Skip to comments.Newly Found Maryland Site Reveals Clues About Catholic Colonists
Posted on 05/01/2022 6:37:21 PM PDT by marshmallow
ST. MARY’S CITY, Md. (CNS) — While English colonists who arrived in the New World were looking for greater opportunities, many of the Catholic colonists who arrived in Maryland also were looking to escape religious persecution.
Historic St. Mary’s City, a living history museum in southern Maryland, keeps the story of those Catholic colonists alive while its archaeologists are still digging up clues to the past.
In 1634, the ships the Ark and the Dove landed on the shores of Maryland carrying more than 100 English Catholics and Protestants, led by the Catholic Leonard Calvert. The newcomers settled in a fort before gradually building up St. Mary’s City, a metropolis in southern Maryland that would serve as the colony’s first capital.
For decades, religious tolerance for Christians was the law of the land. But the colonists weren’t free of the political and religious strife that rocked society in Europe. In the late 1680s, England’s Glorious Revolution replaced a Catholic ruler with the staunchly Protestant King William and Queen Mary. Soon, Maryland was no longer controlled by the Catholic Calvert family but instead became a royal colony where the Church of England was the state religion.
In 1695, Francis Nicholson, the royal governor, moved the capital to Annapolis, a more centrally located city where fewer Catholics lived. St. Mary’s City became a shell of its former self, and the site of that original fort was lost to history.
Fortunately, archaeology has helped uncover much of the old city’s mysteries over the past few decades. “There was no map of St. Mary’s City, other than one map with no street layouts, no buildings, no nothing,” said Peter Friesen, director of education at the living history museum. “It’s through the 50 years of archaeology that we were able to figure out where a..........
(Excerpt) Read more at thetablet.org ...
Time Team covered this site. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=071OPeO3bOc
Interesting…the church is Spanish style and these English Jesuits were obviously still very much influenced by their Spanish origin.
In the 16th century, Spanish Jesuits were all up and down the coast, and had tried to start missions up by the Chesapeake. “La Florida” actually encompassed territory all the way up the Hudson. However, the Jesuits didn’t have much success, possibly because they were the very first Europeans the native population had ever seen, or possibly because their style didn’t appeal.
They were recalled from Florida by their General, St. Francis Borgia, because too many of them had been killed. The Jesuits were a fairly new order and didn’t have a huge number of members, and they couldn’t afford to lose any more of what they had on missions that were not taking root.
They returned, of course, but went either further north or further west. Meanwhile, the Franciscans came in and did very well in Florida (the whole coast up to SC) , although they too had martyrs.
Hard to imagine that once upon a time the Jesuits were bold, orthodox missionaries and were the good guys. Look at them now. LGBTQ-Whatever all the way. Sigh.
Also, another factoid, it was one of Calvert’s descendants (grandson, perhaps?) who became an Anglican and led the persecution and suppression of Catholics in Maryland.
History has such unusual and unexpected turns.
I lived in St. Mary’s City in the late ‘60s. Back then, it really was a remote place, and there was very little archeology going on there, even at the college. There were black communities nearby tucked away off of Rt. 5 with no access to to the highway except a dirt path. You would see people from them carrying water along the shoulder. They spoke Gullah, which sounded to me like a high-pitched yip-yap. It was very much a place lost in time.
When I think of the Jesuits, I think of the North American Martyrs instead of the current heretics. Brave men of faith...
I live in St. Inigoes -5 minutes from St. Mary’s City.
The Jesuits made their way up the Potomac as far as Georgetown - they had plantations in Newtowne neck - near Leonardtown and in Charles County as well - mostly grew tobacco.
Rather than a Spanish style, the church is a simplified form of the Baroque style that was popular in Europe at the time. Spanish colonial was just one expression of this simplified Baroque. But it also has to kept in mind that the present church is not the original. It is a reconstruction. The style used was their best guess. For comparison I would suggest the French colonial style used in Canada and Louisiana.
In addition to the Time Team trip to St. Mary’s, they also traveled to the Caribbean, Spain, France, and the Lower Rhine. Perhaps other places.
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