Archives and History

From the Archives: Yellow Fever in Baltimore

The scourge of Yellow Fever descended upon Baltimore numerous times in the past centuries, two of the worst outbreaks occurred in 1794 and 1800. Hardest hit was always Fells Point, where sailors, laborers, tradesmen and their families lived. With a fast-growing population of about 15,000, during the 1794 epidemic, up to 25 Baltimoreans died each day.

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From the Archives: Lent

Lent, which derives its name from the Old English word lencten, which mean “springtime,” and from the West Germanic langitinaz, or “lengthening of days,” is a time of preparation for Easter, beginning on Ash Wednesday and lasting fourty days.

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From the Archives: African Americans and Trinity Church, Baltimore’s, Parish Register

Trinity Church in Baltimore was begun in 1804 in Fells Point and flourished for over thirty years until German families began moving into the area, and yellow fever epidemics decimated the congregation. The church building was sold to a German Lutheran congregation in 1836, but before that time Trinity’s rector, the Rev. Elisha Rattoone, had recorded the names of several African American persons he had married or baptized.

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From the Archives: African American History in our Archives

Since delegates at our Diocesan Convention passed Resolution 2019-06 regarding racial reconciliation and reparations, there has been renewed interest in finding records of enslaved persons and other African Americans with ties to the Diocese of Maryland. As noted in a recent issue of Smithsonian Magazine, several new data bases are being launched to add to our knowledge of the lives of enslaved people in North America, including Enslaved: Peoples of the Historic Slave Trade and Freedom Narratives. Investigations are also ongoing concerning post-Civil War narratives, including segregation, Jim Crow laws and unfair practices in housing, education and hiring. Although our archives is small, we possess many documents which can enhance our knowledge of African American life in Maryland over the past 400 years.

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