“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Frederick in Frederick County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Clustered Spires of Frederick

Clustered Spires of Frederick Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), November 6, 2020
1. Clustered Spires of Frederick Marker
John Greenleaf Whittier immortalized Barbara Fritchie and the town of Frederick in his poem about the elderly Frederick resident who supposedly displayed the Union flag as Southern soldiers marched by on September 10, 1862.

On July 9, 1864, Confederate General Jubal Early held up the town! "…we are going to make a demand upon the banks Frederick of $200,000, and if the demand is granted, very good, if not then the town will be reduced to ashes."

The Mayor, Alderman, and Common Council of Frederick borrowed the money from the five local banks and the town was spared. The final payment on the loans was made in 1951.

In the same poem Whittier described the town and the surrounding valley:
Up from the meadows rich with corn,
Clear in the cool September morn,

The clustered spires of Frederick stand
Green-walled by the hills of Maryland,

Round about them orchards sweep,
Apple and peach-tree fruited deep,

Fair as a garden of the Lord
John Greenleaf Whittier

Topics. This historical
Markers at the Rest Stop / Overlook image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), November 6, 2020
2. Markers at the Rest Stop / Overlook
The Clustered Spires marker is to the right side of the observation walkway.
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this page online
marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, MusicWar, US Civil. A significant historical month for this entry is July 1764.
Location. 39° 20.974′ N, 77° 23.386′ W. Marker is near Frederick, Maryland, in Frederick County. Marker can be reached from Interstate 270, on the right when traveling west. Located at a rest stop/scenic overlook loop reached from west bound I-270. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Frederick MD 21704, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. History of the Monocacy River Valley (here, next to this marker); The Battle That Saved Washington (a few steps from this marker); Civilians Under Siege (approx. half a mile away); Final Attack (approx. half a mile away); 10th Vermont Monument (approx. ¾ mile away); State of Pennsylvania Monument (approx. 0.8 miles away); Final Stand (approx. 0.8 miles away); Dennis Memorial (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Frederick.
More about this marker. On the upper left is a photograph of the church spires of Frederick. On the right is a photograph of "Confederate soldiers marching through Frederick." Lower on the right is a facsimile of the letter in response to General Early. Next to it is a photograph of a United States flag over the Barbara Fritchie house.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. This marker is among several describing the battle of Monocacy, to "tour" the battlefield using the related HMBd markers sites.
View of Frederick from the Overlook image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, September 9, 2007
3. View of Frederick from the Overlook
Frederick stands in the valley, with the spires of the churches standing out prominently. In the background are the Catoctin Mountains, with the gap used by General Braddock in 1755. The Old National Road passes through the gap, at a point now known as Braddock Heights. The same gap was later used by Federals and Confederates alike during the Civil War on several occasions.
Some of the Clustered Spires image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, September 9, 2007
4. Some of the Clustered Spires
A view from downtown Frederick captures some of the spires noted in the poem. For anyone fond of church architecture, Frederick offers several treasures worthy of note.
John Greenleaf Whittier image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen C. Browne, August 9, 2015
5. John Greenleaf Whittier
This 1833 portrait of John Greenleaf Whittier by Deacon Robert Peckham hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.

“The son of a Quaker farmer, John Greenleaf Whittier was a poetic prodigy. In 1826 one of his poems was noticed by the antislavery journalist William Lloyd Garrison, creating a lifelong bond between the two men. Garrison supported Whittier's career as a newspaper editor, and his polemics converted Whittier to abolitionism. Dedicating himself to the cause, Whittier worked tirelessly as an antislavery speaker and writer, and was one of the founders of the Republican Party. Whittier was ostracized for his stands: he was mobbed while speaking, and the offices of his newspaper, the Pennsylvania Freeman, were burned to the ground. His early verse was bucolic, but later he put his poetry into the service of abolitionism, collecting his antislavery poems in Voices of Freedom (1846). His reputation now rests on his poetic engagement with the issue of slavery.” — National Portrait Gallery
Credits. This page was last revised on April 27, 2022. It was originally submitted on November 4, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 3,706 times since then and 80 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 6, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.   3, 4. submitted on November 4, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   5. submitted on August 10, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.

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Feb. 4, 2023