Alsop's Maryland: A Character of the Province of Maryland


In 1658, George Alsop left England for Maryland, where he worked as an “indented” servant in Baltimore County, under the government of Lord Baltimore. It seems highly probable that the lord proprietor and governor, both eager to attract laborers, encouraged Alsop to write this glowing account of the province. Alsop paints an extremely enticing picture of the bountiful natural resources of Mary-Land, followed by a discussion of the merits of “her well ordered Government,” and her virtuous settlers. The benefits of apprenticeship and the necessity of servitude are discussed. “And what’s a four years Servitude to advantage a man all the remainder of his dayes, making his predecessors happy in his sufficient abilities, which he attained to partly by the restrainment of so small a time?” The section on trade and commerce discusses the three main commodities of tobacco, “furr and flesh.” Alsop’s flattering words do not extend to his horror-filled chapter on the customs, manners and religion of the Susquehanock Indians. This slender volume, reprinted from the original edition of 1666, is enhanced by an introduction by Newton D. Mereness, Ph.D. that offers a glimpse of the author’s life and times. The book concludes with a collection of letters written by the author.


George Alsop


(1666, 1902, 2001), 2015, 5½x8½, paper, 116 pp.

ISBN: 9780788419713