The Settlement of the Maryland Colony


"A Relation of Maryland; together, with a Map of the Countrey, The Conditions of Plantation, with His Majesties Charter to the Lord Baltemore, translated into English" (London, 1635), ch. i, in Clayton Colman Hall (ed.), Narratives of Early Maryland, 1633- 1684 (New York: Charles Scribner & Sons, 1910), 70-1, 73-7.

Note: The original spelling has been converted to the modern American form.

His most Excellent Majesty having by his Letters Patent, under the Great Seal of England, granted a certain country in America (now called Maryland, in honor of our gratious Queen) unto the Lord Baltimore, with diverse priviledges, and encouragements to all those that should adventure with his Lordship in the planting of that country: the benefit and honor of such an action was readily apprehended by diverse gentlemen, of good birth and quality, who thereupon resolved to adventure their persons, and a good part of their fortunes with his Lordship, in the pursuit of so noble and (in all likelihood) so advantageous an enterprise. His Lordship was at first resolved to go in person; but the more important reasons persuading his stay at home, he appointed his brother,, Mr. Leonard Calvert to go governor in his stead, with whom he joined in Commission, Mr. Jerome Hawley, and Mr. Thomas Cornwallis (two worthy and able gentlemen.) These with the other gentlemen adventurers, and their servants to thenumber of near 200 people, embarked themselves for the voyage, in the good ship called the Arke, of 300 ton and upward, which was attended by his Lordships Pinnace, called the Dove, of about 50 ton. And so on Friday, the 22th of November, 1633. a small gale of wind coming gently from the northwest, they weighed from the Cowes in the Isle of Wight, about ten in the morning; And having stayed by the way twenty days at the Barbados, and fourteen days at Saint Cbristopher's (upon some necessary occasions) they arrived at Point Comfort in Virginia, on the four and twentieth of February following. They had Letters from his Majesty, in favor of them, to the Governor of Virginia, in obedience whereunto, he used them with much courtesy and humanity. . . .

On the 3rd of March they left Point Comfort, and 2 days after, they came to Patowmeck River, which is about 24 leagues distant, there they began to give names to places, and called the southern point of that river, Saint Gregory's; and the northern point, Saint Michael's.

They sailed up the River, till they came to Heron Island, which is about 14 leagues, and there came to an Anchor under an island near unto it, which they called Saint Clement's, where they set up a Cross, and took possession of this country for our Savior, and for our Soveraign Lord, the King of England.

At their coming to this place, the Governor went on shore and treated friendly with the Werowance there, and acquainted him with the intent of his coming thither, to which he made little answer (as it is their manner, to any new or sudden question) but entertaind him, and his company that night in his house, and gave him his own bed to lie on (which is a mat laid on boards) and the next day, went to show him the country, and that day being spent in viewing the places about that town, and the fresh waters which there are very plentiful, and excellent good (but the main rivers are salt) the Governor determined to make the first Colony there, and so gave order for the ship and pinnaces to come thither.

This place be found to be a very commodious situation for a town in regard the land is good, the air wholsome and pleasant, the river affords a safe harbor for ships of any burden, and a very bold shore; fresh water, and wood there is in great plenty, and the place so naturally fortified, as with little difficulty, it will be defended from any enemy.

To make his entry peaceable and safe, he thought fit to present the Werowance and the Wisoes of the town with some English cloth, (such as is used in trade with the Indians) axes, hoes, and knives,, which they accepted very kindly, and freely gave consent that he and his company should dwell in one part of their town, and reserved the other for themselves; and those Indians that dwelt in that part of the town, which was allotted for the English, freely left them their houses, and some corn that they had begun to plant. It was also agreed between them, that at the end of harvest they should leave the whole town; which they did accordingly. And they made mutuall promises to each other, to live friendly and peaceably together, and if any injury should happen to be done on any part, that satisfaction should be made for the same, and thus upon the 27th day of March , Anno Domini, 1634. the Governor took possession of the place, and named the town Saint Mary's.

The next day they began to prepare for their houses, and first of all a Court of Guard, and a store-bouse; in the mean time they lay aboard the ship: They had not been there many days before Sir John Harvie, the Governor of Virginia came thither to visit them. . . .

After they had finished the store-house, and unloaded the ship, the Governor thought fit to bring the Colors on shore, which were attended by all the gentlemen, and the rest of the servants in arms; who received the Colors with a volley of shot, which was answered by the Ordnance from the ships; At this ceremony were present, the Werowances of Patuxent, and Yoacomaco, with many other Indians; and the Werowance of Patuxent hereupon tooke occasion to advise the Indians of Yoacomaco to be carefull to keep the league that they had made with the English. . . .

They brought thither with them some store of Indian corn, from the Barbados, which at their first arrival they began to use (thinking fit to reserve their English provision of meal and oatemeal) and the Indian women seeing their servants to he unacquainted with the manner of dressing it, would make bread thereof for them, and teach them how to do the like: They found also the country well stored with corn (which they bought with truck, such as there is desired, the natives having no knowledge of the use of money) whereof they sold them such plenty, as that they sent 1000. bushells. of it to New-England, to provide them some salt-fish, and other commodities which they wanted.

During the time that the Indians staid by the English at Yoacomaco, they went daily to hunt with them for deer and turkeys, whereof some they gave them for presents, and the meaner sort would sell them to them, for knives, beads and the like: Also of fish, the natives brought them great store, and in all things dealt very friendly with them; . . .

Their coming thus to sit upon an Indian towne, where they found ground cleared to their hands, gave them opportunity (although they came late in the year) to plant some corn, and to make them gardens, which they sowed with English seeds of all sorts, and they prospered exceeding well. They also made what haste they could to finish their houses; . . .

They procured from Virginia, hogs, poultry, and some cows, and some male cattle, which hath given them a foundation for breed and increase; and whoso desires it, may furnish himself with store of cattle from thence, but the hogs and poultry are already increased in Maryland, to a great stock, sufficient to serve the colony very plentifully. They have also set up a water-mill for the grinding of corn, adjoining to the towne.

Thus within the space of six months, was laid the foundation of the Colony in Maryland; and whosoever intends now to go thither, shall find the way so trodden, that he may proceed with much more ease and confidence then these first adventurers could , who were ignorant both of place, people, and all things else, and could expect to find nothing but what nature produced: besides, they could not in reason but think, the natives would oppose them; whereas now the country is discovered, and friendship with the natives is assured, houses built, and many other accommodations, as cattle, hogs, poultry, fruits and the like brought thither from England, Virginia, and other places, which are use full, both for profit and pleasure: and without boasting it may be said, that this Colony hath arrived to more in six months, then Virginia did in as many years. If any man say, they are beholding to Virginia for so speedy a supply of many of those things which they of Virginia were forced to fetch from England and other remote places, they will confess it, and acknowledge themselves glad that Virginia is so near a neigbbor, and that it is so well stored of all necessaries for to make those parts happy, and the people to live as plentifully as in any other part of the world, only they wish that they would be content their neighbors might live in peace by them, and then no doubt they should find a great comfort each in other.