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fairly, and returned this reasonable answer to the request of the ship-masters, that, although they were fully persuaded that the cross in the colors was idolatrous, yet as the fort belonged to the king, they were willing that his own flag should fly there.'
The clergy took the matter in hand the same evening, and caused the magistrates to reconsider, and finally to refuse the request of the captains. The governor remained firm, however, and displayed the flag without the authority of the clergy and magistrates; after which act his official relations with the colonial government became more and more discordant, until the opposition finally brought his administration to a close. 6
Our colonists soon set to work manfully as tillers of the soil; and by dint of industry and good management, they enjoyed a modest prosperity from the first days of their occupation. They soon learned the virtues of Indian corn, among
other good things, and improved upon the hominy and pone of the natives; though no culinary art has made the roasting ear, from that day to this, any better than it was when the colonists first received it from the hands of their rude but hospitable entertainers.
The colony throve by its own exertions, and also in consequence of the foresight of its founder. It was supplied', says McMahon, ' for its establishment by the kind providence of the proprietary, not only with the necessaries, but even with many of the conveniences adapted to an infant settlement. Although many of the first emigrants were gentlemen of fortune, he did not therefore throw the colony on its resources, and leave it dependent for its subsistence upon the casual supplies of an unreclaimed country, and a savage people. At the embarkation of the colony, it was provided at his expense with stores of provisions and clothing, implements of husbandry, and the means of erecting habitations; and for the first two or three years after its establishment, he spared no expense which was necessary to promote its interests. It appears, not only from the petition preferred in 1715, to the English Parliament, by Charles Lord Baltimore; but also from the concurring testimony of all the historians who treat of the settlement of this colony, that, during the first two or three years of its establishment, Cecilius, the
6 Sparks's American Biography.
proprietary, expended upon it upwards of £40,000. Nor did his care stop there. He governed it with a policy more efficacious than his means would justify, in giving strength and confidence to the colony, and happiness to the settlers. The lands of the province were held up as a premium to emigrants. The freemen were convened in Assembly, and thus made to feel that they were dwelling under their own government. Religious liberty was subject only to the restraints of conscience; courts of justice were established; and the laws of the mother country, securative of the rights of person and property, were introduced in their full operation. The laws of justice and humanity were observed towards the natives. The results of so sagacious a policy were soon perceived. During the first seven years of the colony, its prosperity was wholly uninterrupted; and when the interruption came, it proceeded from causes which no policy could have averted.'
While the colonists were attending to their material interests, planting, trading with the Indians, &c., their missionary priests were exerting themselves to bring the pagan natives into the Christian fold. Mr. Neill, in his Terra Mariæ, assures us that the Quakers were the first people to arouse religious sentiment in Maryland. The fair-minded historian', he says, 'can not disguise the fact, that under the influence of these despised people, the first great religious awakening in Maryland occurred.' George Fox,‘one day in 1672', appeared upon the banks of the Patuxent to diffuse Christian truth. Before George Fox commenced his work in America, however, historians, fairminded or otherwise, agree that Fathers White and Altham, of the Society of Jesus, first, and subsequently others of their faith and order, had not only attended to the spiritual wants of the English settlers, but had made numerous conversions among native princes and people. At a very early day, the two priests obtained, by the consent of its owner, one of the Indian huts or wigwams, for their own use; and having fitted it up in the most becoming manner their circumstances allowed, they called it the “first chapel in Maryland." Here they immediately applied themselves to the study of the Indian language, in which they found the difficulties much increased by the number of dialects
used among the different tribes.” The colonies were often spoken of as plantations, and Father Roger Rigbie, catching the word, writes to his superior in 1640, to allow him to go to work in that
new spiritual plantation', with others, ‘farr better deserving', already in the field. In various quarters, conversions were made of entire towns or tribes. At the Indian town of Potopaco, for example, nearly all the native inhabitants embraced Christianity, to the number of 130, including the young queen, and the wife and two children of the former principal chief. We believe that there is at this day a Christian population at Potopaco, now Port Tobacco, not less in numbers than at the day of the conversion of the young queen and her adherents.
The missions, considering the paucity of the missionaries, were quite extensive. We have seen that up to 1642, the Gospel had been preached to the Indians with success,' continues Campbell, not only at the capital of the province, but at Kent Island in the Chesapeake Bay, at Piscataway and Port Tobacco, on the Maryland side of the Potomac; and at Patowmech town on the Virginia side of that river; at Mattapany and Pawtuxent town, on the Patuxent river; besides in many other places which were visited by the missionaries in their aquatic excursions.'
The just and generous treatment of the Indians in Maryland forms a striking contrast with their treatment in Massachusetts ; where, as Bancroft testifies, the first planters assumed to themselves a right to treat the Indians on the footing of Canaanites and Amalekites.' The children of the first planters placed them in a still worse condition; for, according to Mr. Upham, they were held to be the devil's own children and agents, whom the saints were in duty bound to exterminate, and send back to the powers of darkness whence they came. (Salem Witchcraft, &c., by Charles W. Upham.)
In these primitive days of the colony, most of the colonists were of the faith of the proprietary, but there were also among them some Protestants. The relations between Catholics and Protestants were, for the most part, unusually harmonious; and it seemed to be a prime wish of the proprietary that all should
? Early Missions in Maryland. Read before the Maryland Historical Society by B. U. Campbell, Esq.
live together, notwithstanding differences in faith or opinion, as one happy family. He exacted an oath of the governor, wbich bound that official, and the privy councillors also, not to trouble, molest, or discountenance any person whatever, directly or indirectly, professing to believe in Jesus Christ. Every form of Christian faith was perfectly free. At this time, in the words of Bancroft, every other country in the world had persecuting laws. And, pursues this author: Under the mild institutions and munificence of Baltimore, the dreary wilderness soon bloomed with the swarming life and activity of prosperous settlements; the Roman Catholics, oppressed by the laws of England, were sure to find a peaceful asylum in the quiet harbors of the Chesapeake, and there, too, Protestants were sheltered from Protestant intolerance.'
It is to be regretted that Lord Baltimore had not taken one step further, and admitted Jews and all other honest worshippers of God to equal rights in his province. It does not appear, however, that even Jews were molested unless they became aggressive. ‘A Jew, without peril to his life,' says Mr. Davis, could not call the Saviour of the world a "magician", or a “necromancer."' In a foot-note, this author goes on to say: 'In the text I have referred to Dr. Lumbrozo, the well-known Jew, (for he seems to have observed no secrecy,) who lived some time in Maryland, in the usual exercise of his calling, and of the right to institute actions in the civil court. We can not doubt he was also allowed the quiet enjoyment of his religion. But he was accused of blaspheming', &c. He said the Saviour was a 'man' who performed his miracles 'by ye art magic.' He was ordered to remain in 'ye Sheriff's custody to make answer at y next Provincial court', ' but in consequence of remote political events, he fortunately escaped a trial.
It was an object with the authorities to tolerate difference of religious opinion, and to promote social harmony. Religious toleration was maintained by the proprietary and the governor from the beginning. Says Mr. Davis, speaking of the first governor : His policy included the humblest, as well as the most exalted; and his maxim was, PEACE TO ALL — PROSCRIPTION
Davis' Day-Star of American Freedom.
OF NONE. Religious liberty was a vital part of the earliest common law of the province. It was deemed advisable to make toleration more than a mere matter of personal benevolence. It may be that the colonists were quickened in their action, as Bancroft and others allege, by the state of affairs in England; but whether so or not, the fact remains as he says, 'in April, 1649, the Roman Catholics of Maryland, with the earnest concurrence of the governor and of the proprietary, determined to place upon their statute-book an act for the religious freedom which has ever heen sacred on their soil. “And, whereas the enforcing of conscience in matters of religion”—such was the sublime tenor of a part of the statute—“ hath frequently fallen out to be of dangerous consequence in those commonwealths where it has been practiced, and for the more quiet and peaceable government of this province, and the better to preserve mutual love and amity among the inhabitants, no person within this province, professing to believe in Jesus Christ, shall be in any ways troubled, molested, or discountenanced, for his or her religion, or in the free exercise thereof." Thus did the early star of religious freedom appear as the harbinger of day.
But the design of the law of Maryland was undoubtedly to protect freedom of conscience; and the apologist of Lord Baltimore could assert that his government, in conformity with his strict and repeated injunctions, had never given disturbance to any person in Maryland for matter of religion ; that the colonists enjoyed freedom of conscience, not less than freedom of person and estate, as amply as ever any people in any place in the world. The disfranchised friends of prelacy from Massachusetts, and the Puritans from Virginia, were welcomed to equal liberty of conscience and political rights in the Roman Catholic province of Maryland.':
The Calverts were at all times so anxious to keep the peace between members of the different religious denominations, that they decreed penalties long before the famous act of 1649, for offensive disputations. Mr. Neill narrates the instance of Wm. Lewis, as a case in point, but he seems to have taken a very limited view of the facts. He tells us that ' Thomas Cornwallis,
Bancroft's History U. S.