Maryland's Eastern Shore: A Journey in Time and Place Epub

Maryland's Eastern Shore: A Journey in Time and Place [Epub] ➞ Maryland's Eastern Shore: A Journey in Time and Place By John R. Wennersten – A hundred years ain't such a very long time on the Eastern Shore local farmers and watermen used to say and that is a telling refrain Past and present mix easily on the Shore and in this respect as we A hundred years Shore: A eBook ✓ ain't such a very long time on the Eastern Shore local farmers and watermen used to say and that is a telling refrain Past and present mix easily on the Shore and in this respect as well as in Maryland's Eastern PDF/EPUB or certain local customs and habits of language the region is very much still an old fashioned English society Until fairly recently the peninsula was one of the most geographically isolated regions on the Atlantic coast In this isolated society the most important factors Eastern Shore: A Kindle Ò have been agriculture seafaring and race a blend of soil sea and soul In his attempt to convey the special character of the region before accelerating change affects its transformation John Wennersten has used these themes as a framework for an absorbing narrative Eastern Shore: A Journey in eBook ✓ His insights into Eastern Shore: A Journey in eBook ✓ how these elements affected the development of the area and its current character take the story of the Eastern Shore beyond mere facts and into the realm of socio cultural history This is a fascinating overview of an unusual and perhaps vanishing lifestyle.

4 thoughts on “Maryland's Eastern Shore: A Journey in Time and Place

  1. Paul Haspel Paul Haspel says:

    Maryland’s Eastern Shore is truly an extraordinary place The nine counties that are separated from the rest of the State of Maryland by Chesapeake Bay have developed their own distinct history and culture – so much so that there was once a popular Eastern Shore ditty sung to the tune of “The Old Grey Mare Just Ain’t What She Used to Be” and containing the lyrics “We don’t give a damn for the whole state of Maryland – we’re from the Eastern Shore” And John Wennersten captures well the distinctive ualities of Eastern Shore life in his 1992 book Maryland’s Eastern Shore A Journey in Time and PlaceWennersten a professor of American history at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore organizes Maryland’s Eastern Shore geographically – starting with Cecil County in the north and working his way down to Somerset and Worcester counties in the south – and also thematically around the three themes of “Soil” country life in the Chesapeake “Soul” race relations on the Eastern Shore and “Sea” maritime society Those three core themes of Eastern Shore life are interwoven smoothly with Wennersten’s journey down the Eastern Shore of MarylandAs a Marylander who has spent a great deal of time in all nine Eastern Shore counties I found myself particularly interested in stories relating to those Eastern Shore locales where I have spent the most time For instance I taught for nine years at the community college in Cecil County at the top end of the Eastern Shore and therefore I was drawn to the story of how at the Elkton post office in 1843 Cecil Whig editor Palmer Ricketts killed his rival Cecil Democrat editor Amor Forwood Here is how it all went down After some back and forth over their ideological disagreements regarding the uestion of paying off the Maryland state debt Ricketts claimed that Forwood’s editorials not only were “insipid and puerile” but also contained many “philological errors” From there things only escalated Forwood exploded in anger and vowed to cowhide Ricketts and cut off his ears with a pair of scissors He also made threatening assertions that both men could not live in the same world together Ricketts armed himself with a revolver and prepared for a confrontation When they encountered each other on August 29 at noon at the post office a fist fight ensued During the struggle Palmer Ricketts took out his revolver and shot his editorial opponent This was the only time a man has died on the Eastern Shore over issues of philology and English grammar p 50In case you’re wondering Ricketts was acuitted of murder in the subseuent trial returned to his editorial duties at the Cecil Whig and continued with his newspaper work for another two decades Such I suppose was 19th century journalistic life on the Eastern Shore of MarylandWennersten provides a similarly detail rich portrait of storied Eastern Shore communities like Crisfield the seafood processing capital that took on uite the Wild West uality during its oyster boom town years in the early 20th century Wennersten characterizes the Crisfield of those times as “the town of the main chance where men gambled for fortunes and sometimes won” Even today when crabs have long since replaced oysters as the town’s economic mainstay Crisfield remains a place that “champions the rugged individual a man who can make a fortune through hard work hard bargaining and luckA hard shelled businessman with a shrewd eye can make a fortune or get badly clawed by his creditors” p 102 The crab metaphor that Wennersten deploys here fits for Crisfield as it would for few other towns on EarthIt is a matter of record that the Eastern Shore of Maryland has a particularly rich and strong African American cultural heritage That great cultural heritage developed amidst a grim history of racial injustice that is also a prominent feature of the Eastern Shore’s history Plantation slavery was entrenched on the Eastern Shore – both Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman were born into Eastern Shore slavery and successfully escaped from the cruelty and oppression of the “peculiar institution” – and during the Civil War the Eastern Shore was one of the most pro Confederate portions of any state that remained within the Union When the Civil War was over leading Eastern Shore whites who had advocated unremittingly for slavery pushed just as hard for a segregationist social system that would place blacks in a subordinate role – and Eastern Shore whites did not shy from using violence to maintain that systemLearning this history can be painful The details that Wennersten provides regarding lynchings in Salisbury and Princess Anne in the early 1930’s are blood chilling It is against that historical background that during the Civil Rights Era the African American community of Maryland’s Eastern Shore began to agitate strongly for much needed change particularly in the Dorchester County town of Cambridge Gloria Richardson a Cambridge resident who had studied at Howard University and then returned to her hometown formed her own Cambridge Nonviolent Action Committee and led Cambridge’s black community during face offs with segregationist whites police authorities and even the Maryland National Guard Defying police orders Gloria Richardsonled processions of black protesters down Pine Street to the steps of the Dorchester County Courthouse to hold prayer vigils and sing “We Shall Overcome” Within the black community Richardson was known as “Glorious Gloria” the woman who stood her ground before the police and the National Guard in an effort to open the door for black euality p 160There was rioting in Cambridge in 1963 and 1967 and the legacy of those riots has stayed with Cambridge ever since When I was growing up in Maryland Cambridge had a reputation as a “troubled town” Summertime beachgoers driving from the Balti or Washington area down to Delmarva’s coastal beach resorts would often cut across the farm country of central Delmarva on roads like Maryland Route 404 avoiding the direct US Route 50 the “Ocean Gateway” because it went through CambridgeToday than half a century after the riots Cambridge works to re define itself The Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort Spa and Marina established in 2002 represents Cambridge’s attempts to move forward from the city’s difficult past and establish a better future for all Hopefully that attempt will be successfulNot all parts of the Eastern Shore of Maryland have as difficult a history as Cambridge Easton and Talbot County have a strong association with wealth and affluence as Wennersten explains in a chapter titled “Gold Coast” In colonial times Talbot was home to a plantation aristocracy that built enormous wealth on the basis of tobacco harvested by enslaved people Frederick Douglass spent part of his youth enslaved at Edward Lloyd IV’s vast Wye Plantation in Talbot County Hundreds of years later Talbot has become a refuge for business executives top government officials and others who can afford Talbot County prices As Wennersten dryly puts it “Today’s Talbot County is truly an enjoyable place especially when you do not have to earn a living there Its secluded plantations uiet coves and navigable rivers make it a sailor’s and hunter’s delight All it takes is money for land is expensive and job opportunities are few” p 206And when one makes one’s way over to Worcester County the only Maryland county with an Atlantic Ocean boundary one inevitably finds oneself dealing with the coastal resort town of Ocean City – “a family place a raunchy place a romantic strand of the Atlantic all rolled into one” A “development nightmare” to advocates for environmental preservation a mecca for party minded high school and college students Ocean City is uniue among the communities of Maryland’s Eastern Shore Wennersten writes that There is a pulse to Ocean City that throbs with vast transfusions of money a resort where men and women gamble on boardwalk businesses that will net them money in three months than they could earn in a year Ocean City is also a racket a speculator’s bubble in real estate a place where people hustle the outsiders and each other p 253All that Wennersten says about Ocean City is true It is wild and weird and tacky I love it Maryland’s Eastern Shore A Journey in Time and Place captures well what is special and uniue about this extraordinary American region Its history to be sure is difficult and often tragic; but today I see people of goodwill from all backgrounds working together to try to build a better future for all And every time I cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge from Annapolis to Kent Island and see the big sign at Grasonville that says “Welcome to Maryland’s Eastern Shore” I find myself hoping that the future for the people of the Eastern Shore will be as bright as its landscape and seascape are beautiful

  2. Libby King Libby King says:

    Nice book A bit disappointed that there was not information on the upper eastern shore Cecil etc though I did appreciate what little there was uite a bit of interesting information about the middle and lower eastern shore and it was well written and uite interesting

  3. JoAnn/QuAppelle JoAnn/QuAppelle says:

    I would guess that this book never saw an editor If I had owned this book my editor's red pen would have been marking it up The book is full of innuendo and opinion too much information and trivia and was poorly organized A chore to readI never would have finished this except that I was reading it for a local book discussion group that is focusing on the Chesapeake

  4. Cheryl Cheryl says:

    An informative read particularly since I am a person who likes to visit local historical places I enjoyed learning a lot about this area I didn't realize that both Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglas were from Maryland let alone the Eastern Shore I have wanted to explore the area for some time but it seems so out of the way Now that I know about it that aspect is part of the appeal

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