Dog Days and Desperate Defenders

Dog Days and Desperate Defenders

From the desk of
Burt Kummerow

Volume 3 Issue 7
July 3, 2014

Dear Reader,

Important anniversaries commemorating the War of 1812 and the Civil War have been tugging at all of us now for three consecutive years. Remembering our national trials 150 and 200 years ago, we have ongoing prize-winning exhibits and popular programs that have garnered national attention.

Just this last month, the Maryland Historical Society (MdHS) had a once in a life time partnership with the Smithsonian that reached throughout the country. Our tiny Star-Spangled manuscript, penned by Francis Scott Key in 1814, proudly joined that giant flag stitched by Mary Pickersgill in 1813. It was a special marriage that caused goose bumps all around. Our Star-Spangled Summer, leading into Baltimore's Bicentennial spectacular in September, has begun! You can see the Francis Scott Key manuscript at the Smithsonian through July 6.

During the rest of July and August, our iconic Star-Spangled Banner document will be on display with hundreds of other 1812 era treasures in its permanent home at the Maryland Historical Society.

Ribbon cutting
Ribbon cutting ceremony at the Smithsonian's Star-Spangled Banner Flag Chamber, courtesy Jay Baker
The United States was in a serious pickle both in 1814 and in 1864. The British were preparing to punish our young nation during the hot, stormy 1814 summer. After Commodore Joshua Barney and his U.S. Chesapeake Flotilla spent months heroically playing cat and mouse with the British fleet, an army of redcoats burned the Capitol and turned its attentions to Baltimore. 1864 was even worse for the country as summer brought a siege and stalemate at Petersburg, Virginia, after a terrible two months of bloodletting. A third invasion of Maryland in as many years that summer would be punctuated by raids around Baltimore and President Lincoln under fire on the outskirts of Washington. The abolition of slavery in 1865 did not end this country's agonizing march towards civil rights for all Americans. As you will see below, if we fast forward another century to 1964, the great Civil Rights year is remembered with photographs and documents from our matchless library collection.

New additions
New Additions to our 'Divided Voices:
Maryland in the Civil War'
All of this war and trauma unfortunately makes for dramatic storytelling. There are many events around Maryland remembering these anniversary years. Our Star-Spangled Banner Replica flag, along with appearances by Francis Scott Key and Mary Pickersgill from our Maryland History Players, will be popping up regularly at bicentennial events for the next two months. We are teaming up with the Pride of Baltimore II and Fort McHenry to make all of our Maryland appearances memorable.

Many of the stars of our show are right here in the heart of Baltimore at our headquarters on Monument Street. I am a firm believer that all of our exhibitions and programs, all of our storytelling, go right back to the very definition of a museum. If you revisit our anniversary galleries, you will see wonderful new authentic treasures that are refreshing our exhibit cases. The MdHS costume collection is second to none. The Civil War and 1812 era dresses, together with some strategic loans, are eye popping new additions. An iconic Maryland Confederate uniform, worn at Appomattox, is another memorable loan Together with Commodore Barney's personal items and a developing interactive recreation of 1815 Baltimore, our exhibit galleries are not to be missed.

We look forward to seeing you on the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail as well as right here in our exquisite exhibits. We are building along with our partners to an unforgettable Bicentennial September! These anniversaries are providing our historic institution with springboards into an exciting future. There is indeed both a present and future in our past!

See Our Star-Spangled Banner Replica
Around Maryland!

SSB Replica
The Star-Spangled Banner Replica outside of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History on Flag Day
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.

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.

This month, you can see the flag on July 4th at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine! We hope to see you there.

Descendants of Joshua Barney Visit MdHS!

Barney Family Barney Wallet
John Helm, Andrea Helm, Mogan Helm, Bennett Helm, Anne Halm Galvin, Tom Galvin, Jack Galvin, Mason Galvin, Sarah Hardy Lower, Gavin Lower, Ian Lower, Archibald Hardy IV, Mary Stuart Hardy, Lancoln Hardy, Archibald Mct Hardy, Mason B. Hardy, Michelle Hardy, Sarah Anne Hardy, Mary Heward Hardy Late 18th century-early 19th century Leather with gilt, polychrome highlights. Collection of Anne Helm Gavin, John B. Helm, Sarah B. Hardy, Archibald Hardy and Mason B. Hardy, descendants of Joshua Barney
We were honored to have descendants of War of 1812 hero Commodore Joshua Barney at the museum in June! Barney commanded the Chesapeake Bay Flotilla and was renowned for his military prowess and exceptional bravery. The Barney family is loaning us truly awe-inspiring objects that belonged to Barney himself - such as the leather bill fold or wallet, pictured above, which belonged to Barney during the War of 1812.

The wallet is divided into sections labeled by the month. When it arrived at the museum, letters and documents written by Barney had long been stored in this wallet. Their contents, much of which date to the period of the War of 1812, will broaden our understanding of Barney's activities between 1812 and 1814 as well as his relationship with his family.

You can view the entire collection which is currently on display in our In Full Glory Reflected: Maryland During the War of 1812 exhibit at the Maryland Historical Society. It even includes Barney's pistol and spyglass! We thank the Barney descendants for their generous loan.

Civil Rights Act:
Maryland Historical Society Resources

By David Armenti
Kohn Letter
Letter to Mr. Kohn. March 27, 1960. Hochschild Kohn Department Store Papers, MS 2721. Maryland Historical Society Library
As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act being signed into law, it is important to acknowledge the various local leaders and actions which built momentum for the national legislation. The Furlong Library at the Maryland Historical Society has a valuable array of primary sources that inform us about the contributions from Baltimore and around the state.

The McKeldin-Jackson Oral History Project sought to document the Civil Rights experiences of individuals from the political, business, legal and social realms. The collections includes interviews of Baltimore NAACP leaders Juanita Jackson Mitchell and Enolia McMillan, former state governor and city mayor Theodore R. McKeldin, as well as Donald Gaines Murray, who was the first African American admitted to the University of Maryland Law School. With a total of 92 interviews, the McKeldin-Jackson project provides a fascinating glimpse into the inner workings of the influential organizations and leaders from the region.

Another valuable set of sources comes from the Hochschild-Kohn Collection. As one of the major department stores in downtown Baltimore, Hochschild-Kohn occupied an awkward position within the Civil Rights struggle. Fearing the negative, economic backlash from white customers, the store slowly and methodically opened up its departments to African Americans. The Tea Room was the last holdout, and its eventual integration in 1960 was met with a barrage of letters from the public. The collection includes 11 folders of this correspondence, which ranges from unabashed praise to personal attacks and threats of boycotts. Alluding to the H-K's Jewish ownership, one letter (pictured above) from "a former customer" states, "you are showing why we need another man like Hitler." Quotes such as this show the emotional nature of the era, as well as the potential economic implications for business owners.

At the Society's Student Research Center, groups have the unique opportunity to analyze and synthesize the information from these, and a variety of other original, primary sources from our library collections. We feel that primary source investigations lead students to become actively engaged in the subject matter, and therefore have a more meaningful learning experience. To learn more about primary source workshops for students on the Civil Rights Era and other topics, please email David Armenti.

Capturing the Movement:
Before and After the Civil Rights Act
of 1964 in Photographs

By Joe Tropea and Jennifer Ferretti
Henderson photo
Paul Robeson (2nd from left) is joined by Dr. John E. T. Camper, Chairman of the Citizens Committee for Justice (4th from left) and - we believe - a young A. Robert Kauffman of Interracial Fellowship Youth (5th from left). "Picket line. Protesting Jim Crow Admissions policy at Ford's Theatre," Paul S. Henderson, March, 1948. MdHS, HEN.00.A2-156.
It's important to remember and celebrate the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But equally important is to remember the struggle that led to it, the people behind the scenes, and what came after. To commemorate this anniversary, we've selected photographs from three MdHS collections (Paul Henderson, Richard Childress, and Theodore McKeldin) that highlight the struggle, high and low points, and remind us of what it means to be human.

Paul Henderson Photograph Collection

The protest of Ford's Theatre (pictured above), which began in 1946 because it required African-Americans to sit in the balcony, lasted seven years and ultimately succeeded. Many of the popular plays during this time bypassed Baltimore because producers and actors would not abide by the theater's segregation policy. Others, such as actor/opera singer Paul Robeson (second from left), came to Baltimore specifically to protest. The Ford's demonstrations were led by the Jackson and Mitchell families, NAACP, and Interracial Fellowship Youth (with A. Robert Kauffman as president, possibly fifth from left) and benefited from celebrity power from the likes of Robeson and Bayard Rustin. In 1953, Governor Theodore McKeldin, who served terms as Mayor (of Baltimore) before and after he held the office of governor, received the Hollander Foundation Award for his leadership and particularly for his help in integrating Ford's Theatre.

Visit the library's blog to see the full photo essay.

Special Bus Tour of Gilmor's Cavalry Raid

150 years ago Major Harry Gilmor spread panic from Towson to Aberdeen as 126 Confederate raiders galloped by Hampton Mansion, swept through Loch Raven, engaged in a shootout near Kingsville, and raided Jerusalem Mill before burning two trains and the great railroad bridge over the Gunpowder River.

Gilmor Raid
On July 12 from 9 am-3 pm, Historic Hampton, Inc., in conjunction with the National Park Service, is sponsoring a special bus tour retracing the historic route of Major Harry Gilmor's cavalry raid through Baltimore County.

Set against the pastoral backdrop of Baltimore County's rolling hills, this special bus tour will retrace the raiders' historic route!

Meticulously researched, visitors will hear previously untold stories about the people, places, and events that were swept up in this closing drama of the American Civil War. The tour is broader than military history, it encompasses a history of Baltimore County. Visitors will learn about: George Humphries, the last enslaved African-American to escape the Hampton plantation; the fate of Glen Ellen, the castle-like Gothic estate of the Gilmor family; Ishmael Day, a pro-Union resident who fought Gilmore's troopers singlehandedly; and the importance of the Philadelphia-Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad for supplying the Union cause.

Gilmor Raid
Tour includes: Bus transportation on an air-conditioned motorcoach, tour of Hampton Mansion, special powerpoint presentation of rare photos of Civil War Baltimore County, ice cream tasting, living history, boxed lunch, wine tasting at Boordy Vineyards and stopover at Jerusalem Mill.

The Details:
Date: July 12 from 9 AM til 3 PM
Location: Hampton NHS
Pricing: $50 per adult, $40 for members of Historic Hampton Inc.
Where does the bus go? - Starts at Hampton - travels through Baltimore County - past Boordy Vineyards, through Jerusalem Mill and over near Gunpowder State Park and returns to Hampton NHS.
To register: E-mail attn: Judy Cohen.

Other Events at the
Maryland Historical Society

War of 1812: Beyond the Battlefield
Summer Lecture Series

We are partnering with Fort McHenry National Historic Shrine to present a summer lecture series, War of 1812: Beyond the Battlefield. The events will take place Thursday evenings at the Maryland Historical Society, from 6-8 PM, with lectures beginning at 6:30 PM. Light refreshments will be served.

Pricing: $10/person.

War of 1812 Cover

Forgotten Conflict: Why the War of 1812 Matters Today
Presented by Don Hickey, Ph.D.
Thursday, July 17

The War of 1812 shaped the United States and Canada and influenced how Great Britain related to the two nations to the end of the 19th century and beyond. Based on its profound and lasting impact, the "forgotten conflict" deserves a higher profile in the living memory today. Hickey will explore the role of the War of 1812 in the current public imagination.

Pricing: $10/person.

To register, click here, send us an email, or call 410-685-3750 x377.

The 25th annual International
Cycle History Conference and
Baltimore Cycling Heritage Party
August 6-9

In 2014 the International Cycling History Conference is celebrating its quarter century. The Conference has been notable for bringing together academics, curators, collectors, and enthusiasts to debate and present new knowledge on all aspects of cycling history.

These International Cycling History Conferences are held each year in a different city with the emphasis changing so as to encourage in depth coverage of events and developments related to the invention and use of bicycles, tricycles, and related wheeled vehicles that occurred throughout the world. Recent conferences have been held in Freehold, NJ, USA (2009); Prague, Czech Republic (2010); Paris, France (2011); Roeselare, Belgium (2012); and Lisbon, Portugal (2013). This year's conference will be held at MdHS from August 6-9 with a special 'Baltimore Bike Happy Hour' on the evening of August 7 (see below for complete details).

The International Cycle History Conference is open to all persons who are interested in the history of cycling: this invitation goes out to those who wish to present a paper as well as to those who want to attend simply to enjoy the conference. There will be sessions devoted to the presentation of papers on all aspects of cycling history throughout, there will be an exhibition of historically important bicycles and other objects connected to cycling history, and there will be a field trip to interact with some of the related objects in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., area.

For more information, visit the conference website.

Pedal to the Past:
Baltimore Bike Happy Hour at MdHS
August 7, 2014 

Tickets: $10 (includes beer, bike tour, and demos)
4:00-7:30 PM
Bicycle Display in France Hall and Merrick Room
"American Wheels to the Front"
The Involution of American Bicycles (1868 - today)
To register, click here or call 410-685-3750 x377

Like History Alive? Share Us With a Friend!...

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And they can sign up!

Speaking of Trivia...

Trivia Time!

The Grand Union Flag
Congratulations to everyone who correctly answered last month's question! Prior to the 1777 Flag Act, rebelling colonists rallied under the "Grand Union Flag," one with the same thirteen stripes but a different image occupying the upper right corner. Interestingly, another entity tied to international trade had flown this same flag since the early 1700s. So which group was it?

The East India Trading Company.

Ready for this month's question?

Question: A land defined and divided by its waterways like Maryland is bound to have some interesting bridges. The state is full of these feats of engineering that help Marylanders traverse the Chesapeake and its many tributaries with relative ease. At over 22,000 feet, Route 50's Chesapeake Bay Bridge is an icon, but its not the only star of the show. This landmark bridge is the third longest continuous truss bridge in the world. A continuous truss bridge is a truss bridge which extends without hinges or joints across three or more supports. Additionally, the bridge helps mark the spot of one of the most famous moments in Maryland history.
Name that bridge!

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

Until next month,

Burton Kummerow
President, The Maryland Historical Society

From Our Friends

Join the MHBA at the Maryland Polo Club in Monkton Md. for an inter-club match to benefit the MHBA Political Action Committee on Friday, July 25th at 6pm (gates open at 5PM). Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the door. Your ticket includes admission, a wine tasting courtesy of Galloping Goose Vineyards, food and beverage with coffee and tea provided by Baltimore Coffee.

Contact: Jordyn Brand at 410-252-2100 x113

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 (museum only) 12 pm-5pm.