“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
St. Mary's City in St. Mary's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Encountering the Other


Encountering the Other Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), August 30, 2019
1. Encountering the Other Marker
Inscription.  American Indians have lived in the Chesapeake Bay area for at least 12,000 years and were the first inhabitants of what is now St. Mary's City.

When English colonists arrived in 1634, the local Yaocomaco Indians made an agreement with them. The Indians gave the settlers land and the right to inhabit a small hamlet in exchange for English cloth and metal tools. The two groups lived side by side for the next several months.

The Yaocomaco people taught the new residents how to prepare fields and to grow corn and other crops. These basic skills provided the means for the colony's survival. While their relationship was generally peaceful, the pressure from European settlers seeking to occupy land eventually forced American Indians to move away from this region.

"...their chiefe care must be to make choice of ap lace first that is probably to be healthfull and fruitful, net that it may be easily fortified, and thirdly that it may be convenient for trade both with the English and savages."
Lord Baltimore's Instructions to the Colonists, 1633

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Calvert agreed to give the Yaocomaco Indians "hatches, axes, hoes and some amount of cloth" in exchange for the land the colonists received.

This American Indian effigy pipe was found at an archaeological site at Historic St. Mary's City. It was probably deposited thee around 1656. The pipe was designed so that the human effigy faced the smoker.

Yaocomaco Indians Living in St. Mary's River Valley for Hundreds of Years

Yaocomaco Indians Begin Relocation to Escape Susquehannock Indian Attacks

Colonists Arrive in Maryland and Reach Agreement with Yaocomaco to Occupy Abandoned Village

Yaocomaco Indians No Longer Inhabit St. Mary's River Valley

There are no known drawings by native people of the Chesapeake area that survive from the 17th century. This image of an Indian village is one of a handful of drawings done from a European perspective depicting Indian lifeways along the mid-Atlantic coast during the 16th and 17th centuries.

The Yaocomaco witchotts (houses) may have been furnished much like this one when occupied by the English. The English probably used the structures in the same manner as the Indians, as a dry place to sleep and store goods, with most work and activities taking
Encountering the Other Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), August 30, 2019
2. Encountering the Other Marker
place outside.
Erected by Historic St. Mary's City.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial EraNative AmericansNotable PlacesSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1634.
Location. 38° 10.918′ N, 76° 25.812′ W. Marker is in St. Mary's City, Maryland, in St. Mary's County. Marker can be reached from Hogaboom Lane, 0.7 miles west of Rosecroft Road, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 18751 Hogaboom Lane, Saint Marys City MD 20686, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. An Opportunity Awaits... (a few steps from this marker); Where is the City? (within shouting distance of this marker); "a lande, even as God made it" (within shouting distance of this marker); The Calvert Family and the Founding of Maryland (within shouting distance of this marker); Historic St. Mary's City (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Welcome to the Chapel Field (about 400 feet away); Why Is This Barn Here? (about 600 feet away); A Land in Need of Labor (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in St. Mary's City.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 2, 2019. It was originally submitted on September 2, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 141 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 2, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Jun. 4, 2023