In March 1634, the first English settlers arrived at St. Clement’s Island in St. Mary’s County aboard the Ark and the Dove.
Although the English laid claim to the land for a new colony, St. Clement’s Island was part of a large landscape that had been inhabited by the Piscataway people for thousands of years. The colonists lingered there for a few weeks, while English leaders met with Piscataway leaders. Then, having decided that the 400-acre island was too small for their settlement, the English moved downriver to the site that would become St. Mary’s City and Maryland’s first capital.
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