- Fast Facts -
Granted under charter dated June 20, 1632. The first settlement, known as "St. Mary's City" was occupied by colonists arriving on the ships Ark and Dove in 1634. St. Mary's City was the seat of government until the capitol was moved to Annapolis in 1695. Innacurate maps led to trouble in 1681 when King Charles II granted a charter for Pennsylvania. The northern boundary of Maryland was defined as the southern boundary of Pennsylvania. Disputes and acts of violence continued until the line was surveyed by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon between 1763 and 1767. Today the Mason-Dixon line is commonly thought of as the cultural border between the North and South. In 1790 parts of Prince George's and Montgomery county were ceded to the Federal Government to form the District of Columbia.
On March 1, 1781, Maryland was the last to sign the Articles of Confederation, the first constitution, establishing the United States of America. After ratifying the new constitution Maryland was admitted as the 7th state on April 28, 1788.
Maryland has 24 counties and, with its 12,406 square miles of land, is the 9th smallest U.S. state in size. Hoye Crest, in Garrett county is the highest point in Maryland at 3,360 feet. Also found in Garrett county is Deep Creek Lake, the largest man-made lake in the state. Maryland is bounded on the east by Delaware, which shares the Delmarva Peninsula with Maryland, and the Atlantic Ocean; on the west by West Virginia, the south by West Virginia and Virginia, and on the north by Pennsylvania.
Extending east from the Delmarva Peninsula is Assateague Island. The northern two-thirds of this 37-mile long barrier island (Assateague Island National Seashore) is in Maryland and is home to the feral Assateague Island horses. The remainder of the island is in Virginia.
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