Narratives of Early Maryland, 1633-1684

Narratives of Early Maryland, 1633-1684

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Narratives of Early Maryland, 1633-1684

Narratives of Early Maryland, 1633-1684

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Excerpt

The Account of Lord Baltimore's Colony in Maryland is a translation from the Latin original transcribed about the year 1832 by the late Father William McSherry, S. J., from the Archives of the Society of Jesus in Rome ( Angl. Histor., IV. 877-880). The Latin text of Father McSherry's copy, together with an English translation, was published by the Maryland Historical Society in 1874 ( Fund Publication no. 7). In 1898 this text was compared with the record in the Jesuit archives by Father Thomas Hughes, S. J., and several minor corrections noted.1 In the following text these corrections have been embodied and the whole translation carefully revised.

The original document, prepared, as the text indicates, some months before the departure of the first colonists of Maryland, and in anticipation of that event, was written by Father Andrew White, S. J.,2 and doubtless transmitted either by him directly or through the Provincial in England to the General of the Society at Rome, the Very Reverend Father Mucio Vitelleschi, for the better information of the latter as to the nature of the new field in which the writer was to be engaged.

The sources from which the facts were derived are stated in the document itself. George, the first Lord Baltimore and father of Cecilius, the first Proprietary of Maryland, was in fact an "eye-witness," as he had explored the country upon the occasion of his visit to Virginia in 1629-1630 after recognizing the unpromising condition of his projected colony at Avalon in Newfoundland; and the account of Captain John Smith referred to is doubtless that contained in the Description of Virginia, etc., published in 1612.1 The writer of this document was evidently familiar with the Conditions of Plantation offered by Cecilius Lord Baltimore as inducements to persons to embark in the adventure, from which he freely quotes.

The zealous missionary dwells much upon the prospect of extending the light of the Gospel in a new field, but at the same time he does not overlook the material advantages offered by the Proprietary to such as would join in the enterprise either in person or by contribution of money.

A translation of this document was made, from a manuscript copy formerly in the possession of the Maryland Historical Society, by the late N. C. Brooks, LL.D., and published in 1847 in Force Tracts, IV., no. 12. In 1872 the Latin text was printed in the Woodstock Letters for private circulation among members of the Society of Jesus, with a revision of this translation.

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