Early Maryland

Andrews, Matthew Page. The Founding of Maryland. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1933.  Dated, but still very interesting.

Barlowe, Arthur. First Voyage to Virginia, 1584. Early Americas Digital Archive. The coast they explored included what is now Maryland.

Bowie, Effie Gwynn. Across the Years in Prince George’s County: A Genealogical and Biographical History of Some Prince George’s County, Maryland and Allied Families.  Richmond: Garrett and Massie, nd. A good place to start figuring out who married whom, and who was neighbor to whom. One caveat: this is a genteel book by a genteel woman, so scandalous family members are often simply edited out. In one case I’ve looked into, a son who made a scandalous marriage (in Maryland) then died young is said to have “gone west”!

Carr, Lois Green, Russell R. Menard, and Lorena S. Walsh. Robert Cole’s World: Agriculture and Society in Early Maryland. Chapel Hill: UNC, 1991. Cole settled in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, in 1652, the same year Alexander Magruder arrived. Unlike Alexander, Cole kept meticulous, even obsessive records of everything consumed, purchased, and sold at his plantation over a 12 year period. Three leading historians have used those records as the basis of this portrait of life for the prosperous in early Maryland. Highly recommended.

Carr, Lois Green, Philip D. Morgan and Jean B. Russo. Colonial Chesapeake Society. Chapel Hill: UNC, 1988. A collection of essays by eleven historians, on topics ranging from diet to parental bequest practices to shifting alliances between settlers and various Indian groups.

Cook, Ebenezer. “The Sot-Weed Factor.” Poet’s Corner-Bookshelf. A satirical narrative poem of the early 18th century. A sot-weed factor was a buyer and seller of tobacco.

Demos, John. Remarkable Providences: Readings on Early American History, Rev Ed.  Boston: Northeastern UP, 1991. A selection of original documents. See, for example: for Calvert County, Maryland: “Articles of Agreement between William Berry and Margaret Preston”[1669] and “Petitions of Richard Preston and His Servants to the Provincial Court” [1663]; also John Clayton: “Letter from the Reverend John Clayton to the Royal Society of London.” [Virginia, 1688].

Fields, Barbara Jeanne. Slavery and Freedom on the Middle Ground: Maryland During the Nineteenth Century. New Haven: Yale UP, 1985. Maryland’s status as “the middle ground” between north and south, freedom and slavery, has long carried with it an image of moderation. As this impressive book demonstrates, the middle ground was also the site of intense struggle, extreme ideas, and high emotion. Highly recommended.

Fischer, David Hackett. Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America. NY & Oxford: Oxford UP, 1989. A cultural history of four waves of “English” immigration (in which, curiously, the author includes 18th century Scots and Irish) and the American communities they established. Doesn’t touch on Maryland, but helps build the big picture.

Hall, Clayton Colman, ed. Narratives of Early Maryland, 1633-1684. NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1910. An indispensable collection of the earliest writing from and about Maryland. Includes Father Andrew White’s “Relation of the Voyage Unto Maryland;” ” A Relation of Maryland,” a kind of prospectus for the new colony, highly descriptive and relentlessly positive; the Charter of Maryland; extracts from letters both official and private; official documents and propaganda from the struggle to control Maryland during the English civil wars; accounts of Maryland by George Alsop and George Fox; and more. “A Relation of Maryland” and Father White’s account are the earliest European depictions of Patuxents, Piscataways, Powhatans and other Native Americans in Maryland.

Hienton, Louise Joyner. Prince George’s Heritage: Sidelights on the Early History of Prince George’s County, Maryland, from 1696 to 1800. Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society, nd. The most important thing is the fold-out map of early plantations.

Johnson, Gerald W., ed. The Maryland Act of Religious Toleration: An Interpretation. Annapolis: Hall of Records Commission, 1973. For text of the Toleration Act itself there are many online sources.

Kulikoff, Allan. Tobacco and Slaves: The Development of Southern Cultures in the Chesapeake, 1680-1800. Chapel Hill: UNC, 1986. Based on massive archival research, a study of changing political and economic relations in Prince George’s County and surrounding areas. Includes a few tidbits on Magruders. Highly recommended.

Main, Gloria. Tobacco Colony: Life in Early Maryland, 1650-1720. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1982.

Menard, Russell R. Economy and Society in Early Colonial Maryland. New York: Garland Publishing, 1985. Menard’s dissertation, a study of 17th c. Maryland, originally published in 1974. Portions have been published under other titles, and some topics have been explored in the meantime by other historians, but this is still a remarkably good introduction to life in early Maryland, based on extensive archival research and demographic analysis. Highly recommended.

Menard, Russell R., Lois Green Carr, and Lorena S. Walsh. “A Small Planter’s Profits: The Cole Estate and the Growth of the Early Chesapeake Economy.” Material Life in America, 1600-1860. Ed. Robert Blair St. George. Boston: Northeastern UP, 1988. 185-201.

Meyers, Debra & Melanie Perreault. Colonial Chesapeake: New Perspectives. New York: Lexington Books, 2006. A collection of essays on ethnic identity, race, class, and gender in 17th and 18th c. Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware. Each of the four sections includes two primary documents and two recent essays by leading historians of the Chesapeake.

Morgan, Edmund S. American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia. New York: WW Norton, 1975. Not Maryland, obviously, but a riveting book on the simultaneous emergence (and co-dependence) of American ideas on freedom and American ideas on slavery.

Neill, Edward D. Terra MariÆ; or Threads of Maryland Colonial History. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1867. Now on Googlebooks

Pogue, Dennis J. King’s Reach and 17th-Century Plantation Life.  St. Leonard: Jefferson Patterson Museum Park, 1990. [pamphlet] There is no better short introduction to material life in 17th c. Maryland. You should visit the park, too.

Quinn, David B., ed. Early Maryland in a Wider World. Detroit: Wayne State UP, 1982. A collection of essays placing the Maryland colony in the context of Native peoples, Spanish colonization, maritime life, slavery, indentured servitude, etc.

Riordan, Timothy B. The Plundering Time: Maryland and the English Civil War, 1645-1646. The ostensible subject is “Ingle’s Rebellion,” the most violent period in early Maryland history–and of course those months are covered in great detail. But in order to make sense of the rebellion, why it succeeded as far as it did, and how the Calverts regained control over the colony, requires both a lot of detail and a sharp eye for analysis. For history buffs, this is the best book on government and power in early Maryland.

Sarson, Steven. “Yoeman Farmers in a Planters’ Republic: Socioeconomic Conditions and Relations in Early National Prince George’s County, Maryland.” Journal of the Early Republic 29 (Spring 2009). 63-99. George and Sarah Magruder, of Anchovie Hills, are profiled.

Smith, Abbot Emerson. Colonists in Bondage: White Servitude and Convict Labor in America, 1607-1776. Chapel Hill: UNC, 1947.

White, Andrew. Voyage to Maryland: Relatio Itineris in Marilandiam. Transl & ed. Barbara Lawatsch-Boomgaarden. Wauconda, Illinois: Bolshazy-Carducci, 1995. A nice edition of this early document (the text of which you will also find in Hall’s Narratives of Early Maryland.)

Whitman, T. Stephen. Challenging Slavery in the Chesapeake: Black and White Resistance to Human Bondage, 1775-1865. Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society, 2007.  An excellent history, full of detail. Makes clear how conditions and kinds of resistance varied over time.

Whitman, T. Stephen. The Price of Freedom: Slavery and Manumission in Baltimore and Early National Maryland. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1997. This book lays out in detail the complications of enslavement for life, term enslavement, and apprenticeship, and the complex ways both enslavers and enslaved used the law to gain what they wanted. Emphasizes how active blacks were in figuring out how to work the system to gain freedom for themselves & family. Everyone should read this book. Covers up to around 1820.

Yentsch, Anne Elizabeth. A Chesapeake Family and Their Slaves: A Study in Historical Archaeology. Cambridge UP,1994. A study of the Calvert family.

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