LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL.
BALTIMORE, January 15, 1935.
To the Maryland Historical Society.
Your Committee on Publications has the honor to present this volume of
the Archives of Maryland containing the Proceedings and Acts of the General
Assembly of Maryland for 1755 and 1756. This is Volume LII of the general
series, and the twenty-fourth volume of the sub-series relating to Assembly
affairs. It will be noted that the proceedings of the two houses of the Assembly
have become so much more voluminous, that the period covered by this volume,
although embracing only two years of Assembly activities, fills a book of about
the same size as the three-year period embraced in the last volume of the
Assembly proceedings (Volume L).
The period covered by this volume, the years 1755 and 1756, was marked in
Maryland by increased military activity on the western frontier against the
French and the disastrous defeat of Braddock at the Monongahela, as well as
by increased tension and bickering between the Governor, represented by the
Upper House, and the Lower House as representing the mass of the people.
The seeds of dissension betweeen the absentee landlord and his tenants had
already been sown, and had taken root in the soil fertilized by mutual distrust
and by dissensions on the subject of taxation; the seedling was being prepared
for a vigorous, independent growth when a few years later it was to be further
nourished by an added resentment against the King and his schemes of taxation.
The Roman Catholic question was also agitating the souls, or rather the fears
and prejudices, of the people. The abortive Scotch uprising in favor of the
Young Pretender, although it had resulted in Charles Edward's defeat at
Culloden in 1746, still filled men's minds with fear, and various additional re-
pressive measures against Catholics in England ensued. The aggressions of the
French, a Catholic nation, on the western frontier, and the outrages practiced
by their Indian allies, caused the religious question to blaze up in Maryland with
even greater intensity than in England.
Although only about one-tenth of the white inhabitants of the Province were
Catholics, and the family of the lords Proprietary had been members of the
Church of England for over forty years, at nearly every session of the Assembly
additional repressive and cruel anti-Catholic legislation was passed by the Lower
House, to be nullified or toned down by the action of that level-headed Gov-