National Geographic : 1954 Apr
VOL. CV, No. 4 WASHINGTON NATiJAL MAGAZhENET COPYRIGHT, 1954, BY NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY, WASHINGTON, D. C. INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT SECURED APRIL, 1954 Roving Maryland's Cavalier Country 431 A Modern Pilgrim Savors the Free State's Past in Stately Homes Along the Tidewater Reaches of Chesapeake Bay BY WILLIAM A. KINNEY « 1 'OLKS is sho' journey-proud today," said the driver of a car drawn up at SMulberry Fields, one of the pictur esquely named old homes of southern Mary land (page 435). I knew what he meant by "journey-proud" -elated or excited at the prospect of a trip. But the phrase seemed apt in another sense, for these pilgrims exploring the past of Mary land had ample reason to take pride in the history of the Free State, dedicated from the outset to religious and civic freedom. Each spring thousands come to drink deep of beauty and history in the House and Gar den Pilgrimage sponsored by The Federated Garden Clubs of Maryland. In late April and early May scores of historic homes are open to the public-old places with such in triguing names as Rich Neck Manor, Troth's Fortune, The Reward, Providence Plantation, and Old Spout Farm. Years Roll Back to 1634 From the Nation's great and comparatively young Capital at Washington, 75 miles away, I drove to a capital far different-sleepy Saint Marys City, once seat of government for the Province of Maryland (color map, page 438). There on an April day I saw the founding of Maryland come to life. From a bluff above the sun-burnished St. Marys River, I watched a little company moving up the beach under a heraldic banner of gold, black, silver, and blood red, the standard of Lord Baltimore. It was "The Birth of Tolerance," a pageant produced in recent years by students of St. Mary's Seminary Junior College. One of them identified key figures in the procession: Gov. Leonard Calvert, leader of an expedition that came from England to these shores in 1634 in the Ark and the Dove; Father An drew White, black-robed priest in a shovel hat who became pioneer historian of the Province; and the Indian chief of the Yaocomicos, whose land this was. "After a friendly reception by the Indians," she related, "Leonard Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore's brother, bought this space for some 30 miles around, paying in cloth, axes, hoes, and knives." The company of the Ark and the Dove not only arrived with a prefabricated boat brought "in pieces out of England," but lost little time building others. Their instructions had been to bring "spikes, Nayles, Pitch, Tarre, Ocome [oakum], canvis for a sayle, Ropes, Anchor, Iron for the Ruther [rudder]." First arrivals in Maryland almost invariably settled on tidewater. Waterways were the only highways, and Maryland had more than 3,000 navigable miles of them, including the majestic inland sea that is Chesapeake Bay.* So manors and plantations with private wharves became the rule. There ships dis charged cargoes from abroad and picked up golden tobacco. Some estates even had their * See, in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE: "Maryland Presents - ," by W. Robert Moore, April, 1941; "Roads from Washington," by John Patric, July, 1938; and "Maryland Pilgrimage," by Gilbert Grosvenor, February, 1927.