Annapolis (ənăpˈəlĭs) [key], city (1990 pop. 33,187), state capital and seat of Anne Arundel co., central Md., on the south bank of the Severn River. Annapolis is a port of entry on Chesapeake Bay and the business and shipping center for the fruit and vegetable farmers of E Maryland. Local industries include the packaging of seafood and the manufacture of small boats, plastics, and aerospace parts. Tourists, some of whom sail on the Chesapeake, are also important to the economy; the city hosts the annual national sailboat show.
Annapolis was settled in 1649 by Puritans fleeing Virginia. Hostility between the Puritans and the Roman Catholic governors of Maryland resulted in the battle of the Severn River in 1655, in which the Puritans successfully revolted, only to lose control after the Restoration in England. The settlement, originally called Providence, was later known as Anne Arundel Town, after the wife of the 2d Lord Baltimore. In 1694 it became the provincial capital of Maryland and was renamed Annapolis for Princess (later Queen) Anne of England. In 1783–84, Annapolis served as the capital of the United States when the Congress met there. The city was the site of the Annapolis Convention (1786), which led to the Federal Constitutional Convention.
Still standing is the statehouse where George Washington resigned as commander in chief of the Continental Army in 1783 and where the treaty that ended the Revolutionary War was ratified in 1784 (see Paris, Treaty of). Other notable landmarks are the Old Treasury (c.1695), the oldest original building in Maryland; the library (1737); St. John's College; and St. Anne's Church (1858–59) and graveyard, where the former royal governor of Annapolis Sir Robert Eden (an ancestor of Anthony Eden) is buried. Much 18th-century architecture is preserved in the city. Annapolis is the site of the United States Naval Academy, founded in 1845.
See J. W. McWilliams, Annapolis, City on the Severn: A History (2011).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. Political Geography