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Friday, 8 April 2016


George Calvert, 1st Lord Baltimore sought a charter from Charles I of England for the territory between Pennsylvania and Virginia in the early 1630s. Calvert was a Catholic in a time of religious persecution of Catholics in England. Out of his personal struggles and also out of a desire to profit from owning a colony in the New World, he envisioned a new colony where people of all faiths could live in freedom, tolerance and safety.

After George Calvert died in April 1632, the charter was granted to his son, Cecil Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore, on June 20, 1632.

About 250 set off for this new haven from Cowes on the Isle of Wight. They arrived in the new colony on March 27, 1634. The settlers made their first permanent settlement at St. Mary's City in what is now St. Mary's County.

The Founding of Maryland, 1634. Colonists are depicted meeting the Piscatawy Indians in St. Mary's City

The new "Maryland Colony" was named in honor of Charles I's Catholic queen Henrietta Maria.

Cecil Calvert attempted to stay closely involved in the governance of the colony until his death on November 30, 1675, though he never visited it. Instead he established and managed the Province of Maryland from his home, Kiplin Hall, in North Yorkshire, England.  During his long tenure, he governed through deputies: the first was his younger brother Leonard Calvert (1606–1647), and the last was his only son Charles.

Cecil Calvert

In 1683, Irishman Francis Makemie was sent as a missionary by an Irish presbytery to Maryland. Twenty three years later, established the first Presbyterian church in America in the Maryland town of Snow Hill, with Makemie himself the moderator.

The Maryland 400 were members of the 1st Maryland Regiment who repeatedly charged a numerically superior British force during the August 27, 1776 Battle of Long Island during the Revolutionary War. Despite sustaining heavy casualties, their bravery enabled General Washington to successfully evacuate the bulk of his troops to Manhattan. Because of the long service of the high quality regiments, General Washington referred to the Maryland units as his "Old Line", and their action in the Battle of Long Island is commemorated in Maryland's nickname, the "Old Line State."

Lord Stirling leading an attack against the British in order to enable the retreat of other troops at the Battle of Long Island, 1776. Painting by Alonzo Chappel, 1858.

During the seventeenth century, The Maryland port town of Annapolis was called the "Athens of America." Nowadays, it is the sailing capital of the United States.

Annapolis became the temporary capital of the United States after the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783. Congress was in session in the state house from November 26, 1783 to June 3, 1784, and it was in Annapolis on December 23, 1783, that General Washington resigned his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army.

The Maryland State House in Anapolis is the oldest in continuous legislative use in the United States. Construction started in 1772, and the Maryland legislature first met there in 1779. The Maryland State House housed the workings of the United States government from November 26, 1783 to August 13, 1784.

Maryland State House as seen from Church Circle. By Martin Falbisoner - Wikipedia Commons

In 1808 Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821), believing that all children should receive free education, opened a small Catholic elementary school in Baltimore. The following year Seton and other women helping her to run the school took religious vows of chastity and obedience and together they founded the first American Catholic religious order, the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

The first revenue trains in the United States begin service in 1830 on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad between the Maryland cities of Baltimore and Ellicott's Mills.

The Naval School (later renamed the United States Naval Academy) opened in Annapolis, Maryland on October 10, 1845, with 50 midshipman students and seven professors.

U.S. Naval Academy in 1853

In 19th-century Maryland, it was illegal to sell mineral water on a Sunday.

Franklin Roosevelt's  mountain refuge in Maryland was nicknamed "Shangri La (which stands for "hidden Buddhist Lama paradise".)

Oprah Winfrey's first talk show was a local one in Baltimore, Maryland called People Are Talking. She hosted it along with journalist Richard Sher.

With its close proximity to Washington, D.C., and a highly diversified economy spanning manufacturing, services, and biotechnology, Maryland has the highest median household income of any US state.

If the state of Maryland were a country, it would have the third-most Olympic gold medals.

The official state sport of Maryland is jousting.

The state bird is the Baltimore Oriole, which is no longer found in Maryland.

The state motto is Fatti maschii, parole femine, which is Italian for "Manly deeds, womanly words". Maryland is the only state with a motto in Italian.

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