Maryland Dove

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Maryland Dove.jpg
The Maryland Dove at St. Mary's City.
Career  Maryland
Name: Maryland Dove
Owner: State of Maryland
Builder: James B. Richardson
Launched: August 14, 1978
Commissioned: October 8, 1978
General characteristics
Tons burthen: 40
Length: 76 ft (23 m) overall, and 56 ft (17 m) on deck.
Beam: 17 ft (5.2 m)
Draft: 7 ft (2.1 m)
Propulsion: Sail (1,965 square feet (182.6 m2))
2 × Lehman 4-cylinder, Super 90 Engines

Maryland Dove is a re-creation of a late 17th-century trading ship, one of two ships which made up the first expedition from England to the Province of Maryland. The modern Dove was designed by the naval architect and naval historian William A. Baker.

The Dove[edit]

Launched in 1978, Maryland Dove is 56 feet in length on deck, and 76 feet overall with a displacement of 42 tons. She was built by James B. Richardson in a shipyard near Cambridge, Maryland in Dorchester County. Her home port is St. Mary's City, Maryland. The ship is owned by the state of Maryland and operated and maintained by the Historic St. Mary's City Commission. She was commissioned by Governor Harry R. Hughes for the 1982 celebration of the 350th Anniversary of the settling of the Province of Maryland.[citation needed]

The Ark and the Dove[edit]

The first expedition from England to the planned colony of Maryland was undertaken by Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore, and consisted of two ships that had formerly belonged to Baltimore's father, Ark and Maryland Dove.[1] The two ships departed Gravesend with 128 settlers on board and, after being chased down and brought back by the British navy so that the settlers could take an oath of allegiance to the King as required by law, sailed in October 1632 for the Isle of Wight to pick up more settlers.[1]

At the Isle of Wight Maryland Dove and her sister ship embarked two Jesuit priests and nearly two hundred more settlers before setting out across the Atlantic.[2] Since he could not lead the expedition himself, Baltimore sent detailed instructions for the governance of the colony, including commands that his brothers seek any information about those who had tried to thwart the colony and make contact with Claiborne to determine his intentions for the trading station on Kent Island.[3] The instructions also emphasized the importance of religious toleration among the colonists, who were nearly equal parts Catholic and Protestant.[3] With these last instructions, the expedition sailed for the Americas.

Ark and Dove, 1934 Maryland Tercentenary United States postage stamp.

The two ships arrived at Point Comfort at the mouths of the James, Nansemond, and Elizabeth Rivers, in Virginia, February 24, 1634. On March 25, they landed at what is now St. Mary's, then the site of a Native American village, and they began the work of establishing a settlement there.[4] The settlement of St. Mary's was built on land purchased from the native Yaocomico.[5]

Back in England, Baltimore could do little to help the young colony through its tribulations, which included an ongoing feud with Claiborne that led to a series of naval skirmishes.[6]

Lord Baltimore continued as Maryland's first Proprietary Governor (1632–1675), and attempted to maintain an active involvement in the governance of the colony, though he never visited it. During this long tenure, he governed through deputies, the last being his only son Charles.


  1. ^ a b Browne, Page 40
  2. ^ Browne, Page 45
  3. ^ a b Browne, Pages 46-57
  4. ^  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company. 
  5. ^ Browne, Pages 59-62
  6. ^ Browne, Pages 62-64


See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°11′08″N 76°26′07″W / 38.18556°N 76.43528°W / 38.18556; -76.43528