or manors were often called palatinates or counties palatine, because the lord dwelled in a palace, or wielded the power of the king in his palace. His power was regal in kind, but inferior in degree to that of the king. 2

The charter of Maryland granted in express terms "as ample rights, jurisdictions, privileges, prerogatives, . royal rights . as used and enjoyed . within the bishopric or county palatine of Durham." This was one of the many instances of planting English institutions in America it was an attempt to introduce a limited feudalism on American soil. And it is a notable fact that all the English colonies founded in America after Maryland were of the palatinate type, except those founded spontaneously by the people in New England. 3

The father of Maryland was George Calvert, the actual founder was his son, Cecilius Calvert. George Calvery, was a man of broad views and staunch character. About the time of the accession to the throne of Charles I, Calvert resigned his seat as British secretary of state and turned his attention to colonization in the New World. King James had raised him to an Irish peerage with the title of Lord Baltimore. Receiving a grant of land in Newfoundland, which he named Avalon, he removed thither and started a colony but after a brief sojourn he determined, owing to the severity of the climate and the hostility of the French, to abandon the place. He sailed for Virginia, in which he already been interested as a member of the original London Company and later of the governing council. But Baltimore, having espoused the Roman Catholic faith, found the Virginians inhospitable, owing to the spirit of religious intoleration of the times. Returning to England he obtained the promise of a charter for a large tract of land north of the Potomac River, and King Charles in granting it named the place Maryland in honor of his queen, Henrietta Maria. The object of the lord proprietor, as Baltimore was now called, was twofold. He wished to found a state and become its ruler, for he was truly a man of the world he loved power and he loved wealth. Second, he wished to furnish a refuge for the oppressed of his own faith for the Roman Catholics, as well as the Puritans, were objects of persecution in England.

But before he could carry his purpose into execution, and before the Great Seal was placed upon his charter, George Calvert died. The charter was then issued to his son, Cecilius, and the son, who became the second Lord Baltimore, was faithful in carrying out the project of his father.

The new colony as set forth in the charter was bounded on the north by the fortieth parallel, and on the south by the southern bank of the Potomac, while the western boundary was to be the meridian passing through the source of that river. From this line the colony extended eastward to the Atlantic Ocean and included all of the present state of Delaware and portions of Pennsylvania and West Virginia. In after years these boundary lines, as marked out by the charter, led to serious complications between Maryland and her neighbors.

Never before had an English sovereign conferred such power upon a subject as that now granted to Lord Baltimore. He was required by the charter to send the king two Indian arrows each year, as a token of allegiance to the Crown, and if any gold and silver were mined in Maryland, one fifth of it was to be paid to the king. But aside from this the proprietor was invested with almost kingly power. He could not tax his people without their consent, but he could coin money, make war and peace, pardon criminals, establish courts, and grant titles of nobility. The government of the colony was very similar to that of the feudal estates of the Middle Ages.

But this "miniature kingdom of a semi-feudal type" was affected by the leaven of democracy from the beginning. The charter, as stated, defined the relations of the proprietor to the the king it also defined his relations to the colonists. It provided that the laws be made by the proprietor and the freemen. Here was the entering wedge the people could not be taxed without their own consent, and they were soon making their own laws. They won the right to initiate legislation in their first contest, a light one, in 1635. At first the assembly consisted of the governor, council, and all the freemen but as the people increased in numbers, the proxy system supplanted this. The proxy system, however, proved unsatisfactory and it soon gave way to the delegate system. By the middle of the century both the representative system and a bicameral legislature were firmly established in Maryland. 4

It was equally impossible for him to have excluded Protestants, being the subject of a Protestant king who ruled over a Protestant nation. Had he done this, he would have raised a storm in England which would have proved fatal to the colony. He did therefore the only wise thing to be done, -- he left the matter open, inviting Catholics and Protestants alike to join his colony. The spirit of the age was an intolerant spirit, and while Baltimore cannot be said to have been moved by any advanced views of religious toleration, nor was his primary object in founding a colony a desire to furnish a home for the oppressed in conscience, it is certain that he rose above the intolerance of the times, as shown by his subsequent invitation to the Puritans of Virginia and New England to make their home in Maryland. Thus for the first time in colonial history we have a state in which a man could worship God with freedom of conscience and without being oppressed by intolerant laws. Baltimore proved a wise and just governor. His treatment of the Indians was not surpassed by that of William Penn. Indeed, one might search in vain through all our colonial history for a ruler superior to Cecilius Calvert.

The first settlers, about three hundred in number, reached Maryland in March, 1634. Leonard Calvert, a brother of the proprietor, led the colony and became its first acting governor. They settled on a small island in the mouth of the Potomac, paying the Indians for the land in axes, hoes, and cloth. Here they planted the cross and founded a town which they named St. Mary's. The colony was happily founded, and it advanced more in the first six months than Virginia had done in as many years.

Maryland was singularly free from Indian massacres as also for many years from maladministration but there was one source of constant irritation that annoyed the colony for a generation, and that was the jealousy of the Virginians. The second charter of Virginia had included all the territory that afterward became Maryland, and the people of Virginia dispute the right of Baltimore to plant this colony there but their objections could not hold good from the fact that the Virginia charter had been canceled in 1624 and the province had reverted to the Crown. But there were two other causes of an unfriendly feeling from the elder colony: first her northern neighbor was under Catholic control and this was irritating to the intolerant Virginians and second, Maryland enjoyed free trade in foreign markets which Virginia did not. This unfriendly spirit between the two reached its acute stage through the action of one man, whose name fills a conspicious page in the early history of Maryland, and that man was William Clayborne.

Clayborne was a Virginia surveyor, a member of the council and also a tradesman. The year before the charter of Maryland was issued to Calvert, Clayborne had established a trading post on Kent Island in the Chesapeake without any title to the land. Soon after the settlement at St. Mary's had been made Baltimore informed Clayborne that Kent Island must henceforth be under the government of Maryland but the latter, encouraged by the governor of Virginia, resisted, whereupon Baltimore ordered that he be arrested and held prisoner if he did not yield. Soon after this a party from St. Mary's seized a pinnace belonging to Clayborne, who, retaliating, sent a vessel against his enemy and in a skirmish, in which several men were killed, the Marylanders made captives of the Virginians. This occurred in 1635 and two years later Clayborne repaired to England to lay his case before the king. He met with little success and during his absence the enemy seized and occupied Kent Island. Clayborne returned to Virginia and for more than ten years longer we find him a disturbing element to the peace of Maryland. In 1645, aided by a piratical sea captain named Ingle, he again gained control of his favorite island and indeed of the government of Maryland, Leonard Calvert being forced to take refuge in Virginia. But Clayborne's reign was of short duration, and the coveted island eventually passed permanently under the control of Maryland.

In spite of internal disturbance, the colony increased in numbers and prosperity year by year. The political and social conditionof the people swayed to and fro with the great events that were taking place in England, and when at last the Puritan party under Cromwell triumphed over the Cavaliers, Baltimore, who had favored the royal party, would doubtless have lost his title to Maryland but for the tact he exercised in appointing a Protestant governor, William Stone, to rule over it.

In 1649, the same year that in British history King Charles I was put to death, witnessed the famous Toleration Act in Maryland. By this act, the toleration of all Christian sects, a privilege that the people had enjoyed in practice since the founding of the colony, was recognized by law. 1

On the fall of Charles I, a commission sent by Parliament, a member of which was Maryland's old enemy, Clayborne, came to receive the surrender of the colony, and Governor Stone, who though a Protestant was not a Puritan, was degraded from his office. This was in 1652, and three years later Stone, having raised a small army, met the Puritans at Providence, now Annapolis, and a pitched battle was fought, known as the battle of the Severn. Many were killed. Stone was defeated and made prisoner. The Puritans now had full control. Before this battle occurred they had suspended the Toleration Act in defiance of the proprietor and passed one of their own shutting out "popery, prelacy, and licentiousness of opinion". Baptists and Quakers, as well as Catholics and Episcopalians, were denied religious liberty. They basically tolerated "everybody except Catholics, Episopalians, and anybody who disagreed with them". But this was going too far, even for Oliver Cromwell, who sided with Calvert and at the word of that powerful dictator, the Toleration Act was restored and the Puritan domination was ended.

In 1661, soon after the Restoration in England, Lord Baltimore sent his only son, Charles Calvert, to be governor of his colony. Charles served fourteen years when in 1675 his father, Cecilius, died and he became the lord proprietor. 6 For the first time now the Marylanders had the proprietor living among them. Cecilius, the founder of the colony and its proprietor for over forty years, devoted his life to Maryland but he resided in London and never crossed the Atlantic Ocean.

This period, from the Restoration to the English Revolution in 1688, was one of unusual quiet in Maryland. It is true that the people were on the verge of rebellion in 1676 -- an echo of the Bacon Rebellion in Virginia -- and that the government after the death of Cecilius was for a time similar to that of Berkeley in Virginia, tending toward aristocracy and nepotism, restriction of the suffrage, and the like but on the whole the inhabitants were happy and industrious and were rapidly increasing in numbers. During this time, the Quakers, the Dutch, the Germans, the Huguenots were in considerable numbers finding their way to Maryland.

Meantime the boundary dispute between Maryland and Pennsylvania, to cover over three quarters of a century, had begun. This will be treated in the account of Pennsylvania. Charles II and his brother James, disregarding the grant of their father to Lord Baltimore, conveyed to William Penn a large portion of his territory, which afterward became Delaware and James, after he became king, was about to deprive Baltimore of his charter altogether when, in 1688, he was driven from the British throne, in what is known as the glorious Revolution. William and Mary became the sovereigns of England, and Baltimore promptly dispatched a messenger to proclaim to his colony their accession to the throne. But the messenger died at sea, the message was not delivered, and while the other colonies in quick succession proclaimed the new sovereigns, Maryland hesitated. The delay was fatal to Baltimore's charter, and in 1691 Maryland became a royal province. Baltimore, however, was still permitted to receive the revenues in the form of quitrents and excises from his sometime colony. Maryland remained a royal colony till 1715 when it passed back into the hands of the Calverts. The royal governors, among whom we find the ubiquitous Nicholson and Andros, were all men of commendable worth.

In 1715, Charles Calvert died and his son Benedict became the fourth Lord Baltimore. He had become a Protestant, and the government of Maryland was now restored to him. The colony remained from this time in the hands of the Calverts to the war of the Revolution. Benedict died but six weeks after the death of his father, and his son Charles, a boy of sixteen years, became the proprietor of Maryland. 8 During the remainder of the colonial era, frequent quarrels between the governor and the assembly resulted, as in all the royal and proprietary colonies, in a steady gain of power for the people.

It would be interesting to follow the fortunes of this colony through the half century preceding the Revolution, the so-called "neglected period" of colonial history but the limits of this volume forbid a further treatment, except in a general way with the rest in future chapters on "Colonial Wars" and "Colonial Life."

Maryland Catholic History

Though known in the New World as a colony founded on religious tolerance, Catholics who immigrated to Maryland from Europe didn’t find the refuge they hoped for when they finally reached these shores.

The religious persecution that drove Charles Carroll the Settler from his native Ireland followed him to Maryland. Within a few short years of his arrival, Carroll soon found himself stripped of his governmental authority and facing broad restrictions on the practice of his Catholic faith. Catholics in colonial Maryland were not allowed to practice their faith publicly. They were also not allowed to send their children to church-run schools. As Oliver Cromwell came to power in England, Catholics in the colonies were no longer allowed to vote, were barred from several professions including law, and were unable to hold office unless they swore allegiance to the Church of England.

The Catholic Church went underground, and the faithful found various ways to preserve and persevere in the Faith. Jesuit priests based in White Marsh frequented Annapolis, celebrating Mass and other sacraments in chapels housed in private homes. The Carroll family maintained such a private chapel that they opened to the small Catholic community in Annapolis.

Historical records make it difficult to determine the exact location of the Carroll family chapel. Some evidence points to it being situated in the Settler’s frame house that was connected to the larger brick house by a small passageway. Regardless of its location, an inventory of the chapel showed it was well-equipped for Mass and other church ceremonies, a testament to the family’s wealth in a time when itinerant priests had to carry all their supplies with them.

After Independence, the restrictions on Catholics eased, but they still faced discrimination and prejudice as a distinct religious minority in Anne Arundel County. Upon retiring from public life, Charles Carroll of Carrollton turned his attention to his other great loves – his family’s legacy and his Catholic faith. One of Carroll’s dreams – that of having a permanent Catholic chapel built on his property – was realized by his granddaughters who succeeded in raising the money to build a small brick chapel at the intersection of Duke of Gloucester Street and Green Street in 1822. The Jesuits established a monthly schedule of Masses at the chapel, and the Catholic community continued to grow.

When Charles Carroll died in 1832, his granddaughters inherited his Annapolis home and lands. They were unsuccessful in selling the property, and a trustee also failed to find a suitable buyer. Carroll’s granddaughter, Emily Caton MacTavish, who had nursed her grandfather in his old age and through his final days, shared Carroll’s deep devotion to the Catholic faith, and had a Baltimore-based priest as her regular confessor. Father Gabriel Rumpler was a priest of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (the Redemptorists).

At the time, the Redemptorists were looking for a quieter location for their novices to study and pray in preparation to take their first vows with the order. The existing location at St. Alphonsus Church in downtown Baltimore was far from ideal, and when Rumpler heard the Caton sisters were seeking to dispose of several acres of land and an old house in the comparatively sleepy town of Annapolis, it appeared to be a match made in heaven.

The Caton sisters deeded their family’s Annapolis properties to the Redemptorists in 1852. Fathers Rumpler, Bernard Hafkenscheid (the Redemptorist vice provincial of the American Provinces) and John Neumann, rector of St. Alphonsus Church later to become the fourth bishop of Philadelphia and the first male American saint, all signed the deed. A separate covenant established between the family and the Redemptorists dictated that the property should be used for religious purposes.

Within months, the Redemptorists moved their novice students into the Carroll House. For much of the next 55 years (with an interruption between 1862 and 1866 due to the Civil War when the novices were relocated to Cumberland, MD) the Redemptorists used the Carroll House as a place of prayer, study, and formation for generations of mission preachers.

In addition to signing the deed, John Neumann visited the Carroll House on at least two occasions, including his visit as bishop to bless the bell and cornerstone of the new church in 1858.

For two separate terms, the Carroll House was also home to another saintly Redemptorist, Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos. As novice master and later as rector of the Redemptorist community, Seelos oversaw the education of the Redemptorist students and was instrumental in starting St. Mary’s School. His cause for sainthood continues to progress in Rome.

In 1907, the novices were moved to Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Ilchester, MD, but the Redemptorists continued to use the Carroll House as the location of the second novitiate — roughly a year’s worth of studies completed by Redemptorist priests as their first mission assignment. The Carroll House continued to operate as the second novitiate and a general residence for the priests assigned to St. Mary’s Church until 1968.

Watch the video: The Colony of Maryland Founded in 1632