Prelude to War
Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail
— War of 1812 —
The British, intercepting Baltimore-based Sophia at sea, demanded a tax on each gallon of gin. When Sophia returned home, citizens---angered that the “infamous tribute” had been paid---ordered the cargo “condemned to flames” in protest.
Tensions Mount-The Sophia episode was just one of numerous times the British stopped American merchant ships---sometimes forcing crewmen into the Royal Navy. Many unlucky ships and sailors hailed from Baltimore.
“…the brig Sophia, of Baltimore…was boarded by an English gun brig, the commander of which ordered (the) vessel to England to pay duties on his cargo.”
–Easton Republican Star, November 4, 1808.
(Inscription beside the image on the left)
With great ceremony, fires consumed the barrels of gin hanging from makeshift gallows on Hampstead Hill.
(Inscription beside the image on the right)
The practice of “impressments”
(Inscription under the image on the right)
Impressment of American seamen following the defeat of the USS Chesapeake by HMS Leopard, June 1807-Image/The Granger Collection, New York.
Erected by National Park Service-United States Department of the Interior.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War of 1812. In addition, it is included in the Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1808.
Location. 39° 17.418′ N, 76° 35.034′ W. Marker is in Patterson Park in Baltimore, Maryland. Marker is on South Patterson Park Avenue. The marker is located in Patterson Park near the Pagoda. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Baltimore MD 21231, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Patterson Park (a few steps from this marker); Show of Strength (within shouting distance of this marker); The Star-Spangled Banner Centennial Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Notre Dame Convent (approx. 0.3 miles away); Spanish American War Monument (approx. 0.4 miles away); Recinoso (approx. 0.4 miles away); General Casimir Pulaski
Credits. This page was last revised on April 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 14, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 845 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on December 14, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. 4, 5, 6. submitted on December 24, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.