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Title: Calvert and Penn - Or the Growth of Civil and Religious Liberty in America, - as Disclosed in the Planting of Maryland and Pennsylvania
Author: Mayer, Brantz, 1809-1879
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Calvert and Penn - Or the Growth of Civil and Religious Liberty in America, - as Disclosed in the Planting of Maryland and Pennsylvania" ***

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[Transcriber's note: In Appendix I in the original publication the
"Original Latin" and "English Translation" are show side by side.]







  8 APRIL, 1852.

    "Se mai turba il Ceil Sereno
    "Fosco vel di nebbia impura,
    "Quando il sol gli squarcia il seno,
      "Piu sereno il ciel si fa.

    "Rea, discordia, invidia irata
    "Fuga il tempo, e nuda splende.
    "Vincitrice e vendicata.
      "L'offuscata Verita."



It is a venerable and beautiful rite which commands the Chinese not only
to establish in their dwellings a Hall of Ancestors, devoted to
memorials of kindred who are dead, but which obliges them, on a certain
day of every year, to quit the ordinary toils of life and hasten to the
tombs of their Forefathers, where, with mingled services of festivity
and worship, they pass the hours in honoring the manes of those whom
they have either loved or been taught to respect for their virtues.

This is a wholesome and ennobling exercise of the memory. It teaches
neither a blind allegiance to the past, nor a superstitious reverence
for individuals; but it is a recognition of the great truth that no man
is a mere isolated being in the great chain of humanity, and that, while
we are not selfishly independent of the past, so also, by equal
affinity, we are connected with and control the fate of those who are to
succeed us in the drama of the world.

The Time that merges in Eternity, sinks like a drop in the ocean, but
the deeds of that Time, like the drop in the deep, are again exhaled and
fitted for new uses; so that although the Time be dead, the acts thereof
are immortal--for the achieved action never perishes. That which was
wrought, in innocence or wrong, is eternal in its results or

This reflection inculcates a profound lesson of our responsibility. It
teaches us the value of assembling to look over the account of the past;
to separate the good from the false; to winnow the historical harvest we
may have reaped; to survey the heavens, and find our place on the ocean
after the storm. And if such conduct is correct in the general concerns
of private life, how much more is it proper when we remember the duty we
owe to the founders of great principles,--to the founders of great
states,--of great states that have grown into great nations! In this
aspect the principle rises to a dignity worthy our profoundest respect.
History is the garnered treasure of the past, and it is from the glory
or shame of that past, that nations, like individuals, take heart for
the coming strife, or sink under irresistible discouragement.

Is it not well, then, that we, the people of this large country, divided
as we are in separate governments, should assemble, at proper seasons,
to celebrate the foundations of our time-honored commonwealths; and,
while each state casts its annual tribute on the altar of our country,
each should brighten its distinctive symbols, before it merges their
glory in that great constellation of American nations, which, in the
political night that shrouds the world, is the only guiding sign for
unfortunate but hopeful humanity!

       *       *       *       *       *

When the Reformation in England destroyed the supremacy of the Roman
Church, and the Court set the example of a new faith, it may readily be
supposed, that the people were sorely taxed when called on to select
between the dogmas they had always cherished, and those they were
authoritatively summoned to adopt. The age was not one either of free
discussion or of printing and publication. Oral arguments, and not
printed appeals, were the only means of reaching the uncultivated minds
of the masses, and even of a large portion of the illiterate gentry and
aristocracy. If we reflect, with what reverence creeds are, even now,
traditionally inherited in families, we must be patient with their
entailed tenure in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The soul of
nations cannot be purged of its ancestral faith by Acts of Parliament.
There may be submission to law, external indifference, hypocritical
compliance, but, that implicit adoption and correspondent honest action,
which flow from conscientious belief, must spring from sources of very
different sanctity.

When the world contained only one great Christian Church, the idea of
Union betwixt that Church and the State, was not fraught with the
disgusts or dangers that now characterize it. There were then no sects.
All were agreed on one faith, one ritual, one interpretation of God's
law, and one infallible expositor; nor was it, perhaps, improper that
this law--thus ecclesiastically expounded and administered in perfect
national unity of faith--should be the rule of civil and political, as
well as of religious life. Indeed, it is difficult, even now, to
separate the ideas; for, inasmuch as God's law is a law of life, and not
a mere law of death--inasmuch as it controls all our relations among
ourselves and thus defines our practical duty to the Almighty--it is
difficult, I repeat, to define wherein the law of man should properly
differ from the law of God. Mere morality--mere political morality,--is
nothing but a bastard policy, or another name for expediency, unless it
conforms in all its motives, means and results, to religion. In truth,
morality, social as well as political, to be vital and not hypocritical,
must be religion put into practical exercise. This is the simple, just,
and wise reconciliation of religion and good government, which I humbly
believe to be, ever and only, founded upon Christianity. But it was a
sad mistake in other days, to confound a Primitive Christianity and the
dogmas of a Historical Church. Unfortunately for the ancient union of
Church and State, this great identification of the true christian action
of the civil and ecclesiastical bodies, was but a mere fiction, so far
as religion was concerned, and a fact, only so far as power was
interested. Christianity ever has remained, and ever will remain, the
same radiant unit; but a church, with irresponsible power--a church
which, at best, is but an aggregation of human beings, with all the
passions, as well as all the virtues of our race--soon, necessarily,
abandons the purity of its early time, and grows into a vast hierarchy,
which, founding its claims to authority on divine institution, sways the
world, sometimes for good and sometimes for evil, with a power suited to
the asserted omnipotence of its origin.

But the idea of honest union between church and state was naturally
destroyed, in the minds of all right thinking persons, from the moment
that there was a secession from the Church of Rome. The very idea, I
assert, was destroyed; for the Catholic Princes and the sects into which
Protestants divided themselves, began an internecine war, which, in
effect, not only forever obliterated supremacy from the vocabulary of
ecclesiastical power, but almost destroyed, by disgracing, the religion
in whose name it perpetrated its remorseless cruelties.

The social as well as religious anarchy consequent upon the Reformation,
was soon discerned by the statesmen of England, who took council with
prudent ecclesiastics, and, under the authority of law, erected the
Church of England. In this new establishment they endeavored to
substitute for Romanism, a new ecclesiastical system, which, by its
concessions to the ancient faith, its adoption of novel liberalities,
its compromises and its purity, might contain within itself, sufficient
elements upon which the adherents of Rome might gracefully retreat, and
to which the Reformers might either advance or become reconciled. This
scheme of legislative compromise for a national religion, was doubtless,
not merely designed as an amiable neutral ground for the spiritual wants
of the people, but as the nucleus of an institution which would
gradually, if not at once, transfer to the Royalty of England, that
spiritual authority which its sovereigns had found it irksome to bear or
to control when wielded by the Pope.

The architects of this modern faith were not wrong in their estimate of
the English people, for, perhaps, the great body of the nation willingly
adopted the new scheme. Yet there were bitter opponents both among the
Catholics and Calvinists, whose extreme violence admitted no compromise,
either with each other, or with the Church of England. For them there
was no resource but in dumbness or rebellion; and, as many a lip opened
in complaint or attempted seduction, the legislature originated that
charitable and reconciling system of disabilities and penalties, which a
pliant judiciary was not slow in enforcing with suitable rigor. While
the Puritan could often fairly yield a sort of abstinent conformity
which saved him from penalties, the Roman Catholic, who adhered
faithfully and conscientiously to his ancestral church, made no
compromise with his allegiance. Accordingly, on him, the unholy and
intolerant law fell with all its persecuting bane.

"About the middle of the reign of Queen Elizabeth there arose among the
Calvinists, a small body, who bore nearly the same relation to them,
which they bore to the great body of the Reformed; these were ultra
Puritans, as they were ultra Protestants. These persons deemed it their
religious duty to separate themselves entirely from the church, and, in
fact, to war against it. The principle upon which they founded
themselves, was, that there should be no national church at all, but
that the whole nation should be cast in a multitude of small churches or
congregations, each self-governed, and having only, as they believed,
the officers of which we read in the New Testament,--pastor, teacher,
elder and deacon."[1]

       *       *       *       *       *

Such was the ecclesiastical and political aspect of England, and of a
part of Scotland, about the period when the First James ascended the
British throne. As there is nothing that so deeply concerns our welfare
as the rights and duties of our soul, it is not at all singular to find
how quickly men became zealous in the assertion of their novel
privileges, as soon as they discovered that there were two ways of
interpreting God's law, or, at least, two modes of worshiping him,--one
wrapped in gorgeous ceremonial, the other stripped in naked
simplicity,--and that the right to this interpretation or worship was
not only secured by law, but was inherent in man's nature. Personal
interests may be indolently neglected or carelessly pursued. It is rare
to see men persecute each other about individual rights or properties.
Yet, such is not the case when a right or an interest is the religious
property of a multitude. Then, community of sentiment or of risk, bands
them together in fervent support, and when the thing contended for is
based on conscience and _eternal_ interest, instead of personal or
_temporary_ welfare, we behold its pursuit inflame gradually from a
principle into a passion,--from passion into persecution, until at
length, what once glimmered in holy zeal, blazes in bigoted fanaticism.
Thus, all persecutors may not, originally, be bad men, though their
practices are wicked. The very liberty of conscience which freemen
demand, must admit this to be possible in the conduct of those who
differ from us most widely in faith and politics.

Religious Conscience, therefore, is the firmest founder of the right of
forming and asserting Free Opinions; and when it has securely
established the great fact of Religious Freedom, it at once, as an
immediate consequence, realizes Political Freedom, which is nothing but
the individual right independently to control our personal destinies, as
well as to shape our conscientious spiritual destinies. The right of
free judgment asserts that Christianity put into vital exercise, in our
social or national relations, is, in fact, the essence of pure
democracy. It is liberty of action that produces responsibility--it is
equal responsibility that makes us _one_ before the law. To teach man
the humility and equality of his race, _as rights_; and to illustrate
the glorious lesson that from the cottage and cabin have sprung the
intellects that filled the world with light, it pleased the Almighty to
make a stable the birth-place of our Redeemer, and a manger his lowly

       *       *       *       *       *

When the valiant men of olden times had checked the corporate system of
theology in England and Germany, and established their right, at least,
_to think_ for themselves; and when the Reformation had subsequently
received a countercheck in Germany, England and France,--the stalwart,
independent worshippers, who could no longer live peacefully together
within their native realms, began to cast about for an escape from the
persecutions of non-conformity and the mean "tyranny of incapacitation."

The Reformation was the work of the early part of the sixteenth century.
The close of the fifteenth had been signalized by the discovery of
America, and by the opening of a maritime communication with India. The
East, though now accessible by water, was still a far distant land. The
efforts of all navigators, even when blundering on our continent, were,
in truth, not to find a new world, but to reach one already well known
for the richness of its products, and the civilization of its people.
But distant as it was, it presented no field for colonization. It was
the temporary object of mercantile and maritime enterprise, and although
colonial lodgments were impracticable on its far off shores, it
nevertheless permitted the establishment of factories which served, in
the unfrequent commerce of those ages, as almost regal intermediaries
between Europe and Asia.

But the Western World was both nearer, and, for a while, more alluring
to avarice and enterprise. It was not a civilized, populous, and warlike
country like the East, but it possessed the double temptation of wealth
and weakness. The fertility of the West Indies, the reports of
prodigious riches, the conquests of Cortez and Pizzaro, the emasculated
semi-civilization of the two Empires, which, with a few cities and royal
courts, combined the anomaly of an almost barbarous though tamely
tributary people--had all been announced throughout Europe. Yet, the
bold, brave and successful Spaniard of those days contrived for a long
while to reap the sole benefit of the discovery. What he effected was
done by _conquest_. _Colonization_, which is a gradual settlement,
either under enterprise or persecution, was to follow.

The conquest and settlement of the Southern part of this continent are
so well known, that it is needless for me to dwell on them; but it is
not a little singular that the very first effort at what may strictly be
called colonization, within the present acknowledged limits of the
United States, was owing to the spirit of persecution which was so rife
in Europe.

The Bull of the Pope, in its division of the world, had assigned America
to Spain. Florida, which had been discovered by Ponce de Leon, and the
present coast of our Republic on the Gulf of Mexico, were not, in the
sixteenth century, disputed with Spain by any other nation. Spain
claimed, however, under the name of Florida, the whole sea-coast as far
as Newfoundland and even to the remotest north, so that, so far as
_asserted_ ownership was involved, the whole of our coast was Spanish

The poor, persecuted, weather-beaten Huguenots of France, had been
active in plans of Colonization for escape from the mingled imbecility
and terrorism of Charles IX. They saw that it was not well to stay in
the land of their birth. The Admiral de Coligny, one of the ablest
leaders of the French Protestants, was zealous in his efforts to found a
Gallic empire of his fellow subjects and sufferers on this continent. He
desired, at least, a refuge for them; and in 1562, entrusted to John
Ribault, of Dieppe, the command of an expedition to the American shores.
The first soil of this virgin hemisphere that was baptised by the tread
of refugees flying from the terrors of the future hero of St.
Bartholomew--of men who were seeking freedom from persecution for the
sake of their religion--was that of South Carolina. Ribault first
visited St. John's River, in Florida, and then slowly coasted the low
shores northward, until he struck the indenture where Hilton-Head
Island, and Hunting and St. Helen's Islands are divided by the entrance
into the ocean of Broad River at Port Royal.

It was a beautiful region, where venerable oaks shadowed a luxuriant
soil, while the mild air, delicious with the fragrance of
forest-flowers, forever diffused a balmy temperature, free alike from
the fire of the tropics and the frost of the north. Here, in this
pleasant region, he built Fort Carolina, and landed his humble colony of
twenty persons who were to keep possession of the chosen land.

But Frenchmen are not precisely at home in the wilderness. They require
the aggregation of large villages or cities. The Frenchman is a social
being, and regret for the loss of civil comforts soon spoils his
vivacious temper, and fills him with discontent. Accordingly,
dissensions broke forth in the colony soon after the departure of
Ribault for France; and, most of the dissatisfied colonists, finding
their way back to Europe as best they could, the settlement was broken
up forever.

Yet, Coligny was not to be thwarted. In 1564, he again resolved to
colonize Florida, and entrusted Laudonnière--a seaman rather than a
soldier, who had already visited the American coasts,--with three ships
which had been conceded by the king. An abundance of colonists, not
disheartened by the failure of their predecessors, soon offered for the
voyage, and, after a passage of sixty days, the eager adventurers hailed
the American coast. They did not go to the old site, marked as it was by
disaster, but nestled on the embowered banks of the beautiful St.
John's, or, as it was then known--"The River of May."

But the French of that era, when in pursuit of qualified self-government
or of any principle, either civil or religious, were not unlike their
countrymen of the present time. They found it difficult to make
enthusiasm subordinate to the mechanism of progress, and to restrain the
elastic vapor which properly directed gives energy to humanity, but
which heedlessly handled destroys what it should impel or guide.
Religious enthusiasm is not miraculously fed by ravens in the
wilderness. Coligny's emigrants were improvident or careless settlers.
Their supplies wasted. They were not only gratified by the sudden relief
from royal oppression, but the removal of a weight, gave room for the
display of that secret avarice, which, more or less, possesses the
hearts of all men. They had heard of the Spaniard's success, and were
seized with a passion for sudden wealth. They became discontented with
the toil of patient labor and slow accretion. Mutiny ripened into
rebellion. A party compelled Laudonnière to suffer it to embark for
Mexico; but its two vessels were soon employed in piratical enterprises
against the Spaniards. Some of the reckless insurgents fell into the
hands of the men they assailed, and were made prisoners and sold as
slaves, while the few who escaped, were, on their return, executed by
orders of Laudonnière.

The main body of the colonists who had either remained true to their
duty or were kept in subjection, had, meanwhile, become greatly
disheartened by these occurrences and by the failing supplies of their
settlement, when they were temporarily relieved by the arrival of the
celebrated English adventurer--Sir John Hawkins. Ribault soon after came
out from France to take command, and brought with him new emigrants,
seeds, animals, agricultural implements, and fresh supplies of every

These occurrences, it will be recollected, took place in Florida, within
the ancient claim of Spain. It is true that the country was a
wilderness; but Spain still asserted her dominion, though no beneficial
use had been made of the neglected forest and tangled swamp. At this
epoch, a certain Pedro Melendez de Aviles--a coarse, bold, bloody man,
who signalized himself in the wars in Holland against the Protestants,
and was renowned in Spanish America for deeds which, even in the loose
law of that realm, had brought him to justice, was then hanging about
the Court of Philip II. in search of plunder or employment. He perceived
a tempting "mission" of combined destruction and colonization in the
French Protestant settlement in Florida; and, accordingly, a compact was
speedily made between himself and his sovereign, by which he was
empowered, in consideration of certain concessions and rights, to invade
Florida with at least five hundred men, and to establish the Spanish
authority and Catholic religion.

An expedition, numbering under its banner more than twenty-five hundred
persons, was soon prepared. After touching, with part of these forces,
on the Florida coast, in the neighborhood of the present river Matanzas,
the adventurer sailed in quest of the luckless Huguenots, whose vessels
were soon descried escaping seaward from a combat for which they were
unprepared. For a while, Melendez pursued them, but abandoning the
chase, steered south once more, and entering the harbor on the coast he
had just before visited, laid the foundations of that quaint old Spanish
town of ST. AUGUSTINE, which is the parent of civic civilization on our
continent. Ribault, meanwhile, who had put to sea with his craft, lost
most of his vessels in a sudden storm on the coast, though the greater
part of his companions escaped.

But Melendez, whose ships suffered slightly from this tempest, had no
sooner placed his colonists in security, at St. Augustine, than he set
forth with a resolute band across the marshy levels which intervened
between his post and the St. John's. With savage fury the reckless
Spaniard fell on the Huguenots. The carnage was dreadful. It seems to
have been rather slaughter than warfare. The Huguenots, unprepared for
battle, little dreamed that the wars of the old world would be
transferred to the new, and vainly imagined that human passion could
find victims enough for its malignity without crossing the dangerous
seas. Full two hundred fell. Many fled to the forest. A few surrendered,
and were slain. Some escaped in two French vessels that fortunately
still lingered in the harbor. The wretches who had been providentially
saved from the wreck, were next followed and found by this Castilian
monster. "Let them surrender their flags and arms," said he, "and thus
placing themselves at my discretion, I may do with them what God in his
mercy desires!" Yet, as soon as they yielded, they were bound and
marched through the forest to St. Augustine, and, as they approached the
fort which had been hastily raised on the level shores, the sudden blast
of a trumpet was the signal for the musketeers to pour into the crowd a
volley that laid them dead on the spot. It was asserted that these
victims of reliance on Spanish mercy, were massacred, "not as Frenchmen,
but as Lutherans;"--and thus, about nine hundred Protestant human
beings, were the first offering on the soil of our present Union to the
devilish fanaticism of the age.

But the bloody deed was not to go unrevenged. A bold Gascon, Dominic de
Gourgues, in 1567, equipped three ships and set sail for Florida. He
swooped down suddenly, like a falcon on the forts at the mouth of the
St. John's, and putting the occupants to the sword, hanged them in the
forest, inscribing over their dangling corpses, this mocking reply to
the taunt at the Lutherans: "I do this not as unto Spaniards and
sailors, but as unto murderers, robbers and traitors!"

The revenge was merciless; and thus terminated the first chapter in the
history of religious liberty in America. BLOOD stained the earliest
meeting between Catholic and Protestant on the present soil of our

       *       *       *       *       *

The power of Spain, the unattractiveness of our coast, the indifferent
climate, and the failure to find wealthy native nations to plunder, kept
the northern part of our continent in the back ground for the greater
part of a century after the voyages of Columbus and Cabot. There were
discouragements at that time for mercantile or maritime enterprise,
which make us marvel the more at the energy of the men who with such
slender vessels and knowledge of navigation, tempted the dangers of
unknown seas.

Emigration from land to land, from neighboring country to neighboring
country, was, at that epoch, a formidable enterprise; what then must we
think of the hardihood, or compulsion, which could either tempt or drive
men, not only over conterminous boundaries, but across distant seas?
Feudal loyalty and the strong tie of family, bound them not only to
their local homes, but to their native land. The lusty sons of labor
were required to till the soil, while their stalwart brethren, clad in
steel, were wandering on murderous errands, over half of Europe,
fighting for Protestantism or Catholicity. Adventure, then, in the shape
of colonization, must hardly be thought of, from the inland states of
the old world; and, even from the maritime nations, with the exception
of Spain and Portugal, we find nothing worthy of record, save the
fisheries on the Banks, the small settlements of the French in Acadia
and along the St. Lawrence, and the holy efforts of Catholic
Missionaries among the Northern Indians. If we did not know their zeal
to have been Christian, it might almost be considered romantic.

Soon after the return of De Gourgues from his revengeful exploit, the
report of the daring deed and its provocation, was spread over Europe,
and excited the people's attention to America more eagerly than ever.
Among those who were attracted to the subject, was a British gentleman,
whose character and misfortunes have always engaged my sincere

Sir Walter Raleigh was the natural offspring of the remarkable age in
which he lived. We owe him our profoundest respect, for it was Sir
Walter who gave the first decided impulse to our race's beneficial
enjoyment of this continent. It was his fortune to live at a time of
great and various action. The world was convulsed with the throes of a
new civilization, and the energy it exhibited was consequent upon its
long repose. It was an age of transition. It was an age of coat and
corselet--of steel and satin--of rudeness and refinement,--in which the
antique soldier was melting into the modern citizen. It was the twilight
of feudalism. Baronial strongholds were yielding to municipal
independence. Learning began to teach its marvels to the masses; warfare
still called chivalrous men to the field; a spirited queen, surrounded
by gallant cavaliers, sat on a dazzling throne; adventurous commerce
armed splendid navies and nursed a brood of hardy sailors; while the
mysterious New World invited enterprise to invade its romantic and
golden depths. It was peculiarly an age of thought and action; and is
characterized by a vitality which is apparent to all who recollect its
heroes, statesmen, philosophers and poets.

Sir Walter Raleigh was destined, by his deeds and his doom, to bring
this northern continent, which we are now enjoying, into prominent
notice. He was the embodiment of the boyhood of our new world. In early
life he had been a soldier, but the drift of his genius led him into
statesmanship. He was a well known favorite of the Virgin Queen. A
spirit of adventure bore him across the Atlantic, where, if the occasion
had offered, he would have rivalled Cortez in his courageous hardihood,
and outstripped him in his lukewarm humanity. He became a courtier; and,
mingling in the intrigues of the palace, according to the morals of the
age, was soon too great a favorite with his sovereign to escape the
dislike of men who beheld his sudden rise with envy. From the palace he
passed to prison; and, scorning the idleness which would have rusted so
active an intellect, he prepared that remarkable History of the World,
wherein he concentrated a mass of rare learning, curious investigation,
and subtle thought, which demonstrate the comprehensive and yet minute
character of his wonderful mind. A volume of poems shows how sweetly he
could sing. The story of his battles, discloses how bravely he could
fight. The narrative of his voyages proves the boldness of his
seamanship. The calmness of his prison life teaches us the manly lesson
of endurance. The devotion of his wife, denotes how deeply he could
love; while his letters to that cherished woman--those domestic records
in which the heart divulges its dearest secrets--teem with proofs of his
affection and Christianity. Indeed, the gallantry of his courtiership;
the foresight of his statecraft; the splendid dandyism of his apparel;
the wild freedom and companionship of his forest life, show how
completely the fop and the forager, the queenly pet and loyal subject,
the author and the actor, the noble and the democrat, the soldier and
the scholar, were, in the age of Elizabeth and James, blent in one man,
and that man--Sir Walter Raleigh.

Do we not detect in this first adventurous and practical patron of North
America, many of the seemingly discordant qualities which mingle so
commonly in the versatile life of our own people? If the calendar of
courts had its saints, like the calendar of the church, well might Sir
Walter have been canonized as protector of the broad realm for which the
brutal James made him a martyr to the jealousy and fear of Spain.[2]

Queen Elizabeth was the first British Sovereign who built up that
maritime power of England which has converted her magnificent
Island--dot as it is, in the waste of the sea--into the wharf of the
world. She was no friend of the Spaniards, and she had men in her
service who admired Spanish galeons. Wealth, realized in coin, and gold
or silver, in bulk, were tempting merchandize in frail vessels, which
sailors, half pirate, half privateer, might easily deliver of their
burden. It was easier to rob than to mine; and, while Spain performed
the labor in the bowels of the earth, England took the profit as a prize
on the sea! Such were some of the elements of maritime success, which
weakened Spain by draining her colonial wealth, while it enriched her
rival and injured the Catholic sovereign.

Yet, in the ranks of these adventurers, there were men of honest
purpose; and, among the first whose designs of colonization on this
continent were unquestionably conceived in a spirit of discovery and
speculation, was the half brother of Sir Walter Raleigh--Sir Humphrey
Gilbert. But Sir Humphrey, while pursuing his northern adventures, was
unluckily lost at sea, and Sir Walter took up the thread where his
relative dropped it. I regret that I have not time to pursue this
subject, and can only say that his enterprises were, doubtless, the
germ of that colonization, which, by degrees, has filled up and formed
our Union.

You will remember the striking difference between colonization from
England, and the colonization from other nations of ancient and modern
times. The short, imperfect navigation of the Greeks, along the shores
and among the islands of their inland sea, made colonization rather a
diffusive overflow, than an adventurous transplanting of their people.
They were urged to this oozing emigration either by personal want, by
the command of law, or by the oracles of their gods, who doubtless spoke
under the authority of law. Where the national religion was a unit in
faith, there was no persecution to drive men off, nor had the spirit of
adventure seized those primitive classics with the zeal of "annexation"
that animated after ages.

The Roman colonies were massive, military progresses of population,
seeking to spread national power by conquest and permanent encampment.

Portugal and Spain, mingled avarice and dominion in their conquests or
occupation of new lands.

The French Protestants were, to a great extent, prevented by the bigotry
of their home government, as well as by foreign jealousy, from obtaining
a sanctuary in America. France drove the refugees chiefly into other
European countries, where they established their manufacturing industry;
and thus, fanaticism kept out of America laborious multitudes who would
have pressed hard on the British settlements. In the islands, a small
trade and the investment of money, rather than the desire to acquire
fortune by personal industry, were the motives of the early and regular
emigration of Frenchmen.

The Dutch, devoted to trade, generally located themselves where they
"have just room enough to manifest the miracles of frugality and

Thus, wherever we trace mankind abandoning its home, in ancient or
modern days, we find a selfish motive, a superstitious command, a love
of wealth, a lust of power, or a spirit of robbery, controlling the
movement. The first adventurous effort towards the realization of actual
settlement on this continent, was, as we have seen, made by the
persecuted Huguenots, and was, probably, an attempt rather to fly from
oppression, than to establish religious freedom. The first English
settlement, also, was founded more upon speculation than on any novel or
exalted principle. There was a quest of gold, a desire for land, and an
honest hope of improving personal fortunes.

VIRGINIA had been a charter government, but, in 1624, it was merged in
the Royal Government. The crown reassumed the dominion it had granted to
others. Virginia, in the first two decades of the seventeenth century,
although exhibiting some prosperous phases, was nothing more than a
delicate off-shoot from the British stock, somewhat vigorous for its
change to virgin soil, but likely to bear the same fruit as its parent
tree. Virginia was a limb timidly transplanted,--not a branch torn off,
and flung to wither or to fertilize new realms by its decay. This
continent, with all that a century and a half of maritime coasting had
done for it, was but thinly sprinkled with settlements, which bore the
same proportion to the vast continental wilderness that single ships or
small squadrons bear to the illimitable sea. But the spirit of
adventure, the desire for refuge, the dream of liberty, were soon to
plant the seeds of a new civilization in the Western World.

       *       *       *       *       *

Henry VIII, Founder of the English Church, as he had, whilom, been,
Defender of the Roman Faith, was no friend of toleration; but the rigor
of his system was somewhat relaxed during the reign of the sixth Edward.
Mary, daughter of Henry, and sister of Edward, re-constructed the great
ancestral church, and the world is hardly divided in opinion as to the
character of her reign. Elizabeth re-established the church that had
been founded by her father; and her successor James I of England and VI
of Scotland,--the Protestant son of a Catholic mother,--while he openly
adhered to the church of his realm, could not avoid some exhibitions of
coquettish tenderness for the faith of his slaughtered parent.

But, amid all these changes, there was one class upon which the wrath of
the Church of England and of the Church of Rome, met in accordant
severity;--this was the Puritan and ultra Puritan sect,--to which I have
alluded at the commencement of this discourse,--whose lot was even more
disastrous under the Protestant Elizabeth, than under the Catholic Mary.
The remorseless courts of her commissioners, who inquisitorially tried
these religionists by interrogation on oath, imprisoned them, if they
remained lawfully silent and condemned them if they honestly confessed!

A congregation of these sectaries had existed for some time on the
boundaries of Lincoln, Nottingham and York, under the guidance of
Richard Clifton and John Robinson, the latter of whom was a modest,
polished, and learned man. This christian fold was organized about 1602;
but worried by ceaseless persecution, it fled to Holland, where its
members, fearing they would be absorbed in the country that had
entertained them so hospitably, resolved in 1620 to remove to that
portion of the great American wilderness, known as North Virginia. Such,
in the chronology of our Continent, was the first decisive emigration of
our parent people to the New World, _for the sake of opinion_.

It is neither my purpose, nor is it necessary, to sketch the subsequent
history of this New England emigration, or of the followers, who swelled
it into colonial significance.

Its great characteristic, seems to me, to have been, an unalterable will
to worship God according to _its_ own sectarian ideas, and to afford an
equal right and protection to all who thought as _it_ did, or were
willing to conform to its despotic and anchoritic austerity. It is not
very clear, what were its notions of abstract political liberty; yet
there can be very little doubt what its practical opinions of equality
must have been, when we remember the common dangers, duties, and
interests of such a band of emigrants on the dreary, ice-bound, savage
haunted, coasts of Massachusetts.

    "_When Adam delved, and Eve span,
    Pray who was then the gentleman?_"

may well be asked of a community which for so long a time, had been the
guest of foreigners, and now saw the first great human and divine law of
liberty and equality, taught by the compulsion of labor and mutual
protection, on a strip of land between the sea and the forest. The
colonists were literally reduced to first principles; they were stripped
of the comforts, pomps, ambitions, distinctions, of the Old World, and
they embraced the common destiny of a hopeful future in the New.[4] They
had been persecuted for their opinions, but that did not make them
tolerant of the opinions of their persecutors. It was better, then, that
oppressor and oppressed should live apart in both hemispheres; and thus,
in sincerity, if not in justice, their future history exhibits many bad
examples of the malign spirit from which they fled in Europe. If they
were, essentially, Republicans, their democracy was limited to a
political and religious equality of Puritan sectarianism;--it had not
ripened into the democracy of an all embracing Christianity.[5]

These occurrences took place during the reign of the prince who united
the Scottish and English thrones. At the Court of James, and in his
intimate service, during nearly the whole period of his sovereignty, was
a distinguished personage, who, though his name does not figure grandly
on the page of history, was deeply interested in the destiny of our

SIR GEORGE CALVERT, was descended from a noble Flemish family, which
emigrated and settled in the North of England, where, in 1582, the
Founder of Maryland was born. After taking his Bachelor's degree at
Oxford and travelling on the Continent, he became, at the age of
twenty-five, private Secretary to Sir Robert Cecil, the Lord
Treasurer--afterwards the celebrated Earl of Salisbury. In 1609, he
appears as one of the patentees named in the new Charter then granted to
the Virginia Company. After the death of his ministerial patron, he was
honored with knighthood and made clerk of the crown to the Privy
Council. This brought him closely to the side of his sovereign. In 1619,
he was appointed one of the Secretaries of State, and was then, also,
elected to Parliament; first for his native Yorkshire, and subsequently
for Oxford. He continued in office, under James, as Secretary of State,
until near that monarch's death, and resigned in 1624.

Born in the Church of England, Sir George, had, in the course of his
public career, become a Roman Catholic. With the period or the means of
his conversion from the court-faith to an unpopular creed, we have now
no concern. Fuller, in his "Worthies of England," asserts that Calvert
resigned in consequence of his change of religion;--other writers,
relying, perhaps, more on the _obiter dicta_ of memoirs and history,
believe that his convictions as to faith had changed some years before.
Be that, however, as it may, the resignation, and its alleged cause
which was well known to his loving master, James, produced no ill
feeling in that sovereign. He retired in unpersecuted peace. He was even
honored by the retention of his seat at the Privy Council;--the King
bestowed a pension for his faithful services;--regranted him, in fee
simple, lands which he previously held by another tenure; and, finally,
created him Lord Baron of Baltimore, in Ireland.[6]

Whilst Sir George was in office, his attention, it seems, had been early
directed towards America; and in 1620, he is still mentioned in a list
of the members of the Virginia Company. Soon after, he became concerned
in the plantation of Newfoundland, and finally, obtained a patent for
it, to him and his heirs, as Absolute Lord and Proprietary, with all the
royalties of a Count Palatine. We must regret that the original, or a
copy of this grant for the province of Avalon, in Newfoundland, has not
been recently seen, or, if discovered, transmitted to this country.

Here, Sir George built a house; spent £25,000 in improvements; removed
his family to grace the new Principality; manned ships, at his own
charge, to relieve and guard the British fisheries from the attacks of
the French; but, at length, after a residence of some years, and an
ungrateful return from the soil and climate, he abandoned his luckless

Yet, it was soil and climate alone that disheartened the Northern
adventurer:--he had not turned his back on America. In 1629 he repaired
to Virginia, in which he had been so long concerned, and was most
ungraciously greeted by the Protestant royalists, with an offer of the
Test-Oaths of Allegiance and supremacy. Sir George, very properly
refused the challenge, and departed with his followers from the
inhospitable James River, where the bigotry of prelacy denied him a
foothold within the fair region he had partly owned.

But, before he returned to England, he remembered that Virginia was now
a Royal Province and no longer the property of corporate
speculation;--he recollected that there were large portions of it still
unoccupied by white men, and that there were bays and rivers, pouring,
sea-like, to the ocean, of which grand reports had come to him when he
was one of the committee of the Council for the affairs of the
Plantations. Accordingly, when he left the James River, he steered his
keel around the protecting peninsula of Old Point Comfort, and ascending
the majestic Chesapeake, entered its tributary streams, and laid, in
imagination, at least, the foundations of Maryland.

His examination of the region being ended, Calvert went home to England,
and in 1632, obtained the grant of Maryland from Charles I, the son of
his royal patron and friend. The charter, which is said to have been the
composition of Sir George, did not, however, pass the seals until after
the death of its author; but was issued to his eldest son and heir,
Cecilius, on the 20th of June, 1632. The life of Sir George had been one
of uninterrupted personal and political success; his family was large,
united and happy; if he did not inherit wealth, he, at least, contrived
to secure it; and, although his conscience taught him to abandon the
faith of his fathers, his avowal of the change had been the signal for
princely favors instead of political persecution.

Here the historic connexion of the _first_ LORD BALTIMORE with Maryland
ends. The real work of Plantation was the task of CECILIUS, the first
actual Lord Proprietary, and of LEONARD CALVERT, his brother, to whom,
in the following year, the heir of the family intrusted the original
task of colonial settlement. If anything was done by SIR GEORGE, in
furtherance of the rights, liberties, or interests of humanity, so far
as the foundation of Maryland is concerned, it was unquestionably
effected anterior to this period, for we have no authority to say, that
after his death, his children were mere executors of previous designs,
or, that what was then done, was not the result of their own provident
liberality. I think there can be no question that the charter was the
work of Sir George. That, at least, is his property; and he must be
responsible for its defects, as well as entitled to its glory.[7]

I presume it is hardly necessary for me to say what manner of person the
King was, whom Calvert had served so intimately during nearly a whole
reign. James is precisely the historical prodigy, to which a reflective
mind would suppose the horrors of his parentage naturally gave birth. In
royal chronology he stands between two axes,--the one that cleft the
ivory neck of his beautiful mother--the other that severed the
irresolute but refined head of his son and heir. His father, doubtless,
had been deeply concerned in the shocking murder of his mother's second
husband. Cradled on the throne of Scotland; educated for Kingship by
strangers; the ward of a regency; the shuttle-cock of ambitious
politicians; the hope and tool of two kingdoms,--James lived during an
age in which the struggle of opinion and interest, of prerogative and
privilege, of human right and royal power, of glimmering science and
superstitious quackery, might well have bewildered an intellect,
brighter and calmer than his. The English people, who were yet in the
dawn of free opinions, but who, with the patience that has always
characterized them, were willing to obey any symbol of order,--may be
said, rather to have tolerated than honored his pedantry in learning,
his kingcraft in state, his petulance in authority, and his manifold
absurdities, which, while they made him tyrannical, deprived him of the
dignity that sometimes renders even a tyrant respectable.

You will readily believe that a man like George Calvert found it
sometimes difficult to serve such a sovereign, in intimate state
relations. In private life he might not have selected him for a friend
or a companion. But James was his King; the impersonation of British
Royalty and nationality. In serving him, he was but true to England;
and, even in that task, it, no doubt, often required the whole strength
of his heart's loyalty, to withstand the follies of the royal buffoon.
Calvert, I think, was not an enthusiast, but, emphatically, a man of his
time. His time was not one of Reform, and he had no brave ambition to be
a Reformer. Accustomed to the routine of an observing and technical
official life, he was, essentially a practical man, and dealt, in
politics, exclusively with the present. Endowed, probably, with but
slender imagination, he found little charm or flavor in excursive
abstractions. His maxim may perhaps have been--"_quieta ne
movete_,"--the motto of moderate or cautions men who live in disturbed
times, preceding or succeeding revolutions, and think it better--

          "---- to bear those ills we have
    "Than fly to others that we know not of!"

Yet, with all these characteristics, no one will hesitate to believe
that Calvert was a bold and resolute person, when it is recollected that
he visited the wilderness of the New World in the seventeenth century,
and projected therein the formation of a British Province.

But, in truth, our materials for his biography are extremely scant. He
died at the very moment when America's chief interest in him began. He
belonged to the Court Party, as distinguished from the Country Party. He
is known to have been a zealous supporter of the "supremacy of
authority." He held, that "America, having been acquired by conquest,
was subject, exclusively, to the control of royal prerogative." He was
the defender of the Court in its diplomacy; and, ultra as James was in
his monarchical doctrines, there can be little doubt that he would have
dismissed Calvert from office, had there not been concord between the
crown and its servant, as to the policy, if not the justice, of the
toryism they both professed. But let us not judge that century by the
standards of this. That would be writing history from a false point. Let
us not condemn rulers who seem to be despotic in historic periods of
transition--in periods of mutual intolerance and distrust--in periods
when men know nothing, from practical experience, of the capacity of
mankind for self government.[8]

The charter which Sir George Calvert framed, and the successor of James
granted, was precisely the one we might justly suppose such a subject,
and such a sovereign would prepare and sign. It invested the Lord
Proprietary with all the royal rights, enjoyed by the Bishop of Durham,
within the County Palatine of Durham. He was the source of justice. He
was the fountain of honor, and allowed to decorate meritorious
provincials with whatever titles and dignities he should appoint. He had
the power to establish feudalism and all its incidents. He was not
merely the founder and filler of office, but he was also the sole
executive. He might erect towns, boroughs and cities;--he might pardon
offences and command the forces. As ecclesiastical head of the Province,
he had the right to found churches, and was entitled to their
advowsons.[9] In certain cases he had the dangerous privilege of issuing
ordinances, which were to have the force of sovereign decrees. In fact,
allegiance to England, was alone preserved, and the Lord Proprietary
became an autocrat, with but two limitations: 1st, the laws were to be
enacted by the Proprietary, with the advice and approbation of the free
men, or free-holders or their deputies,--the "_liberi homines_" and
"_liberi tenentes_," spoken of in the charter;--and 2nd, "no
interpretation" of the charter was "to be made whereby God's Holy Rights
and the true Christian Religion, _or_ the allegiance due to us," (the
King of England,) "our heirs and successors, may, in any wise, suffer by
change, prejudice or diminution." Christianity and the King--I blush to
unite such discordant names--were protected in equal co-partnership.[10]

The first of these reserved privileges of the people, the Lord
Proprietary Cecilius understood, to mean, that _he_ had the exclusive
privilege of proposing laws, and that the free-men, or free-holders of
his province, could only accept or reject his propositions. These laws
of the province were not to be submitted to the King for his approval,
nor had he the important _right of taxation_, which was expressly
relinquished. In the early legislation of Maryland, this supposed
exclusive right of proposing laws by the Proprietary, was soon tested by
mutual rejections, both by the legislative Assembly and by Cecilius, of
the Acts, which each had separately passed or prepared.

But the other clause, touching "God's Holy Rights and the true Christian
Religion," was one, in regard to the practical interpretation of which,
I apprehend, there was never a moment's doubt in the mind either of the
people or of the Proprietary. It is a radiant gem in the antique setting
of the charter. It is the glory of Calvert. It is the utter obliteration
of prejudice among all who professed Christianity. Toleration was
unknown in the old World; but this was more than toleration, for it
declared freedom at least to _Christians_,--yet it was not perfect
freedom, for it excluded that patient and suffering race--that chosen
people--who, to the disgrace even of republican Maryland, within my
recollection, were bowed down by political disabilities.

I am aware that many historians consider the religious freedom of
Maryland as originating in subsequent legislation, and claim the act of
1649 as the statute of toleration. I do not agree with them. Sir George
Calvert had been a Protestant;--he became a Catholic. As a Catholic, he
came to Virginia, and in the colony where he sought to settle, he found
himself assailed, for the first time in his life, by Protestant
virulence and incapacitation. He was now, himself, about to become a
Lord Proprietor. The sovereign who granted his charter was a Protestant,
and moreover, the king of a country whose established religion was
Protestant. The Protestant monarch, of course, could not _grant_
anything which would compromise him with his Protestant subjects; yet
the Catholic nobleman, who was to take the beneficiary charter, could
not _receive_, from his Protestant master, a grant which would assail
the conscience of co-religionists over whom he was, in fact, to be a
sovereign. In England, the King had no right to interfere with the
Church of England; but in America, which was a vacant, royal domain, his
paramount authority permitted him to abolish invidious ecclesiastical
distinctions. Calvert, the Catholic, must have been less than a man, if
he forgot his fellow sufferers and their disabilities when he drew his
charter. His Protestant recollections taught him the vexations of
Catholic trials, while his Catholic observation informed him sharply of
Protestant persecution. Sectarianism was already rampant across the
Atlantic.[11] The two British lodgments, in Virginia and New England,
were obstinately sectarian. Virginia was Episcopalian; New England was
Puritan;--should Maryland be founded as an exclusively Protestant
province, or an exclusively Catholic settlement? It is evident that
either would be impossible:--the latter, because it would have been both
impolitic and probably illegal; and the former because it would have
been a ridiculous anomaly to force a converted Catholic, to govern a
colony wherein his own creed was not tolerated by a fundamental and
unalterable law. It is impossible to conceive that the faith of Calvert
and the legal religion of Charles, did not enter into their
deliberations, when they discussed the Charter; and, doubtless, both
subject and sovereign justly decided to make "THE LAND OF MARY," which
the Protestant Charles baptised in honor of his Catholic Queen, a free
soil for Christianity. It was Calvert's duly and interest to make
Charles tolerant of Catholic Christianity; nor could he deny to others
the immunity he demanded for himself and his religious brethren. The
language of the charter, therefore, seems explicit and incapable of any
other meaning. There were multitudes of Catholics in England, who would
be glad to take refuge in a region where they were to be free from
disabilities, and could assert their manhood. The king, moreover,
secured for his Catholic subjects a quiet, but chartered banishment,
which still preserved their allegiance. At the court there was much
leaning towards the church of Rome. It was rather fashionable to believe
one way, and conform another. The Queen was zealous in her ancestral
faith; and her influence over the king, colored more than one of his
acts. Had Calvert gone to the market place, and openly proclaimed, that
a Protestant king, by a just charter of neutrality, had established an
American sanctuary for Catholics, and invited them thither under the
banner of the cross, one of his chief objects, must have been at once
defeated; for intolerance would have rallied its parties against the
project, and the dream of benevolence would have been destroyed for
ever. If by the term, "God's Holy Rights and the true Christian
religion," the charter meant, _the church of England_, then, _ex vi
termini_, Catholicity could never have been tolerated in Maryland; and
yet it is unquestionable that the original settlement was made under
Catholic auspices--blessed by Catholic clergymen--and acquiesced in by
Protestant followers. Was it not wise, therefore, to shield conscience
in Maryland, under the indefinite but unsectarian phraseology of "God's
Holy Rights and the true Christian Religion?"[12]

       *       *       *       *       *

So far, then, for the basis of the charter, and for the action of Sir
George Calvert. After his death, the planting of the colony took place
under the administration of Cecilius, who, remaining in Europe,
dispatched his brother Leonard to America to carry out his projects.

If the personal history of the Calverts is scant, the history of the
early days of Maryland is scarcely less so; but the industry of
antiquarians, and the researches of a learned Catholic clergyman, have
brought to light two documents which disclose much of the religious and
business character of the settlement. The work entitled:--"A RELATION OF
MARYLAND," which was published in London in 1635, and gave the first
account of the planting of the province, is a minute, mercantile,
statistical, geographical and descriptive narrative of the landing and
locating of the adventurers who set sail in 1633, and of their genial
intercourse with the aborigines. If I had time, it would be pleasing to
sum up the facts of this historical treasure, which was evidently
prepared under the direction of Cecilius, Lord Baltimore, if not
actually written by him. It is full of the spirit of careful, honest
enterprise; and exhibits, I think, conclusively, the fact that the
design of Calvert, in establishing this colony, was mainly the creation
of a great estate, manorial and agricultural, whose ample revenues
should, at all times, supply the needs of his ten children and their

The other document to which I refer, is a manuscript discovered some
years ago, by the Rev. Mr. McSherry, in the archives of the college of
the Propaganda, at Rome, and exhibits the zeal with which the worthy
Jesuits, whom Lord Baltimore sent forth with the first settlers, applied
themselves to the christianization of the savages. It presents some
beautiful pictures of the simple life of these devotees. It shows that,
in Maryland, the first step was _not_ made in crime; and that the
earliest duty of the Governor, was not only to conciliate the Indian
proprietors, but to purchase the land they were willing to resign. Nor
was this all; there was provident care for the soul as well as the soil
of the savage. There is something rare in the watchful forethought which
looks not only to the present gain or future prospects of our fellow
men, which takes heed not only of the personal rights and material
comforts of the race it is displacing, but guards the untutored savage,
and consigns him to the vigilance of instructed piety. This "NARRATIVE
OF FATHER WHITE," and the Jesuits' letters, preserved in the college at
Georgetown, portray the zeal with which the missionaries, in their frail
barks, thridded the rivers, coves and inlets of our Chesapeake and
Patapsco;--how they raised the cross, under the shadow of which the
first landing was effected;--how they set up their altars in the wigwams
of the Indians, and sought, by simplicity, kindness and reason, to reach
and save the Indian. In Maryland, persecution was dead at the
founding;--prejudice, even, was forbidden. The cruelties of Spanish
planting were unknown in our milder clime. No violence was used, to
convert or to appropriate, and thus, the symbol of salvation, was
properly raised on the green Isle of St. Clement, as an emblem of the
peace and good will, which the Proprietary desired should sanctify his

I think there ran be no doubt that this adventure had the double object
of affording an exile's refuge to Calvert's co-religionists, as well as
of promoting the welfare of his family. It was designed for land-holders
and laborers. It was a manorial, planting colony. Its territory was
watered by two bays, several large rivers, and innumerable streams. Its
fertile lands and thick forests, invited husbandmen, while its capacious
coasts tempted the hardy fisherman. And so it is, that in the Arms which
were prepared for the Proprietary government, the baronial shield of the
Calvert family, dropped, in America, its two supporting leopards, and
received in their stead, on either side, a Fisherman and a Farmer.
"Crescite et Multiplicamini,"--its motto,--was a watchword of provident

       *       *       *       *       *

Forty-nine years after the charter was granted to Lord Baltimore, King
Charles II issued a patent, for a magnificent patrimony in America, to

But what a change, in that half century, had passed over the world! A
catalogue of the events that took place, in Great Britain alone, is a
history of the growth of Opinion and of the People.

Charles's efforts to overthrow the Presbyterian Church in Scotland, and
to enforce Episcopacy, brought on the war with the stern enthusiasts of
that country. Laud, in the Church, and the Earl of Strafford, in the
Cabinet, kept the King in a constant passion of royal and ecclesiastical
power. Strafford fell, and the civil war broke out. Cromwell towered up
suddenly, on the bloody field, and was victorious over the royalists.
The King perished on the scaffold. Cromwell became Lord Protector. Anon,
the commonwealth fell; the Stuarts were restored, and Charles II
ascended the throne;--but amid all these perilous acts of political and
religious fury, the world of thought had been stirred by the speeches
and writings, of Taylor, Algernon Sydney, Hampden, and Milton. As the
people gradually felt their power they learned to know their rights,
and, although they went back from Republicanism to Royalty, they did so,
perhaps, only to save themselves from the anarchy that ever threatens a
nation while freeing itself from feudal traditions.

Besides these political and literary phases of the time, there had been
added to the Catholic, Episcopal, and Puritan sects, a _new_ element of
religious power, which was destined to produce a slow but safe
revolution among men.

An humble shoemaker, named GEORGE FOX, arose and taught that "every man
was complete in himself; he stood in need of no alien help; the light
was free of all control,--above all authority external to itself. Each
human being, man or woman, was supreme." The christian denomination
called Quakers, or more descriptively--"Friends,"--- thus obtained a
hearing and a standing among all serious persons who thought Religion a
thing of life as well as of death.

Quakerism, with such fundamental principles of equality in constant
practice, became a social polity. If the Quaker was a Democrat, he was
so because the "inner light" of his christianity made him one, and he
dared not disobey his christianity. He recognized no superiors, for his
conscience taught him to deny any privileges to claimed superiority. But
the Quaker added to his system, an element which, hitherto, was unknown
in the history of sects;--he was a Man of Peace. It is not to be
supposed that any royal or ecclesiastical government would allow such
radical doctrines to pass unnoticed, in the midst of a society which was
ever greedy for new teachings. The Quaker, therefore, soon participated
in the persecutions which prelacy thought due to liberal christianity.
But persecution of the Friend, was the Friend's best publication, for he
answered persecution, not by recantation, but by peaceful endurance.
Combative resistance, in religious differences, always gives the victor
a right, or at least, an excuse, to slay. But Quakerism, a system of
personal and religious independence and peace,--became slowly successful
by the _vis inertiæ_ of passive resistance. All other sects were, more
or less, combative;--Quakerism was an obstinate rock, which stood, in
rooted firmness, amid a sea of strife:--the billows of faction raged
around it and broke on its granite surface, but they wasted
themselves--_not_ the rock! And this is a most important fact in the
history of Religion in its development of society. All other sects lost
caste, power or material, either by aggression or by fighting. But the
Quaker said to the Prelate, the Puritan, and the Catholic, you may annoy
us by public trials, by denial of justice, by misrepresentation, by
imprisonment, by persecution, by the stake,--yet we shall stand
immovable on two principles, which deny that God is glorified by
warfare--especially for opinion. Our principles are, equality and
peace--in the church and in the world. Equality is to make us humble and
good citizens. Peace is to convert this den of human tigers into a fold,
wherein by simply performing our duties to each other and to God, we may
prepare ourselves for the world of spirits. You can persecute--_we_ can
suffer. Who shall tire first? We will be victorious by the firmness that
bears your persecutions; and those very persecutions, while they publish
your shame, shall proclaim our principles as well as our endurance. They
knew, from the history of Charles 1st, that the worst thing to be done
with a bad king was to kill him; for, if the axe metamorphosed that
personage into a martyr, the prison could never extinguish the light of
truth in the doctrines of Quakerism![14]

       *       *       *       *       *

You will pardon me, gentlemen, for having detained you so long in
discussing the foundation of Maryland. The planting of your own state is
familiar to you. It has been thoroughly treated in the writings of your
Proud, Watson, Gordon, Du Ponceau, Tyson, Fisher, Wharton, Reed,
Ingraham, Armstrong and many others. Can it be necessary for me to say a
word, in Philadelphia, of the history of WILLIAM PENN;--of him, who, as
a lawgiver and executive magistrate,--a practical, pious,
Quaker,--_first_ developed in state affairs, and reduced to practice,
the liberty and equality enjoined by his religion and founded on
liberal christianity;--of him who _first_ taught mankind the sublime
truth, that--

    "Beneath the rule of men entirely great
    "The PEN _is mightier than the sword? Behold_
    "The arch-enchanter's wand,--itself a nothing!
    "But taking sorcery from the master hand
    "To paralyse the Cesars! _Take away the sword_,
    "_States can be saved without it!_"

It would be idle to detail the facts of his life or government, for, not
only have Pennsylvanians recorded and dwelt upon them until they are
household lessons, but they have been favorite themes for French,
British, Italian, German and Spanish philosophers and historians.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was Penn to whom the charter of 1681 was granted, half a century
after the patent issued to Cecilius Calvert. The instrument itself, has
many of the features of the Maryland grant; but it is well known that
the absolute powers it bestowed on the Proprietary, were only taken by
him in order that he might do as he pleased in the formation of a new
state, whose principles of freedom and peace, might, first in the
World's history, practically assume a national aspect.

I shall not recount the democratic liberalities of his system, as it was
matured by his personal efforts and advice. Original, as he
unquestionably was, in genius; bold as he was in resisting the pomp of
the world, at a time when its vanities sink easiest and most
corruptingly into the heart,--we may nevertheless, say, that the deeds
and history of his time, as well as of the previous fifty years, had a
large share in moulding his character.

In William Penn, the crude germs of religious originality, which, in
Fox, were struggling, and sometimes almost stifling for utterance, found
their first, ablest, and most accomplished expounder. He gave them
refinement and respectability. His intimacy with Algernon Sidney taught
him the value of introducing those principles into the doctrines of
government;--and thus, he soon learned that when political rights grow
into the sanctity of religious duties, they receive thereby a vitality
which makes them irresistible. Penn, in this wise, become an expanded
embodiment of Fox and Sidney; and, appropriating their mingled faith and
polity, discarded every thing that was doctrinal and not practical, and
realized, in government, their united wisdom. Nobly _in his age_, did he
declare: "I know what is said by the several admirers of monarchy,
aristocracy, and democracy, which are the rule of one, of a few, and of
the many, and are the three common ideas of government when men
discourse on that subject. But I choose to solve the controversy with
this small distinction, and it belongs to all three:--_any government is
free to the people under it, whatever be the frame, where the laws rule
and the people are a party to those laws; and more than this is tyranny,
oligarchy, and confusion._"[15]

In these historical illustrations, I have striven to show that Primitive
Christianity was the basis of equal rights and responsibilities. The
alleged defence of this christianity, in the land of its birth, gave
rise to "holy wars," in which Feudalism and Chivalry originated.
Feudalism was the source of the strictest military dependence, as well
as of manifold social perversions. The knight expanded into a lord,--the
subject commoner dwindled to a soldier or a serf. Thus Feudalism and a
great historical Church, grew up in aristocratic co-partnership over the
bodies and souls of mankind, until the one, by the omnipotence of its
spiritual authority, ripened into an universal hierarchy, while the
other, by the folly of its "divine right," decayed into a temporal
despotism that fell at the first blow of the heads-man's axe. The
reformation and revolution broke the enchanter's wand; and, when the
cloud passed from the bloody stage, instead of seeing before us a
magician full of the glories of his art and almost deceived himself, by
the splendor of his incantations, we beheld a meagre and pitiful
creature, who though blind and palsied, still retained for a while, the
power of witch-like mischief. But his reign was not lasting. The stern
Puritan,--the pioneer of Independence,--advanced with his remorseless
weapon,--while quietly, in his shadow, followed the calm and patient
Friend, sowing the seed of Peace and Good-Will in the furrows plowed by
the steel of his unrelenting predecessor. And thus again, after ages of
corrupt and desolating perversion, the selfish heart of man came humbly
back to its original faith that Liberal Christianity is the true basis
of enlightened freedom, and the only foundation of good and lasting

       *       *       *       *       *

The bleak winds of March were blowing in Maryland, when Calvert
conciliated and purchased from the Indians at Saint Mary's; but Autumn

        "Laying here and there
    "A fiery finger on the leaves,"

when Penn, also, established a perfect friendship with the savages at

Calvert, a protestant officer of the crown, became a catholic, and,
retiring to private life, was rewarded by his king, with a pension,
estates, and an American principality;--Penn, the son of a British
Admiral, and who is only accurately known to us by a portrait which
represents him _in armor_, began life as an adherent of the Church of
England, and having conscientiously, doffed the steel for the simple
garb of Quakerism, was persecuted, not only by his government but his
parent. Calvert took the grant of a feudal charter, and asserting all
its legislative and baronial powers, sought to fasten its Chinese
influence, in feudal fixedness, on his colonists;--but Penn, knowing
that feudalism was an absurdity, in the necessary equality of a
wilderness, embraced his great authority in order "to leave himself and
his successors no power of doing mischief, so that the will of one man
might not hinder the good of a whole community."[17]

Calvert seems to have thought of English or Irish emigration
alone;--Penn, did not confine himself to race, but sought for support
from the Continent as well as from Britain.[18]

Calvert was ennobled for his services;--Penn rejected a birthright which
might have raised him to the peerage.

Calvert's public life was antecedent to his American visit--Penn's was
almost entirely subsequent to the inception of his "holy experiment."

Calvert laid the foundations of a mimic kingdom;--Penn, with the power
of a prince, stripped himself of authority. The one was naturally an
aristocrat of James's time; the other, quite as naturally, a democrat of
the transition age of Sidney.

Calvert imagined that mankind stood still; but, Penn believed, that
mankind _ever_ moves, or, that like an army under arms, when not
marching, it is marking time.

While to Calvert is due the honor of a considerable religious advance on
his age, as developed in his charter,--Penn is to be revered for the
double glory of civil and _perfect_ religious liberty. Calvert mitigated
man's lot by toleration;--Penn expanded the germ of toleration into
unconditional freedom.

Calvert was the founder of a Planting Province, mainly agricultural, and
creative of all the manorial dependencies;--but Penn seems to have
heartily cherished the idea of a great City, and of the commerce it was
to gather and develope from a wilderness over which it was to stand as
guardian sentinel. As farming was the chief interest of the one,
trading, became, also, a favorite of the other; and thus, while the
_transient_ trader visited, supplied, and left the native Indian
free,--the _permanent_ planter settled forever on his "hunting grounds,"
and drove him further into the forest.

Calvert recognized the law of war;--Penn made peace a fundamental
institution. They both felt that civilized nations have a double and
concurrent life,--material and spiritual;--but Calvert sought rather to
develop one, while Penn addressed himself to the care of both.

Calvert's idea was to open a new land by old doctrines, and to form his
preserving amber around a worthless fly;--but Penn's Pennsylvania was to
crystalize around the novel and lucid nucleus of freedom.

Calvert supposed that America was to be a mere reflex of Britain, and
that the heart of his native Island would pulsate here; but Penn, seeing
that the future population of America, like the soil of the Mississippi
Valley, would be an alluvial deposit from the overflow of European
civilization, thought it right to plant a new doctrine of human rights,
which would grow more vigorously for its transplanting and culture.

       *       *       *       *       *

The germs of Civil and Religious freedom may be found elsewhere in the
foundation of American provinces and colonies. I know they are claimed
for the cabin of the Mayflower, the rock of Plymouth, and the sands of
Rhode Island. But I think that William Penn is justly entitled to the
honor of adopting them on principle, after long and patient reflection,
as the seed of his people, and thus, of having taken from their
introduction by him into this country, all the disparagement of
originating either in discontent or accident. His plan was the offspring
of beautiful design, and not the gypsey child of chance or circumstance.

History is to man what water is to the landscape,--it mirrors, but
distorts in its reflection, and the great founder of Pennsylvania has
suffered from this temporary distortion. But, at length, the water will
become still, and the image will be perfect. Penn is one of those
majestic figures that loom up on the waste of time, in the same eternal
permanence and simple grandeur in which the Pyramids rise in relief from
the sands of Egypt. Let no Arab displace a single stone!


It is singular that the clause in the XXII section of Charles Ist's
charter to Lord Baltimore, relating to the interpretation of that
instrument in regard to religion, has never been accurately translated,
but that all commentators have, hitherto, followed the version given by
Bacon. I shall endeavor to demonstrate the error.

The following parallel passages exhibit the original Latin, and Bacon's
adopted translation:


The 22nd section of the charter of Maryland, copied from Bacon's Laws,
wherein it was adopted from an attested copy from the original record
remaining in the Chapel of Rolls in 1758:

"SECTION XXII. Et si fortè imposterum contingat Dubitationes aliquas
quæstiones circa verum sensum et Intellectum alicujus verbi clausulæ vel
sententiæ in hâe presenti CHARTA nostrâ contentæ generari EAM semper et
in omnibus Interpretationem adhiberi et in quibuscunque Curiis et
Prætoriis nostris obtinere VOLUMUS præcipimus et mandamus quæ præfato
modò Baroni de BALTIMORE Hæredibus et Assignatis suis benignior utilior
et favorabilior esse judicabitur Proviso semper quod nulla fiat
Interpretatio per quam sacro-sancta DEI et vera Christiana Religio aut
Ligeantia NOBIS Hæredibus et successoribus nostris debita Immutatione
Prejudicio vel dispendio in aliquo patiantur:" &c. &c.


    Translation of the 22nd section of the charter, from Bacon's Laws of
    Maryland, wherein it is copied from an old translation published by
    order of the Lower House in the year 1725:

    "SECTION XXII. And if, peradventure, hereafter it may happen that
    any doubts or questions should arise concerning the true sense and
    meaning of any word, clause or sentence contained in this our
    present charter, we will, charge, and command, THAT Interpretation
    to be applied, always, and in all things, and in all our Courts and
    Judicatories whatsoever, to obtain which shall be judged to be more
    beneficial, profitable and favorable to the aforesaid now Baron of
    BALTIMORE, his heirs and assigns: Provided always that no
    interpretation thereof be made whereby GOD's holy and true christian
    religion, or the allegiance due to us, our heirs and successors,
    may, in any wise, suffer by change, prejudice or diminution:" &c.

It will be noticed that this _Latin_ copy, according to the well known
ancient usage in such papers, is not punctuated, so that we have no
guidance, for the purpose of translation, from that source.

The translation of this section as far as the words: "_Proviso semper
quod nulla fiat interpretatio_," &c. is sufficiently correct; but the
whole of the final clause, should in my opinion, be rendered thus:--

"Provided always that no interpretation thereof be made, whereby GOD'S
HOLY RIGHTS _and_ the TRUE CHRISTIAN RELIGION, or the allegiance due to
us our heirs or successors, may, in any wise suffer by change, prejudice
or diminution." Let me offer my reasons for this alteration:

1st, This new translation harmonizes with the evident grammatical
construction of the Latin sentence, and is the easiest as well as most
natural. The common version, given by Bacon: "GOD'S holy _and_ true
CHRISTIAN religion,"--is grossly pleonastic, if not nonsensical. Among
christians, "God's religion," can of course, only be the "christian
religion;" and, with equal certainty, it is not only a "true" religion,
but a "holy" one!

2nd, The word _Sacrosanctus_, always conveys the idea of a _consecrated
inviolability, in consequence of inherent rights and privileges_. In a
dictionary, _contemporary with the charter_, I find the following
definition,--_in verbo sacrosanctus._

"SACROSANCTUS: Apud Ciceronem dicebatur id quod interposito jurejurando
sanctum, et institutum erat idem etiam significat ac sanctus, _santo_.
_Tribunus plebis dicebatur sacrosanctus, quia eum nefas erat attingere,
longè diviniori ratione Catholici appellamus ecclesiam Romanam
sacrosanctam._ Calpinus Parvus;--seu Dictionarium Cæsaris Calderini
Mirani: _Venetiis_, 1618."

Cicero, _in Catil_: 2. 8.--uses the phrase--"Possessiones sacrosanctæ,"
in this sense; and so does Livy in the epithet,--"Sacrosancta potestas,"
as applied to the Tribuneship; and, in the sentence,--"ut plebi sui
magistratus essent sacrosanctæ."

From the last sentence, in the definition given in the Venetian
Dictionary of 1618, which I have cited in italics, it will be seen that
the epithet had a peculiarly Catholic signification _in its
appropriation_ by the Roman Church.

3d, I contend that "_sacrosancta_" does not qualify "_religio_," but
agrees with _negotia_, or some word of similar import, understood; and
thus the phrase--"_sacrosancta Dei_"--forms a distinct branch of the

If the translation given in Bacon is the true one, the positions of the
words "sacrosancta" and "Dei" should be reversed, for their present
collocation clearly violates accurate Latin construction. In that case,
"_Dei_" being subject to the government of "_religio_," ought to precede
"_sacrosancta_," which would be appurtenant to "_religio_," while
"_et_," which would then couple the two adjectives instead of the two
members of the sentence, should be placed immediately between them,
without the interposition of any word to disunite it either from
"_sacrosancta_" or "_vera_." If my translation be correct, then the
collocation of all the words in the original Latin of the charter, is
proper. If "_sacrosancta_" is a neuter adjective agreeing with
"_negotia_," understood,--and "_et_" conjoins members of sentences, then
the whole clause is obedient to a positive law of Latin verbal
arrangement. Leverett says: "The genitive is elegantly put before the
noun which governs it with one or more words between; _except_ when the
genitive is _governed by a neuter adjective_, in which case, _it must_
be _placed after it_."

4th, Again:--if "_et_" joins "_sacrosancta_" and "_vera_," which,
thereby, qualify the same noun, there are _then_ only two nominatives in
the Latin sentence of the charter, viz: "_religio_" and "_ligcantia_."
Now these nouns, being coupled by the disjunctive conjunction "_aut_,"
must have the verb agreeing with them _separately_ in the singular. But,
as "_patiantur_" happens to be in the plural, the author of the charter
must either have been ignorant of one of the simplest grammar rules, or
have designed to convey the meaning I contend for.

I must acknowledge the aid and confirmation I have received, in
examining this matter, from the very competent scholarship of my friend
Mr. Knott, assistant Librarian of the Maryland Historical Society.


The scope of my discourse is confined to the illustration of
_principles_ either announced, or acted on, in the _founding_ of
Maryland and Pennsylvania. I have contended that Sir George Calvert, the
_first_ Lord Baltimore, so framed the charter which was granted by
Charles I, that, without express concessions, the general character of
its language in regard to religious rights, would secure liberty of
conscience to christians.

I: 1632.--Language can scarcely be more perspicuously comprehensive,
than in the phrase: "God's Holy Rights and the true Christian Religion."
Under such a clause, _in the charter_, no particular church could set up
a claim for its exclusive christianity. There was no mention, in the
instrument, of "the Established Church," or, of "the Church of England."
The Catholic could not deny the Episcopalian's christianity; the
Episcopalian could not deny the Catholic's, nor could the Puritan
question the christianity of either. All professed faith in Christ. Each
of the three great sects might contend that its _form_ of worship, or
interpretation of the Bible, was the correct one; but all came lawfully
under the great generic class of christians. And, while the political
government of the colonists was to be conducted by a Catholic
magistrate, in a province belonging to a Catholic Lord,--the
_interpretation_ of the law of religious rights was to be made, not by
the laws of England, but exclusively under the paramount law of the
provincial charter. By that document the broad "rights of God," and "the
true christian religion," could not "suffer by change, prejudice or

This view is strengthened by a clause in the 4th section of the charter,
by which the king granted Lord B. "the patronages and advowsons of ALL
_churches_ which, _with the increasing worship and_ RELIGION OF CHRIST,
(_crescenti Christi cultu et religione_,") should be built within his
province. The right of _advowson_, being thus bestowed on the Lord
Proprietary, for _all Christian Churches_; his majesty, then, goes on,
empowering Lord B. to erect and found churches, chapels, &c. and _to
cause_ them to be dedicated "_according to the Ecclesiastical laws of
our kingdom of England_." The general right of advowson, and the
particular privilege, conceded to a Catholic, of causing the
consecration of Episcopal churches, are _separate_ powers and ought not
to be confounded by a hasty reader of the charter.

I think there can hardly be a fair doubt that the interpretation I give
to the 22nd clause is the one assigned to it by the immigrants from the
earliest colonial movement in 1633. We may assert, therefore, the fact,
that religious freedom was offered and secured for christians, in the
province of Maryland, from the very beginning.

II: 1633.--We must recollect that under the English statutes, _adherents
of the national church required no protection_; they were free in the
exercise of their faith; but Catholics and Puritans were not so happily
situated, and, accordingly, they sought, in the new world an exemption
from the disabilities and persecutions they experienced at home. Can it
be credited, that, under such vexations, the Catholic Lord Baltimore
would have drawn a charter, or, his Catholic son and successor, sent
forth a colony, under a Catholic Governor, when the fundamental law,
under which alone he exercised his power, did not secure liberty to him
and his co-religionists? It is simply necessary to ask the question, in
order to demonstrate the absurdity of such a supposition.

III: 1634.--If we show, then, that Catholic conscience was untrammeled
in Maryland, I think we may fairly assume the general ground as
satisfactorily proved. What was, briefly, the first movement of this
sect, under the Lord Proprietary's auspices? When Lord Cæcilius was
planning his colonial expedition in 1633, one of his earliest cares was
to apply to the Order of Jesus for clergymen to attend the Catholic
planters and settlers, and to convert the natives. Accordingly, under
the sanction of the Superior, Father White joined the emigrants,
_although, under previous persecutions in England, he had been sent into
perpetual banishment, to return from which subjected the culprit to the
penalty of death_! These facts are set forth, at page 14 of the 2nd
volume of Challoner's Memoirs. Historia Anglo-Bavara, S. J. Rev. Dr.
Oliver's collections illustrative of the Scotch, English and Irish
Jesuits, page 222, and in the essay on the Early Maryland Missions, by
Mr. B. U. Campbell. Fathers Andrew White and John Altham, and two lay
brothers, named John Knowles and Thomas Gervase, accompanied the first
expedition, and were active agents in consecrating the possession of the
soil, and converting _Protestant immigrants_ as well as heathen natives.
The colony, therefore, cannot properly be called a Protestant one, when
its _only_ spiritual guides were Catholics; and consequently if it was
more of a Catholic than a Protestant emigration, it must, by legal
necessity, have been free from the moment it quitted the shores of
England. If the Catholic was free, all were free.

IV: 1637.--Our next authority, in regard to the _early interpretation_
of religious rights in Maryland, is found in a passage in Chalmers's
Political Annals, page 235. "In the oath," says he, "taken by the
Governor and Council, _between_ the years 1637 and 1657, there was the
following clause, which ought to be administered to the rulers of every
country. 'I will not, by myself or any other, directly or indirectly,
trouble, molest or discountenance, any person professing to believe in
Jesus Christ, for or on account of his religion.'" This shows, that
"belief in Jesus Christ," under the constitutional guaranty of the
charter, anterior to the enactment of any colonial law by the Maryland
Assembly, secured sects from persecution. The language of the oath,
which was doubtless promulgated by the Lord Proprietor, is as broad as
the language of the charter. The statement of Chalmers has been held to
be indefinite as to whether the oath was taken _from_ 1637 to 1657, or,
whether it was taken in some years _between_ those dates; but, if the
historian did not mean to say that it had been administered _first_ in
1637, and continued afterwards, why would he not have specified any
other, as the beginning year, as well as 1637? The objection seems
rather hypercritical than plausible. Chalmers was too accurate a writer
to use dates so loosely, and inasmuch as he was an old Maryland lawyer
and custodian of the Maryland provincial papers, he had the best
opportunity to designate the precise date. A Governor's oath was a
regular and necessary official act. No one can doubt that an oath was
required of that personage in Maryland; and the oath in question, is
precisely such an one as Protestant settlers, in that age, might
naturally expect from a Catholic Magistrate, who, (even from motives of
the humblest policy,) would be willing to grant to others what he was
anxious to secure for himself. If ever there was a proper time for
perfect toleration, it was at this moment, when a Catholic became, _for
the first time in history_, a sovereign prince of the _first province_
of the British Empire!

Mr. Chalmers could not have confounded the oath whose language he cites,
with other oaths which the reader will find cited in the 2nd volume of
Bozman's History of Maryland, at pages 141, 608, 642. The oath prepared
for Stone in 1648, appears to have been an augmented edition of the one
quoted by Chalmers, and is so different in parts of its phraseology as
well as items, that it cannot have been mistaken by the learned
annalist. Bancroft, McMahon, Tyson, C. F. Mayer and B. U. Campbell,
adopt his statement as true.

V: 1638.--In regard to the early _practice of Maryland_ tribunals, on
the subject of tolerance, we have a striking case in 1638. In that year
a certain _Catholic_, named William Lewis, was arraigned before the
Governor, Secretary, &c., for _abusive language to Protestants_. Lewis
confessed, that, coming into a room where Francis Gray and Robert
Sedgrave, servants of Captain Cornwaleys, were reading, he heard them
recite passages so that he should hear them, that were reproachful to
his religion, "viz: that the Pope was anti-Christ, and the Jesuits
anti-Christian Ministers, &c: he told them it was a falsehood and came
from the devil, and that he that writ it was an instrument of the devil,
and so he would approve it!" The court found the culprit "guilty of a
very offensive speech in calling the Protestant ministers, the ministers
of the devil," and of "exceeding his rights, in forbidding them to read
a lawful book." In consequence of this "offensive language," and other
"unreasonable disputations, in point of religion, tending to the
disturbance of the peace and quiet of the Colony, committed by him,
_against a public proclamation set forth to prohibit all such
disputes_," Lewis was fined and remanded into custody until he gave
security for future good behaviour.[19]

Thus, four years, only, after the settlement, the liberty of conscience
was vindicated by a recorded judicial sentence, and "unreasonable
disputations in point of religion," rebuked by a Catholic Governor in
the person of a Catholic offender. There could scarcely be a clearer
evidence of impartial and tolerant sincerity. The decision, moreover, is
confirmatory of the fact that the Governor had taken such an oath as
Chalmers cites, in the previous year, 1637; especially as there had
_already been a "proclamation to prohibit disputes_!"

VI: 1638.--At the _first efficient_ General Assembly of the Colony,
which was held in this year, only two Acts were passed, though
thirty-six other bills were twice read and engrossed, but not finally
ripened into laws. The second of the two acts that were passed,
contains a section asserting that "Holy Church, _within this province_,
shall have all her rights and liberties;" thus securing the rights of
Catholics;--while the first of the thirty-six incomplete acts was one,
which we know only by _title_, as "An act for _Church liberties_." It
was to continue in force until the end of the next General Assembly, and
then, with the Lord Proprietary's consent, to be perpetual. Although we
have no means of knowing the extent of the proposed "Church liberties,"
we may suppose that the proposed enactment was general, in regard to all
Christian sects besides the Catholics.

VII: 1640.--At the session of 1640, an act for "Church liberties" _was
passed_ on the 23d October, and confirmed, as a perpetual law, in the
first year of the accession of Charles Calvert, 3d Lord Baltimore, in
1676. This Act also declares that "Holy Church, within this province,
shall have and enjoy all her rights, liberties and franchises, wholly
and without blemish." Thus, in 1640, legislation had already settled
opinion as to the rights of Catholics and Protestants. Instead of the
early Catholics seeking to contract the freedom of other sects, their
chief aim and interest seem to have been to secure their own. I consider
the Acts I have cited rather as mere declaratory statutes, than as
necessary original laws.

VIII: 1649.--In this year, an assembly, believed to have been composed
of a Protestant majority, passed the act which has been lauded as the
source of religious toleration. It is "An Act concerning Religion," and,
in my judgment, is less tolerant than the Charter or the Governor's
Oath, inasmuch as it included Unitarians in the same category with
blasphemers and those who denied our Saviour Jesus Christ, punishing all
alike, with confiscation of goods and the pains of _death_. This was the
epoch of the trial and execution of Charles I, and of the establishment
of the Commonwealth.

IX: 1654.--The celebrated act I have just noticed, however, was passed
fifteen years after the original settlement, which exceeds the period
comprised in the actual _founding_ of Maryland. Besides this, the
political and religious aspect of England was changing, and the
influence of the home-quarrel was beginning to be felt across the
Atlantic. In 1654, during the mastery of Cromwell, religious freedom was
destroyed: Puritanism became paramount; Papacy and Prelacy were
denounced by law; and freedom was assured only to Puritans, and such as
professed "faith in God by Jesus Christ, though differing in judgment,
from the doctrine or worship publicly held forth."

X. It has been alleged that the clause in the Maryland Charter securing
"God's holy rights and the true Christian religion," is only an
incorporation into Lord Baltimore's instrument, of certain clauses
contained in the early Charters of Virginia. If the reader will refer to
the 1st volume of Henning's Statutes at large, he will find all those
documents in English, but _unaccompanied by the original Latin_. Thus,
we have no means of judging the _accuracy of the translation_, or
_identity of language_ in the Maryland and Virginia instruments.
Adopting, however, for the present, the translation given by Henning, we
find no coincidence of phraseology either to justify the suspicion of a
mere copy, or to subject our charter to the _limitations_ contained in
the Virginia patents. Disabilities are to be construed strictly in law,
and our charter is not to be interpreted by another, but stands on its
own, independent, context and manifest signification.

The first Virginia Charter or Patent was issued to Sir Thomas Gates and
others, April 10th, 1606, in the 4th year of James's English reign.
Among the "Articles, Orders, Instructions," &c., set down for Virginia,
20th Nov., 1606,--(though nothing is said about restrictions in
religion, while the preamble commends the noble work of propagating the
Christian religion among infidel savages,)--is the following
clause:--"And we doe specallie ordaine, charge, and require the
presidents and councills," (of the two Colonies of Virginia,)
"respectively, within their severall limits and precincts, that they
with all diligence, care and respect, doe provide, that the _true word
and service of God and Christian faith_, be preached, planted and used,
not only within every of the said severall colonies and plantations, but
alsoe, as much as they may, among the salvage people which doe or shall
adjoine unto them, or border upon them, _according to the_ DOCTRINE,
RIGHTS, _and_ RELIGION, _now professed and established within our realme
of England_."--_1st Henning_, 69.

The second charter or patent, dated 23d May, 1609, 7th "James I," was
issued to the Treasurer and Company for Virginia, and in its XXIX
section, declares: "And lastly, because the principal effect, which we
can desire or expect of this action, is the conversion and reduction of
the people in those parts unto the _Worship of God and Christian
religion, in which respect we should be loath, that any person be
permitted to pass, that we suspected to affect the superstitions of the
Church of Rome_; we do hereby declare that it is our will and pleasure
that none be permitted to pass in any voyage, from time to time, to be
made unto the said country, but such as shall first have taken the Oath
of Supremacy;" &c., &c.--_1st Henning_, 97.

The third Charter of James the I, in the 9th year of his English reign,
was issued 12th March, 1611-12 to the Treasurer and Company for
Virginia. The XIIth section empowers certain officers to administer the
_Oath of Supremacy and Allegiance_, to "all and every persons which
shall at any time or times hereafter go or pass to said Colony of

The Instructions to Governor Wyatt, of 24th of July, 1621, direct
him:--"_to keep up the Religion of the Church of England, as near as may
be_," &c., &c.--_1st Henning._

All these extracts, it will be observed, contain _limitations_ and
_restrictions_, either explicitly _in favor_ of the English Church, or
_against_ the, so called, "superstitions of the Church of Rome." The
Maryland Charter shows no such narrow clauses, and consequently, is
justly free from any connexion, _in interpretation_, with the Virginia
instruments. Besides this, we do not know that the language of the
original Latin of the Virginia Charters, is the same as ours, and,
therefore, it would be "reasoning in a circle," or, "begging the
question," if we translated the Maryland Charter into the exact language
of the Virginian. The phraseology--"God's holy rights and the true
Christian religion,"--_unlimited in the Maryland Patent_,--was a
distinct assertion of broad equality to all professing to believe in
Jesus Christ. It was not subject to any sectarian restriction, and
formed the basis of religious liberty in Maryland, until it was
undermined during the Puritan intolerance in 1654.


  PHILADELPHIA, _April 12th, 1852_.              }


We have been appointed a committee to communicate to you the following
resolution passed at a meeting of the Historical Society held this

     "RESOLVED, That the thanks of the HISTORICAL SOCIETY, are hereby
     returned to MR. BRANTZ MAYER, of BALTIMORE, for his very able and
     eloquent address, delivered before it, on Thursday evening, the 8th
     instant; and that MESSRS. TYSON, FISHER, COATES and ARMSTRONG, be
     appointed a committee to transmit this resolution to Mr. Mayer, and
     request a copy of the address for publication."

Permit us to express the pleasure we derived from the delivery of your
Discourse, and, also, the hope that you will comply with the Society's

We remain, with great respect, your obedient servants,

      JOB R. TYSON,
      B. H. COATES,


  BALTIMORE, _15th April, 1852_.


I am much obliged to the PENNSYLVANIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY, for the
complimentary resolution it was pleased to pass in relation to the
Discourse I delivered before it on the 8th of this month. In compliance
with your request, I place a copy of the address at your disposal; and,
while thanking you for the courtesy with which you have communicated the
vote of your colleagues, I have the honor to be, your most obedient


               J. FRANCIS FISHER,} Committee, &c. &c. &c.
               B. H. COATES,     }
               EDW. ARMSTRONG,   }


[1] Mr. Joseph Hunter's "Collections concerning the Early History of the
Founders of New Plymouth." London, 1849: No 2 of his Critical and
Historical Tracts, p. 14.

[2] It is believed by historians that Sir Walter Raleigh fell a victim
to the intrigues of Spain at the Court of James. His American adventures
and hardihood were dangerous to the Spanish Empire. A small pamphlet
entitled: A NEW DESCRIPTION OF VIRGINIA, published in London in 1619, a
reprint of which is possessed by the Virginia Historical Society, shows
how the prophetic fears of the Spaniard, even at that early time,
conjured up the warning phantom of Anglo-Saxon "_annexation._"

"It is well known," says the pamphlet, "that our English plantations
have had little countenance; nay, that our statesmen, (when time was,)
had store of Gundemore's gold," (meaning Gondomar, Spanish Minister at
James's Court)--"_to destroy_ and discountenance the plantation of
Virginia; and he effected it, in great part, by dissolving the company,
wherein most of the nobility, gentry, corporate cities, and most
merchants of England, were interested and engaged; after the expense of
some hundred of thousands of pounds; for Gundemore did affirm to his
friends, that he had commission from his master"--(the King of
Spain,)--"to destroy that plantation. For, said he, should they thrive
and go on increasing, as they have done under that popular Lord of
Southampton, _my master's West Indies_, AND HIS MEXICO, _would shortly
be visited by sea and by land, from those Planters in Virginia_."

Generals Scott and Taylor--both sons of Virginia--have verified, in the
nineteenth century, the foresight of the cautious statesman of the

  _See Virginia His. Reg. Vol. 1. p. 28._

[3] Dr. Miller's "History Philosophically Illustrated," vol 1. p. 95.

[4] "Men who have to count, miserly, the kernels of corn for their daily
bread, and to till their ground, staggering through weakness from the
effect of famine, can do but little in settling the metaphysics of
faith, or in counting frames, and gauging the exercises of their
feelings. Grim necessity of hunger looks morbid sensibility out of
countenance."--_Rev. Dr. G. B. Cheever's edition of the Journal of the
Pilgrims;--1848: p. 112._

[5] "The New England Puritans, though themselves refugees from religions
intolerance, and martyrs, as they supposed, to the cause of religious
freedom, practiced the same intolerance to those who were so unfortunate
as to differ from them. In 1635, Roger Williams was banished from the
Massachusetts colony for differences of religious opinions with the
civil powers. This was the next year after the arrival of the Maryland
colony. In 1659, fifteen years later, a Baptist received thirty lashes
at the whipping post, in Boston, for his peculiar faith; and nine years
later, three persons suffered death by the common hangman, in the same
place, for their adherence to the sect of Quakers."--_Rev. Dr. Burnap's
Life of Leonard Calvert, in Sparks's Am. Biog. 2nd series, vol. IX. p.
170, Boston, 1846._

On the 13th Sept. 1644, these N. England Puritans, passed a law of
banishment against Anabaptists; in 1646, another law, imposing the same
punishment, was passed against Heresy and Error; in 1647, the order of
Jesuits came in for a share of intolerance;--its members were inhibited
from entering the colony; if they came in, heedless of the law, they
were to be banished, and if they returned after banishment, they were to
be _put to death_. On the 14th of October 1656, the celebrated law was
enacted against "the cursed sect of heretics lately risen up in the
world, which are commonly called Quakers:"--by its decrees, captains of
vessels who introduced these religionists, knowingly, were to be fined
or imprisoned; "quaker books or writings containing their devilish
opinions," were not to be brought into the colony, under a penalty;
while quakers who came in, were to be committed to the house of
correction, kept constantly at work, not allowed to speak, and severely
whipped, on their entrance into this sanctuary!--See original Acts,
_Hazard's His. Coll. 1, pp. 538, 545, 550, 630_.

[6] See Mr. John P. Kennedy's discourse on the life and character of Sir
George Calvert, and the reviews thereof, with Mr K's reply, on this
question of religion, in the U. S. Catholic Magazine, 1846. Since the
publication of Mr. Kennedy's discourse and the reviews of it, in 1846, I
have met with an English work published in London in 1839, _attributed_
to Bishop Goodman, entitled an "Account of the Court of James the
first." In vol. 1, p. 376, he says: "The third man who was thought to
gain by the Spanish match was Secretary Calvert; and as he was the _only
Secretary employed in the Spanish match_, so undoubtedly he did what
good offices he could therein, for religion's sake, _being infinitely
addicted to the Roman Catholic faith, having been converted thereto by
Count Gondemar and Count Arundel, whose daughter Secretary Calvert's Son
had married; and, as it was said, the Secretary did usually catechise
his own children, so to ground them in his own religion; and in his best
room having an altar set up, with chalice, candlesticks, and all other
ornaments, he brought all strangers thither, never concealing anything,
as if his whole joy and comfort had been to make open profession of his
religion_." As the Prelate was a _contemporary_, this statement,
founded, as it may be, on report, is of considerable importance. Fuller,
also, was a contemporary though thirty years younger than Calvert. The
Spanish match, alluded to, was on the carpet as early as 1617, and was
broken off in the beginning of 1624. It was probably during this period
that Lord Arundel and the Spanish Minister influenced the mind of Sir
George as to religion.

[7] Mr. Chalmers, in his Hist. of the Revolt of the Am. Col. B. 2 ch. 3,
says that the charter of Maryland was a _literal copy_ from the prior
patent of Avalon; but of this we are unable to judge, as he neither
cites his authority nor indicates the depository of the Avalon Charter.
If the Maryland charter is an _exact_ transcript of the Avalon document,
it is interesting to know the fact, as Calvert may have been a
Protestant, when the latter was issued. Bozman states an authority for
its date, as of 1623, which would indicate that this document may still
probably be found in the British Museum. If it was issued in 1623, it
was granted a year before, Fuller says, Calvert resigned because he had
become a Catholic. In all likelihood, however, Sir George was not
converted in a day!--_See Bozman Hist. Maryland ed. 1837, vol. 1 p. 240
et seq. in note._

[8] The Baron Von Raumer, in his Hist. of the XVI and XVII Centuries,
vol. 2, p. 263, quoting from Tillieres, says of Calvert: "He is an
honorable, sensible well-minded man, courteous towards strangers, full
of respect towards embassadors, zealously intent on the welfare of
England; but by reason of all these good qualities, entirely without
consideration or influence."

The only original work or tract by which we know the character of Sir
late Secretary of State_." London, _printed 1642_:--a copy of which, in
MS., is in the collections of the Maryland Hist. Soc. This is a quaint
specimen of pedantic politics and toryism--larded with Latin quotations,
and altogether redolent of James's Court. It was addressed to Charles I,
and shows the author's intimate acquaintance with the political history
and movements of the continental powers. We may judge Calvert's politics
by the following passage in which he _commends_ the doctrines of his old

"King James," says he, "in his oration to the Parliament, 1620, used
these words _very judiciattie_; Kings and Kingdoms were before
Parliaments; the Parliament was never called for the purpose to meddle
with complaints against the King, the Church, or State matters, but _ad
consultandum de rebus arduis, Nos et Regnum nostrum concernantibus_; as
the writ will inform you. I was never the cause, nor guiltie of the
election of my sonne by the Bohemians, neither would I be content that
any other king should dispute whether I am a lawful King or no, and to
tosse crowns like Tennis-balls."

[9] It may seem strange, that, being a Catholic, he still had the right
of advowson or of presentation to Protestant Episcopal Churches; but it
was not until the Act of 1st William and Mary, chapter 26, that
Parliament interfered with the right of Catholics to present to
religious benefices. That Act vested the presentations belonging to
Catholics in the Universities. An Act passed 12th Anne, was of a similar
disabling character.--_Butler's Hist. Mem. vol. 3, pp. 136, 148, 149._

[10] See Appendix No. 1, in regard to the erroneous translation of this
clause from the Latin, that has hitherto been adopted from Bacon's laws
of Maryland.

[11] As an illustration of this feeling, I will quote a passage showing
how it fared with Marylanders in Massachusetts in 1631. "The Dove," one
of the vessels of the first colonists to Maryland, was dispatched to
Massachusetts with a cargo of corn to exchange for fish. She carried a
friendly letter from Calvert and another from Harvey, but the
magistrates were suspicious of a people who "_did set up mass openly_."
Some of the crew were accused of reviling the inhabitants of
Massachusetts as "holy brethren," "the members," &c., and just as the
ship was about to sail; _the supercargo, happening on shore, was
arrested in order to compel the master to give up the culprits_. The
proof failed, and the vessel was suffered to depart, but not without a
special charge to the master "_to bring no more such disordered
persons!_"--_Hildreth Hist. U. S., vol. 1, 209_.

[12] See Appendix No. 2.

[13] In order to illustrate the spirit in which the region for the first
settlement at St. Mary's was acquired, I will quote from a MS. copy of
"A Relation of Maryland, 1635," now in my possession: "To make his
entrie peaceable and safe, he thought fit to present ye Werowance and
Wisoes of the town (so they call ye chief men of accompt among them,)
with some English cloth (such as is used in trade with ye Indians,)
axes, hoes, and knives, which they accepted verie kindlie, and freely
gave consent toe his companie that hee and they should dwell in one part
of their towne, and reserved the other for themselves: and those Indians
that dwelt in that part of ye towne which was allotted for ye English,
freely left them their houses and some corne that they had begun to
plant: It was also agreed between them that at ye end of ye Harvest they
should have ye whole Towne, which they did accordinglie. And they made
mutuall promises to each other to live peaceably and friendlie together,
and if any injury should happen to be done, on any part, that
satisfaction should be made for ye same; and thus, on ye 27 DAIE of
MARCH, A. D. 1634, ye Gouernour took possession of ye place, and named
ye _Towne--Saint Marie's_.

"There was an occasion that much facilitated their treatie with these
Indians which was this: the Susquehanocks (a warlike people that inhabit
between Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay) did usuallie make warres and
incursions upon ye neighboring Indians, partly for superioritie, partly
for to gett their women, and what other purchase they could meet with;
which the Indians of _Yoacomaco_ fearing, had, ye yeere before our
arivall there, made a resolution, for there safetie, to remove
themselves higher into ye countrie, where it was more populous, and many
of them where gone there when ye English arrived."

At Potomac, Father Altham,--according to Father White's Latin MS. in the
Maryland Hist. Soc. Col.--informed the guardian of the King that _we_
(the clergy) had not come thither for war, but for the sake of
benevolence,--that we might imbue a rude race with the principles of
civilization, and open a way to Heaven, as well as to impart to them the
advantages enjoyed by distant regions. The prince signified that we had
come acceptably. The interpreter was one of the Virginia Protestants.
When the Father, for lack of time, could not continue his discourse, and
promised soon to return: "I will that it should be so," said
Archihau--"our table shall be one; my men shall hunt for you; all things
shall be in common between us."

The Werowance of Pautuxent visited the strangers, and when he was about
departing, used the following language, as recorded in the MS. Relation
of Maryland of 1635: "I love ye English so well that if they should goe
about to kill me, if I had so much breath as to speak, I would command
ye people not to revenge my death; for I know they would not doe such a
thinge except it was through mine own default." See also Mr. B. U.
before the Md. Hist. Soc. 8th Jan. 1846, and subsequently printed in the
U.S. Catholic Magazine.

[14] In William Penn's second reply to a committee of the House of Lords
appointed in 1678, he declares that those who cannot comply with laws,
through tenderness of conscience, should not "revile or conspire against
the government, _but with christian humility and patience tire out all
mistakes against us_, and wait their better information, who, we
believe, do as undeservedly as severely treat us."

[15] Preface to Frame of Government, 25 April, 1682.

[16] Those who desire to know the precise character of the celebrated
Elm-tree Treaty, should read the Memoir on its history, in vol. 3, part
2, p. 145 of the Memoirs of the Pennsylvania Hist. Soc., written by the
late Mr. Du Ponceau, and Mr. Joshua Francis Fisher. It is one of the
finest specimen of minute, exhaustive, historical analysis, with which I
am acquainted. These gentlemen, prove, I think, conclusively, that the
Treaty was altogether one of amity and friendship, and was entirely
unconnected with the purchase of lands.

[17] Janney's Life of Penn, 163.

[18] See 2nd Bozman Hist. Md. p. 616--note XLIII, Conditions, &c.

[19] 2d Bozman, 597, and Orig. MS. in Md. His. Soc.

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