American Historic Towns
Historic Towns of The Southern States

Edited by Lyman P. Powell
G. P. Putnam' Sons
New York and London
The Knickerbocker Press


FOR many a year after the weary passengers of the Ark and the Dove had disembarked at St. Mary's, there to make the first settlement under the proprietary government of the Lords Baltimore, the rivers of Maryland ran, like Mr. George Alfred Townsend's Rappahannock,

"All townless from the mountains to the sea."

The Chesapeake and its almost numberless tributaries made every plantation accessible to shipping, and so precluded that concentration of trade and population at points of vantage which is the essential condition of municipal growth. As Charles Calvert, third Baron Baltimore, wrote, in 1678:

"The principall place or Towne is called St. Maryes . . . other places wee have none, that are called or cann be called Townes. The people there not affecting to build nere each other but soe as to have their [houses] nere the watters for conveniencye of trade and their Lands on each side of and behynde their houses, by which it happens that in most places there are not fifty houses in the space of thirty myles. And for this reason it is that they have been hitherto only able to divide this Provynce into Countyes without being able to make any subdivision into Parishes or Precincts which is a worke not to be effected untill it shall please God to encrease the number of the People and soe to alter their trade as to make it necessary to build more close and to Lyve in Townes."

When Lord Baltimore offered to the Lords of Trade this explanation of the dearth of municipal life in Maryland, he emphasized precisely those facts which have distinguished the political development of the South from that of the North, and unwittingly explained the late appearance upon the map of America of the city which now perpetuates his family name.

Boston had lived and grown for nearly a century, New Amsterdam had been New York one half that time, and a whole generation of Philadelphians had passed away before the future metropolis of the South came into being. A half century passed, and the Revolution found the town upon the Patapsco about the size of Salem or Providence; in another half century it had become the third city in the United States. The pre-eminence which Baltimore thus attained was many years ago termed "an unsolved problem in the philosophy of cities." Now, when one views this phenomenon in a longer perspective, it is possible, perhaps, to discern more clearly some of the elements which combined to give rise to it. Certainly, late years have brought to light much which one is enabled to add to the story of historic Baltimore that the fathers have handed down.

As Lord Baltimore's letter to the Lords of Trade indicates, the economic disadvantage of the absence of town life in Maryland was appreciated by the Government of the Colony at a. very early period in its history. It was not due to the lack of desire or of effort upon the part of the Proprietaries that in Maryland "towns there were none." For, first by proclamations, then by Acts of Assembly, towns were "erected" in a great number of places situated upon the water and selected, apparently, with little reference to any previous exhibition of a tendency to municipal growth, and with equally little reference to any expressions of desire upon the part of the inhabitants. That the success of this policy was hardly proportionate to the efforts made in its behalf is indicated by the statement made at a later time, that "the settlers, and now the Government call town any place where as many houses are as are individuals required to make a riot, that is twenty, as fixed by the Riot Act." Indeed, these "fiat" towns were in nearly every case total failures. Harvytown, Herrington and many similar creations have passed into oblivion, and now only serve as institutional fossils for the political palaeonapologist. As Jefferson said of Virginia, "there are other places at which the laws have said there shall be towns: but nature has said there shall not."

Among these shadow towns of early Maryland were some of particular interest to the history of Baltimore. The settlement upon the Patapsco was not the first in Maryland to bear the proprietary name. The first Baltimore seems to have been a point of land in St. Mary's County, spoken of only once in the early records, and never again mentioned. A more important predecessor of the Baltimore of today was Baltimore upon the Bush, a small river emptying into the head of Chesapeake Bay, not far south of the Susquehanna. "The town land on Bush River" is mentioned as early as 1669, and, some years later, it was made the seat of the court and courthouse of Baltimore County. Though the courthouse was removed before long to Joppa, upon the Gunpowder, farther to the south, many of the eighteenth century maps of Maryland show Baltimore as still upon the Bush. Of the history of this early settlement no details have been preserved; only lately has its site been determined.

Meanwhile, in the course of this general "towning," the Patapsco had not been neglected. In the town acts were included provisions for towns upon Huinphreys Creek, and upon Whetstone Point in that river. Of the actual existence of any corporate life at these points there is, however, no record; and it is probable that King George's accession found the Patapsco watering the same broad plantations as of yore. But a new era in the town history of Maryland was dawning. Governmental stimulation was being supplanted by private enterprise. Certain progressive individuals conceived the idea of erecting a town upon a point of land which runs out into the main stream of the Patapsco and today is included within the limits of Baltimore city. At that time, this land was the property of a Mr. John Moale, and was known as Moale's Point; but if it is Baltimore now, Mr. Moale was resolved that it should not be Baltimore then, and taking his seat in the Assembly, to which he was a delegate, he prevented the location of the town upon his property. Tradition has censured this worthy for preferring the excavation of iron ore to the development of a municipality, but colonial experience in town lots had doubtless been such as to yield him ample justification for his determination.

"The rejected of Mr. John Moale" was not, however, to wander far, for slightly to the north lay property belonging to Charles and Daniel Carroll, sons of the former agent of the Lord Proprietary. Here the Patapsco formed a basin, a safe harbor for vessels of light draft; and near by a stream, known to this day as Jones's Falls, after the name of an early settler, running from the hills near by, through lowland and marsh, poured a muddy torrent into the river. In 1709, was passed an act "for erecting a town on the north side of Patapsco in Baltimore County and for laying out into lots sixty acres of land in and about the place where one John Fleming now lives." (1)

The owners of the land, the Carrolls, were more complaisant than Mr. John Moale: they readily parted with sixty acres of land at the rate of forty shillings per acre, payable in tobacco at one penny per pound. The town was then surveyed and laid out into lots, after the most approved "boomer" fashion of today. To secure an estate in fee simple, "takers up" of lots were required to erect thereon, within eighteen months, a building covering at least four hundred square feet: failure to comply with this condition laid the lots open for other takers up.

Baltimore's boom seems to have started well, for after Mr. Carroll, as former owner, had selected the first lot, no less than fifteen other persons invested the same year. This success was so much appreciated that two years later another town was established, consisting of two acres laid out into twenty lots, just east of the Falls, "where Edward Fell keeps store." Communication between the new town, known as Jones or Jonastown, and Baltimore was soon improved by a bridge across the Falls, and a few years later the two towns were by Act of Assembly formally made into one.

A third distinct element in the early growth of Baltimore was a settlement somewhat farther to the east, known as Fell's Point. In 1730, Mr. William Fell, a Lancastrian Quaker, purchased a tract of land known as Copus's Harbor and erected thereon a mansion. A little to the south, a point jutting out into the Patapsco offered wharfage facilities to vessels of large draft that were denied entrance to the shallow basin of Baltimore town. This fact was soon appreciated, and at a later time Edward Fell, who was the son of William, and an officer in the Provincial army, laid out Fell's Point into lots, thereby reaping a fortune magnificent for those times.

During the first half of the eighteenth century little of note happened in Baltimore. Within a few years, however, some of the most important influences in its later development began to make themselves felt. In Northern Maryland, particularly near the Pennsylvania border, settlement was going on rapidly, and denser settlement meant the extension of commercial intercourse. In 1736, communication was established between the settlement on the Conewago-Hanover, in Pennsylvania, and the Patapsco. Seven years later, the people of York, also, "have opened a road to Patapsco. Some trading gentlemen there are desirous of opening a trade to York and the country adjacent." "In October, 1751, no less than sixty waggons loaded with flaxseed. came down to Baltimore from the back country."

Baltimore, though vigorous in action, was as yet but mean in appearance. In the rooms of the Maryland Historical Society hangs a sketch of the town, drawn in 1752, by John Moale, the son of him that would have none of towns or town lots. Rude in perspective as this youthful effort is, it is treasured as one of the oldest and most interesting of the city's heirlooms. Twenty five houses, four of them built of brick, and two hundred inhabitants were then to be found in Baltimore. Upon the hill we see perched the first of four St. Paul's churches successively erected upon the same lot, though not all upon the same site. At anchor in the harbor are the brig Philip and Charles and the sloop The Baltimore. The merchant navy of Baltimore was still small the large vessels of foreign trade still waited at Whetstone Point to receive their freight, transported in large lighters from the plantation landings on both branches of the river.

More flattering than this early artistic attempt is Governor Sharpe's description of Baltimore, two years later, as having

"the appearance of the most increasing town in the Province," though "hardly as yet rivalling Annapolis in number of Buildings or inhabitants: its situation as to Pleasantness, Air and Prospect is inferior to Annapolis, but if one considers it with respect to Trade, the extensive country beyond it leaves us room for comparison: were a few Gentlemen of fortune to settle there and encourage the Trade, it might soon become a flourishing place, but while few besides the Germans (who are in general masters of small fortunes) build and inhabit there, apprehend it Cannot make any considerable Figure."

The requisite "gentlemen of fortune" were not long lacking. One soon appeared in the person of Dr. John Stevenson, who, in 1754, came from Ireland, accompanied by his brother, Dr. Henry Stevenson, a man also noteworthy among the founders of Baltimore. Dr. John Stevenson turned his attention to commerce, and began the systematic development of Baltimore's foreign trade. He contracted for large quantities of wheat, which he shipped to Scotland with such profitable results that general attention was attracted to the development of a more extended commerce.

"Soon after, the appointment of Mr. Eden to the government of Maryland, Sir William Draper arrived in that Province on a tour throughout the continent. He contemplated the origin of Baltimore and its rapid progress with astonishment, and when introduced by the Governor to the worthy founder, he elegantly accosted him by the appellation of the American Romulus."

These words were written many years later: to quote them here is to take a long glance ahead. When Dr. Stevenson came to Baltimore, the clouds of war were lowering over the colonies. Governor Sharpe of Maryland exerted himself to the utmost to cooperate with General Braddock in the conquest of the Ohio for England, but fell out with the Lower House of the Provincial Assembly. The war was never popular in Maryland, although large sums were finally appropriated for the defence of the Province. When the news of Braddock's defeat reached Baltimore, the alarm was intense. Tradition relates that upon one occasion such terrifying reports of the proximity of the Indian allies of France were brought to Baltimore that the women and children were put aboard ships, while the masculine portion of the inhabitants prepared to withstand the attack of the savages. But the attack never came; instead, many settlers in Western Maryland and Western Pennsylvania hurried back to the East; impressed with the necessity of closer settlement for defensive purposes. This powerful incentive to unity was one that had never been felt by the early colonists of Maryland, who, unlike their brethren in the North, for the most part dwelt in peace with the natives.

During the war, several companies of royal troops were quartered in Baltimore. Among the officers in command, Captain Samuel Gardner, of his Majesty's Forty seventh Regiment, was engaged in recruiting for his Majesty's service. His recruiting sergeant displayed such great zeal in the pursuit of his duty that strenuous opposition was aroused among the gentry of Baltimore, who found their indentured servants disappearing one day, to appear the next in his Majesty's uniform. Upon one occasion, Mr. Charles Ridgely and others rescued - or recaptured - six recruits, claiming that they were indentured servants, which proved, Captain Gardner said, "not to be the truth as to all of them." The irate Captain appealed to the civil authorities, with a long story about a conspiracy of "some of the better sort at the Church in the Forest [St. Thomas's] - to raise a body of about two hundred men, and take all my Recruits from me." The plan of the conspirators, if such existed never materialized, but Captain Gardner received cold comfort from Mr. Bordley, the Attorney General. "He put a case," laments Captain Gardner to Governor Sharpe, "not very much to the Honour of the Recruiting Service, Suppose a man steals a horse, etc."

While the French and Indian War was in progress, Baltimore received a large addition to its population. When the "French Neutrals" were removed from Acadia by the British Government, many came to Baltimore, and were hospitably quartered in the mansion of Mr. Edward Fottrell, which stood upon the square now covered by the stately courthouse recently completed. When the Abbe Robin visited Baltimore during the Revolutionary War, these unfortunate people and their descendants filled about one quarter of the town, a quarter mean and poor in appearance. They still spoke their native dialect, and treasured the altar vessels given them, with his parting benediction, by their old cure, M. Le Clerc, who had been the loving guardian of their souls. Though they began in great poverty, this portion of Baltimore's population by industry and thrift rose to a high place in the life of the city. Many of the seafaring men who later played so important a part in the commercial development of Baltimore were the descendants of this sturdy fisherfolk of Acadia.

Between the French and Indian War and the Revolution Baltimore grew apace. Marshes were drained and a market house was erected. In 1768, Baltimore became the county seat, and a courthouse was built upon the site where now the Battle Monument commemorates the defence of the city in 1814. "The Town" and "the Point" vied with each other, and those with an eye to the future bought lots in both places. Many mansions were erected, among them Mount Clare, the residence of Charles Carroll, Barrister. Dr. Henry Stevenson, brother of the "Romulus of America," built a house on the York road near the Falls, which was called "Stevenson's Folly" because of the contrast between its elegance and the simplicity of the surrounding dwellings. It deserved a better name, for later it was transformed into a hospital for inoculation against the smallpox. Here the Rev. Jonathan Boucher brought "Jacky" Custis, to be "given the smallpox," and we find recorded in Washington's correspondence an account of Dr. Stevenson's charges of "2 pistoles and 25 s. for board." At the close of the century; the venerable doctor was one of the founders of the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of Maryland. When he came to Baltimore, the youth of the town already enjoyed the instruction of one schoolmaster, and there was demand for another.

Of Baltimore in this pre Revolutionary period, a few odd, disconnected facts have been handed down. The tax upon bachelors - levied to raise supplies for his Majesty's service, cannot have been very productive, as only thirteen "taxables" are reported. The commercial activity of the community was stimulated every October and May by a fair, when residents and visitors were free from arrest, except for felony and breach of the peace. Among other police regulations, fines were laid upon those whose chimneys blazed out at the top, or who neglected to keep ladders. Baltimore began to look like a busy, thriving town, enjoying life to the utmost.

And if our ancestors lived well, they endeavored to die well, at least with regard to the comfort of the guests at their funerals. One bill for funeral expenses, besides yards upon yards of crape, tiffany, broadcloth, shalloon and linen, several pairs of black gloves and other necessary attire, includes these items:

47 1/2 lbs. loaf sugar 14 doz. eggs
10 oz. nutmegs 1 1/2 lbs. allspice
20 5/8 gall. white wine 12 bottles red wine 10 5/8 gallons rum [!]

The first recognition of Baltimore's existence by the Proprietary appears to have been in connection with an inquiry as to the possibility of making the growth of the town a source of additional income. Cecilius Calvert, the secretary of Frederick, the sixth Lord Baltimore, writes to Governor Sharpe that in Philadelphia William Penn has reserved property that brings him "much income now" and will produce to his heirs "immense revenue." Sharpe replies that Baltimore town is built upon land patented to private persons, and embraces the opportunity to moderate the extravagant reports of Baltimore's size that had reached the ears of the Proprietary, by adding that it "is almost as much inferiour to Philad as Dover is to London." However, the twenty five houses and two hundred people of 1752 had become, in 1774, two hundred families, and the town "is increasing."

Such was Baltimore town when the citizens met together in town meeting to adopt a non importation agreement, and to propose, upon the last day of May, 1774, the assembling of a general congress of delegates from all the colonies. The suffering of Boston under the Port Bill awoke deep sympathy, and in August of this year the sloop America sailed from Baltimore Harbor carrying three thousand bushels of corn, twenty barrels of rye flour, two barrels of pork and twenty one barrels of bread, "for the relief of our brethren, the distressed inhabitants of your town."

Though never the scene of actual hostilities, Baltimore lacked neither employment nor excitement. Early in 1776, a demonstration was made against the town, which had hitherto been entirely defenceless, by a British sloopof war and some smaller vessels. Fortifications were hastily erected upon Whetstone Point, where Fort McHenry later was to check the entrance of another British fleet; vessels were sunk in the channel, and the ship Defense was hurriedly fitted out and put under the command of Captain James Nicholson. The British commander did not risk an action, but stood off down Chesapeake Bay, leaving behind a valuable prize that he had shortly before captured. "Such was the ardor of the militia," wrote Samuel Purviance, Secretary of the Committee of Safety of Baltimore town, "that not a man wd stay in Commee room with me but Mr. Harrison." Captain Nicholson was complimented as having "first had the honor of displaying the Continental colors to a British man of war without a return."

Upon Baltimore, formerly Market, Street, between Sharp and Liberty, a tablet commemorates the site of "Congress Hall," a "three story and attic" brick building, which, in 1776, belonged to one Jacob Fite, and was at that time one of the most imposing buildings in the town. Hither the Congress of the United States adjourned in 1776, when the British approached the Delaware, and remained several weeks, during which period Washington was made a virtual dictator. A few squares to the east was the Fountain Inn, which entertained Washington and many other statesmen and soldiers who came to Baltimore, or passed through the town on their way north and south. Among these visitors was the Duc de Lauzun, whose legion lay encamped around the knoll where later, in 1806, was commenced the erection of the Roman Catholic Cathedral. Upon Bond Street, Fell's Point, there was standing, not many years ago, an old farmhouse belonging to a German named Boos, near which Lafayette's troops were encamped, and at which they obtained milk for their syllabub, and other products of the dairy and the garden.

When Lafayette passed through Baltimore en route for Yorktown, a ball was given in his honor; his melancholy demeanor upon this joyous occasion, explained by the Marquis as due to his concern at the sufferings of his ill clad soldiers, awoke such sympathy that next morning "the ball room was turned into a clothing manufactory. Fathers and husbands furnished the materials; daughters and wives plied the needle at their grateful task." "My campaign," said the General upon his return, "began with a personal obligation to the citizens of Baltimore, at the end of it I find myself bound to them by a new tie of everlasting gratitude." When, forty three years later, Baltimore again welcomed Lafayette, one of the most touching incidents of his visit was his especial inquiry for Mr. and Mrs. David Poe,- grandparents of Edgar Allan Poe,- the one of whom had advanced Lafayette money from his private funds, and the other had herself cut out five hundred garments for his ragged troops. Mrs. Poe, with feeble body but unclouded mind, was yet alive to welcome the General, but her husband had preceded his venerable friend to the rest which comes after toil.

Another foreigner well known in Baltimore was Pulaski, who completed here the organization of the legion in command of which he fell at Savannah. In the library of the Maryland Historical Society hang the now faded folds of

"The crimson banner, that with prayer,
Had been consecrated there,

by the Moravian nuns at Bethlehem, before

"The warrior took that banner proud,
And it was his martial cloak and shroud."

Besides welcoming those from elsewhere, Baltimore gave to the war the best and bravest of her own. To aid Smallwood and Williams, Baltimore sent General Mordecai Gist, who as Major commanded the Maryland troops that covered the American retreat at Long Island. Another was John Eager Howard, who at Cowpens seized the critical moment, and turned the fortune of the day. At Guilford and at Eutaw Colonel Howard was equally conspicuous, and when peace came Maryland honored him by thrice electing him to the national Senate. "He deserves," said General Greene, "a statue of gold, no less than Roman and Grecian heroes." A third was Captain Samuel Smith, who held Fort Mifflin, the "Mud Fort on the Schuylkill," for seven weeks, against powerful land and sea forces of the British, who were seeking to open the communication between Philadelphia and the Atlantic. It was largely due to the energy of General Smith that, in the second war with Great Britain, Baltimore escaped the fate of the national Capital. And with these officers went hundreds of lesser rank, to join New Englanders and fellow Southerners in the common cause of Independence.

When the cry "Cornwallis is taken!" announced the final success of Washington and Lafayette, Baltimore's exultation was unbounded. In the evening, we are told, there was a "Feau d' Joy": "the Town and Fell's Point were elegantly illuminated; what few houses that were not, had their windows broke." Upon the Point, Mr. Fell, "a gentleman of princely fortune," nephew of the first Edward, gave a "genteel Ball and Entertainment," where, Lieutenant Reeves tells us, "we danced and spent the night until three o'clock in the morning of the 23rd as agreeably as one could wish; as the ladies were very agreeable and the whole company seemed to be carryed away beyond themselves on this happy occasion."

Many years ago, one of the most distinguished of Baltimore's sons, the Hon. John P. Kennedy, himself a scholar and an orator of the old regime, gave, in an informal lecture, some of his reminiscences of Baltimore town as it was at the end of the eighteenth century. Though often quoted, the quaint and charming spirit of the author makes his description yet as fresh and sparkling as his conversation ever used to be, and it is never too late to give in his own words some of his early memoirs of Baltimore town:

"It was a treat to see this little Baltimore town just at the termination of the War of Independence, so conceited, bustling and debonair, growing up like a saucy, chubby boy, with his dumpling cheeks and short, grinning face, fat and mischievous, and bursting incontinently out of his clothes in spite of all the allowance of tucks and broad salvages. Market Street had shot, like a Nuremberg Snake out of its toy box, as far as Congress Hall, with its line of low browed, hip roofed wooden houses, in a disorderly array, standing forward and back, after the manner of a regiment of militia, with many an interval between the files. Some of these structures were painted blue and white, and some yellow; and here and there sprang up a more magnificent mansion of brick, with windows like a multiplication table and great wastes of wall between the stories, with occasional court yards before them; and reverential locust trees, under whose shade bevies of truant schoolboys, ragged little negroes and grotesque chimney sweeps skied coppers ' and disported themselves at marbles.

"In the days I speak of, Baltimore was fast emerging from the village state into a thriving commercial town. Lots were not yet sold by the foot, except perhaps in the denser marts of business, rather by the acre. It was in the nis-in-urbe category. That fury for levelling had not yet possessed the souls of City Councils. We had our seven hills then, which have been rounded off since, and that locality which is now described as lying between the two parallels of North Charles Street and Calvert Street presented a steep and barren hill side, broken by rugged cliffs and deep ravines, washed out by the storms of winter into chasms which were threaded by paths of toilsome and difficult ascent. On the summit of one of these cliffs stood the old church of St. Paul's [the second], some fifty paces or more to the eastward of the present church [the third], and surrounded by a brick wall that bounded on the present lines of Charles and Lexington Streets. This old building, ample and stately, looked abroad over half the town. It had a belfry tower, detached from the main structure, and keeping watch over a graveyard full of tombstones, remarkable to the observation of the boys and girls, who were drawn to it by the irresistible charm of the popular belief that it was haunted, and by the quantity of cherubim that seemed to be continually crying about the death's head and cross bones at the doleful and comical epitaphs below them images long since vanished, without a trace left, devoured by the voracious genius of brick and mortar.

. . . I have a long score of pleasant recollections of the friendships, the popular renowns, the household charms, the bonhomie, the free confidences and the personal accomplishments of the day. . . . In the train of these goodly groups come the gallants who upheld the chivalryof the age, cavaliers of the old school, full of starch and powder: most of them the iron gentlemen of the Revolution, with leather faces old campaigners, renowned for long stories: not long enough absent from the camp to lose their military bnisquerie and dare devil swagger; proper roystering blades, who had not long ago got out of harness and begun to affect the elegancies of civil life. Who but they jolly fellows, fiery and loud, with stern glance of the eye and brisk turn of the head, and swash buckler strut of defiance, like game cocks, all in three cornered cocked hats and powdered hair and cues, and light colored coats with narrow capes and marvellous long backs, with the pockets on each hip, and small clothes that hardly reached the knee, with striped stockings, with great buckles in their shoes, and their long steel watch chains that hung conceitedly half way to the knee, with seals in the shape of a sounding board to a pulpit; and they walked with such a stir, striking their canes so hard upon the pavement as to make the little town ring again. I defy all modern coxcombry to produce anything equal to it - there was such a relish of peace about it, and particularly when one of these weather beaten gallants accosted a lady in the street with a bow that required a whole side pavement to make it in, with the scrape of his foot, and his cane thrust with a flourish under his left arm till it projected behind along with his cue, like the palisades of a chevaux-de-frise; and nothing could be more piquant than the lady as she reciprocated the salutation with a curtsey that seemed to carry her into the earth, with her chin bridled to her breast, and such a volume of dignity."

The "rus-in-urbe" life of Baltimore was nearly ended; with the close of the Revolutionary War began a new period in its history. Soon streets were paved and lighted, better bridges built, and a watch was established. Commerce sprang up with renewed vigor. The tobacco trade found other markets than the mother country; the West Indies bought flour, Spain and Portugal, wheat. By 1790, Baltimore skippers had rounded the Cape of Good Hope and cast anchor in the harbors of the Isle de France. The year 1793 brought another foreign addition to the already polyglot population of Baltimore. The revolution in San Domingo drove fifteen hundred of the inhabitants to Maryland, to develop a great trucking and garden trade, with Baltimore as its centre. The Baltimore clippers, too, with their jauntily raked masts, showed their heels to the craft of the rest of the world, and the reign of Baltimore's merchant princes began.

Previous to this time, all large payments of money were made in bags of heavy coin: in 1790 a bank was organized. Several papers were now published, and a circulating library was established by Mr. Murphy. A series of medical lectures was preparing the way for the University of Maryland, and education in general was receiving more attention. Population increased continually, and in 1796, the change from town to full municipal life was made legal by the incorporation of Baltimore city.

Now, also, began again the improvement of internal communication. For many years the white topped Conestoga wagons had rumbled down to Baltimore from west and north; and from time to time efforts had been made to improve the main roads. In 1805, the main routes converging in Baltimore were turnpiked. Western Maryland was now becoming thickly settled, many thriving towns had sprung up, and in a few years the "National Road" joined Cumberland, on the Potomac, with the Ohio River. The connection between Cumberland and Baltimore was completed by means of a curious tax on the banks of Maryland. Thus the line of communication between. Baltimore and Wheeling was continuous, over one of the best roads in the world. This and six other turnpikes were as seven great rivers, bearing their precious freight of grain, tobacco, dairy products and whiskey to Baltimore for foreign shipment; and in spite of overtrading and the resulting period of depression, such was Baltimore's progress that in 1825 Jared Sparks could say, "Among all the cities of America, or of the Old World, in modern or ancient times, there is no record of any one which has sprung up so quickly to so high a degree of importance as Baltimore." At this time the population of Baltimore was five times as great as it had been thirty years before, and commerce had increased proportionately. The causes of this remarkable progress were enumerated by Sparks as the advantages of Baltimore's local situation, the swift sailing vessels, the San Domingan trade, the two great staples, tobacco and flour, "for which the demand is always sure, and the supply unfailing," and lastly, the energetic spirit of the people.

During all this period the city improved in appearance as well as in size. Especially characteristic of the new Baltimore was "Belvidere," the residence of Colonel John Eager Howard. Belvidere was completed in 1794, and only a few years ago was dismantled by the ruthless hand of the city surveyor, to make way for the progress of the ever expanding city by the extension of North Calvert Street. From Belvidere, which at the beginning of the century was a half mile from Baltimore, one could look down, as from some medieval castle, upon the bustling town below. In the view from Belvidere, we are told,

"the town, - the Point, the shipping in the Basin and at Fell's Point, the bay as far as the eye can reach, rising ground on the right and left of the harbor, - a grove of trees on the declivity on the right, a stream of water [Jones's Falls] breaking over the rocks at the foot of the hill on the left, all conspire to complete the beauty and the grandeur of the prospect."

Here, as at many of the country seats near Baltimore, a lavish hospitality brought strangers from America and from Europe into pleasant association with the leading Marylanders of the day. A little to the south of Belvidere, in what was then the woodland of "Howard's Park," there soon rose the grandly simple column of the Washington Monument.

If Maryland escaped actual invasion during the Revolutionary War, she bore the brunt of the second contest with England. After the British had sailed up the Patuxent, laying waste the manor houses and wide plantations along its banks, after they had burned the national Capitol and routed a body of American militia, they proceeded to attack Baltimore by land and sea. The story is told that some faint hearts came forward with a proposition to compound for the safety of the city with a heavy ransom, when Colonel Howard replied, "I have as much property at stake as most people, and I have four sons in the field; but sooner would I see my sons weltering in their blood, and my property reduced to ashes, than so far disgrace the country."

It was such spirit as this that checked the land attack at North Point, and that held out in Fort McHenry during the anxious night of September 12th. When day broke upon Fort McHenry, the flag was still there. And in the gray dawn, Francis Scott Key, detained upon the Minden in an effort to secure the release of a captive friend, wrote upon the back of a letter the thoughts which were passing through his mind. Printed a little later, and first sung in a restaurant near the Holliday Street Theatre, the song of The Star Spangled Banner was caught up in intense enthusiasm, till now, following the flag it celebrates, it is sung in every portion of the globe.

No less important with respect to the final outcome of the war than the repulse of the British at North Point and at Fort McHenry, was the offensive warfare carried on by the privateers of Baltimore, the clippers turned fighters. The log books of these illusive craft make interesting reading. "Chased by a frigate: outsailed her," is the entry that seems to occur most frequently, and thrilling accounts of hairbreadth escapes are numerous. The English Channel was a favorite hunting ground of the privateers, and many a British vessel was taken or burnt outside of and in view of her own port. The amount of property taken or destroyed in this way was enormous, and the moral effect of American success exceeded the material.

With the return of peace, overtrading led to a commercial crisis. In 1818, the Baltimore branch of the Bank of the United States became insolvent, and the darkest period in the history of the city ensued. But in less than ten years the shock had been so far forgotten that Baltimore was again seeking to develop commercial connection with the West. "The enterprising citizens of Baltimore," we are told, "perceiving that in consequence of steam navigation on the western waters, and the exertions of other States they were losing the trade of the West, began seriously to consider of some mode of recovering it." The means adopted were twofold: the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The amount of money which Maryland and, relatively to a greater extent, Baltimore invested in these schemes has perhaps been more than subsequent events have justified; but the effect of the idea of internal improvement cannot be overestimated.

That the troublous times of the war between the States should bear upon Baltimore with special affliction was but the natural result of her geographical situation. In the more southerly cities, popular sentiment was usually nearly unanimous; in Baltimore, the combination in municipal life of the foreign with the native Southern element involved the existence of two ideas, two ways of looking at things. When, therefore, the great question had to be decided, the citizens of Baltimore, ever characterized by an excessive political activity, immediately divided into two camps, in which were often ranged in deadly opposition those who before had been bound by common ties of Church, of State and of kindred; while beneath and between the better elements of both parties, the turbulent mob, well schooled in political lawlessness, eagerly embraced every opportunity for riot and disorder.

The most serious cause of difference was not the question of slavery, for Baltimore was; it has been said, "the paradise of the free colored population." In 1789, Samuel Chase, Luther Martin, Dr. George Buchanan, and in fact most of the leading men of that day, formed one of the earliest of American abolition societies; and to the same cause, in later times, Charles Carroll of Carrollton lent his influence and William Pinkney his eloquence.

The most powerful stimulus to secession lay in the policy of Lincoln's administration. While the attack upon the Sixth Massachusetts was the work of the mob, the passage through Maryland of the Northern troops made sympathy with the South temporarily predominant. The excitement subsided; the city, like the State, was held for the Union, but the military policy of the national Government inaugurated a period of bitter oppression to those whose hearts were across the Potomac. Newspapers were suppressed, all exhibitions of sympathy with the Southern cause were rudely brought to an end, and the personal liberty of the individual was destroyed by the suspension of the habeas corpus-a suspension which henceforth estranged the executive and the judicial heads of the nation. Yet in spite of this military policy, or, more properly, because of it, the Union sentiment increased, and in 1864, in the city where four years before each of his three opponents had been nominated for the Presidency, the Union Republican convention chose as its candidate for a second term the President, Abraham Lincoln.

With the development off the policy of internal improvement began the modern city. In spite of financial crises, periods of bitter political disturbance and the shock of the Civil War, the expansion begun by the uniting of Baltimore town first with Jonas town and then with Fall's Point, has been continued over the neighboring hillsides to the north, east, and west, until the hamlet of two hundred inhabitants has now become the city of more than half a million souls. With this numerical increase has come a proportionate commercial development; the advantageous situation of "the northernmost southern and the westernmost eastern city" is as potent a factor in its life today as it was of old. In the higher things, also, that enrich the life of a great city, progress has been no less constant. The schoolmaster, to whom, in 1752, "encouragement" was offered by advertisement in the Maryland Gazette, has been succeeded by a thorough system of public education, while the ideas that found expression in the "Steven son's Folly," and the "Murphy's Circulating Library" of a century ago, have subsequently inspired the foundations of McDonogh, Shepard, Watson, White, Wilson, Peabody, Hopkins and Pratt.

Of all the institutions, charitable or educational, with which Baltimore has been blessed, none have brought her more honor than the Johns Hopkins University and the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Founded upon the bequest of one of Maryland's sons, who had amassed his great wealth in the city he loved so well, the University was fortunate in the selection as its President of Daniel C. Gilman, a man with extraordinary genius for educational organization. Fortunate, also, was the bringing together, at the start, of a faculty of eminent specialists: the first were Gildersleeve, Sylvester, Remsen, Rowland, Martin and Morris. These men, and their successors, have fostered a spirit of intellectual advance which has made the importance of the University in the educational history of this country assume a proportion simply incalculable.

Across the city, upon a site open and commanding, stands the Hospital, with its evergrowing Medical School, and its Training School for Nurses. Equally successful in its first choice of leaders, and in the character of those who follow them, the Hospital has been far more fortunate than the University in the financial stability of its endowment.

Between the two, and lying almost at the base of the Washington Monument, is the Peabody Institute, with its magnificent library. Farther downtown is that of the Maryland Historical Society, and these, with the Congressional Library in Washington, only forty miles away, afford every advantage for study and research; while the more popular demands of Baltimore's readers are met by the great Free Circulating Library endowed by the late Enoch Pratt.

In the solution of the problems that arise from the organization of modern society Baltimore has done pioneer work. It was a Baltimore lawyer, Hon. John V. L. McMahon, who drew up for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad the charter which "formed a model for the organization of all future railroad corporations." It was in Baltimore that a municipality first "secured a valuable revenue from street railway corporations, and applied it to the purposes of public parks."

The ploughman and the fisherman that, upon the Great Seal of Maryland, support the shield of the Lords Proprietary may be considered as typical of the influences which have combined to further the growth of the city of Baltimore; while to the happy result that has crowned their joint endeavors may be applied the words of the motto that surrounds the whole:


1) John Fleming was a tenant of the Carrolls. This homestead is supposed to have been located near the point where now Lombard Street intersects the east side of South Charles Street.

Historic towns of the Southern States

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