Baltimore, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Hugh Lennox Bond
"The Curse of the K.K.K"
for his harsh
Erected by Bolton Hill Historic District.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Maryland, Bolton Hill Historic District marker series.
Location. 39° 18.323′ N, 76° 37.433′ W. Marker is in Baltimore, Maryland. Marker is on West Lanvale Street, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 225 West Lanvale Street, Baltimore MD 21217, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. William H. Howell, Ph.D. (within shouting distance of this marker); Colonel Charles Marshall (within shouting distance of this marker); Gerald W. Johnson (within shouting distance of this marker); Family and Children’s Services of Central Maryland (within shouting distance of this marker); Ernest Stebbins, M.D. (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Mergenthaler House (about 400 feet away); Edith Hamilton (about 400 feet away); Curt Richter, Ph. D. (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Baltimore.
1. Commentary on Judge Bond, Where He Lived, The Placement of This Marker, and His Sentences
First of all, please allow me to state that, as a lifelong admirer of Judge Bond as judge, humanitarian (he founded the Baltimore Association for the Moral and Educational Improvement of the Colored People, which was a sort of Maryland Freedmen’s Bureau, thereby enabling freed slaves to be educated) and early
That said, although it is true that Judge Bond, his wife, and their three small children did have a residence on Lanvale Street for several years and can be found there in the 1870 U.S. Census, his TRUE home (the place at which he was born, the place which he considered his primary residence, and the place where he died) was the Mount Royal estate, home of his maternal grandfather, Dr. Solomon Birckhead, and subsequently that of his mother, Mrs. Christiana Birckhead Bond. It is located at 2001 Park Avenue (northeast corner Park Avenue and Reservoir Street), Baltimore, Maryland, only a few blocks north of the Lanvale Street location deemed appropriate for this marker. I had offered to pay the fee for placement of the marker where it rightfully belongs, at the Mount Royal estate, but was told that it had already been paid for at the Lanvale Street location. I therefore ask the inscription be amended so that the viewer will be directed to 2001 Park Avenue as well.
The Mount Royal estate was built sometime during the 18th Century, date unknown. It is one of Baltimore's last surviving estates of that era and therefore is of historical significance aside from its link to the judge. Its previous owner, Dr. Birckhead, and his son-in-law, Dr. Thomas Emerson Bond, were eminent physicians and saved many Baltimoreans' lives in epidemics such as yellow fever, risking their own lives in the process.
It may be that since, at the time of the KKK trials, Judge Bond had a wife and three young boys, and since he had received hate mail and death threats for his unpopular championing of African-American causes, he considered it safer and more prudent for his family to take up residence on Lanvale Street, which
Possibly it was deemed “politically incorrect” to place the judge’s marker outside the limits of “Bolton Hill,” i.e., north of North Avenue, in adjacent “Reservoir Hill.” I lived on the north side of West North Avenue at Bolton Street in the Mount Royal area, consisting of both “Bolton Hill” and “Reservoir Hill,” from the age of two until fully grown, when I relocated from Maryland. The names of both districts are of relatively recent vintage and are misnomers; the area’s correct name is Mount Royal, named after the Birckhead/Bond estate. It is true that the portion south of North Avenue did have its great fabled estates, including Bolton and Rose Hill (they were maintained by slave labor), Sadly, neither exists today. The famous Mount Royal Garden Club Blue Book, published in 1937, makes it very clear that the neighborhood’s name is Mount Royal, and the Mount Royal house itself in that fine volume is called “beautiful.” Indeed, the association which so ably represents the interests of residents of “Bolton Hill” has seen fit to retain its original name: the Mount Royal Improvement Association, formerly the Mount Royal Protective Association (which I remember very well).
Secondly, while it is true that the Klan members feared Judge Bond because he was courageous and determined to end their reign of terror, and not even death threats would deter him from presiding over the “hot potato” trials, I respectfully protest the description of his KKK sentences as “harsh.” If you read accounts of the trials themselves—and they are online
— Submitted September 20, 2008, by Rita Janice Traub of Atlanta, Georgia.
Categories. • Abolition & Underground RR • Notable Persons • Politics •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. This page has been viewed 2,559 times since then and 47 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on , by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. 3. submitted on , by Rita Janice Traub of Atlanta, Georgia. 4. submitted on , by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.