Lord Baltimore had been brought up a Protestant, but had become a Catholic. At that time, Catholics were treated very cruelly in England. They were ordered by law to attend the Church of England. They did not like that church any better than the Pilgrims did; but if they failed to attend it, they had to take their choice between paying a large sum of money or going to prison.
Lord Baltimore hoped to make a home for himself and for other English Catholics in the wilderness of Newfoundland, where there would be no one to trouble them. But the unfortunate settlers were fairly frozen out. They had winter a good share of the year, and fog all of it. They could raise nothing, because, as one man said, the soil was either rock or swamp: the rock was as hard as iron; the swamp was so deep that you could not touch bottom with a ten-foot pole.
The king's wife, who was called Queen Mary, was a French Catholic. In her honor, Charles named the country he had given Lord Baltimore, Mary Land, or Maryland. He could not have chosen a better name, because Maryland was to be a shelter for many English people who believed in the same religion that the queen did.
All that Lord Baltimore was to pay for Maryland, with its twelve thousand square miles of land and water, was two Indian arrows. These he agreed to send every spring to the royal palace of Windsor Castle, near London.
The arrows would be worth nothing whatever to the king; but they were sent as a kind of yearly rent. They showed that, though Lord Baltimore had the use of Maryland, and could do pretty much as he pleased with it, still the king did not give up all control of it. In Virginia and in New England the king had granted all land to companies of persons, and he had been particular to tell them just what they must or must not do; but he gave Maryland to one man only. More than this, he promised to let Lord Baltimore have his own way in everything, so long as he made no laws in Maryland which should be contrary to the laws of England. So Lord Baltimore had greater privileges than any other holder of land in America at that time.
1 Potomac (Po-to'mak): see map, paragraph 140.
2 Windsor (Win'zor).
A little later, they landed on the shore of the river. There they met Indians. Under a huge mulberry-tree they bargained with the Indians for a place to build a town, and paid for the land in hatchets, knives, and beads.
The Indians were greatly astonished at the size of the ship in which the white men came. They thought that it was made like their canoes, out of the trunk of a tree hollowed out, and they wondered where the English could have found a tree big enough to make it.
The emigrants named their settlement St. Mary's, because they had landed on a day kept sacred to the Virgin Mary. The Indians gave up one of their largest wigwams to Father White, one of the priests who had come over, and he made a church of it. It was the first English Catholic Church which was opened in America.
The Indians and the settlers lived and worked together side by side. The red men showed the emigrants how to hunt in the forest, and the Indian women taught the white women how to make hominy, and to bake johnny-cake before the open fire.
3 March 25th: Annunciation or Lady Day.
But more than this, Lord Baltimore generously invited people who had been driven out of the other settlements on account of their religion to come and live in Maryland. He gave a hearty welcome to all, whether they thought as he did or not. Thus he showed that he was a noble man by nature as well as a nobleman by name.
Then worse things happened. Men went to Maryland and undertook to drive out the Catholics. In some cases they acted in a very shameful manner toward Lord Baltimore and his friends; among other things, they put Father White in irons and sent him back to England as a prisoner. Lord Baltimore had spent a great deal of money in building up the settlement, but his right to the land was taken away from him for a time, and all who dared to defend him were badly treated.
St. Mary's never grew to be much of a place, but not quite a hundred years after the English landed there a new and beautiful city was begun (1729) in Maryland. It was named Baltimore, in honor of that Lord Baltimore who sent out the first emigrants. When the Revolutionary War broke out, the citizens of Baltimore showed that they were not a bit behind the other colonies of America in their spirit of independence.
Who was Lord Baltimore, and what did he try to do in Newfoundland? How were Catholics then treated in England? What did the king of England give Lord Baltimore in America? What did the king name the country? What was Lord Baltimore to pay for Maryland? What did the king promise Lord Baltimore? What did Lord Baltimore's son do? When and where did the emigrants land? What did they call the place? What is said about the Indians? Of what was Maryland the home? Why did some of the people of Virginia trouble them? What is said of the city of Baltimore? What is said of the Revolution?