Plus a sneak peek at our “Woman of Two Worlds: Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte and the Quest for an Imperial Legacy” Exhibit

“After a long and difficult Atlantic winter crossing, the ships Ark and Dove sailed up the Potomac River in March of 1634,” says President Burt Kummerow, “Almost four centuries and twenty generations of dramatic history have followed those humble beginnings.”

The Maryland Historical Society will be honoring Maryland’s brave and hopeful first settlers on Thursday, March 21 at 6pm inFrance Hall.

The event, entitled “Maryland at the Beginning” will feature a presentation from Dr. Henry Miller, Director of Research at Historic St. Mary’s City. A great storyteller, Dr. Miller will bring the tale of Maryland’s first century to life.

The cost is $25.00 for MdHS members and $35.00 for non-members. Call 410-685-3750 Ext. 377 or visit to register.

In addition, in celebration of Women’s History month, the Maryland Historical Players are hosting a Tribute to Maryland’s Civil War Heroines on Saturday, March 9. Actors portraying Harriet Tubman and Clara Barton will lead an interactive audience discussion in the Maryland Historical Society Galleries at 2pm.No advance reservations are necessary.

Speaking of famous Maryland women, the Maryland Historical Society is referring to 2013 as the ‘Year of Betsy,’ as it presents a major new exhibition about the life, the love and the fashion of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte.

Known as Betsy to her friends, she was regarded as the most beautiful woman of the 1812 era – and set the gossipmongers atwitter with her revealing dresses. Betsy married Napoleon’s brother, moved to France, faced family heartbreak and eventual betrayal from her husband Jerome Bonaparte and returned to Baltimore, where she became one of the city’s wealthiest landowners. Betsy truly was the Notorious Belle of Baltimore, and she is regarded today as one of the country’s most fascinating early celebrities.

The Woman of Two Worlds: Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte and the Quest for an Imperial Legacy exhibition will feature hundreds of objects – including Betsy’s scandalous fashions – on display beginning on June 9th 2013.

For a sneak peek into Betsy’s life, and the fascinating behind-the-scenes-details of the exhibition process, Chief Curator Alexandra Deutsch has started a blog entitled “Woman of Two Worlds.” You can access it by visiting this link:

Founded in 1844, The Maryland Historical Society Museum and Library occupies an entire city block in the Mount Vernon district of Baltimore. The society’s mission is to “collect, preserve, and interpret the objects and materials that reflect Maryland’s diverse cultural heritage.” The Society is home to the original manuscript of the Star-Spangled Banner and publishes a quarterly titled “Maryland Historical Magazine.”

For more information, contact Marketing Director Laura Rodini at 410-685-3750 Ext. 322 or

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Edited from Press Release

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