Annapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Maryland, as well as the county seat of Anne Arundel County. It had a population of 38,394 at the 2010 census and is situated on the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Severn River, 26 miles (42 km) south of Baltimore and about 29 miles (47 km) east of Washington, D.C. Annapolis is part of the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. The city was the temporary capital of the United States in 1783–1784 and the site of the Annapolis Peace Conference, held in November 2007, at the United States Naval Academy. Annapolis is the home of St. John's College.
Colonial and early United States (1649–1808)
A settlement in the Province of Maryland named Providence was founded on the north shore of the Severn River in 1649 by Puritan exiles from Virginia led by Governor William Stone. The settlers later moved to a better-protected harbor on the south shore. The settlement on the south shore was initially named "Town at Proctor's," then "Town at the Severn," and later "Anne Arundel's Towne" (after the wife of Lord Baltimore who died soon afterwards). The city became very wealthy through the slave trade.
Civil War era (1849–late 1800s)
During this period, a prisoner of war Camp Parole was set up in Annapolis. As the war continued, the camp expanded to a larger location just west of the city. The area is still referred to as Parole. Wounded Union soldiers and Confederate prisoners were brought by sea to a major hospital in Annapolis.
In 1900, Annapolis had a population of 8,585.To the north of the state house is a monument to Thurgood Marshall, the first black justice of the US Supreme Court and formerly a Maryland lawyer who won many important civil rights cases.
The State House
The Maryland State House is the oldest in continuous legislative use in the United States. Construction started in 1772, and the Maryland legislature first met there in 1779. It is topped by the largest wooden dome built without nails in the country. The Maryland State House housed the workings of the United States government from November 26, 1783 to August 13, 1784, and the Treaty of Paris was ratified there on January 14, 1784, so Annapolis became the first peacetime capital of the US.
It was in the Maryland State House that George Washington famously resigned his commission before the Continental Congress on December 23, 1783.
United States Naval Academy
The United States Naval Academy was founded in 1845 on the site of Fort Severn, and now occupies an area of land reclaimed from the Severn River next to the Chesapeake Bay.
St. John's College
Annapolis is the seat of St. John's College, a non-sectarian private college that was once supported by the state; it was opened in 1789 as the successor of King William's School, which was founded by an act of the Maryland legislature in 1696 and was opened in 1701. Its principal building, McDowell Hall, was originally to be the governor's mansion; although £4,000 was appropriated to build it in 1742, it was not completed until after the War of Independence.
Annapolis has a thriving community theater scene which includes two venues in the historic district. On East St. is Colonial Players, a company that produces approximately six shows a year on its small theater-in-the-round stage. From 1981 through 2008, Colonial Players produced a musical version of A Christmas Carol, which they commissioned. Feeling that the production had become stale, the holiday show was replaced with another play in 2009. Public reaction was unfavorable, and A Christmas Carol returned in December 2010. During the warmer months, Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre presents three shows on its stage, which is visible from the City Dock. All shows put on by King Williams Players, the student theater group at St. John's College, are free and open to the public. Annapolis is also host to The Bay Theater Company, a non-profit professional drama group. The Naval Academy Masqueraders put on several productions annually in Mahan Hall.
Museums, Historical Sites, and Monuments
The Banneker-Douglass Museum, located in the historic Mount Moriah Church at 87 Franklin Street, documents the history of African Americans in Maryland. The museum offers free admission, educational programs, rotating exhibits, and a research facility.Preble Hall houses the U.S. Naval Academy Museum. It was named for Edward Preble.
The Hammond-Harwood House is originally belonged to Matthias Hammond, and has now been restored. Tours are now offered.The Kunta Kinte- Alex Haley memorial is located in downtown Annapolis, on the harbor. It commemorates the place of arrival of Alex Haley's African ancestor, Kunta Kinte. The story of Kunta Kinte is related in Haley's book Roots.
The Paca House And Garden encompasses an 18th-century Georgian mansion constructed by William Paca, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The property includes a terraced garden that has been restored to its colonial-era design.A number of structures are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Annapolis area was the home of a VLF-transmitter called NSS Annapolis,that was used by the United States Navy to communicate with its Atlantic submarine fleet. Annapolis often serves as the end point for the 3,000 mile annual transcontinental Race Across America bicycle race.
Middle East Peace Conference
As announced by United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Annapolis was the venue for a Middle East summit, with the participation of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ("Abu Mazen") and various other leaders from the region. The conference was held on Monday, November 26, 2007.
Annapolis is governed via the mayor council system. The city council consists of eight members who are elected from single member wards. The mayor is elected directly in a citywide vote.
The State Capitol is located in Annapolis. In addition several state agencies are headquartered in Annapolis. Executive departments include the Comptroller of the Treasury, Department of Budget and Management, the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Information Technology, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Independent agencies include the Maryland State Ethics Commission. The Maryland State Archives is located in Annapolis.
Annapolis is served by the Anne Arundel County Public Schools system.Founded in 1896, Annapolis High School has an internationally recognized IB International Program. Nearby Broadneck High School (founded in 1982) and Annapolis both have Advanced Placement Programs. St. Mary's High School and Elementary School are located in downtown Annapolis on Spa Creek. St. Anne's School of Annapolis, Eastport Elementary School, Aleph Bet Jewish Day School, Annapolis Area Christian School, St. Martins Lutheran School, Severn School, and Indian Creek School are also in the Annapolis area. The Key School, located on a converted farm in the neighborhood of Hillsmere, has also served Annapolis for over 50 years.
On March 9, 2010, The Chesapeake Bayhawks of Major League Lacrosse moved from Washington D.C. to the Annapolis area, currently at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. On August 22, 2010, the Bayhawks won the Steinfeld Cup for the third time.