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The Society of the War of 1812 Scrapbook, MS 762, 1889-1904
Maryland Historical Society
Photograph Collection Inventory List
Special Collections Department
201 West Monument Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201
410-685-3750 x359; firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to download finding aid as a pdf
Finding Aid to the Society of the War of 1812 Scrapbook, MS 762
H. Furlong Baldwin Library, Maryland Historical Society
The Society of the War of 1812 in Maryland began in 1841 as the Association of the Defenders of Baltimore in 1814. Veterans of the war, and more specifically the battles of Baltimore and North Point, met to remember to their service and the battles fought against the British. Each year on September 12, the group celebrated Defenders Day, a holiday commemorating the battle of Baltimore. The veterans also performed charitable services, such as supporting widows and orphans left by the war and covering funeral costs for fellow veterans. The society eventually included the veterans’ sons due to the deaths of the original members, but by 1883, the association disbanded. The association reemerged in 1892 as the Descendants of the Defenders of Baltimore of the War of 1812-1814, which allowed women to join.
The group once again reorganized in 1893 as The Society of the War of 1812 in Maryland of Baltimore City. The members decided to join with the society in Pennsylvania to create a national organization. Female members were excluded from participation, but they later formed a Maryland chapter of U. S. Daughters of 1812. The mission of the society, in accordance with the Pennsylvania chapter’s charter, was to “cultivate patriotic sentiment,” maintain and collect publications pertaining to and from the war, and honor the memories of the events of the war. Only those directly descended from 1812 veterans could take part. Many prominent figures in Baltimore and Maryland society joined. Edwin Warfield served as president in 1895 before being elected governor of Maryland in 1904.
The newly re-formed society continued the work of the original members. The celebration of Defenders Day became the centerpiece of the group’s efforts. Every year, the society hosted a parade on September 12 took place in Baltimore at Fort McHenry. Society members marched in uniform alongside active servicemen and veterans of past wars. Important members of the military and government were often in attendance. The society also secured an annual salute at Fort McHenry honoring the bombardment of Baltimore. Many of the war monuments being built at the time received support from society members, as well, and during the 1900s, they turned their focus and influence to the preservation of the fort. The fort became a national park, and Defenders Day events were opened to the public.
Scope and Content
The collection is made up of various items relating to the Society of the War of 1812’s events, members, and functions. Drs. Albert K. Hadel and James Davidson Inglehart, as secretaries for the society, appear to have compiled the materials. The scrapbook is the most detailed between the years of 1894 and 1897. Letters, relating to society events, make up the majority of the items in the scrapbook. The earlier letters show the Maryland group’s work with the General Society of the War of 1812 in Philadelphia to create state level chapters of the society. Much of the correspondence covers invitations to functions, such as memorials and parades. The society invited many notable figures to the celebrations, such as mayors, governors, generals, as well as presidents. Multiple letters across the years are related to the salute fired at Fort McHenry. Many newspaper clippings from the Sun and Baltimore American covering events and meetings are included. The scrapbook also contains articles recounting the war, memorials and events held by other War of 1812 societies, as well as obituaries and funeral announcements for society members. Society ephemera, such as dinner invitations, postcards, and dress codes, are also a part of the collection. Multiple pages hold photographs of important members.
The scrapbook is generally organized chronologically, beginning with items dating from 1891. Most items are adhered to the pages of the scrapbook. Each page holds several items. Loose newspaper clippings and photographs were removed to separate folders, including those found between pages 208-209, 252-253, and 304-305. A few pages are not in numerical order. The original order of the pages and items has been retained. The items contained in the scrapbook are listed in order below.