Maryland under the Commonwealth: A Chronicle of the Years 1649-1658

By Bernard C. Steiner | Go to book overview

There is a chapel to St. Ignatius and his feast-day is kept as a holiday, while the Protestants are miserably disturbed, or enforced by subtile practices to turn Papists. He has made laws not agreeable to those of England, divided the legislature into two houses, and established a Privy Council of State (to which he calls whom he will) not mentioned in his charter. He permits Dutch, French, or Italians to plant and enjoy equal privileges with the British and Irish. There are no appeals from his courts and the judges often decide their own cases. Baltimore has made no great adventures on the Province. The assistance of Virginia, whence Maryland was chiefly planted, was essential to its subsistence, yet Virginia has found the northern Province continually inviting and entertaining runaway slaves and debtors. When one reads this long list of complaints, the conclusion seems to be that the writer wished Virginia and Maryland to be united into one Puritan-ruled Province and took any arguments which he thought would advance that purpose.


VII. GOVERNOR STONE, 1652-3.

Though the difficulties with the Susquehannocks were settled, other Indians gave much trouble. Against the Yoacomico and Matchoatick tribes who dwelt on the south side of the Potomac, Governor Stone issued a proclamation on August 9, 1652.1 They hunt in St. Mary's and Charles Counties, and destroy game, hogs, and cattle. Also, their insolencies are not to be endured. Therefore the inhabitants are forbidden to entertain or trade with these Indians, "excepting any Indian cowkeeping youth," and the Indians are given fair warning to be gone. If they do not heed this warning, Captain John Price shall levy soldiers and drive them from the Province.

A more serious difficulty occurred in November2 when

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1
3 Md. Arch., Coun., 281.
2
3 Md. Arch., Coun., 279. Henry Morgan, John, Phillips, Philip Conner , Thos. Ringgold. Bozman, II, 419, 455. In 1648 a writer reported but twenty men on the island and the fort pulled down. If this were so, the settlers were clearly too weak to resist an Indian attack. Bozman conjectures that the Susquehanna treaty ceding the Eastern Shore may have aroused the Nanticokes.

-65-

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