Vol. 21, No. 1
by Mimi Calver
On the evening of February 19, 2007, the State House rang with colonial music as George Washington’s original copy of his resignation speech as commander in chief of the Continental Army was unveiled before both houses of the General Assembly, Governor Martin O’Malley and Judge Katie O’Malley with their son William; Treasurer Nancy Kopp; many other dignitaries; and a large public audience. A highlight of the evening was the appearance of General Washington himself, portrayed by Dean Malissa, to read his resignation speech. The General also gave William O’Malley a lesson in 18th century etiquette.
The resignation speech, which the Archives recently
purchased for the State, is one of the most significant documents in
The unveiling ceremony featured the U.S. Army Colonial
Color Guard with its
The speech remained on display in the Rotunda for the
following week and has now been returned to the Archives until an appropriate
case can be made for its permanent display. This is truly a wonderful
acquisition for the Archives and for
Hall of Records Commission Meeting, December 2006
by Leslie Frazer
The fall meeting of the Hall of Records Commission was held at the Maryland State Archives on December 19, 2006. Chief Judge Robert M. Bell presided and opened the meeting by wishing everyone a happy holiday season.
. Elaine Rice Bachmann updated her report from the last Hall of Records Commission meeting concerning the portrait of Leonard Calvert that the Friends had received funds to purchase. The portrait was immediately sent for conservation which revealed that, rather than being a late 19th century portrait, it very well could be a 17th century portrait. It has been confirmed that the frame is a 17th century frame. When conservation is complete, this will be a very significant addition to the State’s art collection.
The Friends were also involved in the publication of My Unexpected Journey: The Autobiography of Governor Harry Roe Hughes. Profits from the sale of this book will be donated to the Archives by the Friends for education and outreach initiatives. Copies of the book are available from the Archives’ Online Book Store at http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/stagser/s1259/151/pubsonline/html/pubspage_online.html.
Book Launch, My Unexpected Journey: The Autobiography of Harry Roe Hughes, 15 Oct 2006
Dr. Papenfuse mentioned another project that may involve the Friends. The Research Department is working with Judge Lynne A. Battaglia and Judge Deborah Sweet Eyler to create a book about women in the law. The Friends will pay for the production of the book through the research and writing phases, much like Governor Hughes’ autobiography.
described her involvement in writing While a Tree Grew: The Story of
Maryland’s Wye Oak, a children’s book that tells
Commission on Artistic Property. Ms. Bachmann also reported that the Commission on Artistic Property conducted its semi-annual meeting in September. The Commission is beginning to receive some conservation funds for the collection, and important preservation activities are underway for several high profile paintings in the State House. As there are some vacancies on the Commission, Dr. Papenfuse will submit nominations to the Appointment Secretary.
Donations to the Archives. Several years ago, Mr. and Mrs. Ashley Ellefson donated $20,000 to the Archives of Maryland, the interest from which the Archives uses to help support the Internship Program. In November 2006, Dr. Papenfuse received another call from Mr. and Mrs. Ellefson, who wanted to donate another $20,000 and it was received on 5 December.
Jim Bready, a former
Rock and Rye Cordial (1 quart)-The Fleischmann Company-Baltimore, MD; MSA SC 5646-1-469
Activities. Dr. Papenfuse mentioned the recent interest in the
research work of the Governor’s
Commission to Study the Implementation of the Equal Rights Amendment in
the 1970s, especially as it related to same sex marriage. Jennifer Hafner, Deputy Director of Research
and Student Outreach, explained that the Commission was created in 1973, one year after the Maryland General Assembly passed
the Equal Rights Amendment. The Commission was established to examine
The Archives scanned the Commission’s microfiche and made it available on CD. The State Archivist then produced a CD of the images from the microfiche with pdfs of the current case’s briefs, as well as an mpeg file of the Maryland Court of Appeals webcast of the case. Copies of these materials were provided to the Commission members.
Dr. Papenfuse reported that the Research Department had received inquiries about previous gubernatorial inaugurations. The results of the research were posted online and made available to the Inauguration Committee.
Report on State
House Master Plan. Mimi Calver reported on
the State House Master Plan to improve the visitor’s experience at the State House.
After evaluating more than 15 proposals from exhibit design firms from around
the country, C&G Partners of
Report on Mdlandrec.net Project. Mr. Baker stated that the Archives met its goal to have all available land records indexes covering the period 1634 to present online with at least 60 years of retrievable land record instruments for each jurisdiction – a total of 160 million images. The Archives is now focusing on records prior to 1945, as well as image improvement and enhancement. In addition, the mdlandrec installation team will complete the roll-out of the system to the remaining jurisdictions by the summer of 2007.
Tim Baker related that he was recently contacted by the Treasurer of the Maryland Land Title Association. Because they are so pleased with the mdlandrec.net initiative, their Board of Directors wants to donate money to a charity chosen by the Maryland State Archives. The Archives will recommend that they fund part of the Archives’ Underground Railroad research initiative, which uses the land records to assist in the research effort.
Report on the
Need for a New
Archives’ Disaster Recovery Plan. Mr. Baker noted that, while the Archives has had a Disaster Recovery Plan for some time, work is in progress to replicate data and load-balance at a separate site. Archives’ IT staff worked with the Department of Budget and Management and evaluated options at the Department of Transportation, University of Maryland College Park, and University of Maryland Baltimore City (UMBC). Based on a number of factors, the site at UMBC was chosen, and an agreement in principle is now in place. Mr. Baker stated that they hope to have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed and in place by January 2007 for a five year time period, during which UMBC will house the Archives’ servers and storage array.
Search for Quote Turns into Interesting Discovery
by John Gartrell
In late August 2006, Diane Wilson of the Department of General Services
notified the Maryland State Archives of
prospective plans to update the memorial
oak tree plaque dedicated to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the State
House Grounds. With all parties in agreement on a much-needed upgrade, State Archivist Dr. Edward
C. Papenfuse desired to incorporate a quote Dr. King made while speaking
The author, a Research Archivist working on the Study of the Legacy of Slavery in Maryland, went to Soper Library on the campus of Morgan State University in search of an extant transcript of Dr. King’s commencement address to the Class of 1958. Unfortunately, Soper Library Reference staff were unable to identify a known location of any university transcript of the address in question. I then consulted Soper’s microfilmed collection of the Baltimore Afro-American newspaper , in the hope of finding at least a brief description and possible quote recorded by the field reporter present on the day of the commencement, June 2, 1958. Instead of finding a notable quote or two, the Afro printed the speech in its entirety in the June 7th Friday Afternoon Edition. While reading through the words of one of the world’s great historic orators, the conclusion of Dr. King’s speech echoed arguably his most famous speech, “In a few years from now, you will be able to sing with new vim, ‘My Country ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty….let freedom ring…”
The quest for a quote led to an interesting discovery. In Dr. King’s closing remarks to then Morgan State College’s graduating class of 1958, I discovered an antecedent to his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. The significance of this find is fascinating. The section begins with the aforementioned quote and ends with “…free at last, free at last thank God almighty I’m free at last!” All words in between follow the “Dream” speech’s text verbatim.
I contacted notable author and King historian Taylor Branch about the Afro article for some insight on the
genesis of the “I Have A Dream” speech. Branch noted that the
“Dream” speech delivered on August 28, 1963, was actually a compilation
of speeches. He noted that Dr. King, like all great orators, was known for using
the same themes in speeches. However, he said that 1958 was very early in Dr.
King’s career as a national figure and his address to Morgan State
College was one of only a handful of formal speeches given by Dr. King in his
After I provided a report on this find to the State Archivist, I continued to research in order to contextualize the significance of the commencement address. My research showed that the speech had been largely overlooked by most novice and academic King scholars. This revelation gave an even greater meaning to this profound oration.
Signcraft Annapolis was commissioned to use the speech to create an image for the memorial oak plaque. Artist Sharron Fletcher worked diligently to match a visual representation with the words of the speech that personified the legacy of Dr. King. At a press conference on State House grounds on February 28, 2007, the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland sponsored the plaque rededication as a culmination of their Maryland Black History Month celebration. A number of government officials attended the rededication, including Governor Martin J. O’Malley, Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown, and State Senator Verna L. Jones, Chair of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland. The crowd was moved by Ms. Fletcher’s artistic vision: a bronzed mosaic featuring three prominent images of Dr. King, inscribed with the following words:
This tree is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 1929-1968 – Freedom must ring from every mountainside…and when this happens, all…will be able to stand together…and sing a new song…Free at last, free at last, great God Almighty, we are free at last.
A reception followed at Government House
on the evening of February 28, 2007. At the reception, Dr. Papenfuse and this
author made a special presentation to Governor O’Malley: a framed
reproduction of the original June 7, 1958, article that was printed in the
Although it is difficult to tell whether the ‘58
commencement was the first time Dr. King actually delivered the
“Dream” antecedent to a public audience, it is nonetheless
exciting to know that Morgan State University, one of Maryland’s great
institutions of higher learning, was one of the places Dr. King chose to
“test” the impact of such words before delivering them in August
of 1963 at the March on Washington. The Afro
noted that the audience at Morgan received the speech with thunderous
applause. This discovery further binds the State of
To read the full text of Dr. King’s 1958 Commencement Address at Morgan State College, please visit http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/speccol/sc5600/sc5604/pdf/afro_speech.pdf
by Mimi Calver
Elaine Rice Bachmann and Sasha Lourie
have published articles relating to the state-owned art collections in two of
the most prestigious journals in their fields. Elaine, who is Curator of the Maryland
Commission on Artistic Property, had an article on the State’s
historic painting of Washington,
Lafayette and Tilghman at Yorktown published
in the February 2007 issue of Antiques Magazine. Her
article, entitled “Charles Willson
Peale’s Portrait of George Washington for the Maryland State House:
‘Something better than a mere coppy,’”
focused on the research she has done over the past several years on the State’s
commission of the painting in 1781 following the victory at
Sasha, Assistant Curator of the Maryland
Commission on Artistic Property, had his article published in the 2006
edition of American Furniture. His
article, entitled “‘To Superintend the Necessary Repairs’:
The Careers and Work of Washington and William Tuck,” was based on his
prize-winning MA thesis. The article featured the cabinetmakers of
These two articles represent unprecedented visibility for the State’s art collections, and for the level of material culture scholarship maintained by the curatorial staff at the Archives. Both Elaine and Sasha are to be congratulated for their achievements.
by Justin Demski
On June 28, 2006, Justin Demski,
Deputy Director of Reference
Services, and Chris Haley, Director of the Study of
the Legacy of Slavery in Maryland, represented the Maryland State
Archives at the grand opening ceremony of the Frederick Douglass Isaac Myers Maritime
Park, located in Fells Point in Baltimore
City. Douglass and Myers, prominent African Americans, were native
Marylanders who made their homes and established their legacies in
The day’s program included many speakers and some
song. The Frederick Douglass High School Jazz Ensemble, directed by Mr. David
Burton, opened the ceremony with uplifting music. Rev. Dellyne
Hinton, Pastor of Sharp Street United Methodist Church, gave the spiritual
invocation. Charles Thompson then sang a stirring rendition of the “The
Star Spangled Banner.” Najee Rollins and
James Townes, students at
The Maryland State Archives thanks the Living Classrooms Foundation and Dr. Dianne Swann-Wright for extending an invitation to the event and acknowledging the assistance from the Archives during her remarks. The very successful event was greatly appreciated by all who attended.
For more information on the
by Robert Barnes
R. Bernice Leonard, 8 July 1916-30 August 2006, was a longtime
patron of the Archives, researcher, and author. Ill health had prevented her
from visiting the Archives in recent years, but she will long be remembered
for her positive outlook, her pleasant manner, and her indomitable courage.
It was a delight to see her in the Search Room. She was the author of 80
books, including many volumes of abstracts of Queen Anne’s County,
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis (Gustave Faure, Requiem).
The Maryland State Archives is an independent agency in the Office of the Governor and is advised by the Hall of Records Commission. The Chairman of the Hall of Records Commission is the Honorable Robert M. Bell, Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals.