The Battlefields of Long Ago

From the desk of
Burt Kummerow

Volume 3 Issue 4
April 9, 2014

Dear Reader,

As we finally welcome spring in 2014, the Maryland Historical Society is looking forward to a busy season, commemorating the events of 1814. Our Star-Spangled Banner replica has already been featured at the Maryland Statehouse and unfurled at the Baltimore Orioles' opening game in Camden Yards. Francis Scott Key's handwritten first draft of the National Anthem will soon be joining the original Star Spangled Banner Flag at the Smithsonian in June.

We are commemorating the battlefields of long ago, and spring had quite a different meaning for the veterans of 1812 and the Civil War. The good weather brought welcome blossoms and green leaves to those battlefields, but it also brought death and destruction as the armies renewed their clashes. In 1864, 150 years ago, May brought new killing grounds in Virginia that horrified a country now used to three years of fighting. In 1814, 200 years ago, the British brought new threats to the Chesapeake that could destroy a fragile new nation.

Richard Troxell performs the National Anthem in front of our Star-Spangled Banner replica during the opening day baseball game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Red Sox, Monday, March 31, 2014, in Baltimore.
Photo: Patrick Semansky, AP
We are renewing our anniversary exhibits by zeroing in on personal stories that bring those dramatic events to life. Two of these stories will be featured at our museum.

The first deals with the pivotal Battle of Baltimore in September of 1814. The British invaders are largely anonymous, but one young officer, Subaltern G.R. Gleig of the 85th Foot, left behind a vivid account of his experiences. Another young enlisted man, John Pendleton Kennedy of the 5th Maryland Regiment, went toe to toe with Gleig in a fierce fight at the North Point Battlefield.

Henry Holliday, a Confederate with the 2nd Maryland Regiment, fought his way in 1864 and 1865 through the trenches of Petersburg to Appomattox. Mr. Holliday's story will be featured this year in the Divided Voices: Maryland in the Civil War galleries as his very complete original uniform is loaned to join the other exhibits.

Finally, Commodore Joshua Barney, already a major story in our In Full Glory Reflected: Maryland during the War of 1812 exhibition, will become an even bigger story just in time for the 200th anniversary of his Chesapeake Flotilla's dramatic defense of the Patuxent River Valley. Barney descendants are loaning never-before-exhibited artifacts for the bicentennial. Beyond the grand gestures and the large festivals commemorating old battlefields, the Maryland Historical Society is proud to tell the personal stories that bring historic events home for our generation!

Our Star-Spangled Banner Replica's Next Stop

Our replica Star-Spangled Banner flag accurately represents the 30 x 42-foot banner that flew over Fort McHenry and inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Made entirely by hand, bearing fifteen stars and fifteen stripes, the replica Star-Spangled Banner flag was created by over 200 'stitchers' and more than 1,000  volunteers at the Maryland Historical Society in the summer of 2013, using authentic fabric and hand stitching techniques -- just like Mary Pickersgill did in the summer of 1813.

Most recently, the flag was seen at the Baltimore Orioles' Opening Day festivities. In March, it was proudly carried aboard the Pride of Baltimore II to Annapolis for Maryland Day celebrations with The Fort McHenry Guard.

Now, in commemoration of the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the National Anthem, the flag is on the move once again!

So mark your calendars; you will be able to see it at the following commemorations in May! We will continue to update you with flag events throughout the spring and summer.

May Star-Spangled Banner Replica Appearances
May 3   |   10 AM - 5 PM   |   Havre de Grace

Visit Havre de Grace to commemorate the anniversary of the British invasion! There will be encampments throughout town, tours aboard Pride of Baltimore II, the Fort McHenry Junior Fife and Drum Corps, period demonstrations and vendors, and the MdHS replica Star-Spangled Banner Flag!
Price: Free
Contact: Susquehanna Museum of HdG at the Lock House
Phone: 410-939-5780
May 10   |   9 AM - 5 PM
Marlborough Day 2014

This year's Parade Grand Marshall is the Upper Marlboro Historic Committee, in conjunction with the 200th anniversary of the town's role in the War of 1812 and our national anthem. Our Star-Spangled Banner replica will be a part of the celebrations!

A Special Invitation from
The Maryland Historical Society
and the Lord Baltimore Hotel

Lord and Lady Baltimore Gala

Lord Baltimore Hotel
Courtesy Baltimore Style
You are cordially invited to our 2014 annual gala celebrating the arrival of Lady Baltimore to the Maryland Historical Society. This opulent evening will take place at the newly restored Lord Baltimore Hotel on Saturday, April 12, 2014 from 6pm until midnight.

You'll enjoy dinner, cocktails, and dancing in the historic grand ballroom of the Lord Baltimore Hotel, which is now restored to its former glory.

You will also have exclusive access to the rooftop bar and spectacular views of Baltimore.

The Lord Baltimore Hotel recently completed a year-long, million dollar restoration. According to WBAL-TV, every facet of the 440-room hotel has been updated and now reflects its original, Art Deco grandeur.

It's an historic hotel and the fitting place to honor historic Lady Baltimore, who now graces the Maryland Historical Society entrance hall.

In November 2013, the 8-foot Cararra marble goddess affectionately known as Lady Baltimore was moved from her 200-year old position atop the Battle Monument to an environmentally friendly location at the Maryland Historical Society.

Proceeds from the Lord & Lady Baltimore Gala will support the stewardship and interpretation of Lady Baltimore at the Maryland Historical Society.

Bonaparte Ball 2013
Guests at last year's Bonaparte Ball,
courtesy Ken Stanek Photography
Opulent Evenings With
The Maryland Historical Society

It's an annual tradition here at The Maryland Historical Society to hold a gala benefiting our museum. Just like last year's smash Bonaparte Ball (pictured), this year's event is black tie attire.

Complimentary valet parking will be available at 20 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. To order tickets, click here.

Lord and Lady Baltimore Gala Details:

Date and Time: Saturday, April 12 from 6:00 PM until midnight

Location: The Lord Baltimore Hotel (20 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201). Complimentary valet parking is available.

Ticket Prices: $175 per person (includes dinner and after-party)

To order tickets securely online, click here. You may also order tickets by calling 410-685-3750 Ext. 399.

More About Lady Baltimore

Lady Baltimore
A Bird's Eye View of Lady Baltimore, courtesy S.A.T.
The female figure on the top of the Battle Monument symbolizes Baltimore. She wears a crown of victory and holds a laurel wreath, a symbol of glory, in her raised hand. Her lowered hand holds a rudder, symbolic of navigation and stability. She faces the harbor, a source of Baltimore's prosperity and fortune.

But almost two centuries of wind, rain and pollution took a toll on Lady Baltimore's features, and storms had blown off both of her arms. The Battle Monument has seen several major restorations, including one most recently in 2011 by Steven Tatti and his conservation team at S.A.T. Inc.

In November, 2013, The Maryland Historical Society worked closely with Baltimore City's Commission for Historical & Architectural Preservation (CHAP) and The Mayor's Office to move the original Lady Baltimore statue to the Maryland Historical Society.

Weighing 2,750 lbs, Lady Baltimore was placed into a cage and carefully lowered from the Battle Monument. At the same time, a concrete reproduction went up in her place.

Lady Baltimore was transported by The George Young Company to The Maryland Historical Society, where she was installed atop a 500 lb steel-reinforced platform in the 2nd floor Gallery of the Beard Pavilion. Passersby on Park Ave. are able to view the 8' statue through the floor to ceiling windows. At night, she is illuminated.

We look forward to seeing you on April 12th!

This event is proudly sponsored and organized by the Lord Baltimore Hotel and Classic Catering, with additional support from the 1844 Society.

To order tickets, click here.

May Events At
The Maryland Historical Society

Citizens Stand: Battle of Baltimore 1814
Friday, May 2   |   6 PM

Alexandra Morrel and Lance Strickland
Alexandra Morrel and Lance Strickland rehearsing the scene "Off to War" from 2012's program
Join us for a FREE dramatic production with students from the Baltimore School for the Arts, Maryland Historical Society and National Park Service!

Students will present three dramatic scenes from the Battle of Baltimore and Francis Scott Key composing the Star-Spangled Banner. Explore the role of women behind the front lines, see how Jewish and Quaker citizens reconciled their religious convictions to defend their homeland and discover the diverse experience of free and enslaved African Americans during the war.

Pricing: FREE event.

To register, click here.

The B-More Social Hunt & After-Party
Thursday, May 15   |   6:30 - 9:30 PM
Theme: BYOB (bring your own bowtie or boa)

Young Defenders3
A few of the Young Defenders
Venture out with The Young Defenders of the Maryland Historical Society on our social-style scavenger hunt to discover Baltimore's Mount Vernon!

Last stop - the after-party in the courtyard at MdHS! Indulge in the "social bar," which will include wine, craft beers, and a few specialty cocktails.

Pricing/Further Information:
$45/person; $80/couple;
$140/group of 4;
$180/group of 6.
*$10 off full price ticket if purchased before May 12
Organized by Social Expressions and Young Defenders of the Maryland Historical Society.

To register, click here.

A New Look at the MdHS Quilt Collection and Afternoon Tea
Sunday, May 18   |   1 - 4 PM

Quilt, Various makers, Baltimore, Maryland, dated 1845, Plain and printed cotton, hand appliqué , Maryland Historical Society, 1971.13
Baltimore Album quilts, made during the 1840s and 50s, have become one of the most popular and collectible styles of quilts. The Maryland Historical Society's collection of Baltimore Album Quilts is one of the finest in the country. Each month quilt experts from the Baltimore Appliqué Society meticulously document the quilt collection at MdHS, enhancing our understanding of these important historical documents.

The 25-block quilt top pictured above is dated 1845 and contains signatures or initials in every block. Many of those signatures are done in cross-stitch and some are written in ink and two are rendered in an outline stitch. Only the signers Bridget Donoho and Catharine Donoho noted the city of Baltimore in their inked inscriptions. One gentleman is listed, William G. Young.

Chief Curator Alexandra Deutsch will discuss unique quilts such as this from our collection. Tea and refreshments will be provided.

Pricing/Further Information: $35/Baltimore Applique Society members;
$45/MdHS members; $55/nonmembers
In partnership with the Baltimore Appliqué Society

To register, click here.

Special Curator's Tour
Gossipmongers Set Atwitter: Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte
Thursday, May 22   |   6 PM

Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte, Massot
Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte, Firmin Massot, 1823, MdHS, XX.5.69.
In 1814, Elizabeth wrote to Dolley Madison, her friend and confidante, "[the] Public are so malicious & so much pleased when people meet with disappointments that I wish to avoid gratifying them again at my expense." Since her marriage in 1803 to Jérôme Bonaparte, Napoléon's brother, Elizabeth's life had gratified a gossip hungry public. The glamour of her union, followed by the devastating annulment of the marriage by Napoléon in 1805, provided perfect fodder for a public who found a famous person's "disappointments" titillating.

Perhaps the most fascinating element of speaking about Elizabeth is that even today the aspect of "gossip" is central to the discussion. Assumptions are made about Elizabeth based on the same stereotypes of celebrity we embrace today. She was beautiful therefore no one thinks of her intelligence and business acumen. Her figure was stunning therefore she must have flaunted it as a celebrity would today. Men adored her therefore she must have had a romantic life worthy of comment.

Despite the fact that she lived her life without scandal in the modern sense, it is still viewed as scandalous.

Please join us as Chief Curator Alexandra Deutsch guides visitors through the exhibition Woman of Two Worlds: Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte and Her Quest for an Imperial Legacy. This special tour will focus on the gossip surrounding Elizabeth's marriage and lifestyle. Light refreshments will be served. This event is FREE for MdHS members; $20/nonmembers. Space is limited, please RSVP.

Pricing: FREE for MdHS members; $20/nonmembers

To register, click here.

The Slave War of 1812 in the Chesapeake
Lecture presented by Alan Taylor
Thursday, May 22   |   6 - 8 PM (Lecture at 6:30 PM)

Admiral Cockburn Burning and Plundering Havre de Grace on the 1st of June 1813
Admiral Cockburn Burning and Plundering Havre de Grace on the 1st of June 1813, William Charles, ca. 1813, Hambleton Print Collection; Special Collections Department, MdHS, H151
During the War of 1812, Royal Navy warships pushed into Chesapeake Bay and up the Potomac River to punish the United States for declaring war against the British Empire. The Royal Navy attacked the region as the home of the national capital, as a heartland of economic resources. The naval raids created an opportunity for the enslaved to escape and become free. Hundreds enlisted in the British service as sailors and marines or served as laundresses and nurses. And their assistance helped the British to capture Washington, D.C. and later to attack Baltimore. After the war, the refugees became free in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Trinidad.

Pricing/Further Information: $10/person.
Light refreshments will be served.
In partnership with Fort McHenry National Historic Site and Shrine.

To register, click here.

Book Launch
Neptune: The Allied Invasion of Europe and the D-Day Landings
Maritime Lecture presented by Craig Symonds
Thursday, May 29   |   6 - 8 PM (Lecture at 6:30 PM)

Seventy years ago, more than six thousand Allied ships carried more than a million soldiers across the English Channel to a fifty-mile-wide strip of the Normandy coast in German-occupied France. It was the greatest sea-borne assault in human history. The code names given to the beaches where the ships landed the soldiers have become immortal: Gold, Juno, Sword, Utah, and especially Omaha, the scene of almost unimaginable human tragedy. The sea of crosses in the cemetery sitting today atop a bluff overlooking the beaches recalls to us its cost.

Pricing/Further Information: $10/MdHS members; $15/nonmembers
Light refreshments will be served.
Lecture organized by the MdHS Maritime Committee.

To register, click here.

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Speaking of Trivia...

Trivia Time!

Congratulations to everyone who correctly answered last month's question! The steel mill at Sparrows Point, Baltimore County, was the world's largest complex of its kind in the 1950s, employing approximately 31,000 workers. The mill's wares make up some of America's most resonant icons from the Empire State Building to Aircraft Carriers. The West Coast landmark that highlights its medium in a stunning way and cuts through its notoriously fogging surroundings is The Golden Gate Bridge.

Ready for this month's question?

Question:After creating the lasting legacy of the Star-Spangled Banner Flag, seamstress Mary Pickersgill dedicated her efforts and served as President to another benevolent cause that still serves Marylanders today. The institution now bears her name in honor of her service there, but do you know its original name?

Email us your answer, and you, too, could win a prize! Best of luck.

Until next month,

Burton Kummerow
President, The Maryland Historical Society

Founded in 1844, The Maryland Historical Society Museum and Library occupies an entire city block in the Mount Vernon district of Baltimore. The society's mission is to "collect, preserve, and interpret the objects and materials that reflect Maryland's diverse cultural heritage." The Society is home to the original manuscript of the Star-Spangled Banner and publishes a quarterly titled "Maryland Historical Magazine." The Society is located at 201 W. Monument Street and open to the public Wednesday-Saturday from 10 am-5 pm, and Sunday (library only) 12 pm-5pm.