Chapter 12 - History of the Chesapeake Bay

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The Chesapeake Bay was an important region in the European settlement of North America and the early development of the United States of America

The sections of this chapter present some interesting historical facts about the Chesapeake Bay

Pre-Revolutionary Chronology (excerpted from the Maryland State Archives)

1608. Capt. John Smith explored Chesapeake Bay.

1629. George Calvert, 1st Lord Baltimore, sails from Newfoundland to Virginia.

1631. Kent Island trading post and farming settlement established by William Claiborne, member of Virginia council.

1632, June 20. Maryland Charter granted to Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Lord Baltimore, by Charles I, King of Great Britain and Ireland.

1633, Nov. 22. English settlers on Ark and Dove set sail from Cowes, England, for Maryland.

1634, March 25. Landing of settlers at St. Clement's (now Blakistone) Island. Calvert party celebrates Feast of Annunciation (March 25); later purchases Indian land, and builds "Fort at St. Mary's City."

1634/5, Feb. 26. First General Assembly (law-making assembly of freemen) met at St. mary's City.

1635. Proprietary vessels clash with those of William Claiborne.

1637. St. Mary's County first cited in provincial records.

1642. Kent County first cited in records of commissioner appointments.

1645. Ingle's Rebellion: Richard Ingle leads rebellion against proprietary government.

1649, April 21. Religious toleration Law (An Act concerning Religion) enacted.

1650, April. Anne Arundel County created (Chapter 8, Acts of 1650).

1654. Patuxent County (1958 renamed Calvert County) formed by order in council.

1658. Charles County created by order in council.

1659/60, Jan. 12. Baltimore County known to have been established by this date, when a writ was issued to county sheriff.

1660. Bohemia Manor established by Augustine Herrman

1661/62, Feb. 18. Talbot County known to have been established by this date, when a writ was issued to county sheriff

1663. Augustine Herrman, first naturalized citizen of Maryland.

1664. Slavery sanctioned by law; slaves to serve for life.

1666. Sommerset County established by order in council.

1667. St. Mary's City incorporated.

1668/69. Feb. 16. Dorchester County known to have been established by this date, when a writ was issued to county sheriff.

1670. Authoritative map of Maryland (engraved, London, 1673) completed by Augustine Herrman.

1672. Cecil County erected from Baltimore and Kent counties by proclamation of Governor.

1683. Labadist community settles at Bohemia Manor.

1684. Cambridge on Choptank River laid out by commissioners.

1684. Presbyterians under Francis Makemie build church at Snow Hill, first in colonies.

1689. July-1690, May. Maryland Revolution of 1689. Protestant Associators overthrow proprietary officers.

1692. April-1715. Crown rule; William and Mary declare Maryland a royal colony and appoint Sir Lionel Copley governor. Maryland governed as a royal colony rather than as a proprietary province.

1692. Church of England made the established church. Royal assent to establishment act given in 1702.

1704. Oct. State House burned.

1715. Principio Iron Works, Cecil County, financed by English capital.

1715, Feb. Crown restored proprietary rights to Benedict Leonard Calvert, 4th Lord Baltimore.

1718. Catholics disenfranchised by Assembly

1727, Sept. Maryland Gazette, first newspaper in the Chesapeake, published by William Parks at Annapolis (until 1734).

1729. Baltimore Town established by charter.

1732. Salisbury Town laid out by commissioners.

1742. Worchester County erected from Somerset County.

1744, June 30. Native-American chiefs of the Six Nations relinquished by treaty all claims to land in colony. Assembly purchased last Indian land claims in Maryland.

1745. Daniel Dulany the Elder laid out Frederick Town and invited German settlement.

1745. Tuesday Club formed in Annapolis. Maryland Jockey Club organized first races. Jonas Green revived Maryland Gazette

1748. Frederick County erected from Baltimore and Prince George's counties

1754. Fort Cumberland constructed by militiamen.

1755. Gen. Edward Braddock led expedition through Maryland to the west. French and Indians defeated Braddock's forces near Fort Duquesne. Indians attacked western settlers.

1755. French-speaking Catholics arrived in Baltimore from Nova Scotia.

1756. Assembly supplied funds for Fort Frederick, near North Mountain.

1763-1767. Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon surveyed boundary line with Pennsylvania.

1768. Baltimore County seat moved from Joppa to Baltimore Town.

1772. Ellicott brothers erected largest flour mill in Maryland on Patapsco River.

1772, March 28. Cornerstone laid for new State House in Annapolis.

1773. Caroline County erected from Dorchester and Queen Anne's counties.

1773. Harford County formed from Baltimore County.

1774. Catoctin iron Furnace, Frederick County.

1776. Montgomery County created from Frederick County.

1776. Washington County created from Frederick County.

"Maryland My Maryland" by University of Maryland marching band.

Annapolis Tea Party - The burning of the Peggy Stewart and the ruin of Anthony Stewart

Tensions caused by English demands for taxes through the Stamp Act flared into outright mob violence when the brigantine Peggy Stewart brought a cargo of boycotted tea into Annapolis.

Attack on St. Michaels

During the second British raid in the Chesapeake in 1813, St. Michaels was attacked by the HMS Conflict and successfully defended by local militia and a clever ruse.

Attack on Washington

As part of the War on the Chesapeake during the "Second War for Independence", the British sought to draw away the American attack on it's Canadian colony with a blockade of the Chesapeake and raids on major towns and cities. Realizing the poor preparation and weak defense of the nation's capital, the British attacked and burned many of the public buildings of the infant capital.

Battle of Baltimore, Battle of North Point and the Battle of Fort McHenry

During the War of 1812, Baltimore was attacked by land and sea by British forces fresh from victory in Washington, D.C. The successful defense of Baltimore in essence ended America's second war of independence from Great Britain.

Captain John Smith

Captain John Smith whose adventurous life garnered him an important, if controversial place in the history of Maryland, created a map of the Chesapeake Bay that was used for well over 250 years.

Captain John Smith - Voyage of Discovery on the Chesapeake - 1608/2007 - Four Hundred Year Project

A 400 year re-enactment of John's Smiths voyage of discovery on the Chesapeake will begin May 12, 2007. Retracing the route of Smith's voyages, the authentic shallop, a small shallow draft vessel, will visit many sites as it is rowed and sailed the 222 mile length of the Bay.

Cockburn's Terror - British fleet attacks Upper Chesapeake Bay

In the spring of 1813, Admiral Cockburn commanding the British fleet in the Chesapeake Bay, led a series of raids to the Upper Chesapeake Bay.

Maryland and the Calvert family Lords Baltimore

Maryland was a uniquely chartered proprietarty colony established in 1634 and ruled by the Calvert family until the Maryland Revolution of 1689 overthrew them and Maryland became a royal colony.

Rebellion in Maryland - The Story of William Claiborne

William Claiborne fought to protect his interests on Kent Island in the heart of the new maryland grant to Catholic Lord Baltimore. When appeals to the English authorities failed, he invaded Maryland and took over the colony for a period of years.

The Chesapeake Affair of 1807

In 1807 the British ship HMS Leopard demanded to board the U.S. frigate Chesapeake and muster her crew to search for deserters. Refusing this affront to American independence and the rights of its citizen, the Chesapeake was attacked. The British removed four sailors, three of whom were American citizens.

Unique Craft of the Chesapeake

Many Maryland residents made their living from the bountiful waters of the Chesapeake Bay. Many different types of work boats harvested of the oysters, clams and crabs of its waters. Still others brought that catch to market and return to the rural water communities with manufactured goods from the city.

Voyage of the Ark and The Dove

Narrative of a Voyage to Maryland, 1633-34 by Father Andrew White, S.J. who came with the Ark and the Dove




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