History. - Maryland was settled in 1634 by a party of colonists sent out from England by Cecilius Calvert, Lord Baltimore, under the leadership of Leonard Calvert. The first settlement was at St. Mary's on the St. Mary's River. Lord Baltimore had received the grant of land from King Charles I of England, who also granted many unusual liberties. Among these was freedom from taxation, the only tax required being two Indian arrows yearly and a fifth of all gold and silver that might be found." One of the most striking of features of the Maryland colony was that of religious freedom. This was granted by Lord Baltimore, who was a Catholic, but who wanted all men to live in peace and worship God in their own way, and was also confirmed by the colonists in the "Toleration Act" of 1649. One of the earliest accounts of the province was written by George Alsop, in which was contained the curious map which you see here. Shortly after 1675 grants of land were made to William Penn, which included some that had already been given to Lord Baltimore. This led to boundary disputes, which lasted for almost one hundred years, when finally settled by a compromise. Two noted English astronomers, Mason and Dixon, were then sent for, and spent four years (1763-1768) in running and marking the boundary line with which their names will always be associated. They did not quite finish the work, being stopped by the Indians, who became suspicious at their looking so often at the stars through their "big guns" or telescopes. The Mason and Dixon line became famous during the Civil War as the dividing line between the North and the South.
Maryland took but little part in the French and Indian War. Washington and Braddock fitted out their expedition against Fort Duquesne (Pittsburg) at Frederick. The original barracks which they used are still in existence. Maryland's share in the Revolutionary War was an honorable one, although not especially conspicuous. The most famous incident was the burning of the Peggy Stewart, a vessel which came to Annapolis with a cargo of tea, at a time when the colonists were angry over unjust taxes, the Stamp Act, etc. The people refused to allow the tea to be landed, and finally in open bay forced the owner of the vessel to apply a torch to it. The Peggy Stewart burned to the water's edge, and ever since Marylanders have celebrated October 19 as Peggy Stewart's Day. In the battle of Long Island, August 27, 1776, the Maryland troops covered the retreat of General Washington's army, and a monument to their valor stands in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, New York. This monument is inscribed:
IN HONOR OF
MARYLAND'S FOUR HUNDRED,
WHO ON THIS BATTLEFIELD,
AUG. 27, 1776,
SAVED THE AMERICAN ARMY.
After the Revolution, Maryland was the last of the thirteen states to come into the Union; but it was the first to demand the giving of the public lands which belonged to the states to the national government, which made it possible to form the great states between the Alleghenies and the Mississippi River. During the War of 1812 several Maryland towns were pillaged by the British; but Baltimore was saved from the fate of Washington by the repulse of the enemy at North Point and Fort McHenry. Battle Monument in Baltimore was erected to the memory of the men who fell in defense of the city. During the attack on Fort McHenry, while he was a prisoner on board a British vessel in the harbor where he could see the whole affair, Francis Scott Key, a prominent Maryland lawyer, wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner." Maryland was not very much of a battleground during the Civil War, only three battles of any consequence being fought on Maryland soil. These were the battles of South Mountain and Sharpsburg or Antietam in 1862, and the Monocacy in 1864. Maryland soldiers distinguished themselves in the armies on both sides of the contest. Maryland took an active part during the Spanish War. It furnished 3110 soldiers and sailors. The Maryland Naval Militia, numbering about 450 officers and men, played the most conspicuous part. The men served on various vessels, the largest number being on the Dixie, whose cruise extended from June 13 to September 30, 1898, during which time the ship many times engaged the enemy and made some captures. Maryland also takes pride in the brilliant Spanish War career of one of its foremost citizens. Admiral Schley, whose victory at Santiago was the crowning event of the war.
SOURCE: pages 6-10 New York, Macmillan; London, Macmillan, Twitchell, M. W., 1906