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ably die out, and that in spite of the lawyers the Stamp Act would be carried into execution.” Prominent men, however, persevered in their opinion, the lawyers maintaining that the act must be declared invalid by Maryland courts as a breach of chartered rights, and in September of that year, one of their number discussed the matter, not only in America, but sought hearing in England, contending that though the Colonies were subordinate to the supreme national council, and that Parliament had the right to legislate upon their trade—also that this could very properly be regulated by duties and imports, the most proper regulations being determined by Parliament,—yet the regulations under discussion were unjust in so much that the Commons of England, in which America was not represented, actually or virtually, had no right to grant the property of the Commons of America without consulting them. Petitions for redress and repeal meeting with so little consideration, Maryland sent her delegates to the Congress in New York, and though, at first, through dissensions among the Provincial representatives, nothing could be effected, upon the arrival of the vessels from England bearing stamps, all of the Maryland delegates signed the paper binding the Colonies to unity. The people of Maryland, like their neighbors in their treatment of stamp officers, had indicated their position and opinions by pulling down the house of the Stamp Master of Maryland, Zachariah Hood, at Annapolis. One man had published his card refusing to pay taxes to which he had not consented, all had resolved to burn the stamp papers upon their arrival and the Governor found himself unable to quell the uprisings—the watchword almost of all riots all over the country being the celebrated "Liberty, Prosperity and No Stamps." Franklin's remark on the affirmation of England of her right to tax the Colonies—“They will not find a rebellion, but they may indeed make one,"-seemed ominously true. Yet peace and quiet, even great joy, took the place of the late excitement as if by magic, upon the repeal of the Stamp Act in 1766; and a sad mixture of hope and fear greeted the decision of the Revenue Tax in 1767, and the arrival of the troops in '68, in spite of the continued remonstrances of the Colonists. But a growing determination in the spirit of Maryland was shown when the Massachusetts Assembly, refusing to recind, the Maryland Assembly's formal reply to Lord Hillsborough's instructions as to their treatment of the Massachusetts circular was, “We shall not be intimidated by a few sounding expressions from doing what we think right," and sent their thanks to their "sister Colony, in whose opinions they exactly coincided."
The old conservatism of the State, however, made a last effort to cling to its ancient traditions upon the English Government's abandoning all the duties laid by the Townshend Act except on tea, by relaxing its non-importation policy. But when the violent measures of the Government—the Boston massacre, Port Bill, &c.—convinced the Colonists of the unchanging determination for oppression, the people of Baltimore in 1774 declared they "could not see the least grounds for expecting relief from petitions and remonstrances, and were convinced that something more sensible than supplications would best serve their purpose," and recommended the meeting of the Congress of Deputies at Annapolis to determine the conduct of the Provinces.
With marvelous promptness, betore any message could be received from Salem, Maryland executed the will of its people, and the Congress or Convention met for the first time at Annapolis, and was organized with Mathew Tilghman chairman.
Probably at no time in the history of the State did greater · and truer patriotism and unselfishness characterize a representative body. They declared their motive and aims clearly and fearlessly, and resolving on a general system of non-intercourse appointed their deputies to the congress of all the Colonies to insure unity of action. It was one of the Maryland delegates to the first Continental Congress, Thomas Johnson, who nominated Washington commander-in-chief of the army; and from that time on the patriotic voices of the State were heard in every movement towards Independence. Maryland would listen to no opposition to the recommendations of Congress, and taking the authority out of the hands of the
Governor, elected her own officers to defend Massachusetts and herself. In the October of '74 the famous case of "Peggy Stewart's” arrival at Annapolis carried the pitch of feeling still higher. The fiery atonement, in obedience to the dictates of the offended people, by the owner himself touching the light to the object of his submission to the English Governmentdevoting not only the tea, but the brig and all its appurtenances to the purification of the flames, is too familiar a picture to admit of more than an allusion to.
With Lexington the long period of hesitation and consolidation was over, and the curtain had risen upon one of the most thrilling dramas in history. Patriotism is the household god of great nations, says the proverb, and this sentiment, which was the mainspring of the War of Independence, could have found no truer support than in the hearts of those who took such a high position in the Continental Army under the title of “The Maryland Line."
ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION AND THE
WHEN the cannon at Yorktown had ceased to thunder, the
“For thousands had sunk on the ground overpowered--
The wounded to die.”
Maryland had done her part in the struggle. “She had furnished 1,522 men in addition to those enlisted in the independent corps, the State companies, the marines and naval forces, and 5,407 militia. At Long Island, a fragment of a battalion shook with repeated charges a whole brigade of British regulars. At White Plains they held the advancing columns at bay. At Harlem Heights they drove the enemy from the Heights. They swept through the hostile camps with their fixed bayonets, far in advance of the whole army; and bore down all opposition with unloaded muskets. At Guilford and Camden, although not victorious, their courage won the admiration of their enemies. Everywhere they used their bayonets, and they were the first to use the bayonet against the experienced regulars of the enemy.” So say the historians.
“The two battalions which entered the war were reduced to a single company. Hall, Smith, Stone and Ramsay were the bravest of the brave, and Ford died at the head of his regiment.”
Although they were entitled to a major general, for a long time DeKalb led them. Gulst was promoted upon the deatii of DeKalb. Afterwards General Otho Williams led the two brigades.
After the battle of Yorktown, England determined to make peace, and seemed only anxious to separate the United States from France. In 1782 Sir Guy Carleton was sent to New York with power to make peace or war "with the revolted colonies of Great Britain." On his arrival, the Legislature of Maryland resolved that although peace with Great Britain and all the world was an object truly desirable, war with all its calamities was preferable to national dishonor; that this State could never consent to treat with Great Britain except upon the footing of an equal, and would never enter into any treaty with that power which would sully its own honor, or violate its obligations to France, its great and good ally.
To show their gratitude to France, on the announcement of the birth of a Dauphin to Louis the Sixteen, they resolved that His Excellency should be requested to appoint by proclamation a day for the celebration of that auspicious event, testifying their wish that the young prince might prove a blessing to the nation, and following the example of his illustrious father, that he might continue to deserve their affection by perpetuating that happiness which they had experienced from
an alliance with a prince and people whose great and good qualities had long since won their admiration and gratitude.
Benjamin Franklin, early in the struggle, had introduced into Congress a plan for the Confederation of the Colonies. It was discussed from time to time until the Declaration of Independence. During the war and until the adoption of the Constitution, the country had been bound together by Articles of Confederation, which gave very little power to the general government, as there was great jealousy of Federal domination. Now a committee of one from each State was appointed to draft a constitution.
One of the great difficulties between Maryland and Virginia was the trouble touching the jurisdiction and navigation of the waters of the Cheseapeake Bay and the Potomac and Pocomoke Rivers. They finally met at Mt. Vernon by the earnest solicitation of Washington, in 1785. Maryland was represented by Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer, Thomas Stone, Samuel Chase, and Virginia by George Mason and Alexander Henderson. They came to an agreement, but it was not accepted by the State.
One of Maryland's troubles was caused by her claim to have an equal distribution of the lands east of the Mississippi. A company, called the London Company, and living in England, had in the early days of the Colonies been given a grant to about one-half of North America, including the whole of the States of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, nearly all of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, and a large portion of South Carolina. In 1624, by a judgment, the corporation was declared null and void, and ordered to be resumed by the Crown. Virginia then became a royal province and like all other royal provinces was subject to the pleasure of the Crown."
Virginia wished to claim some of the land she had held under this early charter, and there was much heated discussion, but New York finally proposed that these western lands should belong to the general Government, and that was agreed