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american ComntonttJealt]^^*




American ConinionUjcaltljjtf







New York : 11 East Seventeenth Street


Copyright, 1884,

All rights reserved.

The Riverside Press, Cambridge ■, Mass., U. S. A.
Electrotyped and Printed by H. O. Houghton & Company.


The most interesting and least known pe-
riod of Maryland's history is that which pre-
ceded the War of Independence. The politi-
cal and material development of a Province
founded under peculiar circumstances and a
unique form of government, were determined
by causes in many respects unlike those which
operated in the other colonies ; and, so far as
the State has, in her later career, differed from
her sisters, this difference may, in the main, be
traced back to the original dissimilarity.

Though Maryland fought in the War of In-
dependence, as the faithful ally of her sister
States, no military operations of any conse-
quence took place on her soil ; while to write
an account of the deeds of Maryland soldiers
in the war would be to write the history of the
war itself.


It has, therefore, seemed advisable to limit
the present volume to a history of the Palat-
inate government.

This narrative has been written, almost en-
tirely, from the original manuscript records
and archives, now, by the liberal action of
the General Assembly, made easy of access to
every student.





English colonies. — Virginia. — George Calvert, first
Lord Baltimore. — Charter of Avalon. — Discourage-
ments. — Baltimore compelled to leave his colony. —
Subsequent history of Avalon 1



Baltimore visits Virginia. — His reception. — Grant of
Maryland. — Baltimore's death. — Cecilius, first Pro-
prietary. — Charter of ]Maryland. — Opposition of Vir-
ginia. — The first colonists. — Friendly relations with
the Indians 13



Animosity of Virginia. — Claiborne and his station on
Kent Island. — Bloodshed in ISIaryland waters. — Con-
firmation of the Charter. — The first Assembly. — Con-
ditions of land grants. — Claiborne's petition. — Kent
Island submits. — The second Assembly and its pro-
ceedings. — Trial of Smith. — Representative govern-
ment o 27





Increase of population. — Character of settlers. — Bap-
tism of the Tayac. — Missionaries. — Troubles with
northern Indians. — Baltimore's dealings with the Jes-
uits. — No lands to be held by a religious body. —
Ingle's affair. — Invasion of Claiborne and Ingle. —
Brigandaj^e. — Governor C;ilvert regains the Province.

— Death of Leonard Calvert. — Mrs. jMargaret Brent.

— Governor Stone. — Great Seal of Maryland. — " Act
concerning Religion." — Toleration in Maryland . . 48



Reorganization of the Assembly. — Puritans at Provi-
dence. — Reduction of Virginia and Maryland. — Mary-
laud under the Protectorate. — The Parliamentary
commissioners. — Toleration with a difference. — Fight
at Providence. — Expulsion of missionaries. — Witch-
craft. — Charter again confirmed and the Province
restored to Baltimore. — Toleration Act of 1649 made
perpetual "2



Governor Fendall. — Quakers in Maryland. — Fendall's
Conspiracy. — Dutch and Swedes on the Delaware. —
Mission of Herman and Waldron. — Governor Philip
Calvert. — Trial and condemnation of Fendall. — Final
settlement of the government 90



Governor Charles Calvert. — Dealings with the Indians.

— Election of the Emperor of Pascataway. — Treaty



with Susquehanuoughs. — Troubles with northern In-
dians and the Dutch. — Boundary-disputes with Vir-
ginia 104



Over-production of tobacco. — Coinage for the Province.

— Effect of the Navigation Act. — Grant to the Duke
of York. — Disputes between the Upper and Lower
House. — Petition of the Pascataways. — Spoliations of
Maryland Territory. — The charter-boundaries . . .113



Charles, third Lord Baltimore. — Attacks on the Charter.

— Claiborne once more. — Proportion of Protestants
to Catholics. — Massacre of Susquehannough chiefs. —
Conspiracy of Fendall and Coode. — The Labadists. —
William Penn and his charter. — His grant on the
Delaware. — Interview between Penn and Baltimore. —
A cool proposition. — Decision of Privy Council. —
Surveyor-general Talbot. — ^lurder of Kousby. — Ar-
rest and escape of Talbot. — Discontent in the Prov-
ince. — Rebellion of Coode and the " Associators." —
"William III. seizes the Province. — Overthrow of the
Proprietary government 127



A people of planters. — Absence of towns. — The Ches-
apeake Bay. — Personal freedom. — A land of plenty.

— A society of families. — Hospitalit}'. — Alsop and
his " Character of Mary-Land." — Cook and his " Sot-
weed Factor." — Gentleness and humanity of the peo-



pie. — The manorial courts. — Negro slavery. — The
rcdemptioners. — The convicts. — The rangers . . .157



An established Church. — Three forms of toleration.—
Governor Nicholson. — Capital removed to Annapolis.

— Coode's plot. — Free schools founded. — Commis-
sary Bray. — Position of the Church. — Crown requisi-
tions. — Quakers in ^Maryland. — ()ppre?sion of Roman
Catholics. — Benedict Leonard, third Proprietary, be-
comes a Protestant. — Charles, fourth Proprietary. —
Restoration of the Proprietary government 184



Attitude towards the Proprietary Government. — The col-
onists define their position towards England. — Disputes
between the Houses of Assembly. — Jacobite prisoners.

— Baltimore founded. — Disputes about northern boun-
dary. — Border warfare. — Population and Trade of
Maryland. — Frederick, fifth Proprietary 203



Designs of the French. — Fort Du Quesne. — French and
Indian "War. — Fort Cumberland. — The Assembly and
the Supply question. — Braddock's defeat. — Governor
Sharpe. — Ravages in the western settlements. — Ob-
stinacy of the Delegates. — Acadian Exiles. — Fort
Frederick. — Sharpe and the Assembly. — Attitude of
the Lower House. — Northern boundary fixed. — Mason
and Dixon's line , . . . . 218





England's colonial policy. — The Stamp Act in Mary-
land. — A colonial Congress proposed. — A Bill of
Rights. — Delegates to the Congress. — liepeal of the
Stamp Act. — Townshend's duties. — The Assembly
and the Massachusetts letter. — Petition to the King. —
Non-importation Associations 240



Governor Eden. — The tea-duty. — The Convention or-
ganized. — Burning of the Peggy Stewart. — The tobac-
co-duty. — The fee-bill. — Provision for the clergy. —
Eden's proclamation. — Popular irritation. — Dulany
and Carroll. — Death of Frederick, Lord Baltimore.

— Henry Harford, sixth and last Proprietary. — Rev-
olutionary spirit. — The Province arming. — The Dec-
laration and Pledge. — The Convention and Council of
Safety 258



Eden leaves the Province. — The Convention supreme.

— Its attitude and action. — Maryland declares her
independence. — A free and sovereign State. — The
state government. — Sequestration of the Proprietary's
lands. — Abolition of quit-rents. — Maryland enters the
Confederation 276




With the plantation of Maryland begins the
third stage of English colonisation in America.
The first adventurers, the Spaniards, found or-
ganised kmgdoms, an advanced civilisation,
populous cities, and broad highways. They
could march in a compact phalanx to the capi-
tals of Mexico and Peru, and strike them at
the very heart. When once the military
strength of the natives was broken, their com-
plete subjugation was easy. The conquerors
also found abundant gold and silver, and poured
what seemed an inexhaustible stream of the
precious metals into the coffers of Spain. The
results of Spanish conquest, however we may
now regard them, were dazzling successes to
the Europe of the sixteenth century ; and the
first attempts of England to rival her ancient
foe were imitations of the Spanish adventures.


The general plan of Ralegh, Gilbert, and Lane
was to plant armed colonies in the midst of a
conquered people, as a basis for working the
gold mines and pearl fisheries to be afterwards
discovered. It is just possible that these at-
tempts might have succeeded in the miserable
sense in which the Spanish conquest was a suc-
cess, but that to the search for gold was added
the search for a northwest passage to the In-
dies, by which English ships might turn the flank
of Spain and Portugal, whose fleets held the key
of the East after the Turks had closed the gate
of Constantinople. This gave the English voy-
ages of discovery a northern course, and landed
the adventurers in regions where there was no
gold, and among scattered savage tribes of hunt-
ers and fishers of whom no profitable conquest
could be made. The first attempts at colonisa-
tion, therefore, resulted in failures more or less
disastrous ; but they added to the knowledge of
the country and its resources, and thus prepared
the way for experiments on a more rational

The second stage was that of chartered com-
panies, who proposed to plant colonies and
manage them on the joint-stock principle.
These were chiefly promoted by merchants, and
commercial ideas were predominant in their
plans and administration. They were to be


self-supporting trading outposts of England ;
they were to buy peltries, catch fish, or raise
tobacco to be sent to England ; the direct profit
to the stockholders being the first thing con-
sidered, and the indirect profit to English com-
merce, the second. The idea of a colony as a
part of England beyond the ocean, whose inter-
ests were as well worth caring for as if it were
ringed within the four seas, was as much be-
yond the horizon in the days of James as in
those of George III.

The stories of these commercial colonies are
no part of our subject. The radical faults of the
system were : first, that they were administered
for England's benefit and not for their own ;
second, that most of the stock was held by per-
sons whose interest in the colony was limited to
the receipt of dividends ; third, that between
the companies' councils and the provincial As-
semblies the administration was divided and

From these and other causes, Virginia, after
a career of disasters checkered with gleams of
prosperity, had fallen into such a state of em-
broilment that the legal advisers of the crown
declared the charter a failure, and recommended
that the King should take the government into
his own hands. On the 24th of July, 1624, the
company's patent was formally revoked by a


judicial decision, and all the rights conveyed
by it reverted to the crown.

The next plan tried was that of a proprietary
government. An individual received a grant
of land with necessary legislative and execu-
tive powers, and he undertook to settle and ad-
minister a colony as his private estate, under
the sovereignty of the crown. His own for-
tune was dependent upon the prosperity of his
colony, which thus was an end in itself, and not
merely the means toward an end. One of the
earliest of the proprietaries, Sir George Calvert,
brought to his task patience, constancy, and a
clear practical view of the needs and risks of
colonisation in America ; and though his first
attempt was a failure, that failure showed him
how to lay the foundation of the first English
colony that was successful from the start.

Calvert was born in 1582, his father, Leonard
Calvert, being a Yorkshire gentleman of Flem-
ish descent, and his mother, Alicia Crossland ;
and it may be that to this tempering of Flem-
ish constanc}'- with Yorkshire shrewdness, the
family partly owed their success in life. After
receiving a liberal education at Oxford, he
travelled on the Continent, and on his return
married Alice Wynne, granddaughter of Sir
Thomas Wroth, Queen Elizabeth's commis-
sioner to Ireland — an ofiice which Calvert afc


terwards held — and cousin of Sir Robert
Wroth, the friend of Ben Jonson. Soon after
his return, Calvert was employed in public
service, where his abilities attracted the atten-
tion of Sir Robert Cecil, who rapidly advanced
his fortunes. In 1617 he was knighted, and
about a year afterwards appointed principal
Secretary of State to James I., who gave him a
large grant of land in Ireland.

He seems at an early date to have taken in-
terest in the plans for American colonisation,
for, besides being one of the councillors of the
New England Company, in 1609 he was a mem-
ber of the Virginia Company, and so continued
until the i-evocation of its charter, when he was
appointed one of the Provisional Council for
the government of that colony. It is not un-
likely that his knowledge of the defects in the
administration of Virginia, with the insight he
thus acquired into American affairs, disposed
him to make a venture at colonisation on a dif-
ferent plan.

In 1620 he bought from Sir William Vaughan,
who had a patent for part of Newfoundland,
his rights over the southeastern peninsula of
that island ; and the next year sent over a
body of colonists with a large sum of money, in
two ships, one of which, the Ark, afterwards
carried the first settlers to Maryland.


In his choice of a site he was probably influ-
enced by the stories of Captain Richard Whit-
bourne, who had often visited the country, and
whose "Relation of the New-found-land" Cal-
vert helped to circulate for the encouragement
of colonists. If he built his expectations on the
glowing accounts of Whitbourne, his disap-
pointment must have been sharp. Whitbourne
pictures the island as almost an earthly para-
dise : the land produced fruits in abundance
without the aid of man ; the waters swarmed
with fish ; the woods were vocal with song-birds,
"■fiUadies, nightingales, and such like, that sing
most pleasantly ; " even the beasts of prey were
milder-mannered and more benevolent in char-
acter that those of less gentle climes. As to
the cold of winter, it was a mere trifle; the
winters in England were often colder. The old
lures, gold mines and the northwest passage,
are again thrown out in a careless fashion ; and
he even holds out a prospect of mermaids,
though whether these were to be reckoned
among the commercial or picturesque attrac-
tions of the island is not precisely expressed.
The author writes with a bluff old-sailor-like
frankness befitting the hardy Devonshire skip-
per who had commanded his own ship in fight-
ing the Spanish Armada.

For some time nothing occurred to undeceive


Calvert ; the reports sent from liis colony were
encouraging, and he was liberal in his supplies
of mone}'. He applied for a patent, and in
December, 1622, all Newfoundland was granted
to him. Either this was more than he wanted,
or there was some mistake about the grant, for
in the following March a re-grant was issued,
conveying to him the southeastern peninsula
before mentioned, to which, in commemoration
of the spot to which a pious tradition assigned
the first preaching of Christianity in Britain,
he gave the name of Avalon.

The charter of Avalon differed but slightly
from that of ]\Iaryland, for which it evidently
served as a model. It sets out with a declara-
tion of the zeal of the grantee for the exten-
sion of the Christian religion, as well as the en-
largement of the King's dominions. This was
the usual phrase of charters, a religious being
put before a worldly motive, as the Cornish
miners, when they begin to bore, declare that
it is "for the grace of Gocl, and what they
there may find." The pioneer of the New
World held out as parallel advantages a route
for devotion to the Holy Sepulchre, and for
commerce to Cathay, no doubt enlarging chiefly
on the former motive to Isabela the Catholic,
and on the latter to Ferdinand the Prudent.

English goods might be exported to Avalon


duty-free, and goods arriving from Avalon at
English ports were free of duty for ten years.
Avalon, moreover, was to be held iti capita by
knight's service, probably the latest instance of
that tenure on record.

In the same year, 1623, the negotiations for
the Spanish marriage of Prince Charles were
broken off, and Calvert, who had strongly
favored that policy, found himself on the un-
popular side. Instead of veering, as did some
of his colleagues, with the changed policy of
the Duke of Buckingham and the court, he
took a step which barred the way to future po-
litical advancement, declaring that he had be-
come a convert to the faith of Rome, and at
the same time resigning his office of Secretary
of State.

James could not reasonably be offended witli
a declaration so obviously conscientious, and
he tried to induce Calvert to retain his office.
Failing in this, he kept him in his place in the
Privy Council, and raised him to the Irish peer-
age as Baron Baltimore, of Baltimore, in the
county of Longford.

On the death of James, in 1625, Lord Balti-
more retired from the Council, much against
the wishes of Charles, who even offered to dis-
pense with the oath of supremacy in his case.

In 1627 Baltimore visited his young col*


ony from necessity, it seems, rather than from
choice ; for we find him writing to Sir Thomas
Wentworth, just before he sailed : " I must
either go and settle it in better order, or else
give it over, and lose all the charges I have
been at hitherto, for other men to build their
fortunes upon. And I had rather be esteemed
a fool by some, for the hazard of one month's
journey, than to prove myself one certainly for
six years by-past, if the business be now lost
for the want of a little pains and care." It,
however, may well be that the weary statesman,
in broken health, looked to find in the New
World a peaceful haven from the storms that
were gathering in England.

In the following year he removed to Avalon
with his wife and family, except his eldest son
Cecilius, and about forty more, raising his lit-
tle colony to about a hundred souls. Here he
soon found that he had troubles before him
that he had not bargained for. In August, he
writes to the Duke of Buckingham, " I came to
build, and settle, and sow, and I am fallen to
fighting Frenchmen."

The facts of tlie affair, as he gives them in
letters to the King and Duke, were these : The
French Admiral De la Rade, with three ships
and about four hundred men, sailed into the
harbor within a league of Baltimore's house,


surprised the fishermen, and took two English
vessels that were loading there. Baltimore
sent out two ships of his own to attack them,
on which the French put to sea, and being the
swifter sailers, escaped, leaving behind their
prizes, plunder, and sixty-seven men on land
who were taken prisoners. A few days later
the Frenchman made a descent upon Concep-
tion Bay, and did more mischief ; whereupon
Baltimore again sent out his ships, which
missed the Admiral, but took six French ves-
sels in Trepasse Harbor, and these were sent
as prizes to England, Baltimore's ships acting
as convoy to the whole merchant fleet. In the
same letter he asks for two men-of-war to pro-
tect the colony ; and this request was further
urged by his son Leonard, who returned to
England. In December, the Sainte Claude, one
of the prizes, was lent to Baltimore for a year.

But the Proprietary had foes within his col-
ony, as well as foes without. A Puritan di-
vine, Stourton by name, went from Avalon to
England and reported to the mayor of Plym-
outh that Lord Baltimore had brought PojDish
priests into the colony who celebrated mass
every Sunday ; a piece of news which so horri-
fied the magistrates that they sent the informer
to tell his tale to the Privy Council, beyond
which we hear no more of it.


The colony's worst foe, however, was neither
the plundering Frenchman nor the delating
Puritan, but the inhospitable climate. The
reports which had been sent him had been, like
Whitbourne's yarns, too highly colored. Iso-
thermal lines were not known at that time, and
Baltimore could hardly have imagined that a
country might have the latitude of Poitou and
the climate of northern Norway. In a letter to
the King he admits that he has been deceived,
and, except as a fishing-station, his colony is a
failure. Land and sea are frozen hard from
mid-October to mid-May, in a cold so great as
hardly to be endured. Half his colonists have
been sick, besides himself, nine or ten dying,
and his house has been a hospital all the win-
ter. With all this his zeal for colonisation has
not abated, and he solicits of the King some
tract of land in Virginia. The King, in reply,
assures him of his friendly regard and sym-
pathy, but advises him to give up the idea of
founding a colony, and come back to England.

The rest of the story of Avalon may as well
be told here. Calvert's fortune was not only
seriously impaired, — he had spent over X 30,000,
an immense sum in those days, on his colony, —
but his health had been fatally undermined.
After his death, his son Cecilius sent out Cap-
tain Hill as governor, and the fishery seems to


liave been carried on with some success. In
November, 1637, Sir David Kirke, upon a rep-
resentation that Baltimore bad entirely aban-
doned his plantation, obtained a grant of the
whole island of Newfoundland. At a later
date the charge was brought that this grant
had been " surreptitiously " obtained ; and it
looks as if there had been some underhand
doings about it, as in the preceding May the
King had strictly charged the commissioners
for plantations, councillors, keepers of the seals,
and other officers of the crown, to allow no
patent, commission, or warrant to pass which
might in any way infringe Baltimore's rights
in Avalon and Maryland, and engaging his
royal word never to permit any quo warranto
or other proceedings for infringing or over-
throwing either of those patents.

Kirke, however, took possession, thinking
perhaps that the King was too much occupied
just then with Hampden, Prynne, and the
Court of High Commission to lieed what was
going on in that corner of the world. He
seems to have carried matters with a high
hand, as complaints were sent home, from time
to time, of his tyrannous and unlawful doings.
The evil which he did seems to have lived after
him, for in 1668 a writer, reporting the state of
the island, ascribes the depravity of the fisher-


men in great part to the fact that Sir David
Kirke had "introduced taverns and tippling-
houses to his own advantage, which debauched
the seamen."

In 1655, Kirke made over part of his interest
in the island to Jolm Chiypole, Cromveell's son-
in-law, and others ; and, in 1660, Lewis Kirke
tried to get his brother's grant confirmed.
Baltimore protested, and the matter was heard
before commissioners, who reported in Balti-
more's favor, upon which the King ordered
the Kirkes to surrender Avalon. The order
was disobeyed, nor was any compensation made
to Baltimore for the unlawful detention of his
property for so many years ; so upon David
Kirke's coming into England, Baltimore brought
suit against him, and obtained a judgment,
failing to satisfy which, Kirke was cast into
prison, where he died. The brothers, however,
still retained their grip of Avalon until 1663,

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Online LibraryWilliam Hand BrowneMaryland; the history of a palatinate → online text (page 1 of 17)