Our fathers did not talk about psychology; they talked about a knowledge of Human Nature. But they had it, and we have not. They knew by instinct all that we have ignored by the help of information. — G. K. Chesterton

Story of the Thirteen Colonies - Helene Guerber

The Catholics in Maryland

When Henry VIII. made a change in the national church, many Catholics became discontented, and longed to leave England and settle elsewhere. One of these, Lord Baltimore, then decided to make a home for Catholics in the New World. As the climate of Newfoundland, where he tried to plant his first colony, proved too cold, he came to Virginia, in 1629. But the Virginians, being Church of England people, refused to receive any Catholics in their midst.

Thus driven away from Virginia, Lord Baltimore crossed to the opposite side of the Potomac. He asked for a grant of land here, which was given, in 1634, to his son. He promised to pay the king two Indian arrows every year, with one fifth of all the gold and silver he found. This tract was called Maryland, in honor of the Catholic, Queen Henrietta Maria, and prosperous settlements were made at St. Marys and at Annapolis. As he had promised that no one should be persecuted for religion, and that all except Jews could vote, people of every faith soon came thither, and Maryland was rapidly settled.

This colony, however, had its troubles, too. There was first a quarrel with Virginia, and then several Indian wars; and when William became King of England, he took the government away from its Catholic proprietor. But later on, Baltimore's heirs, having turned Protestant, recovered their rights, and were left in control of the whole province until the time of the Revolution. Maryland's chief city, Baltimore, was founded about 1729. It was named in honor of the Catholic founder of the colony, and it still contains thousands of faithful Roman Catholics.

Owing to mistakes made in drawing up the different grants; the boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland became a cause for disputes which lasted about fifty years. Several times surveyors were sent out from England to settle the quarrel, and the line they finally drew is generally known as the Mason and Dixon line. At the end of every mile, these surveyors set up a stone post, bearing on either side the initial of the colony it faced; and every five miles, a larger pillar, with the arms of both families, the Penns and the Baltimores.

While all the changes we have been describing were thus taking place in the rest of the New World, Virginia had not been standing still. Indeed, it had prospered so greatly that it had become the most important of all the colonies. But its progress was interrupted several times. For instance, three years after the founding of the House of Burgesses, a quarrel between an Indian and a settler ended in a murder, which brought about an Indian war.

Powhatan, who had vowed that the sky should fall before the Indians broke peace with the Virginians, was now dead. The savages, hating to see their former hunting and fishing grounds occupied by the planters, now attacked the scattered settlements, and murdered men, women, and children. Even Jamestown itself would have been surprised, and all the colonists slain, had not a friendly Indian given the people timely warning.

Terrified by this Indian outbreak, the colonists no longer dared occupy their plantations, and either crowded into a few of the towns or went back to England. In a short time the colony thus found itself reduced by half, although the Indians were beaten in the war. Some years later, seeing that the Indians were rising again, and that nothing but severe measures could save the settlement, another war was begun, and all the hostile Indians were either driven away or slain.

When King James I. heard that the colony was failing, he fancied that the trouble arose from poor laws and bad government; so he took away the Virginia charter, and made the colony a royal province, in 1624. But although he boasted that he would soon make new and better laws for Virginia, he never did so. His son and successor, Charles, after whom one of the capes at the entrance of Chesapeake Bay had been named by the first settlers, also found too much to do at home to trouble himself about the Virginians, who were sorely tried by tyrannical governors.

Still, although they lived on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, the colonists loudly insisted that they had the rights of free-born Englishmen. They therefore said that the governors the king sent over could not tax them or make new laws, except through the House of Burgesses. But as the governors would not always agree to this, quarrels arose, which gradually became more and more bitter.


Front Matter

Our Country Long Ago
The Barbarous Indians
The Mounds
Where the Northmen Went
The Northmen in America
Queer Ideas
Prince Henry the Navigator
Youth of Columbus
Columbus and the Queen
"Land! Land!"
Columbus and the Savages
Home Again
Columbus Ill-treated
Death of Columbus
How America Got its Name
The Fountain of Youth
"The Father of Waters"
The French in Canada
French and Spanish Quarrels
The Sky City
Around the World
Nothing but Smoke
Smith's Adventures
The Jamestown Men
Smith Wounded
Pocahontas Visits England
Hudson and the Indians
The Mayflower
Plymouth Rock
The First Thanksgiving
Snake Skin and Bullets
The Beginning of Boston
Stories of Two Ministers
Williams and the Indians
The Quakers
The King-Killers
King Phillip's War
The Beginning of New York
Penn and the Indians
The Catholics in Maryland
The Old Dominion
Bacon's Rebellion
A Journey Inland
The Carolina Pirates
Charter Oak
Salem Witches
Down the Mississippi
La Salle's Adventures
Indians on the Warpath
Two Wars with the French
Washington's Boyhood
Washington's Journey
Washington's First Battle
Stories of Franklin
Braddock's Defeat
Wolfe at Quebec
England and her Colonies
The Stamp Tax
The Anger of the Colonies
The Boston Tea Party
The Minutemen
The Battle of Lexington
Bunker Hill
The Boston Boys
The British leave Boston
Declaration of Independence
A Lady's Way of Helping
Christmas Eve
The Fight at Bennington
Burgoyne's Surrender
Winter at Valley Forge
The Quaker Woman
Putnam's Adventures
Indian Cruelty
Boone in Kentucky
Famous Sea Fights
The "Swamp Fox"
The Poor Soldiers
The Spy
A Traitor's Death
Two Unselfish Women
Surrender of Cornwallis
British Flag hauled down
Washington's Farewell