The Chesapeake Campaign & The War of 1812
Fell's Point National Register Historic District and Ft. McHenry National Monument
Privateers had government licenses called “Letters of Marque and Reprisal,” authorizing the capture of enemy merchant ships as “prizes” for their owners. These privately-owned, armed schooners ran blockades, harassed British convoys, and captured merchant ships, actions that caused great frustration and financial loss.
122 Fell’s Point privateers captured more than 500 British ships, wrought havoc on British trade, and secured millions of dollars in prizes. Their audacity and success caused the British to attack the city in 1814, only to be turned away at the Battle of Baltimore and Fort McHenry.
“The Star-Spangled Banner” Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine is home to two of America’s most powerful symbols-the National Anthem and the American Flag. It was here in 1814, at the height of the War of 1812, that this embattled garrison held off a massive bombardment and attempted invasion by a British naval fleet---and defended a greater prize-Baltimore
Francis Scott Key, who witnessed the attack, was so overjoyed to see the flag still flying “by the dawn’s early light” that he wrote the “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Hop on a water taxi and visit the Fort to take part in the twice-a-day Flag Change, where you can help fold or hoist the flag right where the original flagpole stood. As you stand on the ramparts of the Fort looking down toward the Bay, you stand at the crossroads of history.
For the Chesapeake Bay’s ship owners and their crews, privateering was a risky business, but also lucrative. Owners fronted as much as $40,000 ($643,000 in today’s dollars) to build and outfit a privateer. However, if a privateer captured several enemy vessels on a single voyage, the return could be as much as five times that initial investment.
Location. 39° 16.908′ N, 76° 35.586′ W. Marker is in Baltimore, Maryland. Marker is at the intersection of Thames Street and Broadway on Thames Street. Click for map. The marker is located in the Fell's Point Section of Baltimore, MD. Marker is in this post office area: Baltimore MD 21231, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. On Thursday, September 18, 2003 (a few steps from this marker); Fells Point (a few steps from this marker); In This Building From 1992 - 1999 (within shouting distance of this marker); War in the Chesapeake (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); “Baltimore must be tamed…” (about 400 feet away); The Robert Long House (about 500 feet away); St. Stanislaus Kostka Church (about 700 feet away); Frederick Douglass (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Baltimore.
Categories. • War of 1812 • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 481 times since then and 19 times this year. Photo 1. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.