Maryland Slaves Are Freed - Nov 1, 1864
Maryland's Constitution of 1851 had forbidden passage of "any law abolishing the relation of master or slave, as it now exists in this State" (Art. 3, sec. 43). To end slavery, Maryland had to write a new constitution.
Governor Augustus W. Bradford, in his annual message of 1864 to the General Assembly, sought passage of a constitutional convention bill. The predominently Unionist legislature promptly complied, and the electorate approved the call for a convention (Acts of 1864, ch. 5).
Delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1864 were elected by the voters on April 6, 1864. The convention convened in Annapolis on April 27, 1864, and adjourned on September 6, 1864. The third state constitution, which abolished slavery in Maryland, received approval of the voters on September 18, 1864, and took effect November 1, 1864.