[photo, State House (from Francis St.), Annapolis, Maryland]


Annapolis is the State capital of Maryland. Centered on Maryland's Western Shore, Annapolis lies 25 miles south of Baltimore and 30 miles east of Washington, DC.

From the founding of Maryland in 1634, however, St. Mary's City was the first seat of Maryland's colonial government, not Annapolis. (In southern Maryland, Historic St. Mary's City can be visited today in St. Mary's County.) As the population of Maryland grew, however, St. Mary's City, near the southernmost tip of St. Mary's County, proved too distant for most of the colony's inhabitants. Consequently, in 1694, the General Assembly designated Anne Arundel Town, midway up Chesapeake Bay, as the new capital and, in February 1694/5, the government moved its records and its operations there.

State House (from Francis St.), Annapolis, Maryland, February 2014. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

[photo, City Dock, Annapolis, Maryland] After the death of Queen Mary (1662-1694) of England, Scotland, and Ireland, in December 1694, Anne Arundel Town was renamed Annapolis in May 1695 for her younger sister, the heiress apparent, Princess Anne, who had married Prince George of Denmark and Norway. As Queen Anne (1665-1714), Anne ascended the throne in 1702. In 1707, when England and Scotland united as Great Britain, she thereafter became Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, which she ruled until her death.

In the name of Queen Anne, Royal Governor John Seymour granted to the City of Annapolis a municipal charter on November 22, 1708.

City Dock, Annapolis, Maryland, September 2008. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

[photo, McDowell Hall, St. John's College, Annapolis, Maryland] In Annapolis, nearly a year after the Boston Tea Party, another "tea party" was held when the brig Peggy Stewart with its load of British tea was burned on October 19, 1774.

Toward the end of the Revolutionary War, the City also served as capital to the newly forming American nation when the Continental Congress met in Annapolis from November 26, 1783 to August 19, 1784. Here too, on January 14, 1784, the Treaty of Paris, ending the Revolutionary War, was ratified by Congress.

McDowell Hall, St. John's College, Annapolis, Maryland, April 2005. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

[photo, Naval Academy grounds, Annapolis, Maryland] In September 1786, at the Annapolis Convention, delegates from five states met to discuss revisions to the Articles of Confederation. The Convention's call for a further meeting led to the assembling of delegates at Philadelphia from May 14 to September 17, 1787 to draft the U.S. Constitution.

In modern times, Annapolis continues to host important meetings. On November 27, 2007, the Middle East Peace Conference was held at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. Moreover, from June 17 to June 18, 2008, the U.S. Naval Academy again hosted an international conference, the U.S. - China Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) IV.

U.S. Naval Academy grounds, Annapolis, Maryland, May 2000. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

[photo, Sailboats, Back Creek, Annapolis, Maryland] Located on the Severn River in Anne Arundel County, Annapolis is not only the center of Maryland government but also home to the U.S. Naval Academy, and St. John's College (originally founded in 1696 as King William's School) whose curriculum is based upon the study of the classics.

Known as "America's Sailing Capital", Annapolis hosts its Spring Sailboat Show each April and the U.S. Sailboat Show in October.

Sailboats, Back Creek, Annapolis, Maryland, October 2008. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

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