Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States
MARYLAND, a state of the American Union. The patent for its territory was first applied for by Sir George Calvert, "baron of Baltimore," and after his death was made out to his son and heir, Cecil, June 20, 1632. Calvert at first intended that it should be called "Crescentia"; but the patent gave it the name of "Terra Mariae, Anglice Maryland," by which latter name it has since been known. The name was given in honor of Henrietta Maria, Charles I.'s queen. The proprietorship remained in the Calvert family until its extinction, with the exception of the period 1691-1715, when the crown made Maryland a royal colony because of the asserted disloyalty of the proprietor. In 1771 the last Calvert died, leaving the province to his illegitimate son, Henry Hartford; but the revolution which immediately followed put an end to his proprietorship.
—BOUNDARIES. The charter gave the colony as a northern boundary the 40th parallel of north latitude; as an eastern boundary Delaware bay and the ocean; as a southern boundary a due east line from Watkin's point to the ocean; and as a western boundary the "Pattowmack" river to its "first fountain," and thence due north by a true meridian. The grant, therefore, evidently embraced the whole of the modern state of Delaware, and a wide strip of southern Pennsylvania, including the city of Philadelphia. Penn claimed the parallel of 39° as "the beginning of the parallel of 40°," which was to be his southern boundary; and disputed Baltimore's claim to Delaware, since the Maryland patent was for "uncultivated lands," and Delaware was already settled by the Swedes. Penn's influence with Charles II. obtained a verdict in his favor from the board of trade in 1685, but the Baltimore family did not finally submit until 1766. In that year the two proprietors sent Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, two English surveyors, who marked off "Mason and Dixon's line," as decided by the board of trade, placing at the end of each mile a stone with the letter P and the Penn arms on the north side, and the letter M and the Baltimore arms on the south side. (See
—CONSTITUTIONS. The colony was established as a refuge for Roman Catholics, but absolute toleration was given from the first settlement to the religious beliefs of all settlers. From 1691 until the revolution the Protestants were strong enough to disfranchise the Roman Catholics. The charter was also careful to secure the organization of a popular assembly, which shared the government of the colony. The first constitution was framed by a convention at Annapolis, Aug. 14-Nov. 11, 1776, and was not submitted to popular vote. The right of suffrage was given to freemen over twenty-one, having a freehold of fifty acres, of £30 in property. The legislature was to be composed of a senate and a house of delegates. (See
—The second constitution was framed by a convention at Annapolis, Nov. 4, 1850-May 13, 1851, and ratified by popular vote June 4, 1851. Its principal changes were as follows: the governor was to hold office for four years, senators for four years, and delegates for two years; a new apportionment of delegates was made; and the legislature was to create corporations by general laws, never to grant state and to corporations, and never to abolish slavery.
—The third constitution was framed by a convention at Annapolis, April 27-Sept. 16, 1864, and was ratified, Oct. 12-13, 1864, by the following close vote; in favor, home vote 27,541, soldiers' vote 2,633; against, home vote 29,536, soldiers' vote 263; majority in favor, 375. It declared the paramount allegiance of the citizen to be due to the government and constitution of the United States; abolished slavery, forbade compensation to owners by the legislature; made a new apportionment of delegates according to population, disfranchised all persons who had borne arms against the United States or had even "expressed a desire for the triumph of enemies over the arms of the United States"; and applied the disfranchisement clause to the vote on the new constitution itself.
—The fourth constitution was framed by a convention at Annapolis, May 8 - Aug. 17, and ratified by popular vote, Sept. 18, 1867. It omitted the disfranchisement clauses, and instead of the "paramount allegiance" clause used the "supreme law" clause of the federal constitution. (Art. VI., ¶ 2.)
—GOVERNORS. Thomas Johnson, 1777-9; Thomas Sim Lee, 1779-82; Wm. Paca, 1782-5; Wm. Smallwood, 1785-8; John Eager Howard, 1788-91, George Plater, 1791-2; Thomas Sim Lee, 1792-4; John H. Stone, 1794-7; John Henry, 1797-8, Benj. Ogle, 1798-1801; John Francis Mercer, 1801-3; Robert Bowie, 1803-6; Robert Wright, 1806-9; Edward Lloyd, 1809-11; Robert Bowie, 1811-12; Levin Winder, 1812-15; Charles Ridgely, 1815-18; Charles Goldsborough, 1818-19; Samuel Sprigg, 1819-22; Samuel Stevens, Jr. 1822-5; Joseph Kent, 1825-8; Daniel Martin, 1828-9; Thomas King Carroll, 1829-30; Daniel Martin, 1830-31; George Howard, 1831-2, Jas. Thomas, 1832-5; Thomas W. Veazey, 1835-8; Wm Grayson, 1838-41; Francis Thomas, 1841-4; Thos. G. Pratt, 1844-7; Philip Francis Thomas, 1847-50; Enoch L. Lowe, 1850-54; Thos, Watkins Ligon, 1854-7; Thos, Holladay Hicks, 1857-61; Augustus W. Bradford, 1861-5. Thos. Swann, 1865-7, Oden Bowie, 1867-71; Wm. Pinkney Whyte, 1871-5; John Lee Carroll, 1875-9; Wm. T. Hamilton, 1879-83.
—POLITICAL HISTORY. From the first organization of political parties in the United States, Maryland was a very reliably federalist state. In this she seems to have been influenced, at least in part, by the general feeling of opposition to the politics of her neighboring state of Virginia, which was the rule until 1860, and which, indeed, seems to have been inherited from colonial times. The federalist control of the state lasted until 1802, but sometimes by a precarious tenure. In 1797 the legislature was so evenly divided that, while the democrats elected the governor, the federalists elected a United States senator, to succeed the new governor, by a majority of one. With the beginning of the century the current turned the other way. The democrats elected the presidential electors and a majority of the lower house in 1800, a majority of the whole legislature in 1801, and a majority of both houses and of the congressmen in 1802. The democratic control of the state brought about the widening of the right of suffrage in 1810, referred to above. It was preceded by an enlargement of the right of suffrage by statute, which was passed early in 1802 after a two years' resistance by the federalist senate, and then only after an implied threat of a convention to revise the constitution, and abolish the electoral character of the senate. Presidential electors were chosen by districts, and the federalists secured two of the eleven electors in 1804 and 1808, and five in 1812.
—July 26-27, 1812, occurred the Hanson riots in Baltimore, occasioned by Hanson's persistence in publishing a federalist newspaper, "The Federal Republican," there. The mob sacked the office, and killed or cruelly beat twenty-five or thirty persons who defended it. Among these was the partisan leader "light-horse Harry" Lee, of the revolutionary army, who was crippled for life. The feeling, which this affair aroused, restored the state to the federalists in the October election of the same year. Their majority in the lower house was so large as to more than offset a unanimously democratic senate, chosen the previous year. The federalist control lasted until the extinction of the party, with occasional democratic successes. As a general rule, however, the federalists were in a popular minority, and their control of the state was due to the features of the state constitution, which gave the growing city of Baltimore but half as much influence in the legislature as the weakest of the counties.
—The growth of Baltimore and the western counties made the electoral constitution of the senate very unpopular, but the minority resisted all attempts to change it until 1837, when the amendments referred to under the first constitution above were adopted. These reforms were forced by the refusal of the democratic senatorial electors to qualify and form a quorum in 1836, and by an attempt, June 6, 1836, of a popular convention of Baltimore and other counties to call a convention to revise the constitution, "without the aid of the legislature." The attempt created great excitement, but was never brought to an open election for the proposed convention.
—From 1820 until 1852 the popular majority in the state was anti-democratic in every presidential election, though the district system of choosing electors gave Jackson seven of the eleven in 1824. The majority, however, was never large; in 1832 it was but four out of nearly 40,000 votes. During the same period the legislatures were very steadily whig, and consequently the United States senators, and the governors until 1837, were of that party. After 1837, when the election of governor was given to the people, there was but one whig governor chosen, Thos. G. Pratt. In the presidential election of 1852 the democrats carried the state. After the destruction of the whig party in 1854-5 its Maryland organization, taking the name of the American party, controlled the state until 1859, electing the governor, United States senator, four of the six congressmen, and a majority of the legislatures, and casting the electoral vote of the state for Fillmore in 1856. (See
—At the outbreak of the rebellion in 1860-61, the addition of Maryland to the southern confederacy was warmly desired by the leaders of the secession movement, in order thus to bring Washington city within the pale and into the possession of the confederacy, and make the new government, in the eyes of foreign nations, at least the de facto successor of the government of the United States. This desire was shared by many of the state's democratic politicians, who had long been used to the idea of secession as an antidote to abolition, and by many of the younger men. These two classes brought a strong pressure to bear on Gov. Hicks, to induce him to call a special session of the legislature, without which no state convention was constitutionally possible. The governor refused to convene the legislature, and asserted that all the arrangements had already been made to force an ordinance of secession through the proposed convention.
—This excitement, however, as in other southern states, was almost entirely confined to the politicians; the people, except in the extreme southern counties, were almost unanimously against secession. The feeling, indeed, was not based upon a disbelief in the right of secession (see
—The fall of Sumter, the president's call for troops, and the armed conflict in Baltimore (see
—Throughout the war the state's congressional representation was unanimously unionist, the pro-southern members of the legislature were a very meagre minority, and even when rebel armies entered the state for its "redemption," their reception was so chilling that they finally treated Maryland as enemy's territory. Nevertheless the early neutral attitude of the state, and particularly the Baltimore riots of 1861, influenced the other loyal states to see with comparative indifference a continuance of military arrests and confiscations in Maryland which is still remembered there with some bitterness. One result of this régime was the adoption of the constitution of 1864. (See
—Chief Justice Taney, and Henry Winter Davis (see those names) are the most prominent Maryland names in our national political history. Among the other leaders of state politics have been the following: Charles Carroll, "of Carrollton," one of the early revolutionary leaders, a signer of the declaration of independence, United States senator (federalist) 1789-92; Samuel Chase, a signer of the declaration, supreme court justice 1796-1811 (see
—See Bozman's History of Maryland (to 1660); 1 Poore's Federal and State Constitutions; Neill's Terra Marial; 4 Griffith's Early History of Maryland; J. Dunlop's Memoir of the Penn-Baltimore Controversy (in 1 Penn Hist. Soc. Mem., Part 1); Latrobe's History of Mason and Dixon's Line; Veech's History of Mason and Dixon's Line; Hinkley's Maryland Constitution of 1867; Documents accompanying Governor's Messages, Jan. 1, 1864, and Jan. 1, 1865; McSherry's History of Maryland (to 1848); Scharff's Chronicles of Baltimore (1873); Onderdonk's History of Maryland (to 1867); Goldsborough's Maryland Line in the Confederate States Army (1869); Tuckerman's Life of J. P. Kennedy; Wheaton's Life of Pinkney; Pinkney's Life of Pinkney; Tyler's Life of Taney; Scharff's History of Maryland (1879).
Return to top