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Maryland Manual, 1963-64
Volume 171, Page 28   View pdf image (33K)
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28 MARYLAND MANUAL

failed to spur Maryland during the final five years of the
war.

Prelude to Revolution

The accession in 1751 of Frederick Calvert, a "gay young
blade," to the title of Lord Baltimore meant less interfer-
ence from the Proprietor; therefore Marylanders trans-
ferred their complaints against the Proprietary to the Brit-
ish Government. Conflict between French and English only
sharpened the point. Debts to English merchants and taxes
on imports led Maryland, this time in common with other
colonies, to take drastic action. Maryland takes credit for
first refusing to pay taxes under the Stamp Act; actual
repudiation took place in Frederick County on November
23, 1765. The British Parliament repealed the Townshend
Acts in 1770, but a strong feeling of rebellion remained.
Support of Boston was vigorous after that port was closed;
and the Boston Tea Party of December 16, 1773, had its
Maryland counterpart when a tea ship, the Peggy Stewart,
was burned in Annapolis harbor on October 19, 1774.

The first Provincial Convention, composed of ninety-two
men representing every county in Maryland, met June 22-25,
1774 in Annapolis. Denouncing the British blockade against
Boston, the Convention proposed breaking off trade relations
with Great Britain and selected delegates to attend the First
Continental Congress. When the Convention met on July 26,
1775, following the Battle of Lexington, it proceeded grimly
to the business of preparing for war and organizing a civil
government apart from that of the Proprietary which, al-
though mainly inactive, was still the legal government. A
year later, a Convention was elected for the express purpose
of framing a new constitution, which was adopted on
November 8,1776.

The Revolutionary War

From the first skirmish in Boston to the surrender at
Yorktown, Maryland troops saw service. Despite frequent
alarms, only twice did the British—at Vienna and in Cecil
County enroute to Philadelphia—invade Maryland soil. Gen-
eral Smallwood's regiment formed Washington's rearguard
at the Battle of Brooklyn and enabled him to withdraw his
army successfully. Three Marylanders, John Eager Howard,
Mordecai Gist, and Otho Holland Williams, commanded the
Maryland Line with distinction during the Southern cam-
paigns. Baron Pulaski organized his famous Legion in
Baltimore, while both Baron De Kalb and Lafayette spent
considerable time in Maryland.

 

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Maryland Manual, 1963-64
Volume 171, Page 28   View pdf image (33K)
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