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History of Annapolis, Maryland

Annapolis, the seat of Anne Arundel County and the capital of Maryland, is equidistant between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. It is located on the Severn River, about two miles from its mouth on Chesapeake Bay. Annapolis was settled in 1649 by Puritan exiles from Virginia. The community had a series of names, including Providence and Anne Arundel Town, until is was finally named Annapolis in 1694 in honor of Princess Anne, then the heir apparent to the British throne. It was incorporated in 1708. After the Revolutionary War, Annapolis was the scene of several important events, including meetings of Congress and Washington's resignation from command of the Continental Army in 1783. The Annapolis Convention met in the city in 1786 and is considered the precursor of the constitutional convention in Philadelphia the following year. Annapolis is best known as the location of the United States Naval Academy, which occupies 200 acres on the banks of the Severn. Next to the academy is St. John's College, chartered in 1784 and tracing its roots to King William's School (1696). In the center of Annapolis stands the Maryland State House, built in 1772, and the state treasury, built in the 17th century for the House of Delegates. St. Anne's Protestant Episcopal Church was a state church during the late colonial period. Paca House and Garden is the restored home of William Paca, signer of the Declaration of Independence and Revolutionary-era governor of Maryland. The Banneker-Douglass Museum, was named for two prominent African-Americans, Benjamin Banneker and Frederick Douglass. The Annapolis Maritime Museum operates from the Barge House and the adjacent McNasby Oyster Company building. In 1902, the Annapolis Emergency Hospital opened in a small cottage. The institution eventually evolved into Anne Arundel Medical Center.