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Havre de Grace in Harford County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Hero's Reward

Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail

 
 
Hero's Reward Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 4, 2013
1. Hero's Reward Marker
Inscription.  John O'Neill led a futile defense when British raiders attacked Havre de Grace May 3, 1813. As other defenders fled, O'Neill briefly manned a cannon alone.

His courage earned O'Neill a presidential appointment as first keeper of the Concord Point Lighthouse. He lived here from 1827 until his death in 1838.

"... An English officer on horseback followed by the marines, rode up and took me with two muskets in my hand." -- John O'Neill, Baltimore Niles' Weekly Register May 15, 1813.

Tributes
O'Neill's bravery was rare among hometown defenders. He was honored in 1813 with a sword inscribed "to the Gallant O'Neill for his valor at Havre de Grace." A century later, the town dedicated the John O’Neill Cannon Memorial to this local hero.

[lower left] image / (C) Gerry Embleton
[to upper right of "Tributes"] image / courtesy Maryland Historical Society
 
Erected by National Park Service / U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War of 1812
Hero's Reward Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 4, 2013
2. Hero's Reward Marker
. In addition, it is included in the Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail series list.
 
Location. 39° 32.447′ N, 76° 5.131′ W. Marker is in Havre de Grace, Maryland, in Harford County. Marker is at the intersection of Concord Street and Lafayette Street, on the left when traveling north on Concord Street. Near the Concord Point Lighthouse Keeper's House. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Havre de Grace MD 21078, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Post U.S. Lighthouse Service Use (here, next to this marker); Adding On (here, next to this marker); The Keepers (a few steps from this marker); Did you Know? (a few steps from this marker); Concord Point Lighthouse Grounds (a few steps from this marker); Keeper of the Light (a few steps from this marker); Keeper's House (a few steps from this marker); Havre de Grace (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Havre de Grace.
 
Tributes image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 4, 2013
3. Tributes
O'Neill's bravery was rare among hometown defenders. He was honored in 1813 with a sword incribed "to the Gallant O'Neill for his valor at Havre de Grace." A century later, the town dedicated the John O'Neill Cannon Memorial to this local hero.
Close-up of photo on marker
Maryland Historical Society
Concord Point Lighthouse Keeper's House image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 4, 2013
4. Concord Point Lighthouse Keeper's House
Concord Point Lighthouse image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 30, 2012
5. Concord Point Lighthouse
John O'Neill Cannon Monument image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 4, 2013
6. John O'Neill Cannon Monument
Erected in 1914
John O'Neill Cannon Monument image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 4, 2013
7. John O'Neill Cannon Monument

This cannon of the War of 1812
marks the site of the battery on Concord Point
where
John O'Neill
1769-1838
served the guns single handed during the
British attack upon Havre de Grace
May 3, 1813 until disabled and captured.

He was released from the British frigate Maid Stone through the intercession of his young daughter, Matilda, to whom Admiral Cockburn gave his gold-mounted snuff-box in a token of her heroism. As a tribute to the gallant conduct of her father, the citizens of Philadelphia presented to him a handsome sword.

Erected by the citizens of Havre de Grace and the descendants of John O'Neill in the year of the National Star-Spangled Banner Centennial 1914.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 14, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 9, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 774 times since then and 18 times this year. Last updated on December 31, 2020, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on October 9, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 7, 2021