The Archivist's Bulldog

Vol. 10 No. 13, Newsletter of the Maryland State Archives, July 8, 1996


GRAND JURY INSPECTIONS OF COUNTY HOME AND COURTHOUSE
by Pat Melville

[Continuation of analysis of ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT (Grand Jury Reports) 1933-1966 [MSA C2137] and ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION (Grand Jury Reports) 1969-1981 [MSA CM1178].]

When investigating the County Home and the courthouse, the Anne Arundel County grand juries repeatedly cited insufficiencies in both facilities. The County Home was a public institution for housing indigent and mostly elderly county citizens. The county had acquired the property in 1828 for use as an almshouse. Throughout the twentieth century the population of the County Home decreased, thus becoming less and less economically feasible. In 1933 it offered services for nineteen residents, and in 1965 only seven.

The April 1965 grand jury report contained a detailed description of the property. The home was situated on the South River in Edgewater and consisted of three buildings. The main building, a colonial brick structure, housed the superintendent and his family and all female residents and contained the only cooking and dining facilities. A one-story dormitory served as quarters for the male residents. An old stable was used as a storage shed. Since 1948 the grand juries had recommended sale of the property because the colonial building was historically valuable and its waterfront location would generate enough revenue to purchase a different site and build a better facility. By 1965 the jury was suggesting that such funds be used to house patients in privately run nursing centers.

The main building and site of the County Home property has since been restored as the London Town Publick House and Gardens.

With each grand jury holding its hearings in the courthouse members had ample opportunity to view its physical conditions and generally found them inadequate. In 1933 the jury reported poor ventilation in the clerk's office, no fire extinguishers in the basement or boiler room, and no place to safely store records in the tax office. In 1940 a "thorough examination of the physical condition of the Court house was not necessary because it is so plainly seen, even without inspection, that the whole building, inside and outside, is fast deteriorating because of the lack of repairs...." Woodwork was crumbling for lack of paint and window panes falling out for lack of putty. Paper records scattered about and exposed electric wires presented fire hazards. Basement offices lacked proper lighting and adequate heating.

A 1948 grand jury recommended "that the Hall of Records might be importuned to store valuable County Records until such time as a new Court House will be built and proper storage provided for these documents." Although a new facility was not forthcoming, the building was remodeled and an addition constructed shortly thereafter. By 1955 the grand jury reports began again to contain indications of overcrowding because of the expansion of services required by rapid county growth.

In 1978 the grand jury cited problems of overcrowding, maintenance, and security. Prisoners transferred from motor vehicles to holding cells in the basement and from the cells to courtrooms passed through public hallways, stairways, and elevators. The number of security officers was insufficient for covering all floors of the courthouse or for providing 24-hour protection. There was considerable debate about whether to remodel the current building or construct a new facility in a new location, a dispute that continued until just a few years ago. The jury in 1978 favored the latter solution, but in the interim recommended that the county relocate offices on the third floor, reevaluate record storage, conduct annual fire inspections, post floor plans and evacuation routes, provide additional security, and have future juries "continue to stress the inadequacy of the courthouse facilities...."

Today in Annapolis one can see the ongoing resolution of the courthouse problems as the building is being remodeled and expanded.

HALL OF RECORDS COMMISSION MEETING
by Pat Melville

On June 19 the Hall of Records Commission met at the State Archives, presided over by Chairman Robert C. Murphy. One of the first orders of business was a resolution of condolence to the family of former State Treasurer and Commission member Lucille Maurer.

Ed gave a illustrated presentation concerning his research trip to England in May. For many years Rev. Taylor has been promoting the recognition of Cecil Calvert, the founder of Maryland, who was buried in St. Giles Churchyard in London. Finally after thirty years a memorial was developed with assistance from the Archives on the text and graphics. The Pride of Baltimore carried the memorial from St. Mary's City to London. From dockside the memorial was delivered to the church on horse drawn cart, escorted by the St. Mary's militia.

While in England Ed visited the Tower of London where he saw the room in which Sir Walter Raleigh wrote the History of the World. He also conducted research at the Royal Bank of London Archives whose records date from the mid 1660s. He was looking for information about the acquisition of funds for the settlement of Maryland.

The State Archives is helping the Comptroller's office develop its web site which should be ready in September and will contain tax forms along with instructions.

The Archives has placed several finding aids on our web site. All government records are listed at the series level and many at the series unit level for original records and those on film. There are links to available information about agency histories and series descriptions, including scanned copies of a few records. The web site also contains significant portions of special collections, including information maintained elsewhere. The entry for St. Margaret's Protestant Episcopal Church, for example, has been linked to the homepage maintained by the parish.

Ed discussed the State House dome, in particular the recent findings about the physical condition of the acorn. The Commission saw a copy of the Charles Willson Peale drawing of the State House, which is coded with letters that indicate colors. It is assumed that Peale planned to place the State House in a future painting.

Guests at the meeting included two representatives of The Peabody Institute - Dr. Robert Sirota, Director, and Ms. Elizabeth Schaaf, Archivist. Earlier in the day the Board of Public Works had accepted the transfer of the Peabody art collection to ownership by the State, to be managed by the Artistic Properties Commission. An electronic version of a finding aid to the collection was prepared. It contains a history of the collection, a biography of George Peabody, 1795-1869, and a few images. Eventually the guide on our web site will contain images of all paintings and other materials in the collection. The guide can be found on our Web site under Reference Services/Special Collections.

ADDITIONS TO SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
by Nancy Bramucci

MSA SC4586: Annapolis Camera Club Collection, 1950 ca. Slides, C & O Canal. Gift, Marion Warren.

MSA SC4589: Peace Accord Collection, 1993. Materials relating to Public Law 103-150, 103rd US Congress, and the 100th Anniversary of the Overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Copies, photograph. Gift, Lindsay L. (Ka'Leo) Lindsey via Lt. Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.

MSA SC4590: Madore Collection, 1907 ca. Photographs, Washington tour bus and unknown city scene. Gift, John Madore.

MSA SC4591: Ford Collection, var. d. Scrapbook containing newspaper clippings related to World War II; photostats of house and Civil War order not to burn it; articles by Frank Kennedy in the Jacksonville Journal, c. 1939; newspaper photos of Roosevelt and Queen of England. Original. Deposit, Wilma Jean Ford.

MSA SC4592: Middleton Collection, 1775. Olive Branch Petition, 8 July 1775. Facsimile of original in HM Public Record Office, London. Facsimile. Gift, Canon A. Pierce Middleton.

MSA SC4593: Smallwood Collection, 1778. General Smallwood's Orderly Book. From collection of the U.S. Naval Academy Library, MS no. 171. Microfilm. Gift, Ross Kimmel & U.S. Naval Academy Library.

MSA SC4636: Cummins Collection, 1781-1993 [1995]. Robert Towles Cummins, Jr., Evidence for the Descent of Robert Towles Cumming, Jr. from Ensign Robert Cummins, Thirty-Ninth Regiment of Baltimore City, War of 1812. Submitted by the author in an application for membership in the General Society of the War of 1812. Copy. Gift, Robert Towles Cummins, Jr.

MSA SC4638: Maryland Department of Education Collection, 1996. Maryland Women's History Resource Display Kit, "Working Women Count - Women's Work Counts: Maryland Profiles." Contains photographs and profiles of contemporary Maryland women of diverse backgrounds in a wide range of career areas. Original. Gift, Maryland Department of Education.

MSA SC4640: Mostwin Collection, 1957 ca. Dom Starej Lady [House of an Old Lady]. In Polish. Stories of immigrants from Poland to other countries after World War II and their adaptation to new countries in the first years. Original, microfilm. Deposit, Hanna Szczepanowska.

MSA SC4642: Scott-Parish Collection, var. d. Family papers, John Beatty Scott. Includes photographs. Original, photographs. Gift, Isobel M. Parrish and Scott Parrish.

MSA SC4646: Tolley Collection, 1754-1775 [1995]. David R. Owens and Michael C. Tolley, eds., The Maryland Court of Vice Admiralty: A Transcription of "Admiralty Court -- Minutes (1754-1775)". Electronic copy.

MSA SC4650: Landsat Map Collection, n.d. Maps, Landsat photographs of the Chesapeake Bay. Color negatives.

MSA SC4659: Montgomery County Historical Society Collection, n. d. Constitution of the Farmers Society. Black and white negatives. Deposit, Montgomery County Historical Society.

MSA SC4660: Carr Collection, var. d. Genealogy, Carr family, 1970 supplement to family record book for the Carr Clan of Annarundell issued on October 15, 1967. Copy. Gift, Helen Orme.

MSA SC4661: Crespo Collection, 1963-1991. Newspapers, relating to the civil disturbances in Cambridge, 1963; Baltimore 1968; Mississippi, 1962; and Los Angeles, 1992. Includes News American (Baltimore), 8-9 Apr. 1968; Capital (Annapolis) 1 May 1992; Baltimore News-Post, 1 Oct. 1962, 17 Jul. 1963, 28 Aug. 1963. Original, electronic. Deposit, Virginia Crespo.

MSA SC4662: Holy Family Church History Collection, var. d. Research notes, Holy Family Church, Davidsonville. Materials used for compilation of book by Pat Holland, From Seminary to Parish: A History of Holy Family Catholic Church 1890-1994. Includes photographs, oral history tapes, and published histories of Holy Trinity Church, Glen Burnie, and St. Jane Frances de Chantal, Pasadena. Copies, photographs, tapes. Gift, Pat Holland.

MSA SC4663: Key School Collection, 1913-1936. Plats and architectural plans, Key School, Anne Arundel County, Annapolis: plat, Hillsmere, showing orchards and county roads, Aug. 1913, E. Lacy Chinn, surveyor; basement, ground floor, second floor plans, Hilsmere, Residence for Martin H. Smith, Esq., 30 Apr. 1915; plat, Mrs. Martin H. Smith, "Hilsmere Farm", surveyed by Fidelity-Phenix Fire Insurance Co. for Julian Brewer & Son, 1 May 1930 corrected to September 1936 [2 copies]. Copies, blueprints. Deposit, Rick Oliver on behalf of Key School.

MSA SC4666: Arundel-on-the-Bay Collection, 1900 ca-1951 ca. Photographs of a house in Arundel-on-the-Bay, used in evidence in the Anne Arundel County Equity Case, Clyde T. Coble, et al vs. Property Owners Association of Arundel-on-the-Bay (MSA T71-122-21124). Original.

MSA SC4667: Stoneman Collection, var. d. Mildred Stoneman, "St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Church: List of all persons known to be buried in the church cemetery." Typescript. Gift, Mildred Stoneman.

MSA SC4669: Johnson Collection, 1951-1995. Amelia G. Johnson, "A History of the 450th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airbourne)." MLA thesis, Johns Hopkins University, 1996. Original. Gift, Amelia Johnson.

MSA SC4670: Inner Wheel of Annapolis Collection, 1948-1992. Charlotte Brown Huse, "The Beginning of the Inner Wheel of Annapolis." Report given on the 40th anniversary, June 1995. Typescript. Gift, Rotary Club, Inner Wheel of Annapolis.

MSA SC4671: Alex Haley "Roots" Collection, n.d. Photograph, some of the cast and production team of Roots and Roots: The Next Generations. Photograph. Gift, University of Tennessee.

MSA SC4673: Church and School Collection, 1900 ca - 1950 ca. Photographs and information pertaining to: Calvary Methodist Church, Annapolis; Indian Springs Meeting House; St. Stephen's Church, Millersville; St. Peter's Church and Log Cabin School #3, Fort George G. Meade; Shipley family home, "Fairview"; and Alexander Warfield homes "Brandy" and "Warfield Plains." Photographs, negatives, original.

MSA SC4674: Theodore R. McKeldin Collection, 1932-1939. Theodore R. McKeldin Papers. Series V: Scrapbooks. Box 19: 1932-Nov. 1937. Box 20: Nov. 1937 - Aug. 1939. Original, microfilm. Deposit, University of Maryland College Park.

MSA SC4675: Seward Collection, var. d. Genealogical material, John Steward, DO. Copies. Gift, Frances Dittmann.

MSA SC4676: Theissen Collection, n.d. Photograph, panoramic view of USS Maryland football team. Gift, Derek Theissen.

MSA SC4677: Coleman Collection, 1775-1783 [1985]. Facsimile of Washington's Accounts During the Revolutionary War. From the Original Papers in the Library of Congress and in the National Archives. Published for the benefit of the Manuscript Society by William R. Coleman in recognition of the Bicentennial of the successful conclusion of the Revolutionary War. Facsimile. Gift, William Coleman.

MSA SC4679: Prince George's County Video Collection, 1996. Video, Maryland Public Television "Prince George's County, A 300-Year Journey." Videotape. Gift, Maryland Public Television.



THE ARCHIVIST'S BULLDOG

Founded 1987

Edward C. Papenfuse, State Archivist

Patricia V. Melville, Editor

Mimi Calver, Assistant Editor

Lynne MacAdam, Production Editor

Rita Molter, Circulation

The Maryland State Archives is an independent agency in the Office of Governor Parris N. Glendening and is advised by the Hall of Records Commission, the Honorable Robert C. Murphy, chairman.

The Archivist's Bulldog is issued bi-monthly to publicize record collections, finding aids, and other activities of the Archives. The Editor welcomes editorial comments and contributions from the public.

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