ROOMS OF THE MARYLAND HISTORICAL SOCIETY,
BALTIMORE, September 12, 1885.
To the Maryland Historical Society:
The Committee on the State Archives have the pleasure to present
for your approval and acceptance the result of their work during the
past summer. The volume now handed you is the third published under
the State appropriation and your direction, and embraces the Proceedings
of the Council from the earliest date in our records (1636) to the year
1667. These are preceded by the charter and documents illustrative of the
first settlement, which are only to be found in the Public Record Office,
London, and other repositories abroad. These papers, strictly speaking,
are not a part of the Maryland records, yet they partly close a gap in our
documentary history, which can only be fully closed by the recovery of
the earliest volumes of our records, if they still exist.
It was thought highly important by your Committee that the earliest
volumes of our records should be placed in print with as little delay as
possible, and with that object in view, they have laid aside for the present
the Assembly series, although they had ample material in readiness for
a third volume in that series, and have taken up the Council Proceedings.
The printing of the present volume leaves but little of the four earliest
manuscript volumes to print, and it is thought that a volume in each of
the Court, and Land series will place every entry in those manuscript
volumes in type.
The division of the Archives into four series, viz. Assembly, Council,
Court, and Land, was determined on after much deliberation and the
careful examination of many entries in the various volumes.
The labor of gathering and arranging the material for the present
volume has been much greater than for both the preceding volumes.
For each of the dozen books from which the volume has been gathered,
a list of dates of every entry as they occur in the volumes was made;
from these dozen lists a second and consolidated one, in strict chronology,
was written, and both the separate and consolidated lists were used as
check lists in making up the copy for the printer.
The thorough indexes which accompany the volume are the work of
Miss Lucy H. Harrison and Dr. Browne. The former making that of
Persons and Places, and the latter the Topical.
The Committee have not received any further accessions to the Archives
from Annapolis, but recently a number of volumes of Court Records
from 1663 to 1782, a volume of Laws, 1731-1752, and two Council books