MDSTMARY-L ArchivesArchiver > MDSTMARY > 2002-11 > 1037192659
From: Pat Doster <>
Subject: [MDSTMARY-L] "Peculiar Social Conditions" of Colonial Maryland
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 2002 08:04:19 -0500
Perhaps you've puzzled for years over terms "immigrated" and "transported" as explained in "Early Settlers of Maryland" by Md. Archvist Gust Skordas. Skordas goes to some length to explain the differences, transported vs.immigrated, citing the Land Office Records.
I, for one, have never felt the terms were totally explained by Skordas, and therefore, would like to quote Hester Dorsey Richardson's "Side-Lights on Maryland History."
Mrs. Richardson brings a new perspective to the terms.
Hester Richardson, if you don't know who she was, pub. her 2 vol. book "Side-Lights" from her articles in the Baltimore Sun. She was apt. by Md. Gov to delve into Md's earliest history.
Here are her credentials:
Special Historical Exec. to represent Md. in Hist. Work on Jamestown Exposition 1907, Pres. Pub. Records Comm. 1904-6, Vice Pres. of Md. Original Research Soc, Member of the American Hist. Assoc, The Md. Hist. Soc., Pres. of "The Order of Colonial Lords of Manors in America," A Fellow of the Manorial Society of England.
Excerpts from Richardson's "Side-Lights" Chpt. X, pp. 53-55.
"The condition of affairs in England at the time of settlement of Md made men of worth anxious
to leave at any cost. Many had impoverished themselves in the cause of religion or in the service of the King, so they readily embraced the Conditions of Plantations offered by Cecilius Calvert. Many a man who had *no means of paying his passage over (to the colony), a matter of 20 pds. sterling, let another transport him for their mutual benefit.
This simple word transported which represented a financial accomodation between men in colonial days, has in eyes of their descendants grown into a bar sinister (social stigma). The mention of the word gives descendants a feeling of lowered social status. (paraphrased). To such persons, even a father transporting his own sons and daughters (is suspect).
Transportation was purely a business arrangement. The person who advanced the passage money received a goodly number of acres for each settler, while the transportee was given a farm of 50 a. to start his own fortune.
Even those who entered into an indenture for a term of years to perform some service, as clerk, teacher, or farm worker, lost no social caste in the Province.
Those who have jumped to the conclusion that because a man was recorded (by Skordas) as having been transported, he therefore belonged to a lower strata of soceity, have not looked very deeply into the *peculiar social conditions* of the Province.
How would one designated as "servant" (for example) within a few years be sitting in the Council or the Assembly, and marry into the families of Councilors or associates of his Lordship?
(to be continued)