Settling Down in Baltimore

Introduction

Baltimore Taken Near Whetstone PointAlthough the position selected for Baltimore indicates that its founders had in view the facilities for trade which it enjoyed, the small amount of land originally taken, and the nature of the ground selected, surrounded as it was by hills, water courses and marshes, clearly show that they had no anticipation of what were actually to be the size and importance of the city they were founding. The hills with which the city abounds, and which at this day contribute so much to its picturesqueness, have rendered the work of extending and grading streets in many instances both difficult and expensive. "The precipice overhanging the falls" alluded to, has either entirely disappeared, or been converted into graded declivities. Through the city of to-day flow no less than three streamng, known as Jones' Falls, liarford Run and Chatsworth Run, (but of these only Jones' Falls, a stream that flows through the midst of the city. the first named is now uncovered,) while a fourth, Gwynn's Falls, forms a portion of the city's boundary upon the west. A marsh which extended along the border of Jones' Falls, and formed the eastern boundary of the town as first laid out, has long since been filled up and built upon. 

Notwithstanding these disadvantages, the unusual facilities for direct communication -with the interior, the great security of the harbor, the remarkable healthfulness of the situation, (probably greatly contributed to by the excellent natural drainage,) the fertility of the surrounding country, the abundance of stone, lime, iron and timber in the immediate vicinity, and the many mill seats obtainable upon the neighboring streams, amply justify the sagacity shown in the selection of the site. 

The town having been duly surveyed, and divided into sixty lots of about one acre each, an office was opened for purchasers on the 14th of January, 1730. It was stipulated in the terms of purchase that a house "covering at least four hundred square feet" should be erected within eighteen months; and no person was permitted to take up more than one lot during the first four months. The buyers appear to have been very few, and the lots went off but slowly;-so slowly indeed that some of them having remained untaken for seven years, reverted to the original owners of the land, according to the terms of the law under which the town was erected. 

When the town was first laid out, there was scarcely a house standing upon the whole sixty acres; some few settlements had however been made in the neighborhood, and lands had been taken up as early as 1662. The first actual settler is said to have been Mr. David Jones, who, about the year 1680, having purchased some land, erected a house upon the north [or east] side of the falls, which bear his name. Other houses were built in that neighborhood, and in 1732 the settlement was erected into a town by the name of Jones-Town, comprising ten acres of land, and separated from Baltimore-Town by the falls and the marsh, of which mention has already been made. In 1743 the two towns were united, and the name of Baltimore given to both, and in 1747 the intermediate territory, comprising eighteen acres, was added to the town. On account of the older settlement in that locality, Jones-Town was generally called "Old-Town," and the name is still applied to that portion of the city which occupies the site of the ancient town. In 1730, William Fell, a ship-carpenter, settled upon the point one mile southeast from the town upon the outer basin. In 1773, although at that time a long stretch of vacant country lay between, the point, which had then become a flourishing settlement, was added to the town. Like "Old-Town," it has retained its ancient name, being still called, after its first settler, "Fell's Point." Whetstone Point, on the south side of the basin, upon the extreme end of which Fort McHenry is situated, and which now forms a part of the city, was made a town as early as 1706. From these separate towns and settlements the city has grown up. They have for many years been united, not only in name, but by unbroken lines of buildings which cover all the spaces by which they were once separated; so that only the traditionary names are left to distinguish the old localities.

Extracted from: George Howard, The Monumental City: its Past History and Present Resources
(Baltimore: J.D. Ehlers, 1873): 12-14.

National History Standards

Materials compiled in this document can be used by educators to fulfill the following National History Standards for Grades K-4:

Topic 1: Living and Working Together in Communities and Families, Now and Long Ago

STANDARD 2: The history of students’ own local community and how communities in North America varied long ago.

Standard 2A: The student understands the history of his or her local community. 

3-4:Interpret population data from historical and current maps, charts, graphs, and census tables in order to make generalizations about the changing size and makeup of the local community. [Interrogate the data]
K-4: Examine local architecture and landscape to compare changes in function and appearance over time. [Draw upon visual data]

Primary Resources

  1. DESCRIPTION: Baltimore’s First Post Office (built 1730)
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: n. d.
    REPRODUCTIONS: Image Reproduction and Permission
    REPOSITORY: Maryland Historical Society
  2. DESCRIPTION: Baltimore in 1752 From A Sketch Then Made By John Moale, Esq. Deceased, Corrected By the Late Daniel Bowley, Esqr. "from His Certain Recollection, and That of Other Aged Persons, Well Acquainted With It with Whom He Compared Notes." 
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  Published 1817 by E. J. Coale of Baltimore
    COPYRIGHT: Permission to reproduce or publish this item is required and may be subject to copyright, fees, and other legal restrictions imposed by parties outside of the Library. The Enoch Pratt Free Library is not responsible for the outside use of these images but is committed to the responsible and legal use of any content posted on its web site. Any questions regarding the legal nature of content on this site may be referred to copyright@prattlibrary.org.
    SOURCE:
     Cator Collection
    REPOSITORY: Enoch Pratt Free Library
  3. DESCRIPTION: Baltimore in 1752
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: Copy of Moale's sketch published in The monumental city, its past history and present resources., Howard, George W. (George Washington), 1814-1888.
    SOURCE: The Nineteenth Century in Print: Books
    REPOSITORY: Digitized by the University of Michigan Library
  4. DESCRIPTION: Baltimore in 1752
    ARTIST: John Bachman
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  n. d.
    COPYRIGHT: Permission to reproduce or publish this item is required and may be subject to copyright, fees, and other legal restrictions imposed by parties outside of the Library. The Enoch Pratt Free Library is not responsible for the outside use of these images but is committed to the responsible and legal use of any content posted on its web site. Any questions regarding the legal nature of content on this site may be referred to copyright@prattlibrary.org.
    SOURCE:
     Cator Collection
    REPOSITORY: Enoch Pratt Free Library
  5. DESCRIPTION:  Plan of the town of Baltimore
    CARTOGRAPHER: A. P. Folie
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  1792
    REPRODUCTIONS: How to Order Reproductions
    COPYRIGHT: Copyright and Other Restrictions
    SOURCE:  Cities and Towns
    REPOSITORY:  Library of Congress Geography and Map Division
  6. DESCRIPTION: Plan of the City and Environs of Baltimore
    CARTOGRAPHER: Warner & Hanna
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: Baltimore, 1801
    SOURCE: Mapping Maryland
    REPOSITORY: Maryland Historical Society
  7. DESCRIPTION: Baltimore
    ARTIST: J. B. Neagle
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  Drawn between 1825 and 1829
    NOTES: Early view of Federal Hill.
    COPYRIGHT: Permission to reproduce or publish this item is required and may be subject to copyright, fees, and other legal restrictions imposed by parties outside of the Library. The Enoch Pratt Free Library is not responsible for the outside use of these images but is committed to the responsible and legal use of any content posted on its web site. Any questions regarding the legal nature of content on this site may be referred to copyright@prattlibrary.org.
    SOURCE:
     Cator Collection
    REPOSITORY: Enoch Pratt Free Library
  8. DESCRIPTION: Baltimore Taken Near Whetstone Point
    ARTIST: William James Bennett
    NOTES: View from the area that is now known as Locust Point
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  Printed by J. Neale at Illman & Pilbrow's, 1831.
    COPYRIGHT: Permission to reproduce or publish this item is required and may be subject to copyright, fees, and other legal restrictions imposed by parties outside of the Library. The Enoch Pratt Free Library is not responsible for the outside use of these images but is committed to the responsible and legal use of any content posted on its web site. Any questions regarding the legal nature of content on this site may be referred to copyright@prattlibrary.org.
    SOURCE:
     Cator Collection
    REPOSITORY: Enoch Pratt Free Library
  9. DESCRIPTION: Baltimore from Federal Hill
    ARTIST: William James Bennett
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  [1830]
    COPYRIGHT: Permission to reproduce or publish this item is required and may be subject to copyright, fees, and other legal restrictions imposed by parties outside of the Library. The Enoch Pratt Free Library is not responsible for the outside use of these images but is committed to the responsible and legal use of any content posted on its web site. Any questions regarding the legal nature of content on this site may be referred to copyright@prattlibrary.org.
    SOURCE:
     Cator Collection
    REPOSITORY: Enoch Pratt Free Library
  10. DESCRIPTION: Baltimore
    ARTIST: P. Haas
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  [1837]
    NOTES: Illustrates the city from the north near Jones Falls
    COPYRIGHT: Permission to reproduce or publish this item is required and may be subject to copyright, fees, and other legal restrictions imposed by parties outside of the Library. The Enoch Pratt Free Library is not responsible for the outside use of these images but is committed to the responsible and legal use of any content posted on its web site. Any questions regarding the legal nature of content on this site may be referred to copyright@prattlibrary.org.
    SOURCE:
     Cator Collection
    REPOSITORY: Enoch Pratt Free Library
  11. DESCRIPTION: Baltimore (from Northwest)
    ARTIST: Ahrens.
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  Before 1840
    NOTES: View from vicinity of Pennsylvania Avenue and Preston Street
    COPYRIGHT: Permission to reproduce or publish this item is required and may be subject to copyright, fees, and other legal restrictions imposed by parties outside of the Library. The Enoch Pratt Free Library is not responsible for the outside use of these images but is committed to the responsible and legal use of any content posted on its web site. Any questions regarding the legal nature of content on this site may be referred to copyright@prattlibrary.org.
    SOURCE:
     Cator Collection
    REPOSITORY: Enoch Pratt Free Library

See also: Changed Perspective: The Evolution of Baltimore through Art and Cartography, 1792-1912

Additional Media Resources

Mapping Maryland From the Maryland Historical Society

Additional Instructional Resources

Charts and Maps Used by the Early Settlers of Maryland From the Maryland State Archives

Secondary Resources

Howard, George. The Monumental City: its Past History and Present Resources. Baltimore: J.D. Ehlers, 1873.

Papenfuse, Edward C. and Joseph M. Coale III, The Hammond-Harwood House Atlas of Historical Maps of Maryland, 1608-1908 Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1982.

Papenfuse, Edward C. and Joseph M. Coale III, The Maryland State Archives Atlas of Historical Maps of Maryland 1608-1908 Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 2003.

Rice, Laura. Maryland History In Prints, 1752-1900. Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society, 2002.

Copyright and Other Restrictions

Access to materials linked within these document packets is intended for educational and research purposes. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or holders of other rights (such as publicity and privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. The responsibility for making an independent legal assessment and independently securing any necessary rights rests with persons desiring to use particular items in the context of the intended use.

Password Access to Materials

The use of any user name and password to access materials on this web site constitutes an agreement by the user to abide by any and all copyright restrictions and is an acknowledgement that these materials will be used for personal and educational use only. In most instances, the username aaco and password aaco# will work. Contact ref@mdsa.net if you have any questions or have difficulty accessing files.

Credits

Teaching American History in Maryland is a collaborative partnership of the Maryland State Archives and the Center for History Education (CHE), University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), and the following sponsoring school systems: Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Baltimore City Public School System, Baltimore County Public Schools, and Howard County Public Schools.

Other program partners include the Martha Ross Center for Oral History, Maryland Historical Society, State Library Resource Center/Enoch Pratt Free Library, with assistance from the National Archives and Records Administration and the Library of Congress. The program is funded through grants from the U.S. Department of Education.

This document packet was researched and developed by Nancy Bramucci.

 

Teaching American History | Document Packets Index

 
 
  An Archives of Maryland Online Publication • © Copyright 2001-2005 Maryland State Archives
Maryland State Archives • 350 Rowe Boulevard • Annapolis, MD 21401 • 410-260-6400 • msa.helpdesk@maryland.gov