Historic St. Mary City, April 30, 2021 – Maryland Governor Larry Hogan visited Historic St. Mary City(HSMC), a living history museum at the site of Maryland’s first capital and the fourth oldest English Colonial settlement in the nation, to unveil historic artifacts at the recently discovered St. Mary’s Fort, along with Historic St. Mary’s City archaeologist Dr. Travis Parno, Director of Research and Collections.
Among the artifacts Governor Hogan unveiled included a 1633/1634 King Charles I silver shilling, an early 17th-century copper saints medallion, and a copper “tinkling cone” (an object worn by Native peoples).
- 1633/1634 King Charles I silver shilling: originally struck at the Tower of London. Bears a portcullis maker’s mark which was in use in 1633 and 1634. Coins are rare in early Maryland; most transactions were executed using pounds of tobacco. This coin, definitely dated to the era of the fort’s construction, supports the identification of the site as St. Mary’s Fort.
- Tinkling cone: Copper alloy cone that would have been strung on a knotted leather cord and worn by Native people on clothing or in the hair. Likely of colonial manufacture for trade. Evidence of Native-colonial interaction in the early 17th century.
- Five saints medallion: Small religious medal depicting five saints canonized by Pope Gregory XV in 1622: Ignatius Loyola, Francis Xavier, Philip Neri, Theresa of Avila, and Isidore of Madrid. Loyola and Xavier are Jesuit saints who have been featured on other religious medals found at Historic St. Mary’s City. Speaks to the Jesuit mission of spreading Christianity; medals were often used as tools of conversion.