Monument City Blog

Branches of Baltimore History

Archive for the ‘Reference’ Category

The Diamondback Terrapin

without comments

The state reptile of Maryland, the diamondback terrapin, lives in brackish waters and swampy regions along the eastern coast of North America.  During the 18th and 19th centuries, the diamondback flourished in the tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay, providing an abundant food source to the developing area.  Originally slave labor food, the 5 to 7 inch long terrapins became a delicacy during the 1900’s, eventually fetching high prices in America’s finest restaurants.

[Source]

Chesapeake colonists ate terrapin prepared Native-American fashion, roasted whole in live coals. Abundant and easy to catch, terrapin were so ample that landowners often fed their slaves and indentured servants a staple diet of terrapin meat. Later, in the 19th century, the turtle was appreciated as gourmet food, especially in a stew laced with cream and sherry. Subsequently, tremendous retail demand and heavy fishing of the terrapin nearly depleted its supply, and protective laws were enacted.

[Source]

(1869) Barnum’s Hotel at the corner of Calvert and Fayette (dubbed the best hotel in the United States by Charles Dickens) holds a dinner for 17th U.S. President Andrew Johnson that features 90 items of Maryland cuisine, from elk to turtle.

Written by monumentcity

January 18th, 2010 at 7:57 am

Posted in All Posts,Reference

The Mastodon and the Peale Museum

without comments

[Source]

Raphael and Rembrandt Peale, his enterprising sons, had for some years previous stimulated artistic and scientific interest by the opening of the Baltimore Museum where they exhibited “sixty-four portraits of illustrious men distinguished in the Revolution,” as well as “upwards of two hundred preserved birds, beasts, amphibious animals, fishes, and also Indian’s dresses, ornaments, and utensils for civil and military life, etc.” Raphael Peale left Baltimore in 1800, after painting “seventy-two miniatures since his arrival.” Rembrandt on his return from Europe found the interest so great in the stupendous skeleton he had exhibited, which weighed 1,000 pounds and was 31 feet long from tusks to tail (a dinner party having been given in its capacious frame), that he returned to Baltimore and began about 1813 the building from a design by Robert Cary Long on Holliday street near Lexington, which still bears upon its notable facade the faded legend, Baltimore Museum, erected by Rembrandt Peale, 1813-1830.”

Written by monumentcity

December 9th, 2009 at 4:53 pm

The Washington Papers at the Library of Congress

without comments

[Source]

The Library of Congress contains the George Washington Papers, which may be viewed online. A search inquiry yielded archives which contain actual photographs of original documents either written to or by Washington. The reader may view these documents in their original form. We have also transcribed certain letters which demonstrate, not only Washington’s close ties to Freemasonry, but his position as Grand Master of the Alexandria Lodge No. 22 of Virginia.

Although Washington’s correspondence with the Masonic Lodges is replete with Masonic references to the Great Architect of the Universe, his response to a Christian clergyman conspicuously avoids mention of Jesus Christ or acknowledgment of personal Christian faith.  Washington also defended American Freemasonry and denied that American Masonic societies were connected to English Freemasonry or contaminated with the subversive principles of the Illuminati. The final exchange of letters reveals the mutual admiration between Washington and the Swedenborgian New Church of Baltimore.

Written by monumentcity

May 24th, 2009 at 6:58 pm

Posted in All Posts,Reference

Eli Siegel Stone Controversy

without comments

[Source]

“Others who signed on to the memorial as “supporters” admitted later that they had little knowledge of any darker side to aesthetic realism and its founder.

“I have to confess I don’t really know much about him or his work,” said Steven R. David, associate dean of academic affairs for Johns Hopkins University, who also agreed to be listed as a supporter of the memorial after checking out the foundation’s Web site.

“I probably should have looked into it further. There is a kind of bandwagon effect — you see the governor and the mayor signing on to something and you say, ‘Sure, I’ll sign on, too.'”

Written by monumentcity

May 18th, 2009 at 3:18 pm

Posted in All Posts,Reference

The Taney Arrest Warrant

without comments

[Source]

The Taney Arrest Warrant is a recent conjectural controversy in Abraham Lincoln scholarship. The standard version of the story avers that in late May or early June 1861 President Lincoln secretly ordered an arrest warrant for Roger B. Taney, the circuit-riding Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, but abandoned the proposal. The arrest order is said to have been in response to Taney’s Circuit Judge ruling in Ex parte Merryman, which found Lincoln’s suspension of the writ of habeas corpus to be unconstitutional.

The main details of the story come from a single document written in the 1880s.

Written by monumentcity

May 15th, 2009 at 6:18 pm

Posted in All Posts,Reference

Aesthetic Realism?

without comments

Michael Bluejay has a website devoted to discrediting the teachings of Eli Siegel and the organization that continues to carry out his ideas. The site is the first item listed when a search for Aesthetic Realism is carried out, due to it being a sponsored link. A counter webpage, put up by Siegel’s organization, claims that Mr. Bluejay is untrue and it goes on to deface him as follows.

[Source]

Most of that falsification is being purveyed on the web pages of a Michael Bluejay. He is someone who, on his personal website, has published naked pictures of himself—including photos of himself in full frontal nudity, and riding a tricycle naked. He also points as a source of pride to his having worn “a dress to a strip club” without having gotten “beat up.”

Written by monumentcity

May 12th, 2009 at 12:02 pm

Posted in All Posts,Reference

The 1835 Bank of Maryland Riots

without comments

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.

[Source]

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.

[Source]

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.

[Source]

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

Lee and Jackson Commission

without comments

Apparently Hans Schuler had created a model for the Lee and Jackson Monument but the commission went to Laura Gardin Frazer.  Great article on Baltimore’s most famous realist sculptor in the City Paper.  The author visits Schuler’s school and talks to his granddaughter.

[Source]

And there are models for sculptures that, like the Four Horsemen, never made it to full size. When I happened to make favorable mention of Laura Gardin Frazer’s Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson monument in Wyman Park, I saw a cloud pass over Franscesca Schuler’s face. Did I say something wrong? She pointed out her grandfather’s Lee and Jackson, in two small plaster versions. A committee, she said, gave Frazer the commission.

Written by monumentcity

April 14th, 2009 at 1:04 pm

Posted in All Posts,Reference

Union Soldiers and Sailors at Druid Lake

without comments

[Source]

The central bronze figure of the Union Soldiers and Sailor Monument, at the foot of the steep embankment of Druid Lake, is a soldier turning from the plow and anvil to the sword.  Unveiled in 1909, it is the work of A A Weinman.

Written by monumentcity

April 14th, 2009 at 3:19 am

Posted in All Posts,Reference

Baltimore’s Star Spangled Banner Walking Tour

without comments

[Source]

The Francis Scott Key Monument, which is undergoing renovation in Eutaw Place at Lanvale Street in Bolton Hill, will be a stop on a planned downtown Star-Spangled Banner Walking Tour. This proposed mini-tour will link to the larger 200-mile planned Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail that has been under consideration by Congress after being proposed by Senator Paul S. Sarbanes of Maryland.

Written by monumentcity

April 1st, 2009 at 3:04 am

Posted in All Posts,Reference