Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Maryland

Introduction

Map Showing Fort McHenry in 1814I have written to Major Beall to have such work done at Fort McHenry as is necessary to its repair and better state. The Major is also desire to platform the batteries in front of the Fort, and to mount them not exceeding thirty heavy cannon, attaching the requisite furnaces. For a more exteded defence of Baltimore Harbor, including the rear of Fort McHenry, Patapsco river, the Cove the Point opposite Fort McHenry on the northeast side of the harbor, I have recommended to the Hon. Secretary of War, to have twelve eighteen-pound cannon mounted on traveling field carriages, completely appurtenanced, attaching to them two furnaces. This train to be disposed so as to run four of the pieces with a furnace to any position on the Fort McHenry side, and eight of them with furnace to the Point opposite Fort McHenry, to be used as the position of the enemy may require. Bridges should be constructed over every creek or river in the route from Baltimore to any point of attack, removable at will. The furnaces can be placed in a ravine or behind an embankment to be secure from the enemy's shot. The house near Fort McHenry should be removed...

SOURCE: Letter, J. G. Swift, Col. Eng., to Major General Samuel Smith, Baltimore, 27 March 1813. Published in J. Thomas Scharf, The Chronicles of Baltimore. Baltimore: Turnbull Brothers, 1874.

National History Standards

Materials compiled in this document can be used by educators to fulfill the following National History Standards for Grades K-4:

Topic 3: The History of the United States: Democratic Principles and Values and the Peoples from Many Cultures Who Contributed to Its Cultural, Economic and Political Heritage

STANDARD 4: How democratic values came to be, and how they have been exemplified by people, events, and symbols.
Standard 4B: Demonstrate understanding of ordinary people who have exemplified values and principles of American democracy.
K-4: Analyze in their historical context the accomplishments of ordinary people in the local community now and long ago who have done something beyond the ordinary that displays particular courage or a sense of responsibility in helping the common good. [Assess the importance of the individual in history]
Standard 4E: The student understands national symbols through which American values and principles are expressed.
K-4: Explain why important buildings, statues, and monuments are associated with state and national history, such as the White House, Lincoln Memorial, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Angel Island, Mt. Rushmore, and veterans memorials. [Obtain historical data]

Primary Resources

CONSTRUCTION

  1. TITLE: Plan of Fort McHenry
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: November 9, 1803
    SOURCE: National Archives, Records of the War Department, Cartographic Section, RG 77, drawer 51, sheet 1. Reproduced in HABS MD, 4-BALT, 5-14

  2. TITLE: Plan of Fort McHenry
    CREATED BY: William Tell Poussin
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1819
    SOURCE: National Archives, Records of the War Department, RG 77, drawer 51, sheet 2. Reproduced in HABS MD, 4-BALT, 5-14

  3. TITLE: Plan of Buildings within Fort McHenry, Maryland
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1834
    NOTES: Shows gun positions.
    SOURCE: National Archives, Records of the War Department, RG 77, drawer 51, sheet 7. Image courtesy of Fort McHenry, Baltimore, MD.

  4. TITLE: Plan and elevations of the Hospital at Fort McHenry: Drawn from actual measurements
    CREATED BY: R. Q. Butler, Lt. of Engineers
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: July 13, 1840
    SOURCE: National Archives, Records of the War Department, RG 77, drawer 51, sheet 15. Image courtesy of Fort McHenry, Baltimore, MD

  5. TITLE: Plan and elevations of the Stable at Fort McHenry: Draw from actual measurements
    CREATED BY: R. Q. Butler, Lt. of Engineers
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: August 17, 1840
    SOURCE: National Archives, Records of the War Department, RG 77, drawer 51, sheet 16. Image courtesy of Fort McHenry, Baltimore, MD

  6. TITLE: Fort McHenry: From Dimensions Furnished by Captain Henry A. Thompson
    CREATED BY: Captain Fred A. Smith, Engineers
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: May 1840
    SOURCE: National Archives, Records of the War Department, RG 77, drawer 51, sheet 16. Image courtesy of Fort McHenry, Baltimore, MD

  7. TITLE: Fort McHenry: Showing Outbuildings (including magazine)
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: November 19, 1864
    SOURCE: National Archives, Records of the War Department, RG 77, drawer 51, sheet 29. Image courtesy of Fort McHenry, Baltimore, MD

  8. TITLE: Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine, East Fort Avenue at Whetstone Point, Baltimore, Independent City, MD
    CREATED BY: Historic American Buildings Survey
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:
    COPYRIGHT: Rights and reproductions
    SOURCE: From Built in America: Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record, 1933-Present.

  9. TITLE: Powder Magazine
    CREATED BY: Historic American Buildings Survey
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:
    COPYRIGHT: Rights and reproductions
    SOURCE: From Built in America: Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record, 1933-Present.

  10. TITLE: Soldiers' Barracks No. 1
    CREATED BY: Historic American Buildings Survey
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:
    COPYRIGHT: Rights and reproductions
    SOURCE: From Built in America: Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record, 1933-Present.

  11. TITLE: Soldiers' Barracks No. 2
    CREATED BY: Historic American Buildings Survey
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:
    COPYRIGHT: Rights and reproductions
    SOURCE: From Built in America: Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record, 1933-Present.

  12. TITLE: Commanding Officer's Office & Quarters
    CREATED BY: Historic American Buildings Survey
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:
    COPYRIGHT: Rights and reproductions
    SOURCE: From Built in America: Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record, 1933-Present.

  13. TITLE: Officers' Quarters
    CREATED BY: Historic American Buildings Survey
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:
    COPYRIGHT: Rights and reproductions
    SOURCE: From Built in America: Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record, 1933-Present

  14. TITLE: Flag Pole Base
    CREATED BY: Historic American Buildings Survey
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:
    COPYRIGHT: Rights and reproductions
    SOURCE: From Built in America: Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record, 1933-Present.

MAPS & IMAGES

  1. TITLE: [Ville, port, et rade de Baltimore dans le Maryland.]
    CREATED BY: Berthier, Louis-Alexandre, 1753-1815.
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: [1781?]
    COPYRIGHT: Rights and Reproductions
    SOURCE: The American Revolution and Its Era: Maps and Charts of North America and the West Indies, 1750-1789 (American Memory, Library of Congress, Washington, DC

  2. TITLE: A view of the bombardment of Fort McHenry, near Baltimore, by the British fleet
    CREATED BY: J. Bower
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: [1816]
    REPRODUCTIONS: See item description for information
    SOURCE: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.

  3. TITLE: Bombardment of Fort M'Henry-- Major Armistead.
    DEPICTED DATE: 1814
    REPRODUCTIONS: Reproductions & Permissions
    SOURCE: New York Public Library, New York, NY

  4. TITLE: Bombardment of Fort M'Henry.
    DEPICTED DATE: 1814
    REPRODUCTIONS: Reproductions & Permissions
    SOURCE: New York Public Library, New York, NY

  5. TITLE: A view of the bombardment of Fort McHenry, near Baltimore, by the British fleet....
    CREATED BY: John Bower, etcher
    DEPICTED DATE : 1814
    REPRODUCTIONS: Reproductions & Permissions
    SOURCE: New York Public Library, New York, NY

  6. TITLE: Fort McHenry
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1855
    SOURCE: Cator Collection
    REPOSITORY: Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, MD

  7. TITLE: [View of Fort McHenry from the river]
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1855
    SOURCE: Cator Collection
    REPOSITORY: Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, MD

  8. TITLE: Fort McHenry
    CREATED BY: E. Sachse & Co.
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1865
    SOURCE: Cator Collection
    REPOSITORY: Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, MD

  9. TITLE: Sachse's Bird's Eye View of the City of Baltimore
    CREATED BY: E. Sachse & Co.
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1869
    SOURCE: Cator Collection
    REPOSITORY: Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, MD

See also:

Additional Media Resources

Fort McHenry Library, Baltimore, Md.

Star Spangled Banner. National Museum of American History

Additional Instructional Resources

The Star-Spangled Banner: Fact or Fiction?. From the UMBC Center for History Education

The War of 1812 - Baltimore's Role From the National Park Service.

Teacher's Guide, Fort McHenry. From the National Park Service.

A History of the War of 1812 and the Star-Spangled Banner. From the National Museum of American History.

Blog Post: Star Spangled Women: Mary Pickersgill. From the National Museum of American History.

Interactive Flag. From the National Museum of American History.

Interactive Star-Spangled Banner. From the National Museum of American History.

Spreading the News. From the National Museum of American History.

Poetry and Our National Anthem. From the National Museum of American History.

Music, Poetry and History. From the National Museum of American History.

Measuring the Flag. From the National Museum of American History.

Design Your Own Family Flag. From the National Museum of American History.

Secondary Resources

Cassell, Frank A. "Baltimore in 1813: A Study of Urban Defense in the War of 1812." Military Affairs (Dec., 1969): 349-361.

Lord, Walter. By the Dawn's Early Light. New York: W.W. Norton, 1972.

Pitch, Anthony S. The Burning of Washington: The British Invasion of 1814. Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1998.

Sheads, Scott Sumpter. Guardian of the Star-Spangled Banner. Maryland: Toomey Press, 1999.

________. "'Yankee Doodle Played': A Letter From Baltimore, 1814." Maryland Historical Magazine (1981): 380-382.

________. "Defending Baltimore in the War of 1812: Two Sidelights." Maryland Historical Magazine (1989): 252-258.

Taylor, Lonn. The Star-Spangled Banner: The Flag and the Anthem It Inspired. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2000

Weeks, Barbara K. "'This Present Time of Alarm': Baltimoreans Prepare for Invasion" Maryland Historical Magazine (1989): 259-266.

Whitehorne, Joseph A. The Battle for Baltimore. Maryland: The Nautical and Aviation Publishing Co. of America, 1997.

Associated Heritage and Preservation Organizations

Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine
2400 East Fort Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21230-5393
410-962-4290

 

The Star Spangled Banner Flag House
844 East Pratt Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
410-837-1793

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Credits

Teaching American History in Maryland is a collaborative partnership of the Maryland State Archives and the Center for History Education (CHE), University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), and the following sponsoring school systems: Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Baltimore City Public School System, Baltimore County Public Schools, and Howard County Public Schools.

Other program partners include the Martha Ross Center for Oral History, Maryland Historical Society, State Library Resource Center/Enoch Pratt Free Library, with assistance from the National Archives and Records Administration and the Library of Congress. The program is funded through grants from the U.S. Department of Education.

This document packet was compiled by Nancy Bramucci.

 

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