The Archaeology of the Aesthetic
2008 marked the 300th anniversary of Annapolis’ Royal Charter. Annapolis was founded in 1649 by Puritans and other religious radicals pushed out of Anglican Virginia and welcomed in religiously-tolerant Maryland. In 1708 Queen Anne of Great Britain gave Annapolis its City Charter, establishing a representative government for some and marking the beginning of the struggle for full voting rights and emancipation for others. This was the first lasting democratic process in Maryland, or in any of the southern colonies. It also laid bare an important reality of the eighteenth century world: many people were not free or enfranchised (Annapolis Charter 300-Annapolis Alive! 2008). We commemorated this anniversary by celebrating the quest for liberty, which has characterized Annapolis since its inception. It was home to religious dissidents, political dissidents during the American Revolution, many free African Americans before Emancipation who fought very hard for the freedom of the enslaved, as well as African Americans after the Civil War who fought for the civil rights that they were continually denied.
KeywordsEighteenth Century African American Family Historic Preservation American Revolution African American Culture
Mark Leone is grateful to Paul Mullins for direction to Eagleton’s The Ideology of the Aesthetic.
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