One look at the map and you know we are in big trouble here. I mean did they hire someone in the thralls of a high state of the palsy to draw the boundary lines? You note immediately that Pennsylvania and Delaware both drew strict straight lines, separating themselves from this madness.
Virgina and West Virginia for reasons best left unsaid at this point, were too lazy to demand some cleanliness of line, and allowed a river to dictate the state’s limitations. Babies!
So little self-respect has this silly looking state, that they carved out a section and gave it away to be the seat of the Federalies. The DC’ers as you note, did their best to have some straight lines, and straight thinking along three of their borders.
Not only is it unintelligible, its butt ugly to boot.
One of its nicknames is the “Old line state.” I don’t even want to know what that means.
And then there is the manner of its naming. Maryland. One could just assume that these folks aren’t good spellers, and that in keeping with the frivolous boundary lines, it meant “Jolly times here land”, but frankly the truth is worse.
The state was founded by “Lord” Baltimore, a royal from the Irish House of Lords. The name was chosen to “honor” the name of Mary, Charles I, king of England’s wife. This of course may make some sense in those early days (1632), but the fact that it was not changed after the revolution, tells you just how lazy and/or suspicious these people really were and perhaps still are.
Calvert (the Lord’s real name) was a Catholic, so Catholics got all the high positions, but Charles the King of the realm, apparently as a joke, sent tons (tens of thousands) of convicts to live there. So we know that today, many a person who is a long time resident of “mary”land is the spawn of nefarious types.
Actually the boundary with Pennsylvania was a long drawn out affair, the subject of wars, and ultimately decided as the “Mason-Dixon line“. Similar disputes arose with Delaware which was once part of Maryland, but wanted to get the heck out of such a silly state and finally did.
The whole Catholic thing didn’t last long. Puritans arrived and soon put a stop to all that nonsense. Puritans you remember came here for “religious tolerance” but mainly only their own. They were ferocious opponents of anyone who didn’t agree with their take on all things Christian, and well, you can imagine what they thought of Jews and the poor Native Peoples.
Anyway the state moved merrily along up to the revolution, importing lots of indentured workers and slaves to do the dirty work, while the rich landowners sat on their verandas, sipping tea, and commenting on the plenitude of blue crabs that season.
For reasons no one knows, they joined the revolution. Fort McHenry, protecting Baltimore, during the War of 1812, served as the inspiration of The Star-Spangled Banner, that nearly impossible song for a normal person to sing on key.
Again for no discernible reason, Maryland freed most of its slaves and was on the right side of the Civil War, probably because Lincoln threatened to give back the District of Columbia if they didn’t and nobody had any use for all those buildings.
Still, loyalty was at a minimum, and nearly 25% of the state’s young men, joined the Confederate side. Lincoln suspended habeas corpus in the state and that really ticked off the Chief Judge, Roger Taney, who just happened to be a native of good old Maryland. Lincoln jailed the mayor of Baltimore and some others for their pro-southern sympathies. We are told “these matters are still being legally debated.” No word whether the mayor is still locked up or not.
Rich people still abound in Maryland, making it the richest per capita state in the union with median income at nearly $70,000 a year.
They fish a lot there. And they move stuff around a lot by rail and ship. A ton of them go to DC to work every day.
It has the dubious distinction of having been the home of Spiro Agnew, but then we told you that there is a lot of criminality in the history of the state. That is most surely the Republicans; it has been a Democratic state since time immemorial and certainly none of them is a criminal.
Animal wise, the do have the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, bred specially for water sports. That’s a good thing. A reptile that is prominent there is the terrapin which is a turtle. This, for some inexplicable reason was adopted as the mascot of the University of Maryland. Where most sports are about speed and agility, the school chooses to advertise that its sports teams are slow and clumsy. Go figure.
About the best that can be said is that a summer tour of the state boundary line would be a dizzying experience. All in all, a state which still retains the name of a foreign queen and was populated overwhelmingly by dangerous criminals, is simply not to be trusted. Drive through it if you must, but keep your doors locked.
- William Donald Schaefer, 1921-2011 (thepage.time.com)
- Donald Schaefer, former Maryland governor, dies (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)