State House Dome (cross section),
Architectural drawing from
Historic American Buildings Survey,
Maryland State House Project Collection,
MSA SCI 773, Maryland State Archives.
The State House is the center of Maryland government. Three hundred years ago, in February 1694/ 95, that
center, the capital, moved from St. Mary's City to Anne Arundel Town, now Annapolis. A bitter winter gripped
the land, when the records of government were transported. "Lyeing so thick dead up & down the Countrey,"
swine, cattle, and horses were "dyeing dayly in great Numbers by means of the extremity of Weather & want
of food . . ." (Archives of Maryland, XX: 191-192). Packed in hide bags, secured by cordage, the records
were conveyed by boat across the Patuxent River and by horseback to the new capital.