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toleration to all persons who beneved in Jesus Christ.
3. The assembly that met on the 2d of April, 1649, after enacting severe penalties for the crime of blasphemy, and providing that certain penalties shall be inflicted upon any one who shall call another by a sectarian name of reproach—such as "heretic," "idolater," "schismatic," "round-head," &c.—declared that “no person or persons professing to believe in Jesus Christ, shall from henceforth be any ways troubled, or molested, or discountenanced for, or in respect of his or her religion, nor in the free exercise thereof, nor any way compelled to the belief or exercise of any religion against his or her consent."
4. The passage of this act, when compared with the intolerant laws existing in other colonies, is one of the proud boasts of Maryland. Whoever was oppressed and suffered for conscience, might here find refuge, protection and repose.
5. It is said that some of these legislators could neither read nor write. “Two of them at least were in the habit of making their signet mark. But did they not leave a mark also upon the country, and upon the world ? In depth and earnestness, in real dignity and propriety, in profound
Questions.-3. Against what penalties did the assembly mako enactments? 4. How does this act compare with laws in other colonies ? 6. What is said of the learning of some of these legis. lators ?
PROTECTION TO FEELINGS.
views of human nature, and in true legislative wisdom, they were not behind those earlier law givers who bore the appellation of The Wise.""* Their want of culture, though sometimes made the subject of ridicule, adds to the numerous examples in history, that progress is not so much dependent upon mental culture as upon force of character. This is the motive power in the progress of events.
6. No person was allowed to stigmatize his fellow-man by any term of reproach on account of his religious belief, or the sect to which he belonged. The law protected not only the property and persons of the citizens, but also their feelings. Because it made it p nal to deny the Saviour, and to blaspheme, it has been objected that this "freedom” was not entire. It was, at least, far in advance of the times; and, to blaspheme God is not, in any sense, freedom of conscience. Conscience can never require a man to blaspheme, and to do so is to violate the feelings of others. A law protecting a man's feelings is no more an abridgement of liberty than is that which protects his person.
7. This act, passed by an assembly made up of men of many different creeds, introduced no new principle in the colony, but, in its best provisions,
Questions.-6. What was disallowed ? What were protected? What was made a penal offence? What is said of this? 7. Who composed this assembly?
was merely affirming and recording the law which had hitherto governed the province. This liberality, as we shall see in subsequent chapters, was the cause of greatest misfortune to the province.
1649–1664—PURITAN SETTLEMENTS—The Liberal Policy
attracts Settlers--Richard Bennett and his PuritansChivalric Conduct of Marylanders--Influx of Puritans - Reduction of Virginia--Claiborne and Bennett's De8cent upon Maryland--The Proprietaryship Abolished - Indian Troubles--Claiborne and Bennett's Invasion.
1. The liberal policy of Maryland could not fail to attract the attention of the colonies. The Puri. tans, on the James river, in Virginia, having been ordered to leave that colony, soon found an asylum here. Under the leadership of Richard Bennett, they founded settlements on the Severn. They called the place New Providence. It was near the present City of Annapolis.
2. These settlers governed themselves entirely independently of any connection with the colony, which received and protected them. They did not even obtain grants for the land they occupied.
Questions.-1. Who were ordered to leave Virginia? Where did they go? 2. What is said of this settlement?
3. At this time an event happened that showed the generous and chivalric character that has ever marked the sons of Maryland. Charles I, by & tribunal constituted for the purpose, had been put to death, and the parliament had passed a decree declaring it to be treason for any one to acknowledge his son Charles, as king He was immediately proclaimed sovereign by the authority of Maryland. This daring act of loyalty aroused the adherents of parliament, and finally led to the reduction of the province.
4. The Puritans, attracted by the liberal policy of the province, were settling in it, in considerable numbers. Besides those who came from Virginia, a colony came from England, under the patronage, it is supposed, of Governor Stone; another, on South river, and also a Protestant settlement, twenty miles from the mouth of the Patuxent, under Richard Brooke. When the assembly was called, it was found that the partizans of Cromwell, who had usurped the power in England, were in the majority.
5. Parliament had passed an ordinance for the reduction of Virginia. The armed force that was sent out to effect this, was joined by Claiborne and Bennett, the Puritan, who had been appointed con missioners. The governor of Virginia made
Questions.-3. What happened at this time? What was the effect of this daring act? 4. What other Puritans came to the colony ? 8. What decree had Parliament passed? Who joined the armed force? What did Virginia do?
bis submission and received favorable terms. Although his duties as commissioner had now been performed, Claiborne could not forego the favorable opportunity he enjoyed of gratifying his ancient hostility to the colony of Maryland. The Puritan Bennett, who had lately been so kindly received in the province, when exiled from Virginia, eagerly joined in the schemes of Claiborne.
6. Having come to St. Mary's, towards the close of March, 1652, they demanded that the colony should submit to the Commonwealth, which was the name given to the government; they insisted that the name of the Proprietary should be erased from all writs and processes; they removed the governor from his office, and entirely abolished tho authority of Lord Baltimore, in the province. Stone was subsequently reinstated, but with modified powers.
7. Simultaneously with the ascendancy of the Puritans, the Indians began to be troublesome. The Nanticokes broke in upon the Eastern Shore settlers, burning, killing and ravaging. Great efforts were made to raise a force and protect their frontiers. The Puritans of Anne Arundel, however, refused to make their levies, and the expedition had to be abandoned.
Questions.-5. What did Claiborne then do? Who united with him? 6. What did they require ? 7. When did the Indians begin to be troublesome ? Who refused aid?