Thursday, April 3, 2008

Annapolis: Oldest State House

The Maryland State, Annapolis, Maryland:
The oldest state house still in legislative use in the country


Yesterday found me in Stevensville, Maryland, meeting with a retired doctor who knits caps for cancer patients. On my way home, I stopped at Sandy Point State Park to take pictures of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. I'll post pictures of that next week. I also stopped in Annapolis en route to Washington and did a quick (less than two hours) walk around Maryland's state capitol and capital city snapping pictures here and there. This is the first in three or four entries I'll post featuring this lovely city on the Bay.

According to the Maryland Historical Society, the Maryland State House in Annapolis is the "oldest in the nation still in legislative use." It was in this state house that General George Washington resigned his commission before the Continental Congress in 1783. The following year, Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris to end the Revolutionary War. In 1786, the Annapolis Convention issued a call to the states, which resulted in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia.

The town, located on the Severn River 26 miles south of Baltimore and 35 east of Washington, D.C., was founded by Puritan exiles from Virginia in 1649. At that time, it was called Providence. Later, its name changed to Town at Proctor's, Town at the Severn, and Anne Arundel's Town. In 1694, it was renamed Annapolis after Princess Anne of Great Britain who would later become queen of the same. Annapolis distinguished itself in the colonies as a rather wealthy, cultured city. (Unfortunately, the bulk of its wealth at the time was centered in slave trading.) Today, Annapolis is the county seat of Anne Arundel County and the capital of the State of Maryland.

Construction on the Maryland State House commenced in 1772 and was completed in 1779. It was the eleventh capitol of the United States from November 1783 - August 1784, but the first peacetime capital following the Treaty of Paris. The building has the largest wooden dome constructed without nails in the nation. The grounds of the capital feature statues of native Marylanders Thurgood Marshall, a champion of Civil Rights and the first black Supreme Court justice; Roger B. Taney, fifth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; and Johann Baron de Kalb, a German soldier and volunteer and general in the Continental Army.

In addition to being the state's capital, Annapolis also has the distinction of being the home of the United States Naval Academy: the training ground for America's naval and marine officers' corps.

Click on the smaller images to enlarge.

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential, 4/08

1 comment:

Lisa Sarsfield said...

DC I have been away too long. I have no hope of being able to catch up:( Your blog is looking FANTASTIC. You're very gifted and I'm so pleased to come here and see so many blossoms and buidlings. Great compostitions and colours. Thankyou once again for sharing your part of the world:) I hope to be back regularly again now.