HomeGeography | Government | History | Links | State Symbols | Email



Maryland's Birthplace

St. Clement's Island - 1634

[The Ark & the Dove]

Learn about the English history that came before the voyage to Maryland. Discover the vision of George Calvert, the First Lord Baltimore as he planned the colony.

An adventurous group of  colonists left England on two small ships, The Ark and The Dove, November 23, 1633, the feast day of St. Clement, fourth Pope and patron saint of mariners.  After a four-month journey across the wintry seas of the Atlantic Ocean, they sailed up the Chesapeake Bay and northward to the Potomac River, landing on a small island they named for St. Clement. It was here, on March 25, 1634, that they “took possession” of the land and celebrated a Roman Catholic Mass of thanksgiving, the first in the English-speaking colonies. This was the beginning of the Maryland colony. Founded on the ideals of religious toleration and separation of church and state, this infant colony initiated these basic freedoms that would become the cornerstones of our American Constitution.

On the occasion of Maryland’s 300th birthday in 1934, a 40-foot memorial was erected on St. Clement’s Island to stand as a tribute to these American ideals and to the first brave Marylanders who risked their lives to bring them to the New World.

For the brochure, you must use the Adobe Acrobat Reader. You may download this free from the Adobe website.

Click Here for a Downloadable Brochure on St. Clements Island and St. Clements Island Museum in PDF format.