Colonial Maryland


Who founded Maryland? Why?

  • Maryland was initially fathered by a man named George Calvert, but he died before his plan came into fruition.
  • His son, Cecilius Calvert took it upon himself make his father's dream a reality, and founded Maryland in 1768.
  • George Calvert was a man of great wealth and even greater ambition. He loved power, and he was made of sterner stuff than most. He was initially the British secretery of state, but when Charles the First ascended to the throne, he resigned. He then turned his attention to colonization in the New World.
  • After a brief stay in Newfoundland, he moved to Virginia.
  • Calvert stated that the Catholics in Virginia were impossible to work with, and decided to leave Virginia.
  • He returned to England, and there, he made a request and received a charter of land from King Charles the First. King Charles requested that it be named after his queen, Queen Henrietta Maria of England.
  • Calvert wanted a place to rule, and he wanted loyal subjects. In order to gain such subjects, he opened up his newly established "Maryland" to peoples of all religion, and all cultures. Maryland was to be a place of total freedom. However, before he could execute his plan, George Calvert died.
  • George Calverts charter was then passed on to his son, Cecilus Calvert. Cecil Calvert loyally completed his father's project. Thus, Maryland was born.

George Calvert

Maryland was the seventh state to be founded.


  • Maryland was intended to be a place of religious toleration in the New World, but there was still much strife between the Anglicans, Puritans, Catholics and Quakers.
  • In the year 1689, a man named John Coode led a Protestant rebellion that expelled Lord Baltimore from power in Maryland.
  • Lord Baltimore eventually regained that power, however, when Charles Calvert (the fifth Baron Baltimore) publicly swore to be Protestant.
  • During The Plundering time, there was much animosity between peoples of differing religions, especially between the Catholics and the Anglicans. It was eventually resolved by the passing of a law that required religious tolerance.


  • During the 17th century, most of Marylands people lived in rough conditions, and made their livings on small family farms.
  • They grew many different kinds of fruits, vegetables, grains and livestock, but their primary cash crop was tobacco.
  • Maryland, much like its rival Virginia, had an economy that revolved around the farming of tobacco.
  • Due to this, the need for cheap labor led to an increased amount of indentured servitude, which eventually led to lots of slavery.
  • Due to the excess of tobacco farms, the colonial legislature was forced to pass a law that required tobacco planters to grow a certain amount of corn as well, so that the colonists would have crops other than tobacco.


  • Maryland's inhabitants were primarily English, as Maryland was supposed to be a place for Catholics and etc. to escape the persecution of the Anglican church.
  • There was, however, an abundance of African slaves due to the many tobacco plantations in Maryland.
  • There were also many Native Americans, and the Marylanders violently clashed with them from time to time.



The Province of Maryland played a large role in the events that led up to the American Revolution, and they mimicked those in New England by establishing "Committees of Correspondence", and it even hosted it's own tea party much like the one held in Boston. By 1776 the old order had been overthrown, and Maryland signed the Declaration of Independence.


Maryland declared war on the Susquehannock Indian nation in 1642. The Indians allied themselves with the colony of New Sweden and defeated Maryland in 1644. Maryland and the Susquehannocks remained in a state of inactive war until a peace treaty was concluded in 1652.


There was a period of civil unrest caused by the tension of the English Civil War that lasted from 1644 to 1646, nicknamed the "Plundering Time." Governor Leonard Calvert led colonial defenses against parliamentary privateers (Puritans) such as Captain Richard Ingle and Willian Claiborne. The Maryland Toleration act, A.K.A. the Act Concerning Religion, was passed on Septenber 21, 1649 by the assembly of the Maryland Colony. The first law requiring religious tolerance in the British North American Colonies, it demanded the tolerance of trinitarian Christians.


Richard Ingle (1609-1653)

Richard Ingle was born in London to a Protestant family. He grew up to be a sea captain, and worked transporting goods from Maryland to England. During the English Civil War, however, he sided with the Puritans. He led many attacks against the colony in the name of the Parliament, and eventually siezed control of Maryland's government. In 1646, Leonard Calvert returned to Maryland (Ingle had chased him out), and reinstated the old government. Most of Ingle's men were granted amnesty, but Richard Ingle himself was executed for his crimes.


Bowles was born in Frederick County, Maryland. He joined the British Army at the age of 13. Bowles served as an officer for the Maryland Loyalist Battalion, but he resigned and was captured by Indians. Bowles eventually gained the trust and close friendship of the Indians who captured him (Creek Nation Indians), and ended up marrying the daughter of their chief. He also married a Cherokee girl, and he used this influence to amass an army of both Creek Nation and Cherokee Indians. He then moved to Florida, and created a short-lived state of his own, called the "State of Muskogee". Declaring war on Spain, he began committing acts of piracy on Spanish ships and merchants. He angered Spain so much, that they offered $6,000 and 1,500 kegs of rum for his capture. He was captured by Spain twice. The first time, he escaped on a ship to the Gulf of Mexico. The second time, he was in prison for two years before he died from refusing to eat.


"Province of Maryland." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Sep 2013. Web. 14 Sep 2013. Leigh, Kathy. "Colonial Maryland." History of the USA. The Macmillan Company, n.d. Web. 10 Sep 2013. <>.David, White. "The 13 American Colonies." Social Studies for Kids. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Sep 2013. <>.