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Gov. Larry Hogan Visits Historic St. Mary City to Unveil Historic 1600s Artifacts

With archaeologist Dr. Travis Parno, among the artifacts Governor Hogan unveiled includes a recently discovered 1633/1634 King Charles I silver shilling

Governor Larry Hogan (center), with Dr. Travis Parno (left) and Senator Jack Bailey, discussing artifacts discovered at St. Mary's Fort.

Photo Credit: Joseph Andrucyk; Maryland Governor’s Office

Historic St. Mary City, April 30, 2021 - Maryland Governor Larry Hogan visited Historic St. Mary City(HSMC), a living history museum at the site of Maryland’s first capital and the fourth oldest English Colonial settlement in the nation, to unveil historic artifacts at the recently discovered St. Mary’s Fort, along with Historic St. Mary’s City archaeologist Dr. Travis Parno, Director of Research and Collections.

Among the artifacts Governor Hogan unveiled included a 1633/1634 King Charles I silver shilling, an early 17th-century copper saints medallion, and a copper “tinkling cone” (an object worn by Native peoples).

1633/1634 King Charles I silver shilling: originally struck at the Tower of London. Bears a portcullis maker's mark which was in use in 1633 and 1634. Coins are rare in early Maryland; most transactions were executed using pounds of tobacco. This coin, definitely dated to the era of the fort's construction, supports the identification of the site as St. Mary's Fort.

Tinkling cone: Copper alloy cone that would have been strung on a knotted leather cord and worn by Native people on clothing or in the hair. Likely of colonial manufacture for trade. Evidence of Native-colonial interaction in the early 17th century.

Five saints medallion: Small religious medal depicting five saints canonized by Pope Gregory XV in 1622: Ignatius Loyola, Francis Xavier, Philip Neri, Theresa of Avila, and Isidore of Madrid. Loyola and Xavier are Jesuit saints who have been featured on other religious medals found at Historic St. Mary's City. Speaks to the Jesuit mission of spreading Christianity; medals were often used as tools of conversion.

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About Historic St. Mary City (HSMC)

Historic St. Mary’s City (HSMC) is an outdoor museum of living history and archaeology, dedicated to studying and interpreting the lives of those who dwelled in the area that is currently known as St. Mary’s City. This includes the ancestors of contemporary Native American groups, including the Piscataway Indian Nation and Piscataway Conoy Tribe, who recognized the region’s unique environmental advantages and lived here for thousands of years. It includes the European colonists from all walks of life who made the brave decision to voyage to an unfamiliar land and make a home on the banks of what came to be called the St. Mary’s River. It also includes the people of African ancestry who were forced from their homes and transported across the Atlantic Ocean to labor in perpetual bondage. The interactions of these groups of people gave rise to the complex legacies of opportunity and oppression whose effects are still being felt today.

HSMC is responsible for the preservation of more than 800 acres of land and three miles of shoreline. The museum continues to make new archaeological discoveries and train future archaeologists with its annual Field School in Historical Archaeology, the longest running historical archaeological field school in the country. HSMC continues to engage both students and the general public in educational programs in novel and exciting ways, encouraging people of all ages to connect the past with their contemporary lives.

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