Maryland History - the history of Maryland
   
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Vacation 2 USA   >   Maryland   >   History
Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   Maryland History

   
 

Maryland History


Before the arrival of Europeans, the area that is today Maryland was inhabited by various Native American peoples. When Europeans arrived in the early 17th century, these included the Accohannock and Powhatan on Maryland's Western shore, and Nanticoke on the eastern shore. However, the Native American peoples were relatively quickly pushed out of the state, with the last tribe, the Shawnee, leaving in the 1740s.

The first European explorers to reach Maryland where various expeditions under English, French and Spanish flags in the 16th century, however no permanent settlements were established until the following century.

In 1632, George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore (whose coat of arms appears on the Maryland flag) applied to King Charles I of England for a royal charter to establish a new province. George Calvert died before the charter could be granted, and the charter was instead granted to his son, Cecil Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore later that same year. The first settlers, led by Cecil Calvert's younger brother, Leonard, departed from England in 1633, and landed on March 25th 1634 (a date that is still commemorated in the state each year as "Maryland Day").

The new colony of Maryland was named after Henrietta Maria, the Queen consort of Charles I. The goal of the colony was to establish a safe haven for English Catholics (the Calverts themselves were Catholic), as well as to turn a profit. As a result, Maryland soon became one of only a handful of predominately Catholic regions in the English colonies in America. This was not without controversy: there were serious anti-Catholic revolts, which resulted in the temporary overthrow of the Calvert family in 1644 to 1646, and 1650 to 1658.

One interesting aspect of early Maryland history, is that the royal charter was based on an incorrect map that would have put Pennsylvania's major city of Philadelphia within Maryland. In 1750, the Penn family (who controlled Pennsylvania) and the Calvert family, agreed to engage two surveyors, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon to survey a new boundary between the two colonies, which was named the Mason-Dixon line. Seventy years later, this line would become very important as a result of the Missouri Compromise of 1820: the expansion of slavery in the United States was only permitted South of this line.

During the American Revolution (1775 to 1783), Maryland, like many other colonies, was at first reluctant to split from Britain. Although no major battles took place within Maryland, the state did contribute important troops to the Continental Army, and it is probably from this contribution that the state gets the nickname "Old Line State". Additionally, the Continental Congress met for a few months in Baltimore in 1776 to 1777, and Annapolis also served as the US capital for just over seven months in 1783 to 1784.

Following the American Revolution the establishment of new permanent national capital was one of the first issues for the new government to address. A number of candidate cities were considered including Annapolis, but eventually it was decided to build a new capital (Washington D.C.). Maryland ceded approximately 61 square miles and Virginia approximately 39 square miles, to the federal government for this purpose (although Virginia's contribution was returned in 1846).

During the War of 1812, Maryland was the scene of two important battles. In 1814, the British defeated the Americans at the Battle of Bladensburg, and as result were able to capture Washington D.C. and burn many of the public buildings. The British navy also bombarded Fort McHenry (which defended Baltimore for 25 hours, but were unable to force its surrender: events there inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner" which was later to become the United States' national anthem.

During the American Civil War (1861 to 1865), Maryland found itself in a difficult position as both a slave state and one of the border states that straddled both North and South. There was considerable popular support for the Confederate cause, but Maryland did not secede from the Union thanks to swift and firm action by Abraham Lincolm, and the eventual support of Governor Thomas H. Hicks (who had initially favored neutrality and preventing Union troops from crossing the state). Maryland would eventually provide about 25,000 troops for the Confederacy (mostly serving in the Army of North Virginia), and about 60,000 men for the Union (mostly serving garrison duty within the state).

Maryland was crossed by troops of both sides during the Civil War. The most important battle occurring in the state being the Battle of Antienam, which was fought on September 17th 1862 near Sharpsburg. The battle, fought between about 87,000 men on the Union side and 40,000 on the Confederate side, although tactically a draw, effectively ended Robert E. Lee's invasion of the North.

One of the most noteable events of the 20th century that took place in Maryland, was the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904. The fire burned for over 30 hours on February 7th and February 8th, and destroyed more than 1,526 buildings across 70 city blocks. As a result of the fire, more than 35,000 people were left unemployed.

Like many former slave states, Maryland struggled with civil rights issues for long after the Civil War. For example, in the early 20th century there was several legislative attempts to disenfranchise African-Americans using property qualifications. On a brighter note, the 1935 case of Murray v. Pearson et al resulted in the integration of the University of Maryland Law School. This was the first time that any court had overturned the 1896 Supreme Court decision (Plessy v. Ferguson) approving racial segregation according to the "separate but equal" doctrine (although this particular new ruling had no authority outside Maryland).


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Your Maryland: Little-Known Histories from the Shores of the Chesapeake to the Foothills of the Allegheny Mountains

By Ric Cottom

Johns Hopkins University Press
Paperback (256 pages)

Your Maryland: Little-Known Histories from the Shores of the Chesapeake to the Foothills of the Allegheny Mountains
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"Good evening, I’m Ric Cottom. Welcome to Your Maryland." Since 2002, when he first delivered his now-classic radio segment on Maryland history, Ric Cottom has narrated hundreds of little-known human interest stories. Collected here are 72 of his favorite on-air pieces, enhanced with beautiful papercut illustrations by Baltimore artist Annie Howe. From accused witches and the murderous career of gunsmith John Dandy through tales of Johnny U and the greatest game ever played, Your Maryland covers nearly four centuries of the Free State’s heroes and scoundrels.

Entertaining listeners of all ages while sparking their interest in the past, Cottom’s beloved Your Maryland is a unique blend of carefully researched regional history and narrative nonfiction. He deftly emphasizes the human dimension of Maryland’s colorful past: its athletes (two- and four-legged), beautiful spies, brilliant writers, misunderstood pirates, and ghosts. All of that color, suspense, and humor―as well as the author’s unusual talent for discovering interesting historical facts and personages―is part of your Maryland.

Maryland, A Middle Temperament: 1634-1980 (Maryland Paperback Bookshelf)

By Robert J. Brugger

Brand: Johns Hopkins University Press
Paperback (864 pages)

Maryland, A Middle Temperament: 1634-1980 (Maryland Paperback Bookshelf)
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Selected by Choice Magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title

Maryland: A Middle Temperament explores the ironies, contradictions, and compromises that give "America's oldest border state" its special character. Extensively illustrated and accompanied by bibliography, maps, charts, and tables, Robert Brugger's vivid account of the state's political, economic, social, and cultural heritage―from the outfitting of Cecil Calvert's expedition to the opening of Baltimore's Harborplace―is rich in the issues and personalities that make up Maryland's story and explain its "middle temperament."

Maryland: A History

By Suzanne Ellery Chapelle, Jean H. Baker, Edward C. Papenfuse & Gregory A. Stiverson

Johns Hopkins University Press
Released: 2018-09-16
Paperback (384 pages)

Maryland: A History
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In 1634, two ships carrying a small group of settlers sailed into the Chesapeake Bay looking for a suitable place to dwell in the new colony of Maryland. The landscape confronting the pioneers bore no resemblance to their native country. They found no houses, no stores or markets, churches, schools, or courts, only the challenge of providing food and shelter. As the population increased, colonists in search of greater opportunity moved on, slowly spreading and expanding the settlement across what is now the great state of Maryland.

In Maryland, historians recount the stories of struggle and success of these early Marylanders and those who followed to reveal how people built modern Maryland. Originally published in 1986, this new edition has been thoroughly revised and updated. Spanning the years from the 1600s to the beginning of Governor Larry Hogan’s term of office in January 2015, the book more fully fleshes out Native American, African American, and immigrant history. It also includes completely new content on politics, arts and culture, business and industry, education, the natural environment, and the role of women as well as notable leaders in all these fields.

Maryland is heavily illustrated, with nearly two hundred photographs and illustrations (more than half of them in full color), as well as related maps, charts, and graphs, many of which are new to this book. An extensive index and a comprehensive Further Reading section provide extremely useful tools for readers looking to engage more deeply with Maryland history. Touching on major figures from George Calvert to Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman to William Donald Schaefer, this book takes readers on an unforgettable journey through the history of the Free State. It should be in every library and classroom in Maryland.

History of Maryland (Classic Reprint)

By Leonard Magruder Passano

Forgotten Books
Paperback (250 pages)

History of Maryland (Classic Reprint)
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Maritime Maryland: A History

By William S. Dudley

Brand: Johns Hopkins University Press
Hardcover (328 pages)

Maritime Maryland: A History
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Winner, John Lyman Award, North American Society for Oceanic History

Winner, Heritage Book Award, Maryland Historic Trust

First Place, Professional Scholarly Books, 25th Annual New York Book Show

Harvested for food, harnessed for power, and home to more than 3,600 species of plants, fish, and animals, the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries have long been essential to the sustainability and survival of the region’s populations. Historian William S. Dudley explores that history in an engaging and comprehensive account of Maryland’s storied maritime heritage.

Dudley paints a vivid picture of Maryland’s maritime past in its broadest scope, exploring the complex and nuanced interactions of humans, land, and water through descriptions of shipbuilding, steam technology, agricultural pollution, commercial and passenger transportation, naval campaigns, watermen, crabbing, and oystering. He also discusses the evolution of recreational boating―yachting, cruising, and racing―and the role of underwater archaeology in uncovering the bay's shipwrecks. These interactions become chapters in the larger story of Maryland’s waterways, a story that Dudley tells through insightful prose and stunning illustrations.

This rich history of Maryland's waterways reveals how human enterprise has affected―and been affected by―the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

Maryland Wine:: A Full-Bodied History (American Palate)

By Regina Mc Carthy

The History Press
Released: 2012-03-18
Paperback (160 pages)

Maryland Wine:: A Full-Bodied History (American Palate)
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The roots of Maryland winemaking are surprisingly deep. The state's first known vines were planted in 1648, and a later Marylander, John Adlum, established his place as the father of American viticulture. In the twentieth century, post-Prohibition pioneers like Philip Wagner and Ham Mowbray nurtured a new crop of daring and innovative winemakers who have made the state an up-and-coming wine region. Author Regina Mc Carthy travels through the red tobacco barns of southern Maryland and the breezy vineyards of the Eastern Shore all the way to the Piedmont Plateau and the cool mountain cellars of the west in search of the state's finest wines and their stories. Join Mc Carthy as she traces over 350 years of the remarkable and robust history of Maryland wines.

Every-Name Index for the Two Volumes of History of Frederick County, Maryland, by T.J.C. Williams and Folger McKinsey

By Patricia A. Fogle

Clearfield
Paperback (228 pages)

Every-Name Index for the Two Volumes of History of Frederick County, Maryland, by T.J.C. Williams and Folger McKinsey
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This collection of original documents chronicles two critical years of the Revolutionary War along the western frontier of the United States. The central figure in the book is Col. Daniel Brodhead, the commandant at Fort Pitt. Most of the action described in the correspondence and other documents unfolds in the frontier communities of Fort Pitt, Fort Vincennes, Detroit, Wheeling, and other places in western Pennsylvania, southwestern Virginia, and Kentucky. Genealogists will find numerous references to the thousands of settlers who flocked into the region at this time, despite the threat of Indian reprisal.

Maryland's Eastern Shore: A Journey in Time and Place

By John R. Wennersten

Brand: Tidewater Pub
Hardcover (310 pages)

Maryland s Eastern Shore: A Journey in Time and Place
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"A hundred years ain't such a very long time on the Eastern Shore," local farmers and watermen used to say, and that is a telling refrain. Past and present mix easily on the Shore, and, in this respect, as well as in certain local customs and habits of language, the region is very much still an old-fashioned English society. Until fairly recently, the peninsula was one of the most geographically isolated regions on the Atlantic coast. In this isolated society, the most important factors have been agriculture, seafaring, and race--a blend of soil, sea, and soul. In his attempt to convey the special character of the region--before accelerating change affects its transformation--John Wennersten has used these themes as a framework for an absorbing narrative. His insights into how these elements affected the development of the area and its current character take the story of the Eastern Shore beyond mere facts and into the realm of socio-cultural history. This is a fascinating overview of an unusual--and perhaps vanishing--lifestyle.

Maryland: A Bicentennial History

By Carl Bode

W. W. Norton & Company
Paperback (240 pages)

Maryland: A Bicentennial History
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Southern History & Genealogy - 1713 books on 18 DVDs - Ancestry Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky,Louisiana, Maryland, Oklahoma, Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia,

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