For today’s Twofer Tuesday lets look at what has been a long running debate or discussion as to the first settlement in Maryland. (In a politically correct world, this is probably a moot discussion because it discounts all those Native American folks bopping around here back then and instead focuses on the first ENGLISH settlements here in the New World.)
We all know that St. Mary’s City was the first English Maryland settlement founded in 1634 right? Well maybe. The Kent Island folks also claim that title. They even went so far as to erect a sign noting that fact.
As for who was first, to paraphrase Bill Clinton “It depends on what your definition of Maryland is.” In 1631 a dude from Jamestown, Virginia established a settlement on Kent Island including a trading post (i.e. country store) there (click here.) (Note that Jamestown claims the honor of being the first English settlement in the Americas in 1607.)
In 1632 King Charles of England signed the Maryland Charter giving Cecil Calvert the green light to settle and establish a colony called Maryland. Naturally, there was some push back from Claiborne and his Kent Island bubbas who were part of the Virginia colony. Conveniently forgetting that they had done to the Mattapeake Indians just what the Calverts were now doing to them, Claiborne and Company fought battles with the Calverts over ownership of Kent Island (click here.)
Eventually however, the Calverts won out and Kent Island became part of Maryland. Hence, all the to and fro as to which was the first settlement in Maryland.
Now, lest you think that this matter has been laid to rest, check out this recent letter to the Washington Post. It tells me that Kent Island folks are still a little too defensive about who is or was first. I say to them “Get a life. It doesn’t really matter does it?”
Music-wise, as far as I know there is still nothing official on Maryland’s new State Song to replace the previous one (click here.) Some reports have the following as one of the contenders. It’s ok, but why can’t we have a State Song that rocks a little?