By Kathi Santora, The Writing Studio
Maryland Women’s Heritage Center volunteer

Margaret Brent, landowner, lawyer and executor of Governor Leonard Calvert’s estate, stepped before the Maryland General Assembly on January 21, 1648 and asked to be granted a vote. Brent and her sister Mary operated Sisters’ Freehold, a St. Mary’s County tobacco farm. Brent also owned a Kent Island mill.

Brent argued that, as a landowner, she had same rights as male Marylanders. Shocked assembly members denied her request in short order. However, on that day, Margaret Brent established herself as Maryland’s first suffragist.