Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east. Maryland was the seventh state to ratify the United States Constitution, and has three occasionally used nicknames: the Old Line State, the Free State, and the Chesapeake Bay State.
Maryland is one of the smallest states in terms of area, as well as one of the most densely populated states of the United States. The state's largest city is Baltimore, and its capital is Annapolis. Although the state is officially claimed to be named after Queen Henrietta Maria, many historians believe Maryland was named after Mary, the mother of Jesus, by George Calvert, 1st Lord Baltimore prior to his death in 1632. The original intent may never be known. Maryland has the highest median household income, making it the wealthiest state in the nation.
In 1629, George Calvert, 1st Lord Baltimore in the Peerage of Ireland, fresh from his failure further north with Newfoundland's Province of Avalon colony, applied to Charles I for a royal charter for what was to become the Province of Maryland. Calvert's interest in creating a colony derived from his Catholicism and his desire for the creation of a haven in the New World for Catholics. He wanted a share of fortunes, such as those made by the sale of the commodity tobacco in Virginia, and hoped to recoup some of the financial losses he had sustained in his earlier colonial venture in Newfoundland.
George Calvert died in April 1632, but a charter for "Maryland Colony" (in Latin, Terra Maria) was granted to his son, Cæcilius Calvert, 2nd Lord Baltimore, on June 20, 1632. The new colony may have been named in honor of Henrietta Maria of France, wife of Charles I of England. The name recorded in the charter was phrased "Terra Mariae, anglice, Maryland". The English name was preferred over the Latin due in part to the undesired association of "Mariae" with the Spanish Jesuit Juan de Mariana of the Inquisition. The Calvert family, who founded Maryland partly as a refuge for English Catholics, sought enactment of the law to protect Catholic settlers and those of other religions that did not conform to the dominant Anglicanism of England and her colonies. This led to the Maryland Toleration Act in 1649. It was the first law ever to guarantee the right to worship regardless of denomination.
To try to gain settlers, Maryland used what is known as the headright system, which originated in Jamestown. Settlers were given 50 acres of land for each person they brought into the colony, whether as settler, indentured servant or slave.
On March 25, 1634, Lord Baltimore sent the first colonists into this area. Although most of the settlers were Protestants, Maryland soon became one of the few regions in the English Empire where Catholics held the highest positions of political authority. Maryland was also a key destination for transport of tens of thousands of English convicts to work as indentured servants.
The royal charter granted Maryland the land north of the entire length of the Potomac River up to the 40th parallel. A problem arose when Charles II granted a charter for Pennsylvania. The grant defined Pennsylvania's southern border as identical to Maryland's northern border, the 40th parallel. But the terms of the grant clearly indicate that Charles II and William Penn assumed the 40th parallel would pass close to New Castle, Delaware when it falls north of Philadelphia, the site of which Penn had already selected for his colony's capital city. Negotiations ensued after the problem was discovered in 1681.
A compromise proposed by Charles II in 1682, which might have resolved the issue, was undermined by Penn's receiving the additional grant of what is now Delaware — which previously had been part of Maryland. The dispute remained unresolved for nearly a century, carried on by the descendants of William Penn and Lord Baltimore—the Calvert family, which controlled Maryland, and the Penn family, which controlled Pennsylvania.
The conflict led to the Cresap's War (also known as the Conojocular War), a border conflict between Pennsylvania and Maryland, fought in the 1730s. Hostilities erupted in 1730 with a series of violent incidents prompted by disputes over property rights and law enforcement, and escalated through the first half of the decade, culminating in the deployment of military forces by Maryland in 1736 and by Pennsylvania in 1737. The armed phase of the conflict ended in May 1738 with the intervention of King George II, who compelled the negotiation of a cease-fire. A provisional agreement had been established in 1732.
Negotiations continued until a final agreement was signed in 1760. The agreement defined Maryland's border with what is now Delaware as well as Pennsylvania. The border between Maryland and Pennsylvania was defined as the line of latitude south of the southernmost house of Philadelphia, a line now known as the Mason-Dixon Line. Maryland's border with Delaware was based on a Transpeninsular Line and the Twelve-Mile Circle around New Castle.
During the persecution of Catholics in the Puritan revolt, Protestants burned down all of the original Catholic churches of southern Maryland. The Puritan revolt lasted until 1658, when the Calvert family regained control of the colony and re-enacted the Toleration Act. However, after England's "Glorious Revolution" of 1688, when William of Orange came to the throne and established the Protestant faith in England, Maryland outlawed Catholicism. This lasted until after the American Revolutionary War. Wealthy Catholic planters built chapels on their land to practice their religion in relative secrecy.
St. Mary's City was the first (besides St. Clement's Island, where the first colonists of Maryland landed) and largest site of the original Maryland colony, and was the seat of the colonial government until 1695, when the capitol was moved to Annapolis. St Mary's is now a state-owned archaeological site and museum adjacent to St. Mary's College of Maryland.
Most of the English colonists arrived in Maryland as indentured servants, and had to serve a several years' term as laborers to pay for their passage. In the early years, the line between indentured servants and African slaves or laborers was fluid, and white and black laborers commonly lived and worked together, and formed unions. Mixed-race children born to white mothers were considered free by the principle of partus sequitur ventrem, by which children took the social status of their mothers, a principle of slave law that was adopted throughout the colonies, following Virginia in 1662. During the colonial era, families of free people of color were formed most often by unions of white women and African men.
Many of the free black families migrated to Delaware, where land was cheaper. As the flow of indentured laborers to the colony decreased with improving economic conditions in England, planters in Maryland imported thousands more slaves and racial caste lines hardened. The economy's growth and prosperity was based on slave labor, devoted first to the production of tobacco as the commodity crop.
Maryland was one of the thirteen colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution. On February 2, 1781, Maryland became the 13th state to approve the ratification of the Articles of Confederation which brought into being the United States as a united, sovereign and national state. It also became the seventh state admitted to the U.S. after ratifying the new Constitution. In December 1790, Maryland donated land selected by President George Washington to the federal government for the creation of the new national capital of Washington, D.C. The land was provided from Montgomery and Prince George's counties, as well as from Fairfax County and Alexandria in Virginia; however, the land donated by Virginia was later returned to that state by the District of Columbia retrocession.
During the War of 1812, the British military attempted to capture the port of Baltimore, which was protected by Fort McHenry. It was during this bombardment that the Star Spangled Banner was written by Francis Scott Key.
The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) was the first chartered railroad in the United States, and it opened its first section of track for regular operation in 1830, between Baltimore and Ellicott City. In 1852 it became the first rail line to reach the Ohio River from the eastern seaboard. Baltimore's seaport and good railroad connections fostered substantial growth during the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century. Many manufacturing businesses were established in Baltimore and the surrounding area after the Civil War.
Influenced by a changing economy, revolutionary ideals, and preaching by Methodist and Quaker ministers, numerous planters in Maryland freed their slaves in the twenty years after the Revolutionary War. This was a pattern across the Upper South, in which the free black population increased markedly from less than 1% before the war to 14% by 1810.
By 1860 Maryland's free black population comprised 49% of the total of African Americans in the state. This contributed to the state's remaining loyal to the Union during the Civil War. In addition, Governor Thomas Holliday Hicks temporarily suspended the state legislature, and President Abraham Lincoln had a number of its pro-slavery politicians, called "fire eaters," arrested prior to its reconvening. Lincoln ordered U.S. troops to place artillery on Federal Hill to threaten the city of Baltimore, and helped ensure the election of a new pro-union governor and legislature. Lincoln ordered certain pro-South members of the state legislature and other prominent men jailed at Fort McHenry, including the Mayor of Baltimore, George William Brown. The grandson of Francis Scott Key was included in those jailed. Historians continue to debate the constitutionality of these actions taken during the crisis of wartime. The Thomas Viaduct, which crosses the Patapsco River on the B&O Railroad, was considered so strategically important that Union troops were assigned to guard it throughout the entirety of the war.
In April 1861, Federal regular military units and state militia regiments arrived in Baltimore at the President Street Station of the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad, located east of the "Basin" (Inner Harbor). The troops, headed for Washington, D.C., marched through Baltimore towards the B&O Camden Station to continue their journey, and along the way they were attacked by an unruly mob. The incident, later known as the Baltimore riot of 1861, was the first bloodshed in the Civil War. Four soldiers and twelve civilians were killed in the riot.
Lincoln promised to avoid having more Northern defenders march through Baltimore while getting to areas to protect the acutely endangered Federal Capital. This forced the majority of forces traveling to reinforce the National Capital to take a slow route by boat which Massachusetts militia Gen. Benjamin F. Butler (1818–1893) did several days later after hearing of the bloody reception in Baltimore by commandeering the P. W. & B. Railroad ferryboat "Harriet Lane" at the Susquehanna River crossing between Perryville in Cecil County to Havre de Grace in Harford County. Avoiding the riotous city, he steamed down the Chesapeake Bay to anchor at night off the Naval Academy at Severn Point in Annapolis and landing his troops of Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island militia over the protests of Governor Thomas Holliday Hicks (1798–1865) after pulling the old Navy training ship frigate USS Constitution ("Old Ironsides") further off the shore so that southern sympathizers couldn't attack it. Then recruiting some railroad workers and boilermakers among his soldiers, they rescued a small yard locomotive in the trainyards and pushed up the Annapolis Line of the B&O Railroad to Relay Junction near Ellicott City, where it joined the Main Line going west to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia or south to Washington. The Northern regiments shortly arrived in the station by the U.S. Capitol and camped that evening in the Rotunda under the still un-completed dome under construction tending to their wounded. An additional unit was sent up Pennsylvania Avenue to reinforce the White House where the President awaited with joy and relief.
The largest and most significant battle fought in the state was the Battle of Antietam, fought on September 17, 1862, near Sharpsburg. Although a tactical draw, the Battle of Antietam was considered a strategic Union victory and a turning point of the war.
Because Maryland remained in the Union, it was exempted from the abolition provisions of the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863, which applied only to states in rebellion. In 1864 the state held a constitutional convention that culminated in the passage of a new state constitution. Article 24 of that document abolished slavery. In 1867, following passage of constitutional amendments that granted voting rights to freedmen, the state extended suffrage to non-white males.
After the war
The Democratic Party rapidly regained power in the state and replaced Republicans who had ruled during the war. Support for the Constitution of 1864 ended, and Democrats replaced it with the Maryland Constitution of 1867.
As the industrial revolution swept across the northeast and midwestern United States, Baltimore continued to expand and prosper. Baltimore businessmen, including Johns Hopkins, Enoch Pratt, George Peabody, and Henry Walters founded notable educational, health care, and cultural institutions in the city, which bear their names, including a university, library, music school and art museum.
Cumberland was Maryland's second largest city in the 19th century, with ample nearby supplies of coal, iron ore and timber. These resources, along with railroads, the National Road and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, fostered its growth. The city was a major manufacturing center, with industries in glass, breweries, fabrics and tinplate.
The Progressive Era of the late 19th and early 20th centuries brought reforms in the political arena and in working conditions for Maryland's labor force. In a series of laws passed between 1892 and 1908, reformers worked for standard state-issued ballots (rather than those distributed and pre-marked by the parties); obtained closed voting booths to prevent party workers from "assisting" voters; initiated primary elections to keep party bosses from selecting candidates; and had candidates listed without party symbols, which discouraged the illiterate from participating.
In 1902, the state regulated conditions in mines; outlawed child laborers under the age of 12; mandated compulsory school attendance; and enacted the nation's first workers' compensation law. The workers' compensation law was overturned in the courts, but was redrafted and finally enacted in 1910.
The Great Baltimore Fire of February 8, 1904 was a momentous event for Maryland's largest city and the state as a whole. More than 1,231 firefighters, some coming from cities as far away as New York, worked to bring the blaze under control. The fire burned over 30 hours, destroying 1,526 buildings and spanning 70 city blocks.
The nation's entry into World War I in 1917 brought changes to Maryland. New military bases, such as Camp Meade (now Fort Meade) and the Aberdeen Proving Ground were established in 1917, and the Edgewood Arsenal was founded the following year. Other existing facilities, including Fort McHenry, were greatly expanded.
Maryland's urban and rural communities had different experiences during the Great Depression. In 1932 the "Bonus Army" marched through the state on its way to Washington, D.C. In addition to the nationwide New Deal reforms of President Franklin Roosevelt, which put men to work building roads and park facilities, Maryland also took steps to weather the hard times. For instance, in 1937 the state instituted its first ever income tax to generate revenue for schools and welfare.
Following World War II, Maryland experienced growth in the suburbs, particularly in the region surrounding Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Agricultural tracts gave way to residential communities such as Columbia and Montgomery Village. Concurrently the Interstate Highway System was built throughout the state, most notably I-95 and the Capital Beltway, permanently altering the landscape and travel patterns. In 1952, the eastern and western halves of Maryland were linked for the first time by the long Chesapeake Bay Bridge, which replaced a nearby ferry service. This bridge (and its later, parallel span) increased tourist traffic to Ocean City, which experienced a building boom. Soon after, the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel allowed long-distance interstate motorists to bypass downtown Baltimore, while the earlier Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge allowed them to bypass Washington, D.C.
In a pattern similar to that of other U.S. cities, heavy manufacturing declined in Baltimore after the war. Large-scale, mechanized poultry farms became prevalent on the lower Eastern Shore, along with irrigated vegetable farming. In Southern Maryland tobacco farming had nearly vanished by the century's end, due to suburban housing development and a state tobacco incentive buy-out program. Industrial, railroad, and coal mining jobs in the four westernmost counties declined.
Baltimore initiated urban renewal projects beginning in the 1960s with Charles Center and the Baltimore World Trade Center. In 1980, the opening of Harborplace and the Baltimore Aquarium made the city a significant tourist destination. The popular Camden Yards baseball stadium opened in 1992 in the downtown area.
At the end of the century, Maryland joined with neighboring states to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay. The bay's aquatic life and seafood industry have been threatened by suburban and waterfront residential development, as well as by fertilizer and livestock waste entering the bay in stormwater runoff, especially from the upper Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania.
Note: Maryland was one of the 13 original States. It helped form the District of Columbia in 1791; its boundaries have been substantially unchanged since then, although the Maryland-West Virginia boundary was in dispute as late as 1910. Census coverage has included the entire State from 1790 on. The 1790 population includes the present area of the District of Columbia, separated from Maryland in 1791. The 1840 results for Montgomery County are from a re-enumeration of the population as of 1840, conducted in 1841.. Parts of Prince George's and Montgomery Counties were taken to form the District of Columbia in 1791.
Births, Marriages, and Deaths
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