Among Marylanders who have made major contributions to artistic and intellectual traditions are H. Mencken, the black abolitionist-statesman Frederick Douglass, the antislavery activist Harriet Tubman, the philanthropists George Peabody, Johns Hopkins, Enoch Pratt, and Henry Walters, and, in the 20th and 21st centuries, the novelists Anne Tyler and John Barth and the filmmakers Barry Levinson and John Waters.
Baltimore is the centre of much of the state’s activity in the arts.
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Baltimore has a professional baseball team, the Orioles, and gridiron football team, the Ravens.
Restaurants present a plethora of cuisines, but the traditional gastronomy of Maryland tends to be centred on terrapin soup, steamed crabs, padded oysters (fried oyster patties), fish and crab cakes, and beaten biscuits (Southern-style unleavened biscuits), often accompanied by Maryland rye and beer.
In almost a different world are the tiny communities located on various islands of Chesapeake Bay, in which isolation has worked to preserve distinct attitudes and ways of life.
The outdoors looms large in the life of Marylanders.
Popular activities include sailing and crabbing on the bay, trolling for ocean marlin, shooting wild ducks and geese in the marshes of the Eastern Shore, playing the game of lacrosse (derived from an Indian sport), beachcombing for fossil shark teeth at Calvert Cliffs, exploring mountain caves, skiing and whitewater rafting in western Maryland, and hiking the 38-mile (61-km) stretch of the Appalachian Trail across Maryland.
Sailboat and sports-car racing attracts both participants and spectators.Audiences that include both Maryland residents and those from beyond the state’s borders are drawn to a variety of other sporting events.Notable are the horse-racing venues at Laurel, Bowie, and Pimlico, the latter the home of the annual Preakness Stakes (May).The first governor of the proprietary colony, Leonard Calvert, the younger brother of Cecilius, landed the founding expedition on St. Aware of the mistakes made by Virginia’s first colonists, Maryland’s settlers, rather than hunt for gold, made peace with the local Native Americans and established farms and trading posts, at first on the shores and islands of the lower Chesapeake.Clements Island in the lower Potomac in March 1634. The field hands included indentured labourers working off the terms of their passage and, after about 1639, African slaves. Roads and towns were few, and contact with the English-model manor houses was largely by water.The Calvert family provided for religious freedom in the colony, and this was formalized by the General Assembly in 1649 in an Act Concerning Religion, later famous as the Act of Religious Toleration.