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Kaminski, John P.; Saladino, Gaspare J.; Moore, Timothy D. (Historian); Lannér-Cusin, Johanna E.; Schoenleber, Charles H.; Reid, Jonathan M.; Flamingo, Margaret R.; Fields, David P. (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Maryland (1)
11 (2015)

Introduction,   pp. xxi-lvi


Page xxxiv

INTRODUCTION
Delegates. The constitution made clear at the outset that property hold-
ing would be the key to political influence in Maryland. Those eligible
to elect members of the House of Delegates-four delegates per county
and two each for Annapolis and Baltimore-were charged to select
"the most wise, sensible, and discreet of the people," who were to be
residents of their respective counties or Baltimore for at least one entire
year before the election. Delegates had to be more than twenty-one
years in age with property, real or personal, "above the value of five
hundred pounds current money," which was no small sum for the pe-
riod. Annapolis' requirements for serving in the House of Delegates
included residing within the city and having "a Freehold or visible Es-
tate" of at least E20 sterling. Members of the House of Delegates would
be elected annually.29
The Maryland Senate was to be chosen by electors representing the
individual counties and towns-two electors for each county and one
each for Annapolis and Baltimore. Senate electors were to convene at
Annapolis, or at another locale appointed for the meeting of the Gen-
eral Assembly, on the third Monday in September 1781 and on the
same day in every fifth year following. At least twenty-four electors had
to gather to elect members of the Senate. Fifteen senators, men of "the
most wisdom, experience and virtue," were to be selected for the office.
The electors could choose from among themselves. They could also
choose men at large. Nine were to represent the Western Shore, and
six were to represent the Eastern Shore. The nine highest vote recipi-
ents among gentlemen of the Western Shore and the six highest vote
recipients among those from the Eastern Shore would be elected. The
men selected must have been Maryland residents for at least three years
before the elections. They were to be more than twenty-five years in
age with property, real and personal, "above the value of one thousand
pounds current money." A president of the Senate was to be chosen
from among the senators by ballot of the senators. Maryland's Senate
would garner praise from some corners of the United States during
the debates over the U.S. Constitution, which followed on the heels of
the Constitutional Convention in September 1787. South Carolinian
Charles Pinckney, for instance, regarded the Maryland Senate as "the
best model of a senate that has yet been offered to the union."30
At an executive level, Maryland's governor was to be "a person of
wisdom, experience, and virtue" and would be selected annually on
the second Monday of November "by the joint ballot of both Houses
(to be taken in each House respectively)." A Council consisting of five
men selected annually-again by joint ballot, this time in the manner
governing the selection of state senators-on the second Tuesday of
xxxiv


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