L[eonard] Magruder Passano.

History of Maryland online

. (page 4 of 23)
Online LibraryL[eonard] Magruder PassanoHistory of Maryland → online text (page 4 of 23)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

largely due to the fairness with which the Indians were
always treated. One of the Governors and his high officers
even took part in the election of an Indian " emperor," the
successor of Uttapoingassinem ; and some twenty years
before another emperor, his queen, and his little son had
been baptized. Afterwards tliis emperor and empress were
married according to the Christian rites. The Pascataways
seem to have died out gradually, while the Susquehannoughs
were so weakened by attacks of smallpox and wars with
their fierce neighbors to the North, the Senecas and Cayu-
gas, that they at last fled southward into Virginia. In their
fiigiit they were pursued by their enemies, the Senecas, who,
while on the warpath did some damage to the plantations of
the whites. The blame for this was laid on the Susque-
hannoughs, and in punishment their chiefs were massacred




by the Virginia militia. The small remnant of the tribe re-
turned to theii old home on the Susquehanna River, and
submitted to their Iiidian enemies. They lived on for about
a hundred years, until, in 1763, the few remaining were
massacred by the whites in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
Scattered Settlements. The peacefulness of the Indians
had much to do with the way in which Maryland was set-


tied. In New England, where the Indians might make an
attack at almost any moment, the settlers naturally kept
close together in towns and villages, where they could take
refuge in a fort or block-house and defend themselves ; but
in Maryland, where there was no need of this defense, they
spread themselves out over the country, each family living
on its own farm or plantation remote from the others. Even


St. Mary'.s, where the courts were held and public business
attended to, never had more than sixty houses, and these
vere scattered for five miles along the shore.

Early Towns. For the first ninety years St. ISIary's and
Annapolis were the only real towns. Then came Joppa,
on the Gunpowder River, which flourished after a fashion
for fifty years, only to die away as its trade passed into the
hands of the town of Baltimore. Before the present Balti-
more was founded, two other towns of that name had ap-
peared, or rather had been made on paper and staked out,
one* on the Bush River in Baltimore County in 16S3, and
another in Dorchester County. In the year 1729, the
Assembly passed a law giving the planters near the Patapsco
permission to buy land on that river to make a port for their

Baltimore Founded, 1730. The site of the town was first
surveyed in 1730. Sixty acres of land Avere bought of
Charles and Daniel Carroll for forty shillings an acre. The
town at the end of twenty j'ears had only about twenty
houses and one hundred inhabitants, but by the end of the
Revolution it had grown to be a beautiful town. Market
street, lined with houses brightly colored in blue, white and
blue, or yellow, was the longest, gayest, and most beautiful
street of any city in the country.

Annapolis the Chief Town. I'or many years Annapolis was
the chief town. It was small, but was beautifully laid out,
and although originally a Puritan settlement, it became, in
course of time, a centre of gayety. Balls were given, race
meets were held, and the homes of the wealthy planters,
such as the Carrolls, the Pacas, and others, were noted for
their hospitality. In this town was published the first news-

* There is still a boat landing on the Ku>h River called " Old Balti-
more." Tills landing seems to float up and clown the river.



1^ ^

w ^

PS >

O s





paper in the colony, the GazfUc, hc^un in 1727; and here
was estabUshed also the earliest theatre, whose first play-
bill appeared in the Gazette of Jujy 2, 1752. The town was
famous for its beautiful women, a fame whicli it has shared
with the rest of the State.

Chesapeake Bay the Great Highway. The friendliness of
the Indians was not the only, nor perhaps the chief, reason


for the lack of towns in Maryland. Chesapeake Bay, \\\\\\
its rivers, creeks, and inlets, had probably more to do vith
the slow growth of towns than any other cause. The
planters and farmers in their canoes, or pungies, could travel
about easily and quickly from place to place, and could thus
talk business or pleasure at each other's homes instead of at
the town. Almost every plantation lay along the water and



had its own " landing " or wharf. To tliese landings the
tobacco and other things grown were taken, and there the
vessels came from England or the other colonies to unload
goods and take in cargo. Horses were plentiful, too ; every-
body rode, and communication on land was easy by paths
and bridle-tracks, but there were very few carriages and


From tin old print in the possession of the Mary/and Historical Society.

almost no roads. Rolling-roads were a feature of both
Maryland and Virginia. They were narrow roads cut through
the forest and leading to some river or the Bay shore. A
hogshead of tobacco would be fitted with axle and shafts,
the cart thus formed would be drawn down one of these
roads, and the hogshead would be put aboard a ship bound
to England or Holland. The lirst post route in the State
was established in 1695. It ran from the Potomac, through
Annapolis, to Philadelphia, and over it the mails were car-
ried eight times a year.

Most of the Colonists Farmers. Almost every colonist was



a farmei. There were a few who had manors of 2,000 to
20,000 acres; others witli plantations of as much as 1,000
acres; and many more with homesteads of 50 to 100 acres

Old Maryland Manors. You have all probably seen some
old place in the country, which is called '-the Manor"; and
these places are, for the most part, the remains of the old
Maryland manors. When Lord Baltimore granted to any
one a large estate of 2,000 acres or more, he made the
estate a manor; that is, the estate became a sort of little
state within the lar-
ger State of Mary- /M\'^
land ; and its owner,
together with the
freeman on it,
passed by-laws and
held law courts to
punish thieves,
poachers, and other
evil-doers. " In the
life upon these man-
ors there was a kind
of patriarchal com-
pleteness; each was a little world in itself. There was
the great house with its generous dining-hall, its paneled
wainscoat, and its family portraits ; there was tlie chapel,
with the graves of the lord's family beneath its pavement
and the graves of common folk out in the churchyard ;
there were the smoke-houses, and the cabins of negro
slaves ; and here and there one might come upon the
dwellings of white freehold tenants, with ample land about
them held on leases of one-and-twenty years. In estab-
lishing these manors. Lord Baltimore had an eye to the



Front viodel in the National A/usenin at




military defense of his colony. It was enacted in 1641
that the grant of a manor should be the reward for every
settler who should bring with him from England twenty
able-bodied men, each armed with a musket, a sword and
belt, a bandelier and flask, ten pounds of powder, and forty
pounds of bullet and shot."* Any one of the first lot of

-J'isi. ;j^iin^.


colonists who brought over five men, received two thousand
acres of land for which he paid a rent of four hundred pounds
of wheat per year; one who came between 1634 and 1635,
and brought over ten men, received the same number of acres
at a rent of six hundred pounds of wheat ; those who came
later or brought fewer men, received proportionately smaller

* Fiske, " Old Virginia and Her Neighbours," vol. ii, p. 147.


lots of land. These manors continued for some time until
the wealthy planters began to own large numbers of slaves,
when they found they could make their estates pay better
by working the whole of them with slaves than they could
by renting separate farms to free white men. Thus, the
manors gradually lost their meaning and are now left only
in name.

Universal Hospitality. Whether the farm were large or
small, the life on it was much the same. The colonists visited
and entertained each other ; and if a stranger came into the
country, from England, let us say, he could hardly get away
again, they were so glad to have him, to hear from him the
news of what was happening in the Old World. Hospitality
was so widespread that even an inn-keeper had to notify his
guests if he intended to charge them for what he served ;
otherwise he could not collect his bill. Here is the way a cer-
tain Ebenezer Cook, a tobacco buyer, or as he calls himself
a "sot-weed factor," describes his visit to Maryland in 1700 ;

" So after hearty Entertainment
Of Drink and Victuals without payment ;
For Planters' Tables, you must know,
Are free for all that come and go.
^Yhile Pon and Milk, with Mu^li well stoar'd.
In Wooden Dishes grac'd the lioard ;
With Ilomine and Syder-pap,
(Which scarce a hungry dog would lap)
Well stuff'd with Fat from Bacon fry'd,
Or with Mollossus dulcify'd.
Then out our Landlord pulls a Pouch
As greasy as the Leather Couch
On which he sat, and straight begun
To load with Weed his Indian Gun.

His Pipe smoak'd out, with aweful Grace.


The reverend Sire walks to a Chest ;

From thence he lugs a Cag of Rum."

Mr. Cook doesn't seem to have enjoyed his supper of
corn-pone and hominy, but in the morning

" I did to Planter's Booth repair,
And there at Breakfast nobly Fare
On rashier broil'd of infant Bear :
I thought the Cub delicious Meat,
Which ne'er did ought but Chesnuts eat."

He had had very little rest the night before ; for, as he


" Not yet from Plagues exempted quite,
The Curst Muskitoes did me bite."

He found the settlers more than a match for him in
business dealings., and altogether had a great deal to com-
plain of.

The Houses and their Furniture. The houses were for
the most part small and built of logs, but some belonging to
the rich planters were built of brick. The log cabins were
often fastened together with wooden pegs, as nails, like
everything else made of iron, were costly. Sometimes a
man, when he removed to a new neighborhood, would burn
down his log house in order to gather up the iron nails from
the ashes. Door hinges were made of leather. As the col-
ony became more thickly settled and saw-mills more common,
houses were made of boards; until finally noble residences,
such as Doughoregan Manor, the home of the Carrolls, and
Wye Hall, the home of the Pacas, were built.

Their fiuniture, what little they had, was mostly imported.
Some of the richer folk had a small supply of silver tankards,
salt-cellars, candle-sticks, and spoons, but rarely forks until



later. Forks were first brought to America in 1633. In
that year Governor Winthrop, of Massachusetts, received
one. Pewter was much more common than silver, and the poor
people used wooden trenchers (Hat bowls) and wooden
spoons. China was not common, and glass was rare.

The first lights used were pine-knots of the pitch-pine ;
later, candles were made of tallow, wax, and the " candle-

( \KI

1 2 4 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

Online LibraryL[eonard] Magruder PassanoHistory of Maryland → online text (page 4 of 23)