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From the first capital city to the present capital city

[ Return To Senator Roy Dyson's Newsletter ]

Posted on November 25, 2000:

Senator Dyson Marylandís leaders have always revered its history and thatís the way it should be. We donít forget the people or places that helped make this state great. All across Maryland there are historical markers highlighting our greatest and most infamous moments as well as the birthplaces or longtime homes of our favorite sons.

In Calvert, a directional marker points us to the general area where Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney was born among many other significant sites. The main road through Calvert -- yes the one that eventually runs right by the 200-year old White House (Route 4/Pennsylvania Avenue) -- is named after our beloved late Comptroller, Louis L. Goldstein.

In Charles County, there are numerous homes preserved or restored that were owned by Colonial patriots such as Thomas Stone, John Hanson and Dr. James Craik. The trail John Wilkes Booth paved on his escape route to Virginia is easy to trace thanks to numerous roadside historical markers.

In St. Maryís County, we have signs explaining the history of St. Clementís Island where the first Marylanders arrived before establishing the stateís first capital city in nearby St. Maryís City. There are plenty of roadside markers in St. Maryís City as well as historical structures. One such structure is the restored original State House of Maryland.

This restored structure, built in the 1930s, stands just yards away from its original location which is now the site of the Trinity Episcopal Church and its grounds. I was approached a few weeks ago by Trinity Episcopal Reverend John Ball who offered to donate a brick from the original State House recently unearthed from the churchís grounds. It is truly an exciting piece of Maryland history.

Recently, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr., sent out a letter to his colleagues asking them to donate an item to be placed in a time capsule that will be sealed inside the new addition to the James Senate building currently being constructed in Annapolis. This new addition will be appropriately named after Senator Miller, the longest serving Maryland Senate President.

At a public meeting earlier this month, I offered the brick to Senator Miller and he agreed to add this 350-year old brick to the time capsule. It is sure to be among the oldest Maryland artifacts included in this capsule.

This ensures that a valuable piece of Marylandís history will live on for numerous generations to appreciate. It is truly humbling to hold this brick, knowing what it means to this state. It was in the original State House in St. Maryís City where the first black man in America, Mathias De Sousa, held public office. It was in that State House where the first woman in America, Margaret Brent, asked (unsuccessfully) for the right to vote. It was in that State House that Marylandís early government was formed with an emphasis on religious freedom and tolerance.

In December, Reverend Ball and I plan to personally present this brick to Senator Miller in our current State House -- one with as much extraordinary history as the first State House. I canít think of a more fitting way to end the first year of the 21st Century than by honoring Marylandís past with what at first appears to be simply a piece of dirt and clay, but is instead a relic with so much powerful symbolism.

[ Return To Senator Roy Dyson's Newsletter ]

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