Using ground-penetrating radar, archaeologists with Historic St. Mary's City found the remains of a fort the size of a football field in an empty meadow about a half-mile from St. Mary's River in southern Maryland. The fort was built in by the state's first English settlers, who were fleeing religious persecution in their home country. Its location was thought to have been lost for almost years, and attempts to search for it had been ongoing since the s, the Post reported. Excavation of the site unearthed remains of fencing that made up the fort's perimeter, a brick cellar, a musket piece and an arrowhead that's at least 4, years old.
Mary's City also known as Historic St. Mary's City is a former colonial town that was Maryland 's first European settlement and capital. Half of the area is occupied by the campus of the public honors college, St. Mary's College of Maryland.
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It is an unincorporated community under state law, and is located in southern St. Mary's Countywhich is the southernmost tip of the state of Maryland on the western shore of dating saint Maryland Chesapeake Bay. Mary's City is bordered by the St. Mary's Rivera short, brackish water tidal tributary of the Potomac Rivernear where it empties into the Chesapeake.
Mary's City is the historic site of the founding of the Colony of Maryland then called the Province of Maryland. Mary's City is also considered the birthplace of religious freedom in the United States,  with the earliest North American colonial settlement ever established with the specific mandate of being a haven for both Catholic and Protestant Christian faiths. It is also an internationally recognized archaeological research area and training center for archaeologists, and is home to the Historical Archaeology Field School.
Mary's city over the last 30 years. Historic St. Mary's City is a large public access historic interpretation area with four public museums and is a re-creation of the original colonial capitol of Maryland and also the original settlers village.
It has several living history museumsand the entire complex is staffed by period dressed actors who recreate history theatrically, as well as archeologists and archeology students who provide scientific and historical interpretation,  public archeological site displays,  reconstructed colonial buildings, including ongoing year-round outdoor historical reenactmentsa working colonial farm and the fully working replica of The Dove sailing shipwhich was one of the "two original settlers ships that established the first Maryland colony"  Maryland's historical equivalent of the Mayflower.
Mary's City also provides presentations on different aspects of colonial era woodland Indian life. At special times of the year, members of the Piscataway Indian Nation also provide reenactments and other cultural demonstrations. The Piscataway people were the original inhabitants of St. Mary's City and also befriended and helped the early colonists.
Maryland's earliest colonial settlement found in st. mary's
The area also hosts summer stock theater productions with historical themes and other special events. Mary's City is owned by the State of Maryland and runs under a registered nonprofit charter. In addition to general tourism, the organization hosts special tours for school children, handling more than 20, students on field trips per year.
Mary's is under the administration of the "Historic St. Mary's City Commission", a government agency of the State of Maryland. The public honors college, St. Mary's College of Marylandis a state-funded coed undergraduate liberal arts college. It is only one of two "Public Honors Colleges" in the nation and one of only a handful of small public liberal arts colleges. It was specifically tasked by the state of Maryland to be modeled after far more expensive private elite liberal arts colleges with the intention of offering such an education in the public sector.
The school is secular nonreligious ; the name commemorates the original colonial settlement by that name, half of which was located where the college now stands.
InU. Mary's College as "5th" in the nation under the category "Top Public Schools" in the "Colleges" ranking. Colonial St. Calvert had been born in Yorkshire to a Catholic family, but when he was twelve, the local authorities compelled his parents to send George and his brother Christopher to a Protestant tutor. From then on George conformed to the established religion and had a successful career in service to the crown.
His first attempt at establishing a colony was in in the Province of Avalon on land he purchased in Newfoundland, but after a few years, Calvert decided a warmer climate would be a better location.
After his wife's death inand a shift in his political fortunes, in Calvert reed his position as a secretary of state and returned to the religion of his childhood,  at a time of continued religious persecution of the Roman Catholics in England. InCalvert obtained a grant from King Charles I in recognition of his services to king and country.
It had been a dream of George Calvert to establish a colony in North America dating saint Maryland to also make it a haven for persecuted Catholics. George Calvert died shortly before the Maryland charter received the royal seal; however, the King continued the grant to his eldest son and heir, Cecil. While their interest in providing a haven for fellow Catholics was genuine, it was imperative that the enterprise be profitable. Supporters in England of the Virginia colony opposed the Charter, as they had little interest in having a competing colony to the north.
Rather than going to the colony himself, Baltimore stayed behind in England to deal with the political threat and sent his next younger brother Leonard in his stead. He never travelled to Maryland. Leonard spent the rest of his life there, leading the settlers through many trials and tribulations, as well as to great successes in the farming and selling of tobacco back to Britain.
Leonard, more than anyone else in his family, became the actual founder of colonial Maryland. After a long, rough sea voyage with a stopover to resupply in Barbadosthey arrived in what is now Maryland in March They made their first permanent settlement in what is now St. Mary's County, Maryland choosing to dating saint Maryland on a bluff overlooking the St.
Mary's Rivera relatively calm, tidal tributary near the mouth of the Potomac River where it empties into the Chesapeake Bay. The site had been occupied by members of the Yaocomico  branch of the Piscataway Indian Nationwho had abandoned it as being vulnerable to attack by the Susquehanna. The settlers had with them a former Virginia colonist who was fluent in their language and they met quickly with the chief of the region. The Tayac Kittamaquund, paramount chief of the Piscataway Indian Nationsold thirty miles of land there to the English newcomers. Mary's City was officially named and founded on the site of the new settlement on March 27, They settled on "Terra Mariae".
There may also have been at least one mixed race African and European heritage indentured servant who had been picked up on the way over in Barbados. There were also other indentured servants from England and Ireland. The group was a mix of Catholics and Protestants during a time of religious persecution of Catholics in the British Isles.
Leonard Calverthimself a Roman Catholicbecame the governor of the dating saint Maryland colony and continued to lead the settlers. Mary's City became the capital of the new Maryland colony and remained so for sixty one years until The first Maryland assembly, the first session of a non-native legislative body in Maryland, convened in and met periodically through Nevertheless, they pushed successfully for more personal freedoms and to adapt Calvert's edicts to the realities on the ground in the colony, which were not always the same as his expectations. For example, he wanted them to live in regimented fashion within the newly constructed fort in St.
Mary's City but the greatest need perceived by the assembly was to allow for more spread-out farming. Leonard Calvert diplomatically lent support to the assembly's wishes in letters to his brother, and Cecil Calvert largely acceded.
Mathias de Sousa was a settler in the colony who was described in historical records by one witness as being "mulatto" mixed African and European heritage, although sometimes this meant anyone who was dark skinned.
He originally arrived in the new colony as an indentured servant working for the Jesuit missionaries who had come with the settlers. He later gained his freedom and went on to become an assemblyman, making him possibly the first person of African heritage to participate in a legislative body in North America. Instructions from George Calvert, the First Lord Baltimore, and the holder of the grant to the new Maryland Colony colony specified in that the new governor and all settlers were to practice religious tolerance.
These instructions became the first laws of Maryland. This intent was carried forward and expanded upon by the majority of early settlers of the time, who upon forming their first legislative assembly, called "The Assembly of the Province of Maryland ", passed the Maryland Toleration Act infurther codifying the protection of religious freedom.
The original St. Mary's settlement was laid out according to a Baroque town plan,  with the settlers living closely in a town with church, stores and homes close by and outlying farms, dating saint Maryland, woods and orchards laid out in a grid or strips of land. Mary's City later preferred to live on their tobacco plantations in the surrounding countryside. Mary's City experienced an economic boom due to successful tobacco farming,  which was the most important export commodity. Older practices of allowing chattel slaves to gain freedom by converting to Catholicism or by eventually grandfathering indentured rights to them after many years of servitude were abolished.
The character of the colony began to change more and more to a slave-based economy and slavery began to embed itself into the culture. An increasing town population contributed to the desire for constructing public buildings, some of which were a state house, a Jesuit chapel, a jail, and an inn. During and after the English Civil Warfights between Protestants and Catholics developed in the colony. Mary's City and Maryland in the process. Margaret Brent was a business-savvy and successful Catholic settler in St.
Mary's City,  who, contrary to the mores of the time that discouraged women from managing their own estates, although this was legal, insisted on managing her own business affairs. She had also traveled to the colony as a single, unmarried woman which was contrary to expectations of the time.
The law, in writing, had always been on Brent's side, but the common practices and beliefs of the day did not always guarantee enforcement, especially in the male-dominated frontier environment of the colonies, far away from the courts of England.
As a woman, she had to defend her dating saint Maryland rights in order to be sure they were respected. Brent defended her right to run her own estate in common law court before the assembly in St. Mary's City, making a spirited case, and won, making her the first woman in English North America to stand for herself in a court of law and before an assembly. She also demanded the right to vote in the assembly. Brent also served as an attorney before the colonial court,  mostly representing women of the colony.
The violence stemming from the English civil war eventually spread to the colonies  and a Protestant raiding party attacked St. Mary's City, driving off many settlers and burning several structures. After the attack there were only about people still living in the town. The raiders took control of the city and added further fortifications.
The raiders plundered the homes of all the Catholic residents of the city who refused to renounce their faith and anyone who professed friendship to a Catholic. This would later be called the Plundering Time by the colonists. Leonard Calvert had spent a few years in exile from St. Mary's City but remained in the colonies.