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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 xxx

INTRODUCTION
them to the benefit of the country party. Men like Daniel of St. Thomas
Jenifer, who had been close to Governor Eden, fell out with his former
political ally. In the days and months immediately following the burn-
ing of the Peggy Stewart, delegates from the First Continental Congress
arrived back in Maryland and urged that the colony ratify the Conti-
nental Association of late October 1774, a colonial response to British
tax and trade policy, like the Boston Port Bill. The Association, a binding
agreement among all of the colonies, was intended to reverse Parlia-
ment's course against the colonies by implementing a system of boy-
cotts and economic disincentives that would persuade the British min-
istry to take a different tack. A committee of correspondence would
also be elected for the colony and included some leading men of country
party politics. The men on that committee, some of whom would be
instrumental in Maryland's constitutional convention (1776), included
Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Charles Carroll, Barrister, Samuel Chase,
Thomas Johnson, Matthew Tilghman, William Paca, and John Hall. A
council of safety under Jenifer's leadership would also help set the stage
for Maryland's wider engagement in the revolutionary movement.2'
Maryland Drafts a New Constitution
Having unsettled Maryland's proprietary regime, Marylanders were
not spoiling for war, and certainly not on an imperial scale. As the rev-
olutionary movement took hold throughout the colonies, Marylanders
resisted being drawn into the ever-widening conflict. Maryland opposed
independence as late as May 1776, when it stipulated that congressional
delegates needed the approval of the Maryland Convention-the state's
legislative body at the time-to cast a vote in favor of separation from
Britain. But on 28 June 1776, Maryland's Eighth Convention "recalled"
the instructions that it had given to its deputies to the Second Conti-
nental Congress on 11 January 1776-and that it had renewed in May
of that year. On the evening of 28 June Chase wrote a letter to John
Adams. In the letter Chase indicated that he was "this Moment from
the House to procure an Express to follow the Post with an Unanimous
Vote of our Convention for Independence etc. etc. See the glorious Effects
of County Instructions. Our people have fire if not smothered." In
place of earlier instructions, Maryland's new instructions allowed its
deputies-William Paca, John Rogers, and Thomas Stone, who were
present-"to concur with the other united colonies, or a majority of
them, in declaring the united colonies free and independent states."
Maryland also provided for its deputies to agree with the other colonies
in compacting or confederating together, in securing foreign support,
and "in adopting such other measures as shall be adjudged necessary
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