The name Maryland comes from Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of King Charles I of England.
In 1632, the king handed over the present-day territory of Maryland to Lord Baltimore, whose real name was Cecilius Calvert, a religious freethinker known for welcoming all faiths to the English colony.
The nickname ‘The Old Line State‘ dates back to the time of the Revolutionary War, when General George Washington wanted to honor the courageous troops of Maryland and has given the state its name.
Another nickname was added in 1923. An editor of the Baltimore Sun, Hamilton Owens, justified the term in an article in the newspaper in which he spoke with irony against prohibition: ‘Maryland should leave the Union rather than support the act of prohibition’. The headline of the editorial was: Maryland – The Free State. But he then thought differently and did not print the article.
Calvert Lord Baltimore was also the namesake of the largest city in the state, which is also one of the largest port cities in the world.
Maryland is extremely closely connected to the sea and thus to seafaring due to its location and the Chesapeake Bay, which extends deep into Maryland. Various ports line up in this bay.
Annapolis, the state’s capital, is home to the Marine Academy.
Chesapeake Bay basically divides the small state of Maryland into an eastern and western part, the so-called Eastern Shores and Western Shores.
If you’re travelling from south-to-north or vice versa through Maryland and don’t like the big cities, head across the Chesapeake Peninsula, which stretches to Virginia. A bridge (this part belongs to Virginia) spans over the huge bay and then seamlessly crosses into a tunnel – twice even.
What to do / Sightseeing
State Data and Essentials
Maryland – State Abbr.: MD
– Statehood Ranking: 7
9,774 square miles (25,314 qkm)
– Land Area Ranking: 42
5,773,552 (2010 Census); 5,296,486 (2000 Census)
The Old Line State oder The Free State
Calvert Motto des State Seals: “Fatti maschii parole femine” (== strong deeds, gentle words)
1.024 m / 3,360 ft (Backbone Mountain)
Daylight Saving Time: yes
White Oak (Quercus alba)
Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)
Maryland, My Maryland (by James Ryder Randall, April 1861)
History of Maryland
The first Marylanders were Paleo-Indians who arrived more than 10,000 years ago from other parts of North America to hunt mammoth, great bison and caribou. By 1000 B.C., Maryland was home to more than 8,000 Native Americans representing nearly 40 different tribes.
The first European to visit the area was Giovanni da Verrazano, an Italian explorer who traveled the Chesapeake Bay in the 1500s. In 1608, Captain John Smith arrived from England, and in 1631 William Claiborne established a fur trading post on Kent Island, the first English settlement in the upper Chesapeake.
But Maryland’s roots as a recognized colony date to the days of King Charles I, who promised George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore, a colony north of Virginia. Before he set eyes on the land, George Calvert died; his son, Cecilus, became the second Lord Baltimore and spearheaded efforts to settle the colony.
He named the land “Terra Maria,” or “Maryland,” in honor of Charles’ wife, Queen Henrietta Maria, and sent his younger brother Leonard to lead 140 colonists to the area and serve as their first governor. The group arrived at St. Clement’s Island on March 25, 1634, and established the state’s first capital at St. Mary’s City. There it remained until 1695, when it was moved to Annapolis.
Since those early days, Maryland has played important roles in every aspect of American history. For example:
Annapolis served not only as the state’s capital, but also as the capital of the 13 original colonies from November 1783 to August 1784. In 1788, Maryland was the seventh state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
During the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore and was inspired to pen the words to a poem entitled “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which eventually became the national anthem. On September 17, 1862, Antietam National Battlefield in the western reaches of Maryland was the site of the bloodiest single day of battle during the Civil War.