Historic Annapolis Foundation

Annapolis: A Museum Without Walls

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CONTACT: Maria Day, 410-990-4539
DATE: Friday, February 04, 2005

St. Mary's Church and the African American Community

ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND, Friday, February 04, 2005—On Wednesday, February 23, 2005, Historic Annapolis Foundation will host a Black History Month lecture by St. Mary's Catholic Church Archivist, Dr. Robert L. Worden. The presentation, entitled Saint Mary's Church and the African-American Community, 1853-2005, will highlight the role African American parishioners of St. Mary's Church played in shaping the Annapolis we know today.

St. Mary's Catholic Colored School offered free education to both Catholic and non-Catholic African-American school children from the 1860s to the late 1940s. For nearly 20 years, St. Mary's also administered a separate Catholic mission church--St. Augustine's--in the Clay Street neighborhood. Using previously unavailable archival materials, Dr. Worden describes the development of these institutions against the backdrop of the colonial and Federal periods when African-Americans represented a major percentage of Catholics in Annapolis.

Robert Worden is the parish historian and Archivist of St. Mary's Parish since 1982. He earned a PhD in history from Georgetown University in 1972 and has lived in Annapolis since 1971. His 300+ year history of Catholics in Annapolis, Saint Mary's Church in Annapolis, Maryland: A Sesquicentennial History, 1853-2003, was published in 2003 as part of St. Mary's 150th anniversary celebration and drew upon many untapped archival resources.

The lecture will take place on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 at 7:30 p.m. in the conference room of the William Paca House, 186 Prince George Street, Annapolis. Hosted by the Historic Annapolis Foundation, the event is free and open to the public but space for the demonstration is limited. For reservations, call 410-267-8146.

Since 1952 Historic Annapolis Foundation has preserved the distinctive character of Maryland's capital city through public advocacy and guidelines, purchase and renovation, original research, and educational programs. The Foundation manages historic Annapolis properties including the William Paca House and Garden, Shiplap House, Museum Store, Waterfront Warehouse, and The Barracks. For more information go to www.annapolis.org.

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