Monument City Blog

Branches of Baltimore History

The 1835 Bank of Maryland Riots

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In 1835, the Bank of Maryland lost a large sum of their investors money. They decided not to pay back the cash and the people rioted, targeting the directors of the bank and any sympathizers.

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It should also be noted that, once a mob had formed, the bank’s investors continued to conduct themselves righteously. They caused no injuries, even though they were fired upon by the bank’s guards. They stole nothing nonpotable, despite the fact that the houses they sacked were brimming with valuables. They made sure to control their fires, and even voted on whether or not to burn a boatyard. As oxymoronic as it sounds, there was order to their destruction; morality to their violence. It is clear that the good of the community was a major issue; care was taken not to negatively affect anyone except those that had so carelessly jeopardized the savings of the people that had believed in them.

Fire department records from the time show that during the uprising firemen directed the protesters not to injure the Battle Monument.

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They fearlessly put out the fire of rich furniture piled up in front of the Battle Monument, and mingling policy with courage, induced the rioters to abstain from interference by telling them that the fire would injure the monument.

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The mayor (Jesse Hunt) issued a warning to citizens to remain at home; he then resigned.  Aging General Samuel Smith led the city’s firefighters, a detachment of United States Army regulars, and a group of armed citizens in patrolling the streets until the city was quiet again.

Written by monumentcity

April 28th, 2009 at 4:38 pm

Posted in All Posts,Reference