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Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1762-1763
Volume 58, Preface 9   View pdf image (33K)
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Baltimore, December i, 1941
To the Maryland Historical Society


The Maryland Historical Society is entrusted by the State with the publica-
tion of the Archives of Maryland. The Committee on Publications now pre-
sents to the Society Volume LVIII of the Archives, the Proceedings and Acts
of the General Assembly of Maryland, 1762.1763, which is the twenty-seventh
volume that has been published dealing with Assembly affairs. In this volume
are printed the journals of the Upper House, the journals of the Lower House,
the laws enacted in the years 1762 and 1763, and various contemporary papers
pertaining to Assembly affairs to be found in the Appendix.

The Assembly, which was elected in the autumn of 1761, held only two
sessions, one in 1762 and one in 1763. A new Assembly was elected in the
autumn of 1764. Much to the indignation of the people, however, no meeting
of the Assembly was called by Governor Sharpe between November, 1763,
and September, 1765, as it was in this interval that the obnoxious Stamp Act
was passed, and thus no opportunity was given by Sharpe to the Lower House
to voice its protests.

The two sessions whose proceedings and acts are recorded in this volume
were devoted largely to the consideration of various controversial questions,
and the messages exchanged between the Governor and the Upper House on
the one hand and the Lower House on the other became increasingly informa-
tive, acrimonious, and lengthy. Most of the legislation passed at these two
sessions were continuances of old general laws about to expire by time limi-
tation, local laws, and private acts. The only act of great importance to all
classes was the Tobacco Inspection Act, passed in 1763. This law not only
regulated the raising, storing and marketing of tobacco, which was the staple
and the currency of the Province, but fixed in terms of tobacco the fees which
might be charged by all public officials, and the rates at which various European
gold and silver coins might circulate in Maryland in relation to the value of

Most of the controversies between the two houses involved the relations
of the Lord Proprietary and the people. Baltimore, really interested only in
the revenue which he could draw from his Province, looked upon every political
demand by the Lower House merely as an attack upon his prerogative and thus


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Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1762-1763
Volume 58, Preface 9   View pdf image (33K)
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