Maryland became the seventh state to join the Union on April 28, 1788. The English King Charles I gave a man called George Calvert a charter to found the colony in 1632. Instead, Calvert’s son Cecil, along with his uncle Leonard, led hopeful settlers across the waters in 1634. A little over two hundred passengers traveled on two ships: the Ark and the Dove. They landed at St. Clement’s Island in southern Maryland on March 25, 1634.
Times were tough in the region; there were diseases such as smallpox and battles with the Native American tribes. It was also a time of clashes between religious groups, mostly between the Catholics and Puritans. The people argued and tried to figure out which religious sect should settle parts of the new colony. Settlers could not agree on a boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania. So, to settle the dispute, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon surveyed the land from 1763 to 1767 and came up with a border which became known as the Mason-Dixon Line.
A decade later, tired of English rule, the settlers in Maryland joined with other territories and colonies to declare their independence and the American Revolution began. The area’s soldiers were nicknamed the “Maryland Line,” and George Washington referred to them as his “Old Line,” providing the state with the nickname “The Old Line State.”
St. Michaels’ townsfolk got word that the British were planning an invasion and tried to send the troops the wrong way. On August 10, 1813, the residents turned off all their lights and placed lit lanterns on the tops of trees and even on the masts of ships. When the British fired their cannons at what they thought was the town of St. Michaels, they instead overshot the town and only one house was damaged in the attack; the “Cannonball House.” St. Michaels then became known as “The town that fooled the British.”