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Eben Dennis

This tag is associated with 17 posts

Judge Simon Sobeloff – Moderate to the Extreme

In his home town of Baltimore Judge Simon Sobeloff (1894-1973) was known as a man of principle and conscience. Though a Republican himself, he had strong relationships with party members on each side of the aisle, including mayors Theodore McKeldin(R) and Thomas D’Alesandro Jr(D). As his grandson Michael S. Mayer put it, “[he believed that] [...]

Ponzi’s Plea

My house of cards had collapsed! The bubble had busted! I had lost! Lost everything! Millions of dollars. Credit. Happiness. And even my liberty! Everything, except my courage. I needed that to take my medicine like a man. To meet the future. Unquestionably, I was licked. For the time being. But no man is ever [...]

Hagerty’s Hieroglyphicks

With St. Patrick’s Day approaching we thought it would be appropriate to feature three of the more beautiful and intriguing prints from our collection produced by John Hagerty, a Baltimore printer and the son of Irish immigrants: The Tree of Life, Hieroglyphicks of a Christian, and Hieroglyphicks of the Natural Man. More selfishly I was [...]

The Dreams of Benjamin Banneker

Over the 200 years since the death of Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806), his story has become a muddled combination of fact, inference, misinformation, hyperbole, and legend. Like many other figures throughout history, the small amount of surviving source material has nurtured the development of a degree of mythology surrounding his story. While myths make for great [...]

It’s the Slime: Maryland’s Food Pioneer, Dr. Robert Krauss

Though at first glance this post seems anticipatory of Halloween, it is actually topical for an altogether different reason—October is Vegetarian Awareness Month. I am not a vegetarian myself, but my colleague and fellow underbellian Joe Tropea is. So after subjecting him to watching me inhale many a lunch of Maryland Crab at Soups On, or [...]

“As for me, I like him”: H.L. Mencken, Judge Morris Soper, and the Vice Squad

A recent find in the Morris Soper Papers brings to light a fascinating series of correspondence between Judge Morris A. Soper and famed Baltimore journalist Henry Louis Mencken (who was featured in last week’s birthday post). This correspondence between the two men gives unique insight into their personalities,  reveals their professionalism and ethics, and hints [...]

Summer Vacation: Greetings from Ocean City!

How does the small underbelly editorial team cope with colleagues traveling to the beach, mountains, and parts unknown while we’re stuck here running the blog and tending to our many other duties? We travel vicariously through photographs and post cards! While real beach-goers are dealing with staggering crowds, the oppressive sun, crawling traffic, and marching [...]

Morris A. Soper Papers – Coming Soon! (or 25 years late…)

Several months ago while pulling a collection from our sub-basement, or coal cellar, under the south end of the Keyser building here at MdHS,  I became intrigued by a box labeled Soper Papers. Most curious were the words “Don’t catalog until 3/88” scrawled on it. Being quite familiar with the fact that most archives—including MdHS—have [...]

A Whale of a Tale: the Mysterious Case of the Tolchester Whale*

  It’s hard to work at the Maryland Historical Society and not be familiar with the R.H. Eichner & Company color lithograph entitled “Go See the Whale at Tolchester, 1889.” An original of this iconic print lives in our library, and posters depicting it grace the halls of the Education Department and the offices on the [...]

Antoinette in the Air: Hubert Latham and His Historic Flight Over Baltimore, 1910

Hubert Latham was almost the first person to fly an airplane over the British Channel. If the French aviator and adventurer was discouraged when his first attempt came up short, he never showed it. As he bobbed in the waves waiting to be retrieved by a passing vessel, Latham casually smoked a cigarette in the cockpit [...]