The Chesapeake Bay is dividing Maryland into two distinct parts, but it also provides the state with a couple of excellent harbors and top of the line sea-food. The area is famous for this, especially crabs.
Defending Fort McHenry during the War of 1812 was an inspiration for the national U.S. anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner’, and there are historians who think that the Fort McHenry success indeed ‘preserved us a nation’ as our anthem states.
The region that now is Maryland was rented by the ‘Lords Baltimore’ and their yearly rent was two Indian arrows each year and complete and unconditional loyalty to the King of England. Though Maryland was considered a southern slave-holding state, the region had a high standard of loyalty towards the Union at the times of the Civil War.
Maryland made many contributions to the Union, the most remarkable probably being the donation of the area of the national capital. The state of Maryland is continuing to reap the benefits of its location so close to D.C. and the ever-expanding government activities and other commercial activities make the state a favored site for people to live.
Quick Facts about Maryland
– Maryland has the narrowest width of all states (near Hancock: just 1 mile).
– The state has more navigable rivers than any other state.
– One of the nation’s best sources of marine fossils.
– Maryland had America’s first military highway.
– First U.S. railway locomotive.
– Maryland had the first telegraph line in the world: D.C. – Baltimore.
– The first U.S. umbrellas were manufactured in Maryland.
Maryland Brief history
Giovanni de Verrazano is believed to have visited the area around Chincoteague Bay in 1524, and the first European explorers came to the region in 1608, when John Smith, an English captain, brought his ship ashore here. William Chitborne set up a trading post in 1631 (on Kent Island), and this was the earliest settlement by Europeans in the area of what now is Maryland.
In 1633, on November 22nd, Cecilius Calvert (the 2nd Lord Baltimore), came to the area to overtake his great grant, but a lot of conflicts resulted in an unsettled period during the times of Cromwell, but the new English King, Charles II, was affirming the Baltimore Lords’ claims and rule in 1660.
In the year 1692, the control over the colony of Maryland was taken over by a new royal governor, and Annapolis became the new capital in 1694. Baltimore was established in the year 1729, and in that same year all boundary disputes with the neighboring Pennsylvania were settled.
In 1754, a then still young George Washington had begun to work on Fort Mt. Pleasant in an attempt to discourage claims by France in the western regions. Maryland had a ‘tea party’ of its own in 1774, as protesters objected against England’s tax on tea, and the area chose its delegates to be sent to the Continental Congress. Maryland troops also played an important role in the 1776 Battle of Long Island where Washington’s troops were saved from destruction.
Maryland’s Navy then played a crucial role in the Revolution in 1778, as Count Casimir Pulaski was organizing his independent and proud ‘legion’ of brave fighting men in the Baltimore area. As Philadelphia was troubled by mob actions at the time, Annapolis became the capital of the young and new-born United States on November 26th 1783, and Maryland became the seventh U.S. state on April 28th, 1788.
At the times of the War of 1812, Baltimore’s bells were used to warn the population if a British fleet got in sight. The fleet started to attack Fort McHenry with some pretty advanced weaponry such as new rockets, but when outside of Baltimore, the British were defeated the war had come to a turning point.
Though there was a lot of opposition against slavery, especially in the western area, Baltimore had turned into a slave trade center, and when the Civil War broke out, President Abraham Lincoln put Maryland under military rule and control. The ‘Battle of Antietam Creek’ (in the Sharpsburg area) took place on September 17th, 1862, and this battle was the nation’s most costly 1-day battle with around 23,000 wounded or dead casualties.
More than 62,000 Maryland residents went to World War I, and it was in 1927, that America’s first interracial commission was installed in Maryland. and during World War II more than 250,000 Marylanders went to fight and more than 6,000 perished.