Hall of Records Commission

for a Meeting 
at the Maryland State Archives
Electronic Classroom
12 Noon
April 19, 2005 (Civil War Remembrance Day)

Call to Order by the Chairman
Chairman Bell called the meeting to order at 12:15 p.m. at which time he welcomed special guests:  Chris Allan and David Troy.

He mentioned that Dale Cathell and Bill Kerbin attended the last Hall of Records Commission meeting.  Sadly, Bill Kerbin passed away in March. Funeral services were held on March 11, 2005.  Judge Bell was a speaker at his funeral, having gotten to know Mr. Kerbin over the years through Judge Cathell.  According to Judge Bell, Bill Kerbin led an amazing life:  He practiced law continuously for more than 71 years; at 28 years of age, he was the youngest State's Attorney in Worcester County and served for eight years in that capacity; he led a group called Young Billy's Flying Squad which cleaned up the county of gambling, bootlegging and dancing on Sunday; he also stopped a lynching in the 1940s; he was a civic leader; chair of the Character Committee for Worcester County for more than 60 years as well as a founding 60 year member of the Rotary.  Bill Kerbin was a role model for all of the attorneys in Worcester County.  He will be missed terribly.  Chairman Bell requested a minute of silence in honor of Mr. Kerbin.

Chairman Bell stated that the Archives is hoping that some, if not all, of Mr. Kerbin's collection will be given to the Archives, although a final decision about its dispersion is still pending.  Dr. Papenfuse noted that there is a video file of the last Hall of Records Commission meeting at which Mr. Kerbin and Judge Cathell were guests.

Attendees and Introduction of Special Guests
Christopher N. Allan, Secretary, Friends of the Archives
David C. Troy, President, Friends of the Archives (short bio)
Chris Allan introduced David Troy who has agreed to work with him and others on the Friends of the Archives activity.  He is a former student of Dr. Papenfuse, is interested in Maryland history and collaborated on a web site for the Archives.  Mr. Troy said he is very pleased to be a part of this group.  There is a need to reach out to the community and Chris Allan and Mr. Troy are interested in hearing any ideas the Commission may have.  Messrs. Troy and Allan are still trying to figure out exactly how they want to go about doing this.  Mr. Troy would like to see the Archives succeed and continue to reach out to the public.  He thanked the Commission for the opportunity to be at today’s meeting and looks forward to working with all of them.  Dr. Papenfuse showed the Commission the 15th Amendment web site Mr. Troy designed about ten years ago for his senior thesis that is available online.

Opening Remarks

It is Judge Bell's understanding that there is a new book on African American leaders of Maryland that has been written by one of the members of the Hall of Records Commission, Dr. Glenn Phillips. He gave Dr. Phillips an opportunity to "plug" his new book.  Dr. Phillips said it is an honor to be associated with African American Leaders of Maryland:  A Portrait Gallery done with co-author and colleague Sue Chapelle.  The book was started about five years ago and represents 365 years of African American history up to the end of the 20th century.  It is divided into four parts.  The first section is a narrative highlighting the important things that occurred during the 365 years and then 45 individuals (with pictures) were selected who contributed to Maryland's history.  Some were born here and some were not, for example, Billie Holiday was not born in Maryland.  Others featured are Daniel Warner who was born in Baltimore, traveled to the Republic of Liberia in West Africa and became its third president; and Benjamin Quarles who was born in Boston, became a Marylander in 1953, and contributed over 13 books on African American history.  The last person to enter the book is Harry Augustus Cole who died in 1999.  Of the 45 individuals in the book, 11 are women.  If you read this book written particularly for young readers, Dr. Phillips said, you will get a good idea of a much neglected aspect of Maryland history.

Mr. Fiori said that the Maryland Historical Society was proud to publish this book.  The project came out of a session at a book festival where a number of prints of African Americans were on display behind the booth.  Some people wanted to buy them, but, unfortunately, they were just there for decoration and were not for sale.  It is a real contribution in an area where there is not much material in the state.  The Maryland Historical Society is working closely with the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture to get this book into the classroom as part of its outreach program.

The price for this 155 page book is $20 and $16 to Commission members.  Dr. Papenfuse stated that the Archives is supporting the Maryland Historical Society's publications program by purchasing copies to sell.  At this time, Dr. Phillips presented a signed copy of African American Leaders of Maryland to Chairman Bell and Dr. Papenfuse.

Finally, Dr. Papenfuse called to the attention of the Commission that Dr. Phillips also received a well-deserved promotion at Morgan University.

Reports and Minutes of Previous Meetings

Whenever possible, Dr. Papenfuse selects the date of the Hall of Records Commission meeting to coincide with a significant date in Maryland's history.  The last Commission meeting was held on St. Cecelia's Day.  St. Cecelia was the patron saint of the Calverts, and it was on St. Cecelia's day that the first people who wanted to establish Maryland left from Cowes, England, on the Isle of Wight,  headed out for the rough seas and came to Maryland.

Today, of course, is April 19.  On this day, the first shots of the American Revolution were fired and more recently, the tragedy of the Oklahoma bombing occurred.  On April 19, 1861, the first blood of the Civil War was shed on the Baltimore City streets.  Dr. Papenfuse thought it would be appropriate for the Commission to commemorate today principally as Civil War Remembrance Day.

Last summer Dr. Papenfuse researched the topic of the importance of habeus corpus in American law, particularly relating to the Ex Parte Merryman case which Judge Taney decided in 1861.  In searching for contemporary accounts, Dr. Papenfuse found letters written by the English Consul to Baltimore, Frederic Bernal.  Dr. Papenfuse showed the Commission a personal web site he created http://editonline.us, including Bernal's letters relating to April 19, 1861.  On the left side of the screen is the image of the record, and on the right side of the screen is where Dr. Papenfuse's students edited and transcribed the letters.

Records Retention and Disposal

Old Business

Archivist's Report and Staff Activities 
     (see the Maryland State Archives Bulldog for additional details)

Recent Gifts and Acquisitions

Special Announcements

Mr. Baker stated that the Board of Public Works, acting on the suggestion of Chief Judge Bell, voted to rededicate the Hall of Records as the Edward C. Papenfuse State Archives Building.  This celebration will be held on June 27 at 12:00 noon.   Judge Bell will serve as Master of Ceremonies and Governor Ehrlich will be in attendance.  Former Governor Hughes has been invited and, of course, the Hall of Records Commission.  Mr. Baker hopes everyone can attend.

Dr. Papenfuse pointed out that two Cardinals were invited to the rededication ceremony.  Both sent wonderful letters declining the invitation as current events had them scheduled to be in Rome.  At Dr. Papenfuse's request, Chairman Bell gave his permission for both letters to be entered into and made a part of these minutes (letters from Cardinal Keeler and Cardinal McCarrick).

Archives of Maryland On Line

Education and Outreach

Forthcoming special meetings of the Commission and events of interest

Administrative and Fiscal Matters

Chairman Bell asked the Commission if they had any other issues they would like to discuss.

Mr. Nelson showed the Commission a copy of an April 14, 1791 copy of Dunlap's American Daily Advertiser he received from an alumnus.  This four page document was actually on the Island of Kithara, Greece.  There is a document collector and art dealer there who felt the college should have it, as it contained a letter on page 3 from John McDowell, first president of the renamed college, thanking George Washington for the honor of his appearance at the college when he enrolled his two nephews at St. John’s and then a response from George Washington congratulating the college on this new project and wishing them well.  Dr. Papenfuse offered to help Dr. Nelson frame, preserve and make copies of this document for distribution.  With Dr. Nelson’s permission, the Archives will scan it, make facsimiles available and post it on the Archives web site.

Mr. Nelson said he also has the will of Francis Scott Key that he would like conserved.  It is an extraordinary document received from one of Key’s great great great grandsons.  Key is the founder of the St. John’s College Alumni Association which is the fifth oldest in the United States.  Dr. Papenfuse said that the Archives has a very good conservator and Vicki will be more than happy to advise what would need to be done to conserve it.  With the Chairman’s permission, copies will be provided at the next meeting.

Mr. Fiori said he was hoping today for a motion to clarify the Archives relationship with the Maryland Historical Society pertaining to documents from the collection that from time to time have been disputed in terms of where they reside.  Dr. Papenfuse said that the Archives and the Maryland Historical Society are not competitors but share a responsibility for the care and preservation of the historical record.  Dr. Papenfuse indicated that he would prepare a collection policy statement for the next Hall of Records Commission meeting.

Next meeting


There being no further business to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 1:27 p.m.
Approved by the Hall of Records Commission, November 22, 2005.

                                            The Honorable Robert M. Bell, Chairman

                                            Edward C. Papenfuse, Jr., Secretary

Dr. Edward C. Papenfuse
State Archivist

Maryland State Archives

350 Rowe Boulevard
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
(410) 260-6403.

Email: edp@mdarchives.state.md.us

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