When In The Course of Human Events
On June 28, 1776, Maryland finally instructed its delegates to the Continental Congress to vote for independence from Great Britain. A week later, Maryland issued its own separate declaration of independence. With independence came the need to create a state government made legitimate by a written constitution. In August 1776, Maryland's first Constitutional Convention convened in Annapolis. The first item of business was to draft a bill of rights which in its final version contained 42 provisions setting forth the responsibilities of government and the rights of its citizens.
Between 1776 and 1787, the 13 original states joined together in a loose national alliance, but by 1785 it was apparent to many that their common cause required a stronger federal system. This system had its beginnings in 1785 with the regional cooperation established by the Mount Vernon Compact and in the subsequent Annapolis Convention which called for a meeting of all the states in Philadelphia in 1787.
Declaring Independence: June-July 1776
Maryland declared independence from Great Britain on July 6, 1776, using language drafted by Charles Carroll of Carrollton on July 3. The first official issue of the Declaration of Independence of the United States with the names of the signers was printed for Congress, then meeting in Baltimore. By Maryland Katherine Goddard in January 1777.
- MARYLAND'S DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
Maryland State Archives, MSA SC 4560-1
- GODDARD'S PRINTING OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDNCE, January 1777
Maryland State Archives RB 2/2/19
A Bill of Rights and Constitution for Maryland: September 17, 1776
On September 17, 1776 11 years to the day before the U. S. Constitution was signed, the Convention charged with drafting a Constitution for Maryland submitted its work to the people. On November 19, 1776, the Maryland Gazette (Baltimore) began printing the full text of the final version of Maryland's Declaration of Rights and Form of Government.
- FACSIMILE OF DRAFT OF ARTICLE 4 OF THE DECLARATION OF RIGHTS, 4" x 8"
Maryland State Archives MSA SC 4558-40
- MARYLAND GAZETTE (Baltimore), November 19, 1776 (15 ½" X 18")
Enoch Pratt Free Library
- FACSIMILE OF EARLY DRAFT OF THE MARYLAND CONSTITUTION (13 ¼" x 8")
Maryland State Archives, MSA SC 4558-32