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Proceedings of the Council of Maryland, 1667-1687/8
Volume 5, Preface 5   View pdf image (33K)
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PREFACE.

This volume takes up the Council Proceedings from the point where
our first Council Book stopped, and continues them from the originals in
the possession of the State down to August, 1674, after which there is a
gap of eighteen years in our records. This void we have, to a consider-
able extent, been able to fill, partly by the discovery of an original Council
Journal of 1686-1689 (designated in the margin as Liber B, P.R.O.) in
the Public Record Office, London, and partly by copies of other docu-
ments on file in the same office. Of these documents, many are tran-
scripts from Maryland records, or such as must have been contained in
the missing Council Books; while many are otherwise of great value as
throwing new light on the history of the Province.

The papers accompanying Claiborne's petition, and especially the
depositions in the suit of Claiborne against Clobery, lighten in some
degree the darkness that covers the affairs of Kent Island before the
reduction. It is now more than ever clear that the settlement there was
no plantation, but simply a trading-post, established by a firm of London
merchants, and managed in their interest. They had no grant of land,
but merely a license to trade; nor did the settlers raise their supplies,
but depended for these upon traffic with the Indians, and upon their
London principals for commodities to maintain that traffic. We also
see that Claiborne was not dispossessed by Baltimore, but by his own
partners or employers, whose agent took possession, in their name, of
the buildings, goods and servants, by quiet and unresisted legal process.
To the land, of course, this agent made no claim, as neither Claiborne
nor his partners pretended any patent; but after seeing the Maryland
charter, he acknowledged the jurisdiction of Baltimore.

We also see (p. 267) that the principle of religious toleration was
agreed upon between Cecilius and his first colonists before they set sail;
and that soon after the first settlement " these conditions, by the unan-
imous consent of all who were concerned, were passed into a Lawe "
no doubt by the first Assembly, whose records are so unfortunately lost.

The trial of Fendall for that mysterious rebellion of his is here given
in full, from the report originally taken down in shorthand by the clerk
of the Council.

Here also are the first stages of the boundary dispute with Penn-
sylvania. We have a note of Penn's first application for a grant of land
to extend no further south than the Maryland line, and his agreement

 

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Proceedings of the Council of Maryland, 1667-1687/8
Volume 5, Preface 5   View pdf image (33K)
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