Before its coastline was explored by Europeans in the 16th century, Maryland was inhabited by several groups of Native Americans – mostly by Algonquian peoples and, to a lesser degree, Iroquoian and Siouan. As one of the original Thirteen Colonies of England, Maryland was founded by George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore, a Catholic convert who sought to provide a religious haven for Catholics persecuted in England. In 1632, Charles I of England granted Lord Baltimore a colonial charter, naming the colony after his wife, Henrietta Maria. Unlike the Pilgrims and Puritans, who rejected Catholicism in their settlements, Lord Baltimore envisioned a colony where people of different religious sects would coexist under the principle of toleration. Accordingly, in 1649 the Maryland General Assembly passed an Act Concerning Religion, which enshrined this principle by penalizing anyone who "reproached" a fellow Marylander based on religious affiliation. Nevertheless, religious strife was common in the early years, and Catholics remained a minority, albeit in greater numbers than in any other English colony.
Image 21Maryland population distribution map. Maryland's population is concentrated mostly in the Baltimore and Washington metropolitan areas. (from Maryland)
Image 22Ruin left by the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904 (from Maryland)
Image 23Ellicott City Station, on the original B&O Railroad line, is the oldest remaining passenger station in the nation. The rail line is still used by CSX Transportation for freight trains, and the station is now a museum. (from Maryland)
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