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Archive for the ‘Revolutionary War’ Category

Westminster Burying Ground and Catacombs

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Westminster Burying Ground and Catacombs was established in 1786 as Westminster Presbyterian Cemetery. In the middle of the 19th Century the congregation (First Presbyterian) decided to erect a church building. They chose the cemetery for the Dixon, Dixon, Balbirnie designed structure, placing the foundation on top of the burial ground. Completed in 1852, the Gothic Revival church is raised above a portion of graves creating catacombs. It closed in 1977 and is now owned and maintained by the University of Maryland School of Law. The facilities are available for functions and the cemetery is open to the public from 8am until dusk. The catacombs can be toured by appointment.

Several American heroes are resting at Westminster. Revolutionary War physician James McHenry was buried here in 1816. A signer of the Declaration of Independence and George Washington’s aide-de-camp, McHenry eventually became the third United States Secretary of War. Fort McHenry was named in his honor.

Brigadier General John Stricker was instrumental in Baltimore’s defining moment during the War of 1812. In command of the third brigade of the Maryland Militia, Stricker was tasked with stalling the approaching British land force as they marched on Baltimore in September of 1814. His men were successful, enabling Major General Samuel Smith to carry out his fortification plans. Stricker was also a soldier during the Revolutionary War.

Next to the Stricker vault is the final resting place of Samuel Smith, merchant, statesman and war hero. Smith elevated to Lieutenant Colonel during the Revolutionary War and to Major General during the War of 1812. He commanded the city’s overall defense during the Battle of Baltimore and was a United States Senator from Maryland. He was mayor of Baltimore from 1835-1838. Smith died in 1839 at the age of 86. His politician brother Robert, Secretary of State under James Madison, is also buried at Westminster.

A number of Baltimore mayors are entombed here. James Calhoun, Edward Johnson and John Smith-Hollins join Samuel Smith in the small Victorian cemetery.

In 1849 Edgar Allan Poe was placed at Westminster next to his grandfather, David Poe Senior. A veteran of the Revolutionary War and War of 1812, David was Charm City’s assistant deputy quartermaster during the Revolution and apparently committed $40,000 of his personal fortune to the American cause. He helped defend Charm City in 1814 at the age of 71. His tombstone reads: Patriot.

In 1875 Edgar Allan was moved to the front of the cemetery and placed under an Egyptian-themed George Frederick designed monument. Several years later, in 1913, a second headstone was erected at the writer’s initial burial site.

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Written by monumentcity

April 29th, 2012 at 7:25 pm

Old Saint Paul’s Cemetery in Baltimore

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Old Saint Paul’s Cemetery is located in west Baltimore and is bound by Redwood Street to the north, Lombard Street to the south and Martin Luther King Boulevard to the west. 2.8 acres of land was purchased in 1800 as a burial ground for Old Saint Paul’s growing congregation. The church, established in 1692, is one of 30 original parishes granted to the Colony of Maryland by the Church of England.

Several prominent American war veterans are interred at Old Saint Paul’s Cemetery. Revolutionary War hero and Maryland politician John Eager Howard is buried here in his family vault. Howard is famous for leading the 3rd Maryland Regiment during the Battle of Cowpens. He later served as 5th Governor of Maryland from 1788 to 1791.

George Armistead rests within the park’s boundaries. Commander of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812, Armistead died just four years after the epic Battle of Baltimore. His nephew Lewis Armistead became a Confederate Brigadier General during the American Civil War and was incredibly courageous at the Battle of Gettysburg, a battle which ultimately claimed his life. He lies next to his uncle near the cemetery’s center.

Francis Scott Key, author of the Star-Spangled Banner, was initially interred in the Howard family vault. His daughter Elizabeth was married to Charles Howard, the fourth and youngest son of John Eager Howard. Francis Key died at his daughter’s Mount Vernon home in 1843. His remains were moved to Mount Olivet Cemetery in Frederick, Maryland in 1866.

Jacob Small, Jr. is buried in Old Saint Paul’s Cemetery. Small fought in the Battle of North Point during the War of 1812 and later served as mayor of Baltimore. He designed the Aquila Randall Monument in 1817. The memorial still stands in Dundalk.

Other notable Marylanders at rest here are politicians Samuel Chase, James Carroll and George Howard. Chase signed the United States Declaration of Independence and eventually became an associate justice of the Supreme Court. His father, Reverend Thomas Chase, was the first pastor of Old Saint Paul’s Parish. James Carroll was a Congressman from Maryland and George Howard, 1st son of John Eager Howard, was the 22nd Governor of the state.

Robert Cary Long, Sr. was a self-taught American architect responsible for designing and building numerous structures throughout the City of Firsts. His Peale Museum and Davidge Hall remain. Long was a member of Old Saint Paul’s Parish and was the architect of its second church building which burned down in 1854. He sleeps within the park’s protective walls.
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An interesting aspect of historic cemeteries is the burial bell. In the past there was a legitimate fear of being buried alive. A bell atop a burial room with a string hanging below was one last insurance policy for the recently departed. Cemetery workers were employed around the clock to listen for the ringing of the dead. Rick Tomlinson, Verger for Old Saint Paul’s Parish and gatekeeper of its graveyard, pointed out a few burial bells while he graciously lead me around the grounds.

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Written by monumentcity

October 29th, 2011 at 11:24 am

Baltimore’s George Washington Monument

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Mount Vernon Place & Washington Place (Street View)

GPS: 39° 17′ 50.80″ N 76° 36′ 56.40″ W

History

Begun in 1815, Baltimore’s Washington Monument was the first monument planned to our nation’s first president. However, it was not the first completed. The stonework monument in Washington County, MD at Washington Monument State Park was finished in 1827, two years before Baltimore’s elegant spire. The cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1815 and the statue by artist Enrico Causici was dedicated November 11, 1829.

Legend holds that a prodigy or omen was observed upon the raising of the statue to the top of the 178 foot doric column, “…a shooting star dashed across the sky and an eagle lit on the head of the settling general.” The Baltimore monument was designed by architect Robert Mills, who also designed the Washington Monument in Washington, DC. The original statue design featured Washington dressed in Roman military garb riding a chariot. As project finances tightened, the statue theme was modified to that of Washington resigning his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army in Annapolis.

The original site for this massive monument was down by the old Court House, on Calvert between Lexington and Fayette, by the Battle Monument. Area residents, however, feared that the monument would either topple on their homes or attract lightning. Colonel John Eager Howard, who served under Washington, donated a portion of his estate, Howard’s Woods, to the project. The hill upon which this monument stands was, at the time, well north of the city proper. $100,000 was raised by lottery for the monument’s construction through the authorized sale of 35,000 tickets. The monument actually ended up costing $200,000. The statue and monument are made of marble from Cockeysville, just north of the city.

Notes

Over the coming decades after the monument’s completion, the parks running north and south (in the shape of a Greek cross) became filled with other outdoor sculptures, including monuments to Taney, Lafayette, John Eager Howard, Severn Teackle Wallis and George Peabody, along with the Sea Urchin statue, several ornate fountains, a proud regal lion by Barye, Military Courage and four corner pieces around the great circle of the Washington Monument depicting allegorically the figures of War, Peace, Order and Force.

As the Washington Monument project wore on, the original design for the column was simplified – some of the details of which were later re-invested into the ornate fencing surrounding the base of the column. During the warmer months, visitors to the Washington Monument can enter through the base (which contains a small museum) and pay a dollar to climb 228 stairs all the way to the top, which affords an excellent vantage point of the city.

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Written by monumentcity

May 31st, 2009 at 9:31 am

John Eager Howard Monument in Mount Vernon

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Madison Street & Washington Place / N Charles Street (Street View)

GPS: 39° 17′ 54.32″ N 76° 36′ 56.75″ W

History

Dedicated on January 16, 1904, this lively equestrian statue of Maryland’s own John Eager Howard was executed by artist Emmanuel Fremiet. It was a gift of the Municipal Art Society of Baltimore City and stands on land once part of Howard’s estate. Fremiet, a renowned animal sculptor of the time, is also well known for his equestrian statue of Joan of Arc in the Place des Pyramides of Paris. Howard served under George Washington as a Colonel in the Continental Army, hence his placement just north of Washington’s spire in the historic Mount Vernon neighborhood.

Howard distinguished himself militarily at the Battle of Cowpens, where he lead a bayonet charge that turned the tide of battle. That act of valor is commemorated at another monument to Eager nearby on Centre Street. Howard County, Maryland, is named after him, as are Howard & Eager Streets in Baltimore City. Howard sat as a member of the Continental Congress in 1788, served as governor of Maryland for three consecutive one-year terms, was state senator, United States congressman and United States senator and lost the vice-presidential election in 1816. He is buried in Old Saint Paul’s Cemetery.

Notes

On the back of the monument is a replica of the medal granted Howard by Congress for valor at the Battle of Cowpens, along with a panel showing a Continental officer riding down a British soldier.

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May 29th, 2009 at 9:59 am

George Washington Statue in Druid Hill Park

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Hanlon Drive & Mansion House Drive (Street View)

GPS: 39° 19′ 3.00″ N 76° 38′ 33.60″ W

History

This statue was constructed in 1857 in Rome by the American artist Edward Sheffield Bartholomew at the behest of Noah Walker, a Baltimore businessman. Walker had the statue installed in a niche within the facade of his West Baltimore Street clothing business, at what came to be known as the Washington Building. The statue was originally installed on the second floor and was lit at night by a circle of gaslights. An 1871 sketch of its original appearance can be found here. When Walker died the statue was donated by his family to the city and was moved to Druid Hill Park. Initially the statue was placed on a small pedestal that has since been upgraded. Enoch Pratt, the philanthropist after whom Baltimore’s library system is named, donated the structure in which it now rests. The monument is next to the old Promenade entrance.

Notes

Bartholomew’s Washington statue is one of many monuments dedicated to America’s first president. Aside from the Washington Monument in Mount Vernon, there is also a Washington Bicentennial marker near the Basilica. And compatriots of Washington’s like Lafayette and Pulaski are also memorialized in Baltimore City.

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Written by monumentcity

May 28th, 2009 at 10:06 am

John Eager Howard Bayonet Monument

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W Centre Street & N Howard Street (Street View)

GPS: 39° 17′ 47.46″ N 76° 37′ 13.49″ W

History

Just west of the Centre Street light rail stop on Howard Street, which was named after him, this 1985 monument is by artist David Gerlach and is one of two monuments to the Revolutionary War hero and statesman John Eager Howard. The other more classical equestrian monument to Howard lies at the north end of the park above the Washington Monument in Mount Vernon. Howard became recognized for his gallantry at the Battle of Cowpens on January 17, 1781 with a bayonet charge which helped secure the American victory. The sculpture was installed as part of the Market Center Redevelopment.

Notes

The park this memorial sits in was once part of Howard’s expansive 260-acre Baltimore estate, which he split up and gifted to various civic causes, religious groups, Lexington Market and even the land for the Mount Vernon Washington Monument. The monument consists of three stylized figures, two of whom are pointing rifles which once had bayonets affixed to them. The figure of Howard points off to the distance, as if ordering the men to charge. At one time his pointing hand held something, presumably a sword or pistol by the way the hand is sculpted. In addition to the missing elements, the figures are also scrawled with graffiti. Howard is buried in Old Saint Paul’s Cemetery, which is not far away.

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Written by monumentcity

May 28th, 2009 at 10:01 am

Marquis de Lafayette Monument in Mount Vernon

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Washington Place & Mt Vernon Place (Street View)

GPS: 39° 17′ 49.86″ N 76° 36′ 56.48″ W

History

Marquis de Lafayette was a wildly-popular French military hero of the American Revolution. Lafayette served in the Continental Army under General George Washington, hence the proximity of his monument (just south) to Washington’s memorial in the heart of Mount Vernon. Lafayette’s involvement in the American Revolution, though it went against the orders of the King of France, was instrumental in solidifying bonds of friendship and military alliance between the fledgling United States and France, along with such diplomatic contemporaries as Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.

After rising through the ranks of both the American and French armies, Lafayette ultimately returned to France as a special adviser to the king in 1788, and presented in council session a draft of a document fundamental to the French Revolution, The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. But as the French Revolution mounted in intensity, Lafayette as commander of the French National Guard worked to maintain order, for which he was persecuted and eventually imprisoned by the more radical elements of the Revolution.

In 1824-25, President James Monroe invited Lafayette to tour the United States. Lafayette was given a hero’s welcome wherever he went. He visited all twenty-four states and traveled some 6,000 miles. Huge crowds gathered to salute the man, towns were named after him, memorials were erected in his honor and he was even granted honorary United States citizenship by a direct act of Congress – one of only six individuals to have been given this civic honor. One hundred years later on September 6, 1924, Baltimore dedicated its own monument to this great general, with sculpture by Andrew O’Connor and landscape architecture by Thomas Hastings. Lafayette was buried in France under American soil from Bunker Hill.

Notes

Baltimore’s Washington Monument looms atop a spire directly north of Lafayette, who sits upon his horse facing south down the hill towards the Inner Harbor. Washington’s huge arm is outstretched, so that it seems almost like he’s commanding Lafayette to ride off into the distance. Apparently the Oneida tribe, whom Lafayette recruited to the American cause, referred to him as Kayewla (“fearsome horseman”). Lafayette’s monument sits directly between the Peabody Conservatory, part of Johns Hopkins University, and the Walters Art Gallery, which houses a fabulous collection of cultural and artistic treasures from around the world and is open to the public for free.

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May 15th, 2009 at 1:36 pm

General Casimir Pulaski Monument in Patterson Park

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S Linwood Avenue & Eastern Avenue (Street View)

GPS: 39° 17′ 13.47″ N 76° 34′ 36.93″ W

History

After years of fighting Russian occupiers in defense of Poland, Kazimierz Pulaski was eventually forced from his homeland. His role in forming the Bar Confederation, the group responsible for Poland’s first uprising, had cost him is freedom. Sentenced to death, he fled to France where he was recruited by General La Fayette to fight in the American Revolution.

Known as the “father of the American cavalry” for his courageous and intuitive techniques, the soldier of fortune was a friend of Ben Franklin. In 1777, at the Battle of Brandywine, he saved George Washington’s life and was promoted to brigadier general. Due to his inability to speak English he relinquished this post and became America’s “Commander of the Horse,” a position he held until his untimely death. The magnificent relief sculpture depicts General Pulaski and Captain Paul Bentalou leading their cavalry at the Siege of Savannah. Behind the two men are more soldiers and horses in full battle march. Pulaski was shot in the thigh during the fight and died two days later.

Notes

Placed at the southeast corner of Patterson Park, the Pulaski Monument is an imposing combination of art and architecture. The area surrounding the structure is circled by a fence and a long walkway leads to the memorial. Commissioned in 1929, by the General Pulaski Monument Committee, the memorial faced a series of set-backs before it’s final completion in 1951. After collecting and saving funds, primarily from the Polish community, the project stalled when the bank, where the money was kept, went under during the Great Depression. Then, during WWII, bronze became difficult to obtain and inflation increased the cost beyond the estimated amount. It wasn’t until the State of Maryland and the City of Baltimore stepped in to provide additional financial support that the sculpture was completed. Restoration of the monument took place in 2002. Hans Schuler created the relief with A. C. Radziszewski acting as architect.

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April 11th, 2009 at 4:23 pm

Maryland Line Monument at Mount Royal Station

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Cathedral Street & W Mount Royal Avenue (Street View)

GPS: 39° 18′ 20.35″ N 76° 37′ 7.58″ W

History

Sculpted by Albert L Van den Berghen (variously attributed as Vander Bergen), this monument was dedicated on Peggy Stewart Day, October 19, 1901, to the “Bayonets of the Continental Army.” The name of this memorial references the state’s nickname of “The Old Line State.” The 60 foot tall columnar monument was sponsored by the Maryland chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution and the figure depicted high atop the column is the Goddess of Liberty, who holds unfurled the Declaration of Independence in one hand and a laurel wreath in the other. The state motto of Maryland, actually an Italian phrase and not Latin, adorns one of the four decorative plaques at the base of this monument, Fatti maschii, parole femine, the official state-sanctioned translation of which is “Strong Deeds, Gentle Words.”

Notes

Located across the street from the Lyric Opera House, home of the now-defunct Baltimore Opera Company, the Maryland Line Monument is centrally located during the city’s annual Artscape festival. Across the street is the Maryland Institute College of Art’s “Station Building,” or Mount Royal Station, a former B&O passenger train station erected in 1896 and renovated for academic use in 1966.

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April 1st, 2009 at 3:46 pm