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 (1603–60). 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).
In 1654, after the Third English Civil War, Parliamentary forces assumed control of Maryland and Stone went into exile in Virginia. Per orders from Charles Calvert, fifth Lord Baltimore, Stone returned the following spring at the head of a Cavalier force. On March 25, 1655, in what is known as the Battle of the Severn, Stone was defeated, taken prisoner, and replaced by Lt. Gen. Josias Fendall (1628–87) as fifth Proprietary Governor. Fendall governed Maryland during the latter half of the Commonwealth. In 1660, he was replaced by Phillip Calvert (1626–82) as fifth/sixth Governor of Maryland), after the restoration of Charles II (1630–85) as King in England.
In 1694, soon after the overthrow of the Catholic government of Thomas Lawrence, Francis Nicholson moved the capital of the royal colony to Anne Arundel's Towne and renamed the town Annapolis after Princess Anne of Denmark and Norway, soon to be the Queen of Great Britain. Annapolis was incorporated as a city in 1708.
17th century Annapolis was little more than a village, but it grew rapidly for most of the 18th century until the American Revolutionary War as a political and administrative capital, a port of entry, and a major center of the Atlantic slave trade. The Maryland Gazette, which became an important weekly journal, was founded there by Jonas Green in 1745; in 1769 a theatre was opened; during this period also the commerce was considerable, but declined rapidly after Baltimore, with its deeper harbor, was made a port of entry in 1780. Water trades such as oyster-packing, boatbuilding and sailmaking became the city's chief industries. Annapolis is home to a large number of recreational boats that have largely replaced the seafood industry in the city.
Dr. Alexander Hamilton (1712 – 1756) was a Scottish-born doctor and writer who lived and worked in Annapolis. Leo Lemay says his 1744 travel diary Gentleman's Progress: The Itinerarium of Dr. Alexander Hamilton is "the best single portrait of men and manners, of rural and urban life, of the wide range of society and scenery in colonial America."
Annapolis became the temporary capital of the United States after the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783. Congress was in session in the state house from November 26, 1783 to June 3, 1784, and it was in Annapolis on December 23, 1783, that General Washington resigned his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army.
For the 1783 Congress, the Governor of Maryland commissioned John Shaw, a local cabinet maker, to create an American flag. The flag is slightly different from other designs of the time. The blue field extends over the entire height of the hoist. Shaw created two versions of the flag: one which started with a red stripe and another that started with a white one.
In 1786, delegates from all states of the Union were invited to meet in Annapolis to consider measures for the better regulation of commerce. Delegates from only five states—New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Jersey, and Delaware—actually attended the convention, known afterward as the "Annapolis Convention." Without proceeding to the business for which they had met, the delegates passed a resolution calling for another convention to meet at Philadelphia in the following year to amend the Articles of Confederation. The Philadelphia convention drafted and approved the Constitution of the United States, which is still in force.
During this period, a prisoner of war parole camp, 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.
Close by are the state treasury building, erected late in the 17th century for the House of Delegates; Saint Anne's Protestant Episcopal church, in later colonial days a state church; a statue of Roger B. Taney (by W.H. Rinehart); and a statue of Baron Johann de Kalb.
On December 21, 1906, Henry Davis was lynched in the city. He was suspected of assaulting a local woman. Nobody was ever tried for the crime.
Annapolis has many 18th-century houses. The names of several of the streets—King George's, Prince George's, Hanover, and Duke of Gloucester, etc.—date from colonial days.
The United States Naval Academy was founded here in 1845. During World War II, shipyards in Annapolis built a number of PT Boats, and military vessels such as minesweepers and patrol boats were built in Annapolis during the Korean and Vietnam wars. It was at Annapolis in July 1940 that Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg arrived in exile during World War II.
In the summer of 1984, the Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis hosted soccer games as part of the XXIII Olympiad.
During September 18–19, 2003, Hurricane Isabel created the largest storm surge known in Annapolis's history, cresting at 7.58 ft (2.31 m). Much of downtown Annapolis was flooded and many businesses and homes in outlying areas were damaged. The previous record was 6.35 feet (1.94 m) during a hurricane in 1933, and 5.5 ft (1.7 m) during Hurricane Hazel in 1954.
The 1998 Comprehensive Plan will soon be replaced with a new document, containing initiatives and directives of the city government on development and infrastructure. This process was mandated by Maryland state law in the Economic Growth, Resource Protection, and Planning Act of 1992. Annapolis Charter 300 and EnVISIONing Annapolis co-sponsored a public lecture series from September 2007 through June 2008 exploring these issues.
From mid-2007 through December 2008, the city celebrated the 300th anniversary of its 1708 Royal Charter, which established democratic self-governance. The many cultural events of this celebration were organized by Annapolis Charter 300.
Annapolis is the only capital city in America east of the Mississippi River without rail transport of any sort. From 1840 to 1968, Annapolis was connected to the outside world by railroad. The Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis Railroad (WB&A) operated two electrified interurban lines that brought passengers into the city from both the South and the North. The southern route ran down King George Street and Main Street, leading directly to the statehouse, while the northern route entered town via Glen Burnie. In 1935, the WB&A went bankrupt due to the effects of the Great Depression and suspended service along its southern route, while the newly created Baltimore and Annapolis Railroad (B&A) retained service on the northern route. Steam trains of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad also occasionally operated over the line to Annapolis, primarily for special Naval Academy movements. Passenger rail service on the B&A was eventually discontinued in 1950; freight service ceased in 1968 after the dilapidated trestle crossing the Severn River was condemned. The tracks were eventually dismantled in 1976.
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.
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 Street, Colonial Players produces approximately six shows a year it its 180-seat theater. A Christmas Carol has been a seasonal tradition in Annapolis since it opened at the Colonial Players theater in 1981. Based on the play by Charles Dickens, the 90-minute production by the Colonial Players is an original musical adaptation, with play and lyrics by Richard Wade and music by Dick Gessner. Colonial Players, Inc. is a nonprofit organization founded in 1949. Its first production, The Male Animal, was performed in 1949 at the Annapolis Recreation Center on Compromise Street. In 1955, the organization moved to its venue in a former automotive repair shop on East Street.
During the warmer months, Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre presents three shows on its outdoor stage, which is visible from the City Dock. A nonprofit organization, Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre has been providing "theatre under the stars" since 1966, when it performed You Can't Take It with You and Brigadoon at Carvel Hall Hotel. It began leasing its site at 143 Compromise Street, the former location of the Shaw Blacksmith Shop, in 1967, and became owner of the property in 1990.
The Naval Academy Masqueraders, a theater group at the United State Naval Academy, produces one "main-stage show" each fall and student-directed one-act plays in the spring. Founded in 1847, the Masqueraders is the oldest extracurricular activity at the Naval Academy. Its shows, performed in Mahan Hall, are selected to support the Academy's English curriculum.
The King William Players, a student theater group at St. John's College, holds two performances each semester in the college's Francis Scott Key Auditorium. Admission is usually free and open to the public.
The Banneker-Douglass Museum, located in the historic Mount Moriah Church at 87 Franklin Street, documents the history of African Americans in Maryland. Since its opening on February 24, 1984, the museum has provided educational programs, rotating exhibits, and a research facility. Admission is free.
Preble Hall, named for Edward Preble, houses the U.S. Naval Academy Museum, founded in 1845. Its Beverley R. Robinson Collection contains 6,000 prints depicting European and American naval history from 1514 through World War II. It is also home to one of the world's best ship model collections, donated by Henry Huttleston Rogers. Rogers's donation was the impetus for the construction of Preble Hall. The museum has approximately 100,000 visitors each year.
The Hammond-Harwood House, located at 19 Maryland Avenue, was built in 1774 for Matthias Hammond, a wealthy Maryland farmer. Its design was adapted by William Buckland (architect) from Andrea Palladio's Villa Pisani to accommodate American Colonial regional preferences. Since 1940, when the house was purchased from St. John's College by the Hammond-Harwood House Association, it has served as a museum exhibiting a collection of John Shaw furniture and Charles Willson Peale paintings. Its exterior and interior preserve the original architecture of a mansion from the late Colonial period.
The Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley memorial, located at the head of the city's harbor, commemorates the arrival point of Alex Haley's African ancestor, Kunta Kinte, whose story is related in Haley's book Roots. A sculpture group at the memorial site portrays Alex Haley seated, reading from a book to three children. The final phase of the memorial's construction was completed in 2002.
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.
The Annapolis area was the home of a VLF-transmitter called NSS Annapolis, which 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.
As announced by United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Annapolis was the venue for a Middle East summit dealing with the Israeli–Palestinian peace process, 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.
Located 25 miles (40 km) south of Baltimore and 30 miles (48 km) east of Washington D.C., Annapolis is the closest state capital to the national capital.
The city is a part of the Atlantic Coastal Plain, and is relatively flat, with the highest point being only 50 feet (15 m) above sea level.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.10 square miles (20.98 km2), of which 7.18 square miles (18.60 km2) is land and 0.92 square miles (2.38 km2) is water.
Annapolis lies within the humid subtropical climate zone (Köppen Cfa), with hot, humid summers, cool winters, and generous precipitation year-round. Low elevation and proximity to the Chesapeake Bay give the area more moderate spring and summertime temperatures and slightly less extreme winter lows than locations further inland, such as Washington, D.C.
As of the census of 2010, there were 38,394 people, 16,136 households, and 8,776 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,347.4 inhabitants per square mile (2,064.6/km2). There were 17,845 housing units at an average density of 2,485.4 per square mile (959.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 60.1% White, 26.0% African American, 0.3% Native American, 2.1% Asian, 9.0% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 16.8% of the population.
There were 16,136 households, of which 26.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.3% were married couples living together, 14.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 45.6% were non-families. 35.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 3.02.
The median age in the city was 36 years. 20.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 31.1% were from 25 to 44; 25.3% were from 45 to 64; and 13% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.8% male and 52.2% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 35,838 people, 15,303 households, and 8,676 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,326.0 people per square mile (2,056.0/km²). There were 16,165 housing units at an average density of 2,402.3 per square mile (927.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 62.66% White, 31.44% Black or African American, 0.17% Native American, 1.81% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 2.22% from other races, and 1.67% from two or more races. 8.42% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 15,303 households, out of which 24.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.6% were married couples living together, 16.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.3% were non-families. 32.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.93.
In the city, the population was spread out with 21.7% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 33.4% from 25 to 44, 23.7% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 90.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over there were 86.8 males age 18 and over.
The median income for a household in the city was $49,243, and the median income for a family was $56,984 (these figures had risen to $70,140 and $84,573 respectively, according to a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $39,548 versus $30,741 for females. The per capita income for the city was $27,180. About 9.5% of families and 12.7% of the population were living in poverty, of which 20.8% were under age 18 and 10.4% were age 65 or over.
According to the City's 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city, excluding state and local government, are:
The Annapolis Department of Transportation (ADOT) provides bus service with eight routes, collectively branded Annapolis Transit. The system serves the city with recreational areas, shopping centers, educational and medical facilities, and employment hubs. ADOT also offers transportation for the elderly and persons with disabilities. Several Maryland Transit Administration commuter buses also allow for access to Baltimore or Washington, D.C.
Annapolis is governed via the weak mayor system. The city council consists of eight aldermen who are elected from single member wards. The mayor is elected directly in a citywide vote. Since 2008, several aldermen have introduced unsuccessful charter amendments to institute a council-manager system, a move opposed by both Democratic mayor Joshua J. Cohen and his Republican successor Mike Pantelides.
The state legislature, governor's office, and appellate courts are located in Annapolis. While Annapolis is the state's only capital, some administrative offices, including a number of cabinet-level departments, are based in Baltimore.
Annapolis is served by the Anne Arundel County Public Schools system.
Founded in 1896, Annapolis High School has an internationally recognized IB International Program. 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. Anne Arundel County's alternative high school, Mary E. Moss Academy, is also in the Annapolis area.
Public High Schools that serve students in the Annapolis area:Annapolis High School
Arundel High School
Broadneck High School
Old Mill High School
Severna Park High School
Southern High School
South River High School
On March 9, 2010, the Chesapeake Bayhawks of Major League Lacrosse moved from Washington D.C. to the Annapolis area, at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. In 2013, the Bayhawks won the league's championship, the Steinfeld Cup, for the fifth time.
The City boasts over 200 acres (81 ha) of parkland, with the largest park being the 70-acre Truxtun Heights Park. The city is also home to Quiet Waters Park, a 340-acre park run by the county.
The Capital covers the news of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County See also: List of newspapers in Maryland in the 18th-century: AnnapolisJohn Henry Alexander (1812–1867), born in Annapolis, noted scientist, businessman, and author
Bill Belichick (1952–), lived in Annapolis, head coach of the New England Patriots
John Beale Bordley (1727–1804), noted government official, farmer, and author
James M. Cain (1892–1977), born in Annapolis, author of Double Indemnity, Mildred Pierce and The Postman Always Rings Twice
Michele Carey (1943-), born in Annapolis, actress, El Dorado, Live a Little, Love a Little
Donald Brown (1963-), pro football player
Charles Carroll (1723–1783), Continental Congressman from Maryland
Charles Carroll of Carrollton (1737–1832), United States Senator and signer of United States Declaration of Independence
Peter K. Cullins (1928–2012), U.S. Navy admiral
John Wilson Danenhower (1849–1887), Arctic explorer of Jeannette expedition
John Beale Davidge (1768–1829), doctor associated with development of several surgeries, author, co-founder of University of Maryland, and professor there
Henry Winter Davis (1817–1865), United States Representative from Maryland
Daniel Dulany the Younger (1722–1797), born in Annapolis, prominent Loyalist and one of the most powerful lawyers in America prior to the American Revolutionary War
Robert Duvall, actor, lived in downtown Annapolis
John Davidson Godman (1794–1830), born in Annapolis naturalist, anatomist, college professor and author
Jon Eubanks, Republican member of Arkansas House of Representatives from Logan County; graduated from high school in Annapolis.
John Hall (1729–1797), born in Annapolis, delegate to the Continental Congress from Maryland
Alexander Contee Hanson (1749–1806), born in Annapolis, noted jurist
Alexander Contee Hanson (1786–1819), born in Annapolis, son of the above, United States Congressman and Senator from Maryland
Samuel M. Harrington (1882–1948), born in Annapolis, USMC Brigadier General
Reverdy Johnson (1796–1876), born in Annapolis, United States Senator from Maryland and Attorney General of the United States
Philip Barton Key, Jr. (1804–1854), Annapolis lawyer who relocated to Louisiana, where he was a planter and a state legislator
Barbara Kingsolver (1955-), born in Annapolis, novelist and poet
Iris Krasnow (1954-), author, journalism professor, and keynote speaker
Frank J. Larkin, resident of Annapolis, Sergeant at Arms of the United States Senate
James Booth Lockwood (1852–1884), born in Annapolis, army officer and Arctic explorer; the person who named Lockwood Island
Margaret Mercer (1791–1846), born in Annapolis, noted author, educator, and member of the American Colonization Society
William Duhurst Merrick (1818–1889), born in Annapolis, lawyer, professor at George Washington University, and United States Senator from Maryland
Debbie Meyer (1952-), born in Annapolis, 3-time Olympic swimming gold medalist
William Paca (1740–1799), signatory to the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Maryland
Travis Pastrana, X-Games athlete, former NASCAR driver
Christian Siriano, fashion designer and winner of the fourth season of Project Runway
Thorne Smith (1892–1934), author of Topper
Stan Stearns (1935−2012), photographer of the iconic image of a three-year-old John F. Kennedy, Jr. saluting the coffin of his father, US President John F. Kennedy, at his father's funeral.
Leo Strauss (1899–1973), German-born Jewish political philosopher who specialized in the study of classical philosophy; spent his last three years of life teaching at St. John's in Annapolis
Mark Teixeira (1980-), born in Annapolis, professional baseball player for New York Yankees
St. Clair Wright (1910–1993), preservationist and gardener
Annapolis is a sister city of these municipalities: Tallinn, Estonia
Newport, Pembrokeshire, Wales, United Kingdom
Dumfries, Scotland, United Kingdom
Wexford, County Wexford, Leinster, Ireland
Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, Canada
Redwood City, California, U.S.
Niterói, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil