Catholic Answers

Search Articles


Navigation

Search Scans
Scans by volume
Random Article
Login - advanced access

Collections

1,001 Saints
List of Popes
Art Gallery
Map Room
RSS Feeds RSS

Curricula

Apologetics
Art
Catechetics
Christology
Church Hierarchy
Church History - to 1517 A.D.
Education
Ethics
Hagiography - saints
Homiletics - sermons
Mariology - on Mary
Patrology
Philosophy
Religious Orders
Sacred Scripture
Science

Front Matter — Vol I

Title Page
Copyright & Imprimatur
To the Knights of Columbus
Preface
Contributors
Tables of Abbreviations

Site Status

Articles:11,552
Images:42,348
Links:183,872
Updated:  Aug 12, 2013
prev: Mary Frances of the Five Wounds of Jesus, Saint Mary Frances of the Five Wounds of Jesus, Saint Mary Magdalen next: Mary Magdalen

Maryland

Treatment of the American state

High Resolution Scan ———————————

Login or register to access high resolution scans and other advanced features.

Registration is Free!

Errata* for Maryland:
———————————

Login or register to access the errata and other advanced features.

Registration is Free!


————
* Published by Encyclopedia Press, 1913.

Maryland. —One of the thirteen English colonies which after the Revolution of 1776 became the original States of the American Union. Its total area is 13,327 square miles, of which 3386 square miles are water. The total population (1906) was 1,275,434; of this total 37.1 per cent was reported in the census as claiming to be church-members (23-7 per cent Protestants; 13.1 per cent Catholics; 0.3 per cent all others), and 62-9 per cent not reported as church members. The numerical rank of the state has decreased in every census period, being sixth in 1790 and twenty-sixth in 1900. The foreign population is small, and the negro population about 248,000. Baltimore, the chief city, increased 9 per cent in population during the census decade 1900-1910. The federal census of 1910 gives it 558,485 inhabitants as against 508,957 in 1900.

The state census of 1908 shows 401 church organizations with a membership (communicants) of 473,-257. In this enumeration the Catholics are set down at 166,941, which is, owing to the government method of computation, 15 per cent less than the actual claim of the church authorities. Other totals are: Baptists, 30,928; Disciples, or Christians, 2984; bunkers, 4450; Friends, 2079; German Evangelicals, 8384; Lutheran bodies, 32,246; Methodists 137,156; Presbyterians, 17,895; Reformed Presbyterians, 13,461; United Brethren, 6541. The total number of church edifices reported was 2814, with a seating capacity of 810,701 and a valuation of $23,765,172.

COLONIAL PERIOD.—"On March 25, 1634", says the Jesuit Father Andrew White, in his "Relatio Itineris in Marylandiam", or "Narrative of the Voyage of The Ark and The Dove", "we celebrated Mass for the first time in the island (St. Clement's). This had never been done before in this part of the world", and it was the beginning of the Maryland colony. The expedition, the landing of which on the shores of St. Mary's is thus described, was organized and sent out by Cecilius Calvert (q.v.), the second Lord Baltimore, and the first Proprietary of Maryland, under a charter issued to him, June 20, 1632, by Charles I of England. This charter was the handiwork of George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore, the father of Cecilius, and was intended to be issued to himself, but, as he died on the fifteenth of the preceding April, the charter went out to his son Cecilius, the heir to his title and estates and to his long-cherished scheme of English Catholic colonization in the Western Hemisphere. The charter contained the grant of an extensive territory, which was set out and defined by clear and explicit metes and bounds, containing nearly double the present land area of Maryland, embracing what is now the State of Delaware, a tract of Southern Pennsylvania, 15 miles wide by 138 miles long, and the fertile valley lying between the north and south branches of the Potomac River. The means by which the lords proprietary were deprived of so large a part of the territory given to them by the express language of the charter does not belong to this article. [See Russell, "Land of Sanctuary" (Baltimore, 1907), passim.] The charter also contained the most comprehensive grant of civil and political authority and jurisdiction that ever emanated from the English Crown. It was a palatinate that was created with all the royal and viceregal rights pertaining to the unique and exceptional kind of government then existing in the Bishopric of Durham. The grantee appointed the governor and all the civil and military officers of the province. The writs ran in his name. He had power of life and death over the inhabitants as regards punishments for crime. He could erect manors, the grantees of which enjoyed all the rights and privileges belonging to that kind of estate in England. Many of them were created. He could confer titles of honor and thus establish a colonial aristocracy. Of all the territory embraced within the boundaries clearly set out in the charter, "the grantee, his heirs, successors and assigns, were made and constituted the true and absolute lords and proprietaries".

Sir George Calvert (q.v.), having become a convert to the Catholic faith in 1625, with his son Cecilius, then nineteen years of age, withdrew from public office, and sailed for Avalon in Newfoundland, a charter for which province had been granted him by King James. He carried with him a secular priest to attend to the spiritual wants of the Catholic colonists, and also a Protestant minister to supply those of the Protestant members of the expedition. In this act Sir George gave practical evidence of his recognition and acceptance of the principle of religious freedom and of the rights of conscience, of which his son Cecilius was to be so illustrious and shining a supporter. After a year's residence in Avalon, Sir George sailed south in quest of a more genial climate and a more kindly soil. He reached Jamestown, Virginia, but the authorities of that English settlement refused him permission to land unless he would take the oath of supremacy as well as that of allegiance. The latter he was willing to take, the former, as a Catholic, he declined. Returning to England he sought and obtained from Charles the charter of Maryland. Dying before it passed the great seal, the charter was issued to his son Cecilius, the second Lord Baltimore and the first Lord Proprietary of the Province of Maryland.

The charter to Cecilius was opposed by the agents of the Virginia colonists, on the ground that the grant was an encroachment on the territory of Virginia. This contention was untenable. For, by the judgment of the King's Bench in 1624, eight years before the issuing of the Baltimore Charter, in certain quo warrants proceedings instituted in the King's Bench, the Virginia colony was converted into a royal colony, and the king revested with the title to all the territory embraced in the charter of the London or Virginia Company, with full power and authority to grant all or any part of it to whomsoever he pleased, which he subsequently freely exercised without question in the cases of the grants of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the Carolinas and the northern neck of Virginia. The question was only raised as to the grant of Maryland, and that solely and avowedly because it was a grant to a Catholic nobleman for the purpose of establishing a Catholic colony. The committee of the Privy Council on American plantations, after a full hearing of both parties, unanimously decided" to leave the Lord Baltimore to his charter, and the Protestants to their remedy at law". Not having any such remedy, they did not, as they could not, resort to it. After numerous delays and detentions caused by its enemies, the expedition sailed from Southampton, November 22, 1633. By an arrangement previously made by Lord Baltimore the expedition stopped at Cowes, in the Isle of Wight, and took on board the Jesuit Fathers Andrew White and John Altham (alias Gravenor) with some lay brothers and servants. The general description of the personnel of the expedition is that it consisted of "twenty gentlemen adventurers", all of whom, with perhaps one exception, were Catholics and of good families. With these were associated a number of artisans, mechanics, and laborers estimated at 250, the greater part of whom, it is said, were Protestants.

Cecilius Calvert carefully prepared and delivered to his brother Leonard (q.v.), whom he appointed governor, and to the two commissioners, Hawley and Comwaleys, associated with him in the government of his province, a body of instructions for their conduct while on the voyage, and when and after they should reach their destination. In this first article he enjoins, both on shipboard and on land, an abstinence from all religious controversies, "to preserve peace and unity amongst all the passengers and to suffer no scandal or offense, whereby just complaint may be made by them in Virginia or in England... and to treat the Protestants with as much mildness and favor as justice will require". During the voyage, among the passengers, embracing men of opposite creeds and separated by widely different social conditions, confined for four tedious months on the crowded decks of the Ark and the Dove, there occurred nothing to mar and disturb its harmony. On landing, the colonists were kindly received by the Indians. Governor Calvert purchased from the tribe of the Piscataways, who occupied this land, the possession of a considerable tract he aborigines gave to the colonists as a temporary shelter one of their principal villages. The wigwam of the chief was assigned to the two priests as a residence and a chapel, and they immediately began their apostolical labors, first among the Protestant colonists, most of whom in a short time accepted the true Faith. Father White prepared a grammar, a dictionary, and a catechism in the language of the Piscataways which was destroyed at the time of the Ingle invasion (see below). Tayac, the chief of this powerful tribe, was converted, with his wife, his family, and many of his tribe, as well as a princess of the Patuxents, a neighboring tribe, and a number of her people.

The genial climate, the fertile soil, the liberal conditions of plantation promulgated by the lord proprietary, the security and safety enjoyed by the colonists, the religious freedom and equality secured to the members of every Christian denomination, soon attracted a numerous immigration, and the colony grew apace.

But a change came. The inhabitants of Virginia had abated none of their hostility to a Catholic colony in their neighborhood and of their determination if possible to break up and destroy it. William Claiborne, a member of the Council of Government of that colony, had, under a licence he had obtained from Governor Harvey of Virginia to trade with the Indians, and a licence from Sir William Alexander, the Secretary of State for Scotland, to trade with the Dutch at Manhattan and the people of Newfoundland, established a trading post on Kent Island in the Chesapeake Bay within the boundaries of Lord Baltimore's grant, for the purpose of carrying on his business as a trader. He had never obtained a grant of any lands whatever. He was a mere squatter on the island, without a title to a single acre of it. He refused to acknowledge Lord Baltimore's charter and rights, and to submit to his authority, referring the matter to the Council of Virginia which upheld him. Governor Calvert thereupon proceeded to reduce the island to submission. Claiborne, with the aid of some of the Virginians, but without any authority of the Virginian government, organized an expedition to recapture the island. He was met by a force of Governor Calvert, commanded by Captain Cornwaleys, and defeated, but escaped capture, to be for the rest of his lawless and incendiary career a thorn in the side of Calvert and the unrelenting foe of the Catholic colonists.

In 1644 Richard Ingle, instigated and aided by Claiborne, made a sudden descent upon the province in a vessel named the Reformation, compelled Governor Calvert and some of the principal persons of the colony, including two of the Jesuit Fathers, to fly to Virginia, captured and burned St. Mary's, destroyed valuable records, plundered and destroyed the residences of many of the inhabitants, especially the houses and chapels of the missionaries, and took Father White a prisoner in chains to London, where he had him indicted as a returned Jesuit priest, an offense for which death was the punishment. Father White pleaded, however, that his return was not voluntary, and escaped.

The avowed object of both these piratical raids was the destruction of the Catholic colony of Maryland. Lord Baltimore, seeing the disturbed condition of things, wrote to his brother the governor to save what he could out of the wreck of his fortunes and retire from the province. Leonard Calvert had, however, already taken steps to recover possession, and, returning with a small force of friends and adherents, drove out the marauders and reestablished his authority. While Cecilius Calvert was thus confronting his enemies, who with untiring industry were seeking to involve his charter, his province, his colonists and the Jesuit fathers in a common ruin, he became engaged in an unfortunate controversy with the Jesuits over a tract of land they had received as a gift from some of their Indian converts without the knowledge or consent of the Proprietary, and the surrender of which the governor demanded. The priests refused to give it up until, after several years of somewhat acrimonious controversy, the father general of the order decided in Lord Baltimore's favor. Lord Baltimore did not object so much to the acquisition of lands by the fathers, but to the method and manner of that acquisition by grants or gifts from the Indians, in derogation of what he regarded his right and his title to these lands, under the express provisions of his charter. In 1651 Cecilius Calvert set apart 10,000 acres of land near Calverton Manor for the benefit of the Indian converts, under the care and direction of the fathers, the first fund established within the English possessions in America for the support of Indian missions.

Peace and order being restored by the return of Governor Leonard Calvert to the province, and the reestablishment of Lord Baltimore's authority, Maryland entered on a brief period of prosperity and began to grow in population and wealth. There are no statistics on which to base an opinion as to the number of the inhabitants of the province at this period (1645), but the best opinion puts it at between four and five thousand.—Three-fourths of this number were Catholics. They held most of the offices under the appointment of the proprietary, and constituted a majority of the legislative body, and continued to do so until the Puritan Rebellion. The number of Jesuits serving the Maryland Missions aver-aged four annually from 1634 to 1650. Among them were Fathers Andrew White, Thomas Copley (alias Philip Fisher), and Ferdinand Poulton (alias John Brock and Morgan). These missionaries converted nearly if not quite all of the Protestant colonists who came out in the Ark and the Dove, and many of those who had come into the province afterwards from England and Virginia. To these were added, pending the difficulty between the fathers and Lord Baltimore, four Franciscans, who soon retired, however, and left the field to the Jesuits.

In 1649 the General Assembly of the province passed the celebrated Toleration Act. From the foundation of the colony, therefore, religious freedom had been the inviolable rule and practice of the provincial government. Under a provision in the charter giving to the Lords Baltimore the initiation of legislation in the province, Cecilius Calvert had drawn up a body of laws, sixteen in number, to be adopted by the Assembly, and among them was this famous Act. It was passed by that body, the majority of whom were Catholics, without a dissenting voice. "And whereas", it reads, "the enforcing of the conscience in matters of religion hath frequently fallen out to be of dangerous consequence in those commonwealths where it bath been practiced, and for the more quiet and peaceable government of the province and the better to preserve mutual love and amity amongst the inhabitants thereof: Be it therefore enacted that noe person or persons whatsoever within this province...professing to believe in Jesus Christ, shall henceforth be in any waies troubled, molested or discountenanced for or in respect of his or her religion or in the free exercise thereof within this province nor in anything compelled to the belief or exercise of any other religion against his or her consent." The act then provides penalties for violation of its provisions. In the controversies about this celebrated Act of Toleration, efforts have been made by many Protestant writers to deprive Cecilius Calvert of the merit of its authorship, but the judgment of all fair historians gives to Cecilius Calvert, and to him alone, following the example of his father, the honor of "being the first in the annals of mankind", as Bancroft says in his "History of the United States", "to make religious freedom the basis of the State".

Cecilius Calvert was a conscientious Catholic. Indeed, "it was to that fact that he owed the continuous hostility he had to meet with", says Prof. William Hand Browne of Johns Hopkins University in his "History of a Palatinate": "He had only to declare himself a Protestant and all this hostility would have ceased. This he did not do." In 1643, the House of Burgesses of Virginia passed a stringent law requiring of all persons a strict conformity with the worship and discipline of the Church of England, the established Church of that colony. This act was put into vigorous execution by the governor, and a considerable body of Puritans were driven out of Virginia into Maryland. At their solicitation Governor Stone gave them a large tract of land on the Severn, where they made a settlement, calling it Providence (now Annapolis). Soon they began to complain that their consciences would not allow them to acknowledge the authority of a Catholic proprietary, and in 1650 they started a rebellion, and seized the government of the colony. They convened a General Assembly to which Catholics were declared to be ineligible either as members or electors. The first thing this illegal and revolutionary body did was to repeal the Act of Toleration of 1649, and to enact another "Concerning Religion" which contained this provision: "That none who profess and exercise the Papistic, commonly known as the Roman Catholic religion, can be protected in this province." By this act Catholics and Church of England adherents were expressly proscribed, and the profession of any other religion could be included as the caprice or intolerance of its authors should at any time require.

During the Puritan usurpation the Catholic Church suffered greatly. Swashbucklers paraded the province, breaking into the chapels and mission houses and destroying property. Three of the Jesuit priests fled to Virginia, where they kept themselves in hiding for two or three years, enduring great privations. One only remained in Maryland. In 1658 the government of the province was restored to Lord Baltimore. A General Assembly was convoked which reenacted the Toleration Act of 1649. This Act remained on the statute book under the Catholic proprietaries until the Protestant Revolution of 1689. Maryland now enjoyed another era of quiet and prosperity, and the Jesuits returning to the province resumed their missionary labors. In 1660 the population of the province numbered 12,000; in 1665, 16,000; and in 1671, 20,000. This rapid increase is a proof of the wisdom and liberality of the proprietary's rule. The Catholic inhabitants during this period, the majority of whom were in St. Mary's and Charles Counties, were estimated to be between 4000 and 5000, served by two, sometimes three, Jesuits and two Franciscans who arrived in 1673.

Philip Calvert, brother of Cecilius, was governor from 1660 to 1662, when he was succeeded by Charles Calvert, the son and heir of Cecilius, who, on the death of his father in 1675, became the third Lord Baltimore and second proprietary of the province. Charles married and settled in the province, and lived there several years, discharging the duties of governor as well as of proprietary according to liberal and enlightened principles and with consideration for the welfare of the inhabitants. In 1683 the General Assembly voted him 100,000 lbs. of tobacco as an expression of" the duty gratitude and affection" of the people of the province. This he declined on the ground that it would impose too great a tax burden on the people.

PURITAN USURPATION.—Charles was not, however, without his troubles. Attempts were made in 1676 to force him to make public provision for the clergymen of the Church of England. This, following his father's example, he declined to do, and with the approval of the inhabitants, because of the worthless character and scandalous conduct of most of the ministers of that denomination sent over from England. In 1676 a proclamation was issued by the Protestant malcontents denouncing the government of the Catholic Proprietary, demanding its extinction, and the appointment of a royal governor. They assembled in arms in Calvert County to carry out their program, but Governor Notley, in the absence of Sir Charles Calvert in England, quickly suppressed the movement and hanged two of the ringleaders. Later on the malcontents availed themselves of the opportunity created by the Revolution in England to raise the standard of revolt against the government of Lord Baltimore, and to call upon all good Protestants to aid in its overthrow. Under the leadership of one John Coode, an apostate Catholic, a Colonel Jowles and others formed "The Protestant Association in arms to defend the Protestant religion". All sorts of lying charges against the Catholics were scattered broadcast through the community. They were accused among other things of forming an alliance with the Indians for the massacre of the Protestants. The Government of the proprietary was overthrown, and a Committee of Public Safety was installed in its place. This Committee appealed to William and Mary for a recognition, and to the discredit of those monarchs it was given.

Lord Baltimore, without the charge of a single offense being brought against him, except that he was a Catholic, without a trial by a jury of his peers, against his earnest protest, and notwithstanding the remonstrances of large numbers of respectable Protestants in several of the counties, was deprived of all the civil and political authority conferred upon him in the charter, and remained so deprived until his death in 1715. William and Mary without a scruple took over the province, made it a royal colony, and appointed Lionel Copley governor... And now began the reign of religious intolerance and bigotry. William and Mary, although they deprived Lord Baltimore of his government of the province in violation of the express provisions of the charter, refused to sanction the repeated attempts made by the Maryland usurpers to rob him of his proprietary rights. These rights he retained until his death in 1715, administering his land office, appointing his surveyors, collecting his rents and issuing, as the only recognized source of title, grants and patents for lands to claimants under the conditions of plantation promulgated by his father Cecilius. This retention of his territory enabled the proprietary to save his province and the future State of Maryland from absorption by either Virginia or Pennsylvania colonies. Encouraged by the Government both in England and in the colony, and by the sympathy and support of the Protestant inhabitants of Maryland, the revolutionists began an era of religious persecution.

In 1692 an "Act of Religion" was passed whereby all the penal laws of England existing at that time against the Catholics were declared to be in force in the colony. This Act established the Church of England as the Church of the province, and provided for conformity with its worship and discipline. To Episcopal clergymen was given jurisdiction in testamentary causes. The members of the Church of England at that time constituted but a small minority of the people. To the Dissenters and the Quakers, who together with the Catholics formed a considerable majority of the people, this act was very obnoxious. Under the rule of the Catholic proprietaries there was no Established Church, no tax imposed for its support, no conformity with its worship and discipline required under penalties for non-compliance. In 1702 an Act was passed exempting Puritans and Quakers and all other kinds of Dissenters from the provisions of this law, except the one imposing an annual tax of 40 pounds of tobacco per poll on all the inhabitants for the support of the Establishment. To the Catholics no relief whatever from these burdens was extended. They and they alone remained subject to the pains, penalties, disabilities, and taxes provided in this Act. By the Test Oath of 1692 Catholic attorneys were debarred from practising in the provincial courts. By the Act of 1704 Catholics were prohibited from practising their religion; priests were debarred from the exercise of their functions; priests and parents forbidden to teach Catholic children their religion, and the children encouraged to refuse obedience to the rule and authority of their parents.

Charles, Lord Baltimore, died February 20, 1715. His son Benedict Leonard now succeeded to the title and estates. This son, a few years before the death of his father, had renounced the Catholic Faith, and with his family had conformed to the Church of England. His father, incensed by this conduct, had cut off his allowance. To replace this, Queen Anne had, on the petition of Benedict, directed Governor Hart to provide for him an annuity of £500 out of the revenue of the province. This apostasy proved an injury to the Catholics of Maryland. Benedict died April 5, 1715. His son Charles II who had conformed with his father, became the fifth Lord Baltimore and the fourth proprietary, and received from Queen Anne the government of the province. In 1718 a more stringent law was passed barring Catholics from the exercise of the franchise and the holding of any office in the province. In 1715 a law was adopted providing that if a Protestant should die leaving a widow and children, and such widow should marry a Catholic, or be herself of that opinion, it should be the duty of the governor and council to remove such child or children out of the custody of such parents and place them where they might be securely educated in the Protestant religion. This Act was amended and reenacted in 1729 by an Act which in the case mentioned gave the power to take the child to any justice of the county court. Without regard to sex or age the child or children should be put wherever the justice pleased. There was no appeal.

In all this proscriptive legislation there are evidences of a latent ill-concealed purpose which in 1756 was boldly announced in petitions to the Lower House, and in a series of articles from correspondents in the "Maryland Gazette" published in Annapolis.

The Jesuits owned and cultivated several large manors and other tracts of fertile lands, the revenues of which were devoted to religion, charity, education, and their missionary work. The Assembly was therefore prayed to enact that all manors, tenements, etc., possessed by the priests should on October 1, 1756, be taken from them, and vested in a commission appointed for that purpose and sold, the proceeds of the sale to be devoted to the protection of the inhabitants from the French and Indians. Priests were to be required to take all the test oaths and on their refusal banished, and, as "Romish recusants", their lands to be forfeited. In the same year the Upper House, as the Governor's Council was called, framed a bill with the title "To prevent the growth of Popery within this province", which provided that priests were to be made incapable of holding any lands, to be obliged to register their names, and give bond for their good conduct; were prohibited from converting Protestants under the penalty of high treason, and further that any person educated at a foreign Catholic seminary could not inherit or hold lands in the province. There were other equally severe disabilities and penalties imposed. But a controversy arose between the two Houses over the bill during which it was dropped. To render the province no longer a desirable place of residence to the loyal Catholic gentlemen and their families was the object of these propositions and laws. Charles Carroll, the father of the signer of the Declaration of Independence, wrote to his son that Maryland was no longer a fit place for a Catholic to reside, and he felt inclined to dispose of his great landed estate and leave the province. Fortunately his son earnestly persuaded him not to do so. Some families sought refuge from these intolerant laws and the more intolerant sentiments of the people under the milder rule of Pennsylvania. In 1752 the same Charles Carroll, after consultation with some of the principal Catholic families of Maryland, went to France to obtain from Louis XV a tract of land in the Louisiana territory for the purpose of transporting the Catholics of the province in a body to that country. He failed in his mission. Maryland Catholics began to emigrate to Kentucky in 1774, and in 1785 twenty-five Catholic families set out from St. Mary's County for Pottinger's Creek (see Kentucky).

In the absence of reliable statistics it is difficult to ascertain the growth of the population in the colony during the period elapsing from 1634 to 1690; according to the estimate already given, in 1671, it was 20,000. The Protestant Revolution exercised a deterring influence, so that in 1708, it was only 33,000, of whom 3000 were Catholics. In 1754 the population was placed at 153,000, of whom the Catholics numbered about 8000. During the early part of this period, the number of priests—mostly, sometimes exclusively, Jesuits—serving this Catholic population averaged four or five; during the latter part ten to twelve. In 1759 the estimated Catholic population of the province was 9000, and the number of priests, all Jesuits, eight to fifteen. In 1756 Bishop Challoner, vicar apostolic in England, places the number of priests at twelve. In 1763 the Catholic population was estimated to be between 8000 and 10,000, whose spiritual needs were supplied by fourteen Jesuits. By 1769 this population had increased to 12,000. Numerous conversions had been made. The proclamation of independence and the Revolution which followed it put an end to the royal authority in the American colonies, and to the proprietary rule in Maryland, and struck the shackles from the Catholics of that province. Henceforth a new order of things was to prevail. Daniel Dulany, an eminent lawyer and the attorney general of the province under the last proprietary governor, had addressed a letter to the people of Maryland earnestly urging them to remain steadfast in their loyalty to the King of England and to the provincial authority. He pointed out as a dissuasive to Maryland from joining her sister colonies in the revolt the fact that under Section XX of the Maryland Charter the province enjoyed the right of absolute exemption from all taxation by king or Parliament. The authority of Mr. Dulany was high, and his argument strong. Another letter was calculated to exert an influence unfavorable to the patriot cause. The fact was, the royal authority had been exerted in Maryland only to a limited extent. No royal governors had been appointed except during the usurpation of the Protestant ascendency, when the government of the province, and the appointment of governors, was taken temperarily out of the hands of Charles, Lord Baltimore, because he was a Catholic. The proprietary rule, notwithstanding the clamors of the malcontents and revolutionists of 1689, was acceptable to the people. The only ground of objection, indeed, ever urged against the government of either Cecilius or Charles Calvert was that they were Catholics.

WAR FOR INDEPENDENCE.—Maryland did not at first contemplate or favor independence, and had so instructed her delegates to the Continental Congress. While the public mind was in this uncertain and unbalanced state, Dulany's letter appeared and produced considerable effect. The patriot cause, the cause of independence, found a champion in the disfranchised Catholic, Charles Carroll of Carrollton (q.v.), the wealthiest landowner in the province. Four letters passed between the controversialists. By general acknowledgment the triumph of Carroll was complete. Carroll's letters met with an enthusiastic reception by the patriots, and the cause of independence was won. Throwing all selfish considerations aside, Maryland, henceforth a state and no longer a province, cast her lot with the other colonies. Subsequently, two other Catholic Carrolls took prominent parts in the revolutionary struggle: Rev. John Carroll (q.v.), afterwards the first bishop of the United States, and Daniel Carroll of Duddington (q.v.).

The name of Daniel Carroll is little known, and his patriotic services have never been sufficiently recognized. While a member of the Congress from Maryland, he took a leading and prominent part in the settlement of a question of profound significance and importance to his country. Under language of a very vague character in their charters, as colonies, from the king, several of the states laid claim to large stretches of the territory west of the Alleghanies. Virginia asserted a blanket claim to the whole territory under the charter of 1607. Very early in the sessions of the Congress Maryland had introduced through her representatives a resolution to the effect that if, as a result of the war then being waged, these lands should be acquired by the Confederation from Great Britain, they should become the common property of all the states, free to the entrance of the inhabitants of all the states, and regulated and governed by the Congress as the trustee of all the states, and declared she would not sign the Articles of Confederation until the states claiming these lands should make a surrender of them to Congress to become in time independent states and members of the Union. The resolution met with great opposition from the landed states, especially from Virginia. Alone and unsupported by any other state, Maryland remained firm and ultimately triumphed. John Fiske, in his "Critical Period of American History", does not hesitate to say that but for the position taken by Maryland on this question the Union would not have been formed; or, if formed, would soon have been broken in pieces by the conflicting pretensions of the landed states.

The Catholics of Maryland, both clergy and laity, warmly espoused the patriot cause. On the roster of the Maryland Line are to be found the names of representatives of the Catholic families of Maryland. The important services of the Carrolls, the loyalty of the Catholic clergy and laity to the patriot cause, coupled with the fact that the whole body of the Anglican clergy had almost to a man adhered to King George, had somewhat ameliorated the old intolerant sentiments of the people of colonial Maryland towards the Catholic religion and its professors. This change of sentiment found expression in Section XXXIII of the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the new State of Maryland, adopted in November, 1776. In this article it is declared that all persons professing the Christian religion are equally entitled to protection... that no person ought to be compelled to frequent or maintain any particular place of worship or any particular ministry. Still it provided that the legislature might in its discretion lay a general and equal tax for the support of the Christian religion, leaving to each individual taxpayer the right to designate to what particular place of worship or to what particular minister his portion of the tax should be applied. By this article also the churches, chapels, parsonages, and glebe lands of the Church of England in the province were secured to that Church forever. It further provided that all Acts of the General Assembly passed for collecting money for building or repairing of churches or chapels (that is for the Protestant Episcopal Church) shall continue in force until repealed by the legislature. This article, adopted in 1776, fell far short of that full and just measure of religious freedom announced a century and a half before by Cecilius Calvert in his instructions to Governor Leonard Calvert and the Toleration Act of 1649. It remained on the statutes until the first Congress of the United States passed its first amendment, to the effect that "Congress shall make no laws respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof".

The success of the Revolution rendered necessary new arrangements and adjustments of ecclesiastical jurisdiction and authority in the Catholic Church of the United States. In a population of about 200,000, the Catholics of Maryland numbered at the close of the revolution 15,000: 9000 adults, 3000 children, and 3000 slaves. The number of Catholic priests at the same time in Maryland was twenty-one. The vicars Apostolic of London had jurisdiction over the English colonies in America, and this jurisdiction was confirmed to Bishop Challoner on his appointment. Writing to Propaganda in 1759 he urged that a bishop or vicar Apostolic be appointed for the Catholics in our [i.e., British] American settlements. In 1765 he favored the idea of two or three vicariates and wrote in this sense to his agent in Rome.

In Rome, however, the Cardinal of York, brother of Charles Edward Stuart, pretender to the English throne, was thought to control the nomination of bishops within British dominions. The Catholics of Maryland were not partisans of the House of Stuart, and, furthermore, the sympathies of the Cardinal of York were known to be not on the side of the Society of Jesus, to which the Maryland missionaries almost all belonged. Bishop Challoner then suggested that the Sacrament of Confirmation be conferred on the Catholics of Pennsylvania and Maryland by the Bishop of Quebec, but there is no evidence that this ever took place, or that Confirmation was administered prior to the War of Independence. On June 27, 1783, a meeting of the Catholic clergy of Maryland was held at White Marsh, Prince George's County, to take into consideration the status and the wants of the Church under the new political order brought about by the war. This meeting addressed a petition to His Holiness Pius VI, requesting the appointment of a prefect Apostolic clothed with episcopal powers. In response to this petition, on June 9, 1784 a Decree of the Propaganda was issued organizing the Catholic Church in the United States, and appointing the Rev. John Carroll superior of the missions in the thirteen United States of America. Father Carroll at once entered on the duties of his office, but it required but little experience to demonstrate that the appointment of a "Superior of Missions" was wholly inadequate to meet the wants of the Church in the United States, and that a bishop with full authority and jurisdiction was necessary. In 1788 a petition to that effect, signed by John Carroll, Robert Molyneux, and John Ashton, and representing the almost unanimous opinion of the rest of the clergy in Maryland, was presented to Pope Pius VI. His Holiness approved the recommendation, and a Bull was issued on November 6, 1788, establishing Baltimore as a see and appointing Rev. John Carroll its first bishop. The authority and jurisdiction of the bishop was co-extensive with the limits of the country. (See Archdiocese of Baltimore; John Carroll.)

In the War of 1812 with England, a number of localities suffered from the attacks of the British fleet. The bombardment of Fort McHenry, Baltimore, September 13, 1814, was the occasion of the composition of the National anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner". On September 12, 1814, the Maryland troops under General Stricker checked the British forces commanded by General Ross at the Battle of North Point. This victory saved the Republic from being cut in two by the British and resulted in the Treaty of Ghent, which was signed on December 2, 1814. The defeat and death of General Ross at the Battle of North Point was a vital moment in the history of the United States. During the Civil War, 1861-65, as a border state Maryland had many citizens who favored secession. In October, 1864, a new constitution abolished slavery and disfranchised all who had aided the rebellion against the United States.

EDUCATION.—The percentage of illiterate native whites, 4.1, is the lowest, and of negroes, 35.1, the second lowest of any state having a large negro population. From the time of the first Jesuit missionaries Catholic effort for sound education has been constant. To further the organization of a native clergy Bishop Carroll secured the services of a number of Sulpicians, who on October 3, 1791, began St. Mary's Seminary, Baltimore. In January, 1805, the State legislature gave it the charter of a university. Up to 1910, 1800 priests had been educated there. Many distinguished laymen also studied within its walls. Under the same direction St. Charles College, Ellicott City, was founded in 1830. Georgetown University (q.v.) was founded in 1778, and in its first years some of the Sulpicians assisted as professors in the work, of the institution, carried on by the Society of Jesus. Other notable institutions are Mount St. Mary's Seminary and College, Emmitsburg (1808); Loyola College, Baltimore (1852); Rock Hill College, Ellicott City (Christian Brothers, 1865).

For women the most modern educational advantages are supplied by the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul in St. Joseph's College, founded by Mother Seton at Emmitsburg in 1808, and in the Academy of Notre Dame of Maryland at Baltimore. The College of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the philosophical and theological House of Studies of the Society of Jesus, is at Woodstock; the Redemptorist House of Studies is at Illchester, and the normal school and novitiate of the Christian Brothers at Ammendale. Nearly one-half the parishes of the State have Catholic schools. The boys' parochial schools are under the charge of the Christian Brothers and the Xaverian Brothers. The girls' schools are under the charge of the Sisters of Mercy, the Sisters of Charity, and the School Sisters of Notre Dame. The governor, principal of the State Normal School and state superintendent, with four members appointed by the governor, make up the State Board of Education. The governor and Senate name a Board of School Commissioners for each county, and this board selects three school trustees in each district. The law makes the annual school term last ten months.

CHARITIES.—A Board of State Aid and Charities appointed by the governor and the Senate receives all applications for state aid, and recommends to the legislature the amount to be granted and its recipient. There are 6 Catholic hospitals; 2 homes for aged poor; 2 industrial and reform schools; 4 homes and 2 orphan asylums in the state; 1 foundling hospital. The property of charitable and religious institutions, as well as churches and cemeteries, is exempt from taxation. Burial plots in cemeteries are not liable for debts, etc.

LAWS AFFECTING RELIGION.—All Sundays, besides New Year's Day, Christmas, and Good Friday, are legal holidays. Incorporation of Catholic churches is made according to a special law by the body composed of the bishop of the diocese, his vicar-general the pastor of the parish and two other persons elected annually by the male pew holders. The form of the judicial or other oath not provided for in the State Constitution is: "In the presence of Almighty God I do solemnly promise", or "declare", etc. It is not lawful to add to any oath the words "So help me God", or any imprecatory words whatever. Affirmation is sufficient if the conscience of the person is against an oath. The manner is by holding up the right hand, unless this is not practical or some other way is considered more binding.

No one who takes part in, or aids or abets a duel, or sends or accepts a challenge, can hold office. No minister of the Gospel is eligible for election to the Legislature. Murder in the first degree is punishable with death; arson rape, and treason with death or imprisonment at the discretion of the court. The chief grounds of divorce are adultery, abandonment for three years, impotency at time of marriage, and misconduct of wife before marriage unknown to husband. Separation from bed and board is granted for cruel treatment, excessively vicious conduct, or desertion.

A. LEO KNOTT


discuss this article | send to a friend

Discussion on 'Maryland'











prev: Mary Frances of the Five Wounds of Jesus, Saint Mary Frances of the Five Wounds of Jesus, Saint Mary Magdalen next: Mary Magdalen

Report translation problem

*Description: Copy and paste the phrase with the problem or describe how the trascription can be fixed.
  * denotes required field
Severity:

Featured

Art Gallery
Art Gallery

Catholic Q & A


Popular Subjects
Top 20 Questions

Ask A Faith Question

Quotable Catholics RSS

"Use your pleasure with me. A reprieve or even a pardon upon your conditions I utterly refuse."
-- Thomas Whitaker, Venerable, imprisoned English priest; steadfastly declining all inducements to abandon his Catholic faith and become Anglican, just before his execution.

Donations

Latest OCE Discussion



Your usage constitutes agreement with User License :: Permissions :: Copyright © 2014, Catholic Answers.
Site last updated Aug 12, 2013