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Archive for the ‘Maritime’ Category

The Julia Rollins at Green Mount Cemetery

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This Hans Schuler sculpture depicts the 19th Century ship the Julia Rollins. Marking Commodore Thornton Rollins grave in Green Mount Cemetery, the detailed relief was created around 1935, the year of the Commodore’s death. Thornton Rollins was a successful Baltimore merchant who dealt heavily in the international coffee trade. In 1885 Rollins commissioned the Skinner & Sons shipbuilding company to build the 146-foot bark for his growing enterprise. Baltimore was a thriving American port in the late 1800s and Skinner & Sons was a premiere shipbuilder, employing around 250 people and maintaining a 350′ X 350′ dry dock at the harbor. The Julia Rollins was named after the Commodore’s wife and cost $24,208.

On January 29, 1894, the 586 ton bark came under enemy fire at Rio Harbor. The merchant ship was attacked by Brazilian insurgents during their bombardment of Rio de Janeiro. The complicated diplomatic affair was tempered by the American Admiral Andrew E. K. Benham, a Civil War veteran sent to the region to protect American interests. Benham’s order of return fire from the U.S.S. Detroit stunned the determined insurgents. However, the Brazilian rebels, under the leadership of Admiral de Gama, did not go easily, and musket fire was exchanged. Realizing the American’s strict stance, de Gama attempted to surrender to U.S. forces. Admiral Benham refused and maintained his defensive position until the conflict was resolved. The rebellion ended a few months later and order was returned to Rio Harbor. The minor maritime standoff made newspaper headlines across the United States and was seen as an act of patriotism by President Cleveland and his administration. The Julia Rollins was later renamed the Northwest. It sank off the coast of South Carolina on July 13, 1916.

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April 1st, 2011 at 9:30 am

Frederick Douglass Memorial in Fells Point

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South Caroline Street & Philpot Street (Street View)

GPS: 39° 16′ 45.60″ N 76° 35′ 46.80″ W

History

One of the most important figures in American civil rights, Frederick Douglass spent his honorable life defending human liberties, including his own. Born a slave in Talbot County, Maryland, Douglass was passed around between owners for most of his early life. He began learning to read at an early age from the white children in his neighborhoods and from Sophia Auld, the wife of his Baltimore owner, Hugh Auld. Douglass began reading newspapers at the age of twelve, helping to form the basis of his ideas of liberty at a young age. Constantly angering his owners through his courage and knowledge, he was shipped off to a rural farm run by a man know for “breaking slaves”. Here, at the age of sixteen, Frederick’s spirit was crushed until he finally fought back against his enemy. He won the fight and began planning his escape, eventually succeeding through the help of the Underground Railroad. He immediately joined abolitionist groups and began writing and making speeches. His autobiography, published in 1845, was a major success and his status as leading man for his numerous causes was established.

Notes

The memorial bust is placed on the grounds of the newly opened Frederick Douglass Isaac Myers Maritime Park. The park is part of the Living Classrooms project and is located at the site of the first African-American owned and operated shipyard in the United States. Douglass worked at these docks during his early years in Baltimore. The statue sits right on the dock and is constructed in sections. The artist Marc Andre Robinson created the work and it was installed in 2006. A second Douglass monument is located on the campus of Morgan State University.

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May 20th, 2009 at 10:33 am

Captain John O’Donnell Monument in Canton

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O’Donnell Street & S Curley Street (Street View)

GPS: 39° 16′ 48.74″ N 76° 34′ 29.60″ W

History

Merchant John O’Donnell settled in Baltimore Town in 1780. Known as “The Father of the Potomac Canal,” O’Donnell eventually purchased a large piece of waterfront land east of Fells Point. Already a successful businessman, the Irish-born Captain established an economic foundation in Canton that sustained through the Great Depression. A captain in the East India Trading Company when he arrived on Maryland’s shores, O’Donnell wore many hats, and his various business interests made him one of the richest men in the country during his lifetime. The monument was created by artist Tylden Streett, a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art, who also sculpted the Firefighter’s Memorial next to Zion Church.

Notes

Inside a fence in Canton Square, the memorial stands in a well-maintained garden. A plaque reads: “Captain John O’Donnell, the founder of the Canton Community was man of great vision and accomplishment. He initiated trade between Canton, China and Baltimore in 1785 operating his own merchant sailing vessels. This public square, once the site of Canton Market, is dedicated in his honor.” The monument was surveyed in 1993 and is in excellent condition.

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April 30th, 2009 at 8:08 pm

The Pride Memorial at the Inner Harbor

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Key Highway and S Shore Promenade at Rash Field (Street View)

GPS: 39° 16′ 53.62″ N 76° 36′ 30.08″ W

History

The Pride of Baltimore was a reproduction of a Baltimore clipper topsail schooner named The Chausseur which fought in the War of 1812 under privateer Thomas Boyle. The Pride was lost at sea in a micro-burst squall with her captain and three others in May of 1986. She had been commissioned in 1975, was built alongside the Science Center, and was launched by Barbara Mikulski in 1977. A Pride of Baltimore II was launched in 1988. Monument dedicated in 1992.

Notes

Located at the east end of Rash Field, which lies on the south side of the Inner Harbor. The Rusty Scupper restaurant is nearby and the mound of Federal Hill looms immediately to the south. Currently occupying Rash Field to the west is the Trapeze School of Baltimore and sand volleyball courts. The Pride Memorial itself is composed of a central wooden mast held in place by guide wires, a set of inscribed plaques, and an etching of the ship.

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February 20th, 2009 at 9:55 am