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Calvert, Leonard

Son of the first Lord Baltimore, and first governor of Maryland; born about 1606. Having been appointed governor of the new colony by his brother Cecil, he sailed from Cowes, Isle of Wight, for Chesapeake Bay, Nov. 22, 1633, with two vessels (Ark and Dove), and over 300 emigrants. the Ark was a ship of 300 tons, and the Dove a pinnace of 50 tons. Among the company were two Jesuit priests, Andrew White and John Altham. At religious ceremonies performed at the time of departure, the expedition was committed “to the protection of God especially, and of His most Holy Mother, and St. Ignatius, and all the guardian angels of Maryland.” The two vessels were convoyed beyond danger from Turkish corsairs. Separated by a furious tempest that swept the sea three days, ending with a hurricane which split the sails of the Ark, unshipped her rudder, and left her at the mercy of the waves, the voyagers were in despair, and doubted not the little Dove had gone to the bottom of the ocean. Delightful weather ensued, and at Barbadoes the Dove joined the Ark after a separation of six weeks. Sailing northward, they touched at Point Comfort, at the entrance to the Chesapeake, and then went up to Jamestown, with royal letters borne by Calvert, and received there a kind reception from Governor Harvey. They tarried nine days, and then entered the Potomac River, which delighted them. The colonists sailed up the river to the Heron Islands, and, at a little past the middle of March, landed on one of them, which they named [38] St. Clement's. On the 25th they offered the sacrifice of the mass, set up a huge cross hewn from a tree, and knelt in solemn devotion around it. Going farther up, they entered a river which they called St. George; and on the right bank founded the capital of the new province with military and religious ceremonies, and called it St. Mary's. That scene occurred March 27, 1634. It remained the capital of Maryland until near the close of the century, when it speedily became a ruined town, and now scarcely a trace of it remains. They found the natives friendly, and awed into reverence for the white men by the flash and roar of cannon, which they regarded as lightning and thunder. The successful medical services of Father White in curing a sick Indian king gained the profound respect of these children of the forest. He and his queen and three daughters were baptized by Father White, and became members of the Christian Church. William Claiborne, an earlier settler on Kent Island, in the Chesapeake, gave Calvert much trouble, and was abetted in his course by the Virginia authorities, who regarded the Maryland colonists as intruders. He was driven away, and his property was confiscated. But he was a “thorn in the side” of the proprietor for a long time. Governor Calvert tried to carry out the grand design of the proprietor to establish a feudal nobility with hereditary titles and privileges, the domain for the purpose being divided into manorial estates of 2,000 and 3,000 acres each, but the provisions of the charter fortunately prevented such a consummation of Lord Baltimore's order. governor Calvert went to England in 1643, and during his absence for nearly a year much trouble ensued in the colony, for Claiborne, with Capt. Richard Ingle, harassed the settlement at St. Mary's. Civil war ensued (1645), and Governor Calvert was expelled from Maryland, and took refuge in Virginia. Finally, Calvert returned from Virginia with a military force, took possession of Kent Island, and re-established proprietary Tights over all the province of Maryland. He died June 9, 1647. See Baltimore, Lords.

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