MD: Anne Arundel County

Population: 555,743 (2013)

County seat: Annapolis

Destinations: Annapolis, Oakland, Glen Burnie, Fort Meade

Rivers: Patapsco River, Curtis Creek, Patuxent River

 

The County was named for Lady Ann Arundell, (1615/1616–1649), the daughter of Thomas Arundell, 1st Baron Arundell of Wardour, members of the ancient family of Arundells in Cornwall, England. She married Cecilius Calvert, second Lord Baltimore, (1605–1675), and the first Lord Proprietor of the colony, Province of Maryland, in an arranged marriage contract in 1627 or 1628.

Anne Arundel County (modern spelling adds an 'e' to her first name of "Ann" and a second 'L' to the family name of "Arundell" – but the old traditional spelling of her name is still used in the title of the local historical society, the Ann Arundell County Historical Society) was originally part of St. Mary's County in the southern portion of the Province of Maryland which had first been settled by the arriving settlers in 1634. In 1650, the year after Lady Ann Arundell's death, the County separated from St. Mary's and "erected" into its own jurisdiction and became the 3rd of the 23 Maryland counties. Between 1654 and 1658, the County was known as "Providence" by many of its early settlers.

On March 25, 1655, during the English Civil War, the Battle of the Severn, the first naval colonial battle ever fought in America was fought in Anne Arundel County on the Severn River between Puritan forces supporting the Commonwealth of England and forces loyal to the Lord Proprietor, Cecilius Calvert. The Commonwealth forces under William Fuller were victorious.

Between 1694 and 1695, the provincial capital of Maryland was moved from St. Mary's City along the northern shore of the Potomac River across from the southern colonial border with the Province of Virginia in St. Mary's County further north along the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, midway in the colony to Annapolis in Anne Arundel County. Prior to the move, Annapolis was known as "Providence".

During the American Revolutionary War, citizens of Anne Arundel County supported the Continental Army by providing troops for three regiments. The 3rd Maryland Regiment, the 4th Maryland Regiment, and the 6th Maryland Regiment were recruited in the county.

During the War of 1812, the one of the original six heavy frigates of the recently reestablished United States Navy, "U.S.S. Constitution" sailed from Annapolis prior to its victorious engagement with the "H.M.S. Guerriere" of the British Royal Navy.

On May 22, 1830, the inaugural horse-drawn train of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad travelled the 13 miles (21 km) of the newly completed track from Mount Clare Station in southwestern Baltimore City to Ellicott Mills, (now Ellicott City), then in the Western or Howard District (now Howard County) of Anne Arundel County. This was the first regular railroad passenger service in the United States. In 1831, land west of the railroad was considered the Howard District of Anne Arundel County. In 1851, The Howard District was broken off to form Howard County, now the 21st county in Maryland (of 23).

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Anne Arundel County
Anne Arundel County
Anne Arundel County