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Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, March 1697/8-July 1699
Volume 22, Preface 7   View pdf image (33K)
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The sessions of Assembly, held in March and October, 1698, did not
pass without the usual bickerings between the Governor and the Lower
House. Both sides were suspicious, captious about punctilios, and
ready to see offence where none was intended. However, the news
that Nicholson was about to be removed to the government of Virginia
begat a more amicable feeling, and they parted with expressions of
mutual good will.

In 1697 an epidemic of some sort prevailed in Charles county. It
having been found that the sick were benefited by drinking the waters
of the Cool Springs in St. Mary's county, in 1698 an act was passed
for purchasing these springs and the adjoining land at the public
expense. Here cottages were to be erected and furnished with fuel
and other necessaries for the free use of the sick poor. A trace of the
bigotry of the time appears in a complaint of the Delegates to the
Governor that the Roman Catholic priests had a habit of going among
the sick and dying, administering the sacraments, which " extravagant
and presumptuous behaviour " they ask him to prohibit by proclamation.

A somewhat humorous incident of the October session was this;—
Nicholson, desirous, before his departure from Maryland, to heap coals
of fire upon the heads of the perverse Delegates, applied to the English
Committee of Trade to procure from the King an Act of pardon for
the Province. The Committee (in some wonder, we may surmise) did
so, and the Act was signed and transmitted. The Delegates, far from
being overjoyed at the royal clemency, drily remarked that they were
not conscious that the Province labored under any guilt, and therefore
humbly conceived that no pardon was needed. Nicholson, in high
dudgeon, told them that they were the first people he had ever heard
of that refused their King's mercy, and since they had so little grace,
he would at once put into execution all the judgments on navigation
bonds, which he had not intended to do. The Delegates, however,
were firm in declining to accept pardon where they were conscious of
no offence, and the King's peace returned to him again.


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Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, March 1697/8-July 1699
Volume 22, Preface 7   View pdf image (33K)
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