When Baltimore Medical Students Were Free to Rob the City’s Graves

In 19th-Century Maryland, Stealing Corpses Wasn't a Crime. And a Half-Dozen Medical Schools Needed Cadavers.

Railroads changed everything. The formation in 1828 of the nation’s first common carrier, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, revolutionized transportation, altered people’s sense of time and place, and knitted America together into a nation.

Among the many unforeseen consequences of this transformation was this peculiar note: Body snatchers digging up graves could quickly ship corpses to medical schools needing dissection material. The story of how grave robbing flourished in Baltimore for more than 70 years reveals both the dysfunctional underside of medicine in a place that liked to call itself the …

The Weathered Tobacco Barns and Oyster Shucking Houses of St. Mary’s

In Maryland's Mother County, the Past Endures Amid Rapid Change

In 1634, 27 years after English colonists landed at Jamestown, a group of entrepreneurs and adventurers led by Leonard Calvert, son of the 1st Lord Baltimore, sailed forth on the …

How the Chesapeake Bay Formed American Identity

It's Been an Artery Through Which Democracy and Capitalism Flowed

When Captain Christopher Newport sailed into the Chesapeake Bay in 1607 to establish the first permanent English colony in North America, his goal was not freedom.

In that way, Newport, the …

At Home on the Road to Annapolis

How U.S. Route 50 in Maryland Became a Refuge

From the moment I was old enough to drive, I’ve been taking short solo road trips with no concrete destination in mind. Left turn here, right turn there, or sometimes …

Tinseltown Cab Fare

A Girl from Baltimore’s Trip to L.A., and Back

“I hate drunks, they are so obnoxious. I should know, I used to be one …” –Mary Carol Reilly on the fundamentals of being a cabbie

She used to lie in …