Leonard Calvert had been appointed as Maryland’s governor by his own brother Cecil Calvert, 2nd Lord Baltimore as per the orders of Charles I, King of Great Britain and Ireland. During 1633 – 1681, the first years of Maryland, Lord Baltimore awarded the people with the rights of the land. This was the first step towards the settlement of colonies. The land had religious freedom which attracted settlers to Maryland. So, who were the early colonial settlers of Maryland? Read the article to learn about the early colonial settlers of southern Maryland and other facts related to it.
Table of Contents
1. What was Maryland Called before 1776?
Now-called Maryland was known as Terra Marie before 1776. The very name was given in honour of Henrietta Maria of France, who was the wife of the king of Great Britain. Charles I. Lord Baltimore, during that time, proposed the name Crescentia, which denoted it as the land of growth. However, King Charles I proposed Terra Marie (or Maryland) which was inserted in the passing bill. The early colonial settlers of southern Maryland were basically native Americans – Algonquian, Iroquoian and Siouan people. See What are the Sumerian Social Classes?
2. When did People Start Settling in Maryland?
The first settlers were from Cowes, who departed on November 22, 1633, to Maryland. This venture was led by Leonard Calvert, who was Cecil Calvert’s younger brother. The first settlers came on two small ships called the Ark and the Dove. They landed on St. Clément’s Island in South Maryland on March 25, 1634. This day is commemorated as Maryland’s Day every year by the state. The site where they landed was the first Catholic mass in the Colonies where Father Andrew White led the service.
3. Who were the Early Settlers of Maryland?
The early settlers came from Cowes. They ventured out on November 22, 1633, and arrived on March 25, 1634, on St. Clément’s Island. The settlement was led by Leonard Calvert, Cecil Calvert’s younger brother. It was led by the grant passed by Charles I, under the supervision of 2nd Lord Baltimore. They celebrated the Calvert party on their landing known as the Feast of Annunciation.
Later purchasing land from the Yaocomaco tribe, they built a fort at St. Mary’s City, which was the first town settled in Maryland. With Leonard Calvert as their governor, the first general assembly, that discussed the law-making of the freemen, took place in St. Mary’s City on February 26, 1634/5. There were 17 gentlemen and about 200 others which mostly comprised working-class people. These were the early colonial settlers of southern Maryland. (See What were Three Effects of European Imperialism on Africa?)
4. Who were Early Colonial Settlers of Southern Maryland?
It is believed that the English explorer Capt. John smith first sailed into the Chesapeake Bay. Thereafter, Cecilius Calvert was granted a charter in 1632 which allowed other Roman Catholics to achieve freedom from any sort of religious restrictions. Furthermore, the first governor of the colour was Leonard Calvert.
In the nineteenth century, there was a list of those settlers published. Gust Skordas was the man behind this work. In 1997 when the list was republished again with a corrected version this was called The New Early Settlers of Maryland. According to some reports in Maryland, there are more than 32,000 to 34,000 immigrants who are called the early colonial settlers of southern Maryland. But do you know which ethnic groups lived in the Maryland Colony?
5. What Ethnic Groups Lived in the Maryland Colony?
In the seventeenth century, many people came to Maryland and started living. In the generic survey of their government, more than 30,000 people came to Maryland and took their residence, who are referred to as the early colonial settlers of southern Maryland. Between 1670 to 1700 mostly German people and Germanic tribes lived there. After 1730, Scottish people started living in the western part of Maryland.
In 1755, French people with northern Scotian people came and started living. In 1880, many different cultures were seen, such as French, Scottish, Dutch, English, Christian, Irish, Italian, Polish and Jewish. At present, there are 2 types of people living there, one who is Afro-Americans who lived in villages and minorities who lived in the town. These were the ethnic groups living in the Maryland Colony. Must read How did Colonists Identify with their Neighbors?
6. What Native American Tribes First Lived in Maryland?
There were various Native American tribes who lived in the first town settled in Maryland. Among various tribes, the most prominent were the Algonquin, Choptank, Delaware, Matapeake, and Nanticoke. Before the early colonial settlers of southern Maryland came to the place there were several other tribes along with this. These tribes include:
These were the prominent first tribes that settled in Maryland. The Britishers purchased land from the Yaocomaco tribe which was named St. Mary’s City. Must see What was the Reason for European Exploration?
7. Who Led the First Group of Settlers to Maryland?
As mentioned earlier, Leonard Calvert led the first group of settlers to Maryland. They were Cowes, and departed on November 22, 1633, and arrived in Maryland on March 25, 1634. This was granted by the King of Britain, Charles I and the voyage was led by 2nd Lord Baltimore, Cecil Calvert. The first inhabitants were Paleo-Indians. However, as the British settled there, most of the citizens were Catholics and Protestants.
8. What Attracted Settlers to Maryland?
From the seventeenth century, when the immigrant people came and started living in Maryland the variety of religiosity can be seen in that town. The ethnic groups living in the Maryland Colony came from different cultures and they can freely portray their cultural ethos to people. Economic freedom and freedom of speech are other reasons why their immigrants love to live there.
In another word, they can freely say whatever they want to say about their religion. In 1963 this freedom of speech is the main factor which attracted settlers to Maryland. Other factors like economic freedom and stability and versatile religious factor also help people to express their inner thought in their social life. Check out How do You become a Slave?
9. What were 3 Reasons why Settlers Came to Maryland?
The three features which attracted the early colonial settlers of southern Maryland are:
- Religious Freedom: This is one of the important factors that led to the expansion of Maryland. George Calvert had the vision to have a place where marginalised Catholics could practise their religion without the intervention of social and economic repercussions. It was a place for both profit and religion. Along with this, it provided the opportunity to introduce their religion to the native people.
- Economic Opportunity: Britain, an Island, had a low number of natural resources and had to compete with the other European countries. Due to these reasons, Britain went for colonisation and expanded their territories.
- Involuntary Servitude: Many people, as a result of colonisation by the British Empire, migrated to different places. A large number of people who migrated to different places were mostly Africans.
10. What was the First Town Settled in Maryland?
The first town settled in Maryland is St.Mary’s City. The settlers came from Cowes and reached St.Clement’s Island in southern Maryland on March 25, 1634. The voyage was led by Leonard Calvert, the younger brother of Cecil Calvert. Cecil Calvert, 2nd Lord Baltimore executed this voyage with the grant passed by Charles I, king of Great Britain.
After they reached their destination in Maryland, they celebrated a party known as the Feast of Annunciation. After this, they purchased land from the Yaocomaco tribe and set up their assembly on February 26. The assembly took place in St.Mary’s City which was the first town and was made the capital city of Maryland. Read How did the Middle Colonies make Money?
11. How was Maryland different from the other Southern colonies?
Now that you know about the early colonial settlers of southern Maryland, let us move forward. The first and foremost thing that makes Maryland different from the other Southern Colonies is that other Southern Colonies were started for business and other economic reasons, but Maryland was founded for religious purposes.
Another fact that made Maryland distinct is that it was the first-ever colony which outlawed the use of slaves of labour and indentured labour. Maryland’s primary focus was religion and its economy was its secondary issue. The economy was completely based on the shipbuilding industry and substantial farming. During the English Civil War, Maryland collaborated with the colonies of Virginia. These features attracted settlers to Maryland. (See 3 types of Native American Shelters)
We may conclude with the fact that the early settlers of Maryland came during 1633-34. But there’s something different about the foundation of this place. Maryland was the only place which had religious freedom and because of this, the place grabbed the attention of various people around the world, excluding the forced migrants. Maryland is one such place which has looked for both religion and profit. The primary focus was religion. Because of these reasons, the area was able to expand at a fast rate.