Maryland by A.V.

The colony of Maryland owed its existence to George Calvert, first lord Baltimore who requested a charter from Charles (the first) of England in 1632. A respective man of high position Calvert had changed to Roman Catholics and wanted among other things to establish a safe place for the other Roman Catholics. Early he had tried without luck to found a colony at Avalan, Newfoundland.

George Calvert died in 1632 before the charter was finished. The king made the grant to Calvert’s oldest son Cecil the second lord Baltimore. The charter gave Calvert (the second) all the land that lay between the Potomac and the fortieth parallel. The charter also gave him powers and rights which no other man had been granted.

Almost two-hundred colonists sailed from England in the “Ark” and the “Dove” in November, 1633, with the colony’s first governor, Leonard Calvert, brother of the proprietor. They reached Maryland four months later, landing at St. Clement Island on March 25, 1634.

The colony was started under favorable conditions. For more than sixty years it centered around St. Marys City, an Indian Village originally named Yaocomico, got renamed St. Marys.

Lord Baltimore, a Roman Catholic, wanted religious freedom for the colony. In 1649 the colonies were given freedom of worship for all Christians.

From 1692-1715 Maryland was a crown colony. At first the colony had a variety of agriculture, but by the end of the 17th century tobacco was the staple crop.

On July 3, 1776, the state withdrew its loyalty to the king. Four months later it was the first of the former colonies to adopt a state constitution. Marylanders were active in both Continental Congresses. In 1788 Maryland became the seven state to ratify the U.S. constitution.