History of the United States of America: From the Discovery of the Continent - Vol. 1

By George Bancroft | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IX.
MARYLAND AFTER THE RESTORATION.

THE progress bf Maryland under the proprietary government was tranquil and rapid. Its staple was tobacco. It was vainly attempted to create towns by statute; each plantation was a world within itself. Its laborers were in part white indented servants, whose term of service was limited by persevering legislation; in part negro slaves, whose importation was favored both by English cupidity and by provincial statutes. The appointing power to nearly every office in the counties as well as in the province was not with the people, and the judiciary was beyond their control; the taxes imposed by the county officers were burdensome alike from their amount and the manner of their levy.

At the restoration, the authority of Philip Calvert, the proprietary's deputy, was promptly and quietly recognised. Fendall, the former governor, who had obeyed the popular will as paramount to the authority of Baltimore, was convicted of treason. His punishment was wild; a wise clemency veiled the incipient strife between the people and their sovereign under a general amnesty; but Maryland was not placed beyond the influence of the ideas which that ago of revolution had set in motion.

The administration of Maryland was marked by conciliation and humanity. To foster industry, to promote union, to cherish religious peace--these were the honest purposes of Lord Baltimore during his long supremacy. The persecuted and the unhappy thronged to his domains. The white laborer rose rapidly to the condition of a free proprietor; the female emigrant was sure to improve her condition. From France

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