Coltons Point in St. Mary's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
"With a laudable and pious zeal for the propagation of the Christian faith"
Catholic leaders were determine to practice their religion as the planted their new Maryland Colony. They had left an England that was persecuting Catholics and a Europe racked by bloody religious wars.
Lord Baltimore, Cecil Calvert, instructed Catholic settlers to "treate the Protestants with as much mildness and favor as Justice will permitt." By 1649, the Maryland General Assembly made this policy official. The "Act Concerning Religion" declared that "no person or persons...professing beleeve in Jesus Christ...shall [be in] any waies troubled, molested or discountenance...in respect of his or her Religion." Seventeenth-century Maryland was a leader on the road to religious toleration.
[image of 1634 colonists on St. Clement's Island] "In this place on our b[lessed] ladies day in lent, we first offered [the sacrifice of the mass], erected a crosse, and with devotion took solemne possession of the Country."
A Homemade Symbol of Religious Toleration
In 1934, people gathered here on Maryland's 300th birthday to remember the first settlers and their quest for religious toleration. A 40-foot cross, pictured here from the island's lighthouse tower during the ceremonies, has been a landmark ever since. It was a home-grown monument, constructed during the Great Depression from 50-gallon oil barrels filled with cement and a plywood frame covered with stucco.
[photo of 1634 ceremonies]
Location. 38° 12.504′ N, 76° 44.663′ W. Marker is in Coltons Point, Maryland, in St. Mary's County. Marker can be reached from Point Breeze Road 0.2 miles east of Colton Point Road (Maryland Route 242). Marker is on St. Clements Island which is only accessibly by boat. A ferry operates on weekends from the St. Clement's Island Museum on Point Breeze Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Coltons Point MD 20626, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. St. Clement's Island (a few steps from this marker); Welcome to St. Clement's Island (within shouting distance of this marker); A Target for Big Guns (within shouting distance of this marker); Blackistone Island Lighthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); "...one of the pleasantest summer resorts on the Potomac" (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Shrinking Island (about 600 feet away); Maryland Began Here! (approx. ¼ mile away); a different marker also named Welcome to St. Clement's Island (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Coltons Point.
Categories. • Churches & Religion • Colonial Era • Settlements & Settlers •
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Credits. This page was last revised on November 22, 2019. This page originally submitted on November 7, 2009, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 677 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on November 7, 2009, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland.