L[eonard] Magruder Passano.

History of Maryland online

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perform the duties of citizens? Do they still refuse?



Causes of Dispute between the Proprietor and the Settlers.
It must not be thought that the Lord Proprietor and his
settlers never had misunderstandings or discussions with
each other. The colonists in Maryland, like Englishmen
everywhere, were for the most part law-abiding men ; but at
the same time they would not consent to be imposed upon,
nor to have their liberties infringed. They did not as a
rule fight about such questions, but talked them over and
argued about them. Sometimes they were in the right, but
too often they were led into squabbling and rebellion when
they were really in the wrong. Many of the settlers were
friendly towards the Proprietary government, but others
thought it would be better if the colony were to become
directly responsible to the King of England. Then, too, the
dislike felt towards the Catholics was always strong. In
Maryland only about one-twelfth of the population were
Catholics, one-sixth belonged to the Church of England,
while fully three-fourths were Protestants of other sects ; so
that the Protestants far outnumbered the Catholics. Almost
all the high offices were filled by kinsmen or friends of Lord
Baltimore, while the people trusted to the lower house of
Burgesses, or Delegates as they began to be called, whose
members were elected from among themselves, to look after
their interests. It sometimes happened, however, that the
Proprietor took sides with the Burgesses against the Council.





Cecilius Calvert Died November 30, 1675. In 1670 the
Governor neglected to summon a few of the Delegates who
had been elected to the Assembly, probably because he
thought they would oppose his will. When he was asked
why he had done this, he could give no good explanation.
In this way he obtained a house of Burgesses not too mucli
opposed to his wishes ; and therefore, instead of dissolving,
as was usual at the end of the year, he adjourned the As-
sembly, and thus kept it ali\e until 1676. In the meantime
Cecilius Calvert had died in 1675, and Charles, who thus
became Lord Proprietor, went to England in the early part
of the following year. He returned, however, and governed
in person from January, 1679, to M;iy, 1684. According to
a statement made by Ik-nedict Leonard Calvert to the anti-
quarian Thomas Hearne in 17 19, his grandfather Charles,
Lord Baltimore, was warned of the plot of Titus Oates
against the Catholic Lords in England, and retired into
Maryland by advice of King Charles himself.

The Navigation Act. One chief cause of complaint, not
only in Maryland and Virginia, but in all the colonies, was
the Navigation Act. This Act decreed that no goods should
be imported into or exported from the colonies except in
ships built either in England or the colonies and manned by
British seamen ; and that no sugar, tobacco, cotton, wool,
and other products of the colonies should be shipped any-
where except to England or to one of her colonies. The
Act was intended to injure Dutch shipping, but its real
efTect was to injure the trade of the colonies. The Mary-
land and Virginia planters had sold a large part of their
tobacco crops to the Dutch, and now that they could do so
no longer, the tobacco was left on tiieir hands, or else had to
be sold to English merchants at a ruinously low price. At
the same time, they had to pay more for the goods which


they imported from England than they used to pay to the
Dutch merchants. In 1662 it was proposed that no tobacco
should be planted in Maryland or Virginia during the next
year, and in 1666 such an agreement actually was entered
into by Maryland, Virginia, and the Carolinas, but it failed
because Lord Baltimore vetoed the Act.

Bacon's Rebellion and its Influence on Maryland Affairs,
1676. The discontent at length grew so fierce that it led,
in 1676, in Virginia, to a rebellion at whose head was a
young man named Nathaniel Bacon. Maryland seemed
about to follow her sister colony in revolt. Bacon had many
sympathizers in Maryland, and two of them, named Davis
and Pate, gathering together a force in Calvert County,
refused to disband even when Governor Notley promised
that their demands should be laid before the next Assembly.
Matters were becoming alarming when the rebellion in Vir-
ginia came to a sudden end with the death of Bacon. The
revolt in Maryland collapsed at once. Davis and Pate were
taken and hanged, and peace was restored.

Trouble between the Proprietor and the King. A few
years later another cause of trouble arose, this time be-
tween the Proprietor and the King. In 1680 a certain
George Talbot, an Irishman by birth and a kinsman of
Lord Baltimore, received the grant of a large tract of land
on the Susquehanna River. Four years later, when Lord
Baltimore again went to England and left his minor son,
Benedict Leonard, as Governor of the colony, Talbot was
jHit at the head of a commission of Deputy Governors to at-
tend to the business of the office. We have seen that by
the charter no taxes could be laid in Maryland by either
King or Parliament, but this did not apply to custom-house
duties. In collecting these duties the officers of the King
frequently came into collision with the Proprietor's govern-


ment, and there was much misunderstanding between them.
In the year 1684 a small ship of the King's navy was lying
at St. Mary's, and on board of her, drinking with the cap-
tain, was a certain Christopher Rotisby, one of the customs
officers. Talbot went on board the ship, and in the quarrel
w'hich soon followed stabbed Rousby to the heart. The
captain of the vessel carried Talbot ofif to Virginia and
handed him over to the Governor. There he was im-
prisoned and would surely have been put to death had he
not been rescued by his brave wife. She, with only two
followers and jn mid-winter, sailed the whole length of
Chesapeake Bay in a small boat and carried him off to his
manor on the Susquehanna. He was pursued immediately,
and so hot was the chase that at one time, it is said, he had
to hide in a cave on the banks of the river. His only food
was the wild fowl brought him by two of his trained hawks.
Before long Talbot gave himself up. He was tried and
found gi'ilty in 1685, but was saved from death by Lord
Baltimore, who obtained his pardon from the King.

This incident, and the charges which the King's officers
were constantly making that they were hindered in collect-
ing the customs duties and that the King was being defrau-
ded cf his dues, led to ill-will towards the Proprietary
government on the part of the crown. This was the state
of affairs when in 1688 King James H., who was a Catholic,
abdicated his throne and was succeeded by the Protestants
William and Mary. Lord Baltimore at once sent off a
messenger to Maryland telling the Council to proclaim
William and Mary ; but his messenger died on the voyage,
and before a second could arrive in the colony trouble hr.d
come. All the other colonics were proclaiming the new
rulers of England, but the Council cf Maryland still de-
layed. Many of the colonists thought this delay was part



of a plot by the Catholics in favor of the deposed Kinji,

The Revolution of 1689. At length, in July, 1689^ a cer
tain John Coode, a wicked and immoral man, at the head of
seven hundred armed followers, drove the Council out oi
St. Mary's, captured them, and sent word of what he had
done to King William in the name of the Protestants of
Maryland, asking the King to take charge of the govern-


ment. Associated with Coode were Nehemiah Blackiston,
collector of customs ; Kenelm Cheseldyn, speaker of the
House, and Colonel Henry Jowles. These men falsely
accused the " Papists " of entering into a plot with the
Indians to murder all the Protestants in the colony.

Maryland Becomes a Royal Colony, 1691. The King was
willing enough to take possession of the colony, and accord-
ingly, in August, 1 69 1, sent out Lionel Copley to be the
first royal Governor. The Proprietor no longer had any
part in the government of his colony. All the officers were
appointed by the crown, and the laws passed by the As-


sembly were sent to the King for approval instead of to
Lord Baltimore. However, all the rent of land was still
paid to Lord Baltimore, and he still was the owner of lands
not yet granted to settlers. Moreover, he still received the
proceeds of a tax on exported tobacco which had been laid
for him : this by order of the King, although the Assembly
objected to paying it.

The Catholics are Persecuted. The change of government
brought about anything but good times for the Marylanders.
Everybody, rich and poor alike, was at once taxed forty
pounds of tobacco per poll (J.c, per head) to support the
Church of England. No more Catholics were allowed to
enter the colony, nor were those already there permitted to
celebrate mass in public. Later on, the Catholics were not
permitted to worship even in private, nor to have schools or
send their children abroad to be educated. Eor doing these
things they might be punished by life-long imprisonment.
If a Catholic refused to swear away his religion, his estates
might be taken from him and given to his nearest Protestant

The First Free School, 1696. It was at this time that the
capital of the State was changed from St. Mary's to An-
napolis. Here, in 1696, was founded King William School,
the first free school in Maryland. In that year the Assembly
passed an Act for the establishment of a school in each
county of the colony, but for lack of money the school at
Annapolis was the only one founded. The head of the trus-
tees was Governor Francis Nicholson, who gave a lot of land
in the town as a site for the school building, besides money
for the building itself. The other trustees also contributed
money. The building was completed by the year 1701.

Clergymen Disqualified to Sit in the Assembly. The be-
fore-mentioned Coode reappears in this year, 1696. He


was elected to the Assembly, but Governor Nicholson re-
fused to let him take his seat because he was, or had been,
a clergyman. Enraged at this, Coode again tried to over-
throw the government ; but he was a man of such bad
character that even those who were discontented would have
nothing to do with him. He fled from the colony, but
afterwards returned and was pardoned. No clerg}anan of
any denomination can sit in the Maryland Assembly. The
law forbidding this was taken from the like law of Parlia-
ment. It was passed in the early years of the colony when
the Jesuit missionaries, Vv'ho had received large tracts of
land from the Indians, began to think themselves free of the
common law and subject only to the law of their church.
Lord Baltimore (Cecil ius) at once took the matter in hand,
and from that time to the present day it has been the law
that no lands can be given or sold to any religious body
without the consent of the Legislature ; and, as we have
said, no clergyman can be a member of the Assembly. In
these two particulars Maryland stands alone of all the States
of the Union.

It was under the royal government, in 17 15. that the laws
of the colony, which had become intricate and confused,
were revised. A copy of these revised statutes was sent to
each county of the province.

The Proprietary Government Restored, 1715. Benedict
Calvert, afterwards the fourth I>ord Baltimore, became a
Protestant, and George I. made him Proprietor in 1715, thus
restoring the colony to its former status. He was succeeded
by his son Charles, who did much towards easing the condition
of the Catholics. Charles died in 1751. and was succeeded
by his son Frederick, the last Lord ]>altimore, who died in
the year 1771 after an evil and wasted life. The last Gov-
ernor appointed by Frederick, Sir Robert Eden, remained in


office until June 24, 1776, so that from 17 15 until the colo-
nies became independent, Maryland was again a palatinate.
The colony, by the industry of its people, had continued to
thrive under the royal Governors, despite the fact that Eng-
land had done nothing to help and much to hinder it ; and
in 1 7 15 the population numbered about fifty thousand.*

The French and Indian War. While Frederick was the
Proprietor the French and Indian War in America was
waged, from 1754 to 1760. This was a war between France
and England for the possession of Canada. The French
were aided by the Algonquin Indians, and the English by the
Five Nations. At first England left it to the colonies to do the
lighting on her side, and each colony thought only of defending
itself. Gradually, however, a spirit of union spread among
them; and later this spirit, made stronger by the Stamp Act,
led to the Revolution and the confederation of the thirteen
States. This war helped, too, towards the independence of
the colonies by giving their men experience in fighting battles
and training them as soldiers.

Indian Raids in Western Maryland. In 1756 the popu-
lation of Maryland numbered 107,963 whites, and 46,225

* In that year the population of the twelve colonies was as follows :

wiinrs. liLACKS. tiital.

MassachuseUs 94,000 2,000 96,000

Virginia 72,000 23,000 95,000

Maryland 40,700 9,500 50,200

Connecticut 46,000 1-500 47,500

Pennsylvania and Delaware . . 43,300 2.500 45,800

New York 27,000 4,000 31,000

New Jersey 21,000 1,500 22,500

South Carolina 6,250 10,500 16,750

North Carolina 7.500 3.700 11,200

New Hampshire 9,500 150 9,650

Rhode Island 8,500 500 9,000


negroes. There were 26,000 whites fit for soldiers; and
there were, in fact, about 16,000 enrolled in the militia.
One-third of these, however, had no arms at all, and none of
them were equipped in a proper manner. Then, too, Mary-
land had no forts that were worth an\'thing for defense, and
the French with their Indian allies might march into the col-
ony from their settlements in the West, capture the country
and kill the people. This was terrible to think of, for the
Indians were fierce and cruel, torturing their captives and
killing men, women and children alike. Indeed, the Indians
came into Western Maryland many times, burning the houses
of the settlers in Frederick County, and either killing the in-
habitants or carrying them off into captivity. Some of the
terrified settlers abandoned their farms and fled to more
thickly populated parts of the colony. After the defeat of
General Braddock, who had been sent out from England to
command the forces, some of the Indians came to within
eighty miles of Baltimore. Women and children were put
on board of boats in readiness to escape if the Indians
should attack the town.

Disputes about Supplies for the Defense of the Colony.
When Braddock arrived he hoped to raise money and
supplies in all the colonies, but the Maryland Assembly gave
only ;^6,ooo (Virginia gave ;^i 00,000) and a few soldiers.
They gave this grudgingly, after much delay and many dis-
putes with the Governor, who did all in his jDower to help
General Braddock. Braddock was defeated and killed, and
if the French had followed up their victory they probably
could have captured the whole of Maryland. Fortunately,
the northern colonies had begun to attack the French, who
were compelled to send most of their troops back to Canada ;
so that Maryland was saved in spite of the meanness and
obstinacy of the Assembly.



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Online LibraryL[eonard] Magruder PassanoHistory of Maryland → online text (page 3 of 23)