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Honoring The States: The 7th State - Maryland...

Maryland is the 7th state to ratify the US Constitution in 1788. It has been called "America in Miniature" because you can find almost all natural features here except deserts, all ethnic groups of people, and all types of careers available in a very small square footage of land and water. The very first railroad, dental school, and umbrella factory are known to come from Maryland. In 1919, Maryland was named the "Free State" for opposing the prohibition of alcohol because they believed it violated their state's rights, and for standing up for religious and political freedom and tolerance. Maryland leads the US in manufacturing high-tech equipment like computers and cellular phones. The capitol is Annapolis (the sailing capital of the world), the state bird is the Baltimore Oriole, the state flower is the Black-Eyed Susan, and the state tree is the White Oak.

Since 10,000BC, the very first inhabiters of Maryland were a pretty diverse group of more than 8,000 Native American bands, tribes, and confederacies. The Algonquain and Iroquoian made up most of the population with a smaller population of Siouan-speakers. They mostly spoke Algonquian, grew crops of corn, squash, and tobacco, and fished and traded with tribes from other states. In 2012, Maryland formally recognized two Indigenous tribes: the Piscataway Indian Nation, and the Piscataway Conoy Tribe.

The very first explorer, Giovanni da Verrazano, was an Italian man who visited the Chesapeake in the 1500's. Word spread and more people began to explore the area. In 1608, Captain John Smith called Maryland "a perfect place for people to live", and attracted even more people to the area. A fur trading post was set up on Kent Island in 1631, which made way for the first English settlement to manifest in the upper Chesapeake in 1634. King Charles I promised the first Lord Baltimore, George Calvert, a colony north of Virginia. However, George Calvert died before ever visiting the colony. His son, Cecilius, became the second Lord Baltimore and the Lord Proprietor of Maryland instead. Maryland was named after the kings wife, Queen Henrietta Maria, and was first called "Terra Maria".

In the 17th and 18th centuries, treaties and reservations were established. Indigenous peoples left Maryland in the late 18th century due to an increase in hostility and violence. On September 17, 1862, the bloodiest single-day battle in American history took place at the Battle of Antietam one mile east of Sharpsburg in northwest Maryland with over 23,000 casualties. It ended the Confederate invasion of Maryland and resulted in the Union winning the victory. Lincoln was able to fight against slavery, and this war also prevented the British and the French from recognizing the confederacy. The preliminary Emancipation Proclamation was issued by Abraham Lincoln as a result of this battle. The third state constitution that abolished slavery in Maryland was established November 1, 1864. This made Maryland the first Union slave state to abolish slavery since the start of the war.

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