November 28 & 29, 1884 Academy of Music
February 27, 1885 Oratorio Hall (Unknown location)
Twain interviewed 28 November 1884 "Mark Twain's Ideas: A Talk with the Humorist" Baltimore American, 29 November 1884, Included in "Mark Twain: The Complete Interviews" by Gary Scharnhorst (#23)
The Baltimore area had been inhabited by Native Americans since at least the 10th millennium BC, when Paleo-Indians first settled in the region. One Paleo-Indian site and several Archaic period and Woodland period archaeological sites have been identified in Baltimore, including four from the Late Woodland period. In December 2021, several Woodland period Native American artifacts were found in Herring Run Park in northeast Baltimore, dating 5,000 to 9,000 years ago. The finding followed a period of dormancy in Baltimore City archaeological findings which had persisted since the 1980s. During the Late Woodland period, the archaeological culture known as the Potomac Creek complex resided in the area from Baltimore south to the Rappahannock River in present-day Virginia.
In the early 1600s, the immediate Baltimore vicinity was sparsely populated, if at all, by Native Americans. The Baltimore County area northward was used as hunting grounds by the Susquehannock living in the lower Susquehanna River valley. This Iroquoian-speaking people "controlled all of the upper tributaries of the Chesapeake" but "refrained from much contact with Powhatan in the Potomac region" and south into Virginia. Pressured by the Susquehannock, the Piscataway tribe, an Algonquian-speaking people, stayed well south of the Baltimore area and inhabited primarily the north bank of the Potomac River in what are now Charles and southern Prince George's counties in the coastal areas south of the Fall Line.
European colonization of Maryland began with the arrival of the merchantman The Ark carrying 140 colonists at St. Clement's Island in the Potomac River on March 25, 1634. Europeans began to settle the area further north, beginning to populate the area of Baltimore County. Since Maryland was a colony, Baltimore's streets were named to show loyalty to the mother country, e.g. King, Queen, King George and Caroline streets.
The colonists engaged in sporadic warfare with the Susquehanna, whose numbers dwindled primarily from new infectious diseases, such as smallpox, endemic among the Europeans. In 1661 David Jones claimed the area known today as Jonestown on the east bank of the Jones Falls stream.
The colonial General Assembly of Maryland created the Port of Baltimore at old Whetstone Point (now Locust Point) in 1706 for the tobacco trade. The Town of Baltimore, on the west side of the Jones Falls, was founded and laid out on July 30, 1729. By 1752 the town had just 27 homes, including a church and two taverns. Jonestown and Fells Point had been settled to the east. The three settlements, covering 60 acres (24 ha), became a commercial hub, and in 1768 were designated as the county seat.
Baltimore grew swiftly in the 18th century, its plantations producing grain and tobacco for sugar-producing colonies in the Caribbean. The profit from sugar encouraged the cultivation of cane in the Caribbean and the importation of food by planters there. Since Baltimore was the county seat, a courthouse was built in 1768 to serve both the city and county. Its square was a center of community meetings and discussions.
Baltimore established its public market system in 1763. Lexington Market, founded in 1782, is known as one of the oldest continuously operating public markets in the United States today. Lexington Market was also a center of slave trading. Enslaved Blacks were sold at numerous sites through the downtown area, with sales advertised in The Baltimore Sun. Both tobacco and sugar cane were labor-intensive crops.