May 25, 1738: Ending of the Conojocular War

Wednesday, May 25, AD 2016


Boundary disputes were quite common between the colonies, but few got as violent as the boundary line war between Pennsylvania and Maryland from 1730-1738.  Pennsylvania’s charter (1681) provided for its southern boundary as follows:  “on the South by a Circle drawne at twelve miles’ distance from New Castle Northward and Westward unto the beginning of the fortieth degree of Northern Latitude, and then by a streight Line Westward”.  Subsequent surveys established that Dover was a full twenty-five miles south of the 40th Parallel.  Maryland insisted on the 40th Parallel which would have made Philadelphia a Maryland town.  Pennsylvania pushed for a boundary at 39 degrees, 36 minutes which would have taken a strip out of what is northern Maryland.  The dispute simmered for decades breaking out into open conflict in the 1730s with the settlement of the Conejohela Valley west of the  Susquehanna River.  Maryland and Pennsylvania settlers in the disputed territory quickly came into conflict with raids and counter raids by the militias of the two colonies.  The leader of the Maryland settlers was Thomas Cresap, a tough and fearless man as the French would later have reason to attest during the French and Indian War.  Cresap was captured by the Pennsylvanians.  Upon being paraded through the streets of Philadelphia prior to being imprisoned, Cresap remarked:   “Damn it, this is one of the prettiest towns in Maryland!”.

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6 Responses to May 25, 1738: Ending of the Conojocular War

  • If only they’d been able to draw the map along 39′ 36″ with Maryland also getting Philadelphia. Pennsylvania would have won completely.

  • This was something I did not know about my home Commonwealth.

    Another struggle took place between Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Connecticut claimed land south of New York, stretching across the continent. Connecticut residents settled around Wilkes Barre and made their demands. The Yankee-Pennonite Wars ensued, and Connecticut was forced to surrender her claims to what is now the northern half of Pennsylvania. Connecticut did not surrender her claim west of Pennsylvania until Ohio became a state. The northeastern corridor of Ohio was once known as the Western Reserve. The rest of Ohio was claimed by Virginia. This name carries over in Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and Western Reserve Academy in Hudson.

    Pennsylvania received a bit of New York so as to have access to Lake Erie.

    The most well known squabble was between Virginia and Pennsylvania over The Forks. George Washington and Edward Braddock failed in their missions from Virginia to get France to surrender Fort Duquesne. Colonel Henry Bouquet led an expedition from Fort Bedford, carving out the Forbes Road, and the French fled before his arrival.

    Virginia and Pennsylvania both wanted the Forks. George Washington owned land in my township, South Fayette. In the end, Pennsylvania won out…..and, thus, Pittsburgh became a city of Pennsylvania, not an outpost of Williamsburg.

  • Maryland can have Philadelphia. So can New Jersey. Really. We don’t want it anymore.

  • Exciting time to be a Penguins fan!

  • It is indeed, Pinky.

    As Mr. McClarey is to science fiction, my house is to hockey.

  • My favorite part of all of this is The Wedge, an area in between Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware that was not in any of the three colonies. Giving land to multiple colonies, that is just good politics. Giving land to none, that is just a waste.

The Old Line’s Bugle, Fife, and Drum

Saturday, March 5, AD 2016

Something for the weekend.  Maryland, my Maryland.  Written by James Ryder Randall  in white heat in 1861 after he learned that his friend Francis X. Ward had been killed by soldiers of the 6th Massachusetts in the Baltimore riot of 1861.  A heart felt plea for his native state to join the Confederacy, set to the tune of O’Tannenbaum  it became one of the more popular songs in the Confederacy.  Tuberculosis prevented Randall from serving in the Confederate Army, so he joined the Confederate Navy.  After the War he was commonly referred to as the poet laureate of the lost cause.  A Catholic, his later in life poems were usually religious in nature.

Although the Civil War brought forth Maryland my Maryland, there are many references to Maryland’s proud Revolutionary history:

 Thou wilt not cower in the dust,
Thy beaming sword shall never rust,
Remember Carroll’s sacred trust,
Remember Howard’s warlike thrust,-
And all thy slumberers with the just,
Maryland! My Maryland!

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4 Responses to The Old Line’s Bugle, Fife, and Drum

  • This glorious tune rang from the chapel bells at the University on the hours. I read that the liberals had it stopped a few years back, because we apparently don’t want to be Confederates anymore.

    The U of Md is heavily populated by northerners, but at least back in the 70s they were different. I remember one of my NJ friends had a CSA flag logo printed on his checks.
    The Naval Academy glee club still sings the State song at the Preakness race every year.

  • The song brings back memories of this teen-aged Connecticut Yankee marching to its rhythm on the “grinder” in Bainbridge MD. during navy boot camp training.
    This wasn’t so bad, but then we were forced to keep an impossible cadence to a new piece that winter– “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.”

  • Bring on Maryland Stuffed Ham and Double Fried Oysters!

    Maryland Day is a legal holiday in the U.S. state of Maryland. It is observed on the anniversary of the March 25, 1634, landing of the first European settlers in the Province of Maryland, the third English colony to be settled in British North America. On this day settlers from “The Ark” and the smaller “The Dove” first stepped foot onto Maryland soil, at St. Clement’s Island in the Potomac River. The settlers were about 150 in number, departed from Gravesend on the Thames River downstream from London. Three Jesuit priests were collected from Cowes on the Isle of Wight in England where they avoided having to give the oath of allegiance and supremacy to the King. The colony’s grant was renewed to Cecil Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore,, two years prior by Charles I of England, after first being given to his father Sir George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore,, along with the title of “Lord Baltimore”, and a first grant in Acadia, in Newfoundland,, who had served the King in many official and personal capacities as Secretary of State, 1619-1625 and erected a large cross. The landing coincided with the Feast of the Annunciation, a holy day honoring Mary, and the start of the new year in England’s legal calendar. Maryland Day on 25 March celebrates the 1634 landing at St Clements. Later the colonists and their two ships sailed further back down river to the southeast to settle a capital at St. Mary’s City near the point where the Potomac flows into the Chesapeake Bay. · Text under CC-BY-SA license

  • Thanks for the link to Washington’s Immortals…looks like a good read.
    Catholic priests were ferried from St. Mary’s county across the Potomac to our VA peninsula to meet the spiritual needs of Catholics since colonization until went into the 20th cen.

2012 Election: The House

Monday, October 15, AD 2012

With it being a presidential election year, it is easy to lose track of the fact that there is an institution called Congress. You may not have heard, but as is the case every two years, approximately one-third of the Senate and all 435 House seats are up for election. I hope to look at the Senate races in the coming week, but this post is for the House of Representatives.

The least suspenseful aspect of the 2012 election are the House races. Certainly there is some drama within individual races, but in the aggregate, the Democratic chances of recapturing the House are somewhere between slim and are you kidding me. Real Clear Politics already has the GOP at 226 seats with lean-R and likely-R districts, with an additional 26 races listed as toss-ups. No matter what happens with the presidential election, Republican control of the House is a near certainty. The main question with regard to the House is how big will the Republican majority be? Even though the Republicans had an historic mid-term pickup, there were a number of close elections that Republicans lost in 2010, many of them in districts favorable to Republicans. Throw in post-census re-districting, and the GOP should retain a fairly strong majority.

I’m not going to go into detail into every tossup race. Consider this an open invitation for those of you either in swing districts or neighboring swing districts to inform us how things are shaping up in your neck of the woods.

I’ll kick things off by taking a look at the People’s Republic of Maryland. Currently two of Maryland’s eight House districts are held by Republicans, which is just too many for the overwhelming Democratic majority in the state. In attempt to knock off the longest-serving Republican – Roscoe Bartlett in the sixth district – the Democrats drew up a laughably gerrymandered map. This is actually a map of Maryland’s 8th district, currently served by Democrat and Nancy Pelosi lackey Chris Van Hollen (click on 2012 map). What they’ve done is place a part of heavily Reublican Frederick County in the northern part of the state and magically patched it with Maoist Montgomery County to the south. At one point the district basically just runs up I-270. The area to the west is the sixth district, which now combines portions of Montgomery County with the more conservative northwest section of the state. In other words, they’ve taken one heavily Democratic district and one Republican district and converted them into two Democratic-leaning districts. The gerrymander is so ridiculous that it is one of the five major state-wide ballot initiatives in Maryland. (Even if the voters decide to reject the altered districts, those elected will serve the districts as currently designed for the next term, and the Democrats just get to re-draw the lines).

Bartlett is facing challenger Joe Delaney, and things do not look good for Bartlett. It would be the ultimate justice if instead of ousting Bartlett, the re-drawn eight district winds up in the Republican column. Ken Timmerman is challenging Van Hollen, and has drawn the support of luminaries such as John Bolton. The district is now “only” 50% Democrat, which means that instead of this being a lock-solid Democrat district, it’s just a very strong Democrat district. Timmerman is going to have to pull a lot of independents to have any chance, but stranger things have happened. In the end, it looks like the state of Maryland will be a net pickup of one for the Democrats.

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Same-Sex Marriage Bill Killed in Maryland Assembly

Friday, March 11, AD 2011

This looked like a done deal after the Senate approved it, but the same-sex marriage bill  went down to defeat this afternoon.  I find this to be particularly noteworthy:

Advocates for the bill had hoped Maryland would join five other states and the District in allowing same-sex marriages. The bill had significant momentum coming out of the Senate but ran into resistance in the Democratic-led House from African-American lawmakers from Prince George’s County, who cited religious opposition in their districts, and conservative Democrats in Southern Maryland and the Baltimore suburbs.

People assume that because Maryland is a deeply blue state that same-sex marriage would find more support than in other areas of the country, but there is some innate social conservatism here thanks in part to the substantial African-American population.  This was brought home to me just yesterday when I read an op-ed opposing gay marriage in an independent local paper aimed at the African-American community, and not one normally noted as a bastion of conservative thought.  But I think this vote represents one of the potential areas for schism within the Democratic party.  Just a year ago or so Marion Barry expressed his opposition to DC’s imposition of same-sex marriage, and now we have lawmakers from a majority-black county blocking same-sex marriage in Maryland.

All in all, a day for rejoicing.  For now.

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6 Responses to Same-Sex Marriage Bill Killed in Maryland Assembly

  • This is great news. I think the bill would have been over turned on referendum anyway, but its better this way. A lot of people, I think, tend to view Maryland through the lens of the DC suburbs (particularly Montgomery County), which is very liberal. But I think in many other areas of the state, there are a lot of us left who may favor liberal economic policies, but still tend to feel our working class immigrant roots. I voted Democrat for years because I saw them as the party on the side of the little guy (and to a certain extent still do); I stopped voting Democrat because of their increasing embrace or abortion and moral relativism (gay marriage being but the latest example of that).

  • This got me thinking. In a two-party system, minorities who identify primarily with their fellow minorities will not be divided. African Americans will be primarily Democrats or primarily Republicans. And their secondary concerns will tend to follow the party. African Americans have already become pro-choice and they will in time favor gay marriage. Hispanics aren’t far behind. I see only two ways to avoid this. Either eradicate race as an identity or have a multi-party system. It’s not just a matter of politics. Souls are on the line. The two-party system may have worked well when voters were all white land-owning Christian men and the major division was between southern farmers and northern capitalists but we’re too diverse today.

  • The vote in the Senate:–Gay_Marriage-Roll_Call/

    In the House it was a voice vote to send the bill back to committee so don’t know what the count would have looked like:

    Just for those who care, all but one Republican in the Senate voted against (ten Dems also did). Even with the African American Dem’s opposition, it was likely the House Repubs. who provided the bulk of the majority to stop the bill.

    Just a jab to those who still claim there is no difference between the parties. Well, except for election years. Except this is not an election year. Go figure.

  • “Same-Sex Marriage Bill Killed in Maryland Assembly”
    lol – Violent, eliminationist rhetoric . . .

  • Pingback: Japanese Church in Shock, Maryland Same-Sex Marriage Bill Defeated, and much more… «

Orwell Warned Us Of This

Sunday, February 6, AD 2011

There are a pair of companions bills working their way through the Maryland legislature.  HB 55 and SB 116, titled “The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act” will soon be coming up for debate.  Religious freedom and marriage protection – must be a law that good Catholics can get behind.  So what do the bills provide for:

Altering a provision of law to establish that only a marriage between two individuals who are not otherwise prohibited from marrying is valid in the State; prohibiting an official of a religious institution or body authorized to solemnize marriages from being required to solemnize any marriage in violation of the constitutional right to free exercise of religion; etc.

So it’s a gay marriage bill.  Oh sure there’s a little codicil about protecting religious officials from having to perform gay marriage, but this is a bill about altering the definition of marriage.

You almost have to hand it to the Democrats here in Maryland.  They recognize that while Maryland might be a deeply blue state, there is a very large segment of social conservatives that don’t fully embrace social engineering and attempts to subvert traditional morality.  So how coy of them to slip this issue under the radar in the guise of protecting religious liberty.

The phrase “culture of death” has been employed the anti-life agenda of the radical left.  I think the “culture of deceit” might be equally as apt.  From the shenanigans on abortion statistics to this action undertaken by the Maryland legislature, progressives continue to use obfuscation in order to advance their political agenda.  Thus the debate over abortion is morphed into one about choice, privacy, a woman’s “control over her body.”  Gay marriage becomes a civil rights issue.

We complain about the left utilizing the Courts to advance their agenda, and that is indeed a problem.  But they’ve also advanced their agenda simply by lying through their collective teeth, or creatively using and abusing the English language.

George Orwell may have gotten some things wrong, but he certainly prophesied correctly in this regard.

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