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Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1764-1765
Volume 59, Preface 9   View pdf image
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Baltimore, December 1, 1942
To the Maryland Historical Society

Sixty years ago the State of Maryland entrusted to the Maryland Historical
Society the publication of the Archives of Maryland. Biennially since 1882 the
General Assembly of Maryland has continued to make provision for the publi-
cation of its colonial records under these same auspices. The Publications Com-
mittee of the Society now presents as Volume LIX of the Archives the Proceed-
ings and Acts of the General Assembly of Maryland 1764-1765, which is the
twenty-eighth volume that has been published dealing with Assembly affairs.
The period covered by this volume was that in which men's minds were pre-
occupied with the Stamp Act and its threatening consequences. In addition to
the journals of the proceedings of the Upper House and the Lower House, and
the laws enacted during the 1764-1765 period, there will be found in the Ap-
pendix various other contemporary records intimately connected with matters
which came before the Assembly.

No session of the Assembly elected in the autumn of 1761 was held during
the year 1764; and it was in December of the latter year that Governor Horatio
Sharpe issued writs for the election of a new Assembly. Of the fifty-eight
delegates elected to the new Assembly, forty-two had been members of the
preceding Assembly. The Popular, Country, or anti-Proprietary party, as it
was variously called, was still in control and the same leaders were at the helm.
The Upper House, composed as it was of members of the Council, who owed
their appointment to the Lord Proprietary, was, as usual, under his dominance,
with Daniel Dulany alone showing any independence of thought. The impend-
ing passage of the Stamp Act, which occurred in February, 1765, filled the
thoughts of the people with serious forebodings. Sharpe, fearful of what
might occur in the Lower House, did not call the Assembly together in 1764,
and made smallpox, epidemic in Annapolis in 1765, an excuse in the earlier
months of that year for postponing its meeting. The treatment by the Annapolis
mob of Zachariah Hood, appointed distributor of stamped paper for Maryland,
when on August 25, 1765, he was burned in effigy, his house destroyed, and
he was driven from the city, brought to Sharpe the realization that, if the
Assembly were not promptly called together, some direct action by the elected
delegates would be taken. When on June 8 the Massachusetts House of Repre-
sentatives proposed to the lower houses of the other colonies that a meeting


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Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1764-1765
Volume 59, Preface 9   View pdf image
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