Southern Colonies > Province of Maryland

Province of Maryland

Background

In the years immediately preceding the Declaration of Independence Maryland pursued much the same course as did other leading colonies in the struggle—a vessel with tea on board was even burned to the water’s edge—and yet when it came to the decisive act of declaring independence there was hesitation. As the contest against the proprietor had been nearly won, the majority of the best citizens desired the continuance of the old government and it was not until the Maryland delegates in the Continental Congress were found almost alone in holding back that their instructions not to vote for independence were rescinded.

In 1774 the Stamp Act, and the act levying a duty on tea, met with resolute and active opposition from the Marylanders, who, assembled in convention, abolished the Proprietary government, and substituted therefor a Committee of Public Safety. In 1776 a convention of the people adopted a bill of rights, and a constitution; in the following year, the first elected Legislature was convened at Annapolis, and in March, Thomas Johnson took office as the first republican governor. During the Revolution the Marylanders bore a highly distinguished part, participating in nearly every battle of the war.

During the campaign of 1812, Maryland suffered severely from the naval operations of the British; Havre de Grace, Fredericktown, and other places being plundered and burned. The militia of the State as vainly opposed the march of the English army to Washington in 1814. In the same year occurred the battles of Bladensburg and North Point; in the former of which the enemy was successful, while in the latter the British General Ross was killed, and the Americans gained a slight advantage. An attack (Sept. 14-16) on Baltimore by the enemy's fleet was successfully repelled.

Thirteen Colonies

Sources

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)

1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 17