My name is James Schmitt and I am a recent graduate from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. I am interning with the Maryland State Archives throughout summer 2019. I will specifically be working on the Finding the Maryland 400 project as a Maryland Society Sons of the American Revolution Research Fellow.
I majored in History and minored in Museum Studies while pursuing my bachelor’s degree at St. Mary’s. Although my primary area of historical study ranges from the Antebellum to Reconstruction periods of American history, I generally enjoy learning about most historical topics. Throughout my college career, I took historical courses ranging from the early colonial Chesapeake, colonial and Revolutionary military history, the early Republic, the Progressive Era, and 1960s America. As I grew up in the Annapolis area, the history of Maryland holds a special place in my interests.
In the summer of 2018, I took part in SMCM’s ongoing Cremona Archaeological Field School project, which focused on a seventeenth-century plantation house located in Mechanicsville, Maryland originally owned by the Ashcom family. This involved spending time in the field collecting data and artifacts from excavation sites on the property. I also helped categorize and clean artifacts in the college’s lab. As a group, we were able to uncover post holes as well as brick features hinting at the location of a potential former outbuilding on the property.
I have also previously interned with Historic St. Mary’s City, a living history site dedicated to preserving and interpreting the history of Maryland’s first capital. I developed preliminary forms of lesson plans for public schools focusing on slavery in the Chesapeake while interning at HSMC. I also volunteered at HSMC’s St. John’s Site Museum, where John Lewger—Maryland’s first government administrator—built his house in 1638; the house also served as a meeting site for the early colonial legislature, Governor Charles Calvert’s house, and a public inn.
I am greatly looking forward to contributing to this project, and hope to shed further light upon the Maryland 400. I would like to thank the Maryland Society Sons of the American Revolution for providing the funding for this project, and I hope to meet their expectations.