fountain of the Potomac
, the river itself from its source
to its mouth, and a line drawn due east from Watkin's Point
to the Atlantic
,—these were the limits of the territory, which was now erected into a province, and from Henrietta Maria
, the daughter of Henry IV.
and wife of Charles I., whose restless mind, disdaining contentment in domestic happiness, aspired to every kind of power and distinction, received the name of Maryland
The country thus described was given to Lord Baltimore, his heirs and assigns, as to its absolute lord and proprietary, to be holden by the tenure of fealty only, paying a yearly rent of two Indian arrows, and a fifth of all gold
ore which might be found.
Yet the absolute authority was conceded rather with reference to the crown, than the colonists; for the charter, like his patent, which, in April, 1623, had passed the great seal for Avalon, secured to the emigrants themselves an independent share in the legislation of the province, of which the statutes were to be established with the advice and approbation of the majority of the freemen or their deputies.
Representative government was indissolubly connected with the fundamental charter; and it was especially provided, that the authority of the absolute proprietary should not extend to the life, freehold, or estate of any emigrant.
These were the features which endeared the proprietary government to the people of Maryland
; and, but for these, the patent would have been as worthless as those of the London company, of Warwick
, of Gorges
, or of Mason
It is a singular fact, that the only proprietary charters, productive of considerable emolument to their owners, were those which conceded popular liberty.
For the benefit of the