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Patterson Park in Baltimore, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Prelude to War

Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail

— War of 1812 —

 
 
Prelude to War Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, December 13, 2014
1. Prelude to War Marker
Inscription.  Events here October 4, 1808, known as “Gin Riots” were more rallies than riots. Some 1,300 horsemen, 400 sailors, and thousands of civilians paraded to Hampstead Hill to destroy 720 gallons of Dutch gin.

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”

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forcing American sailors into the British navy was one of the causes of the War of 1812.

(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 Baltimore, Maryland. It is in Patterson Park. 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); This Cannon Marks Rodgers Bastion (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Patterson Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Dr. Levi Watkins Jr. Memorial Fountain

Prelude to War Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, December 13, 2014
2. Prelude to War Marker
(within shouting distance of this marker); 122 South Patterson Park Avenue (within shouting distance of this marker); Conradin Kreutzer (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Baltimore.
 
Entrance gates to Patterson Park-Established 1827 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, December 13, 2014
3. Entrance gates to Patterson Park-Established 1827
Prelude to War Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen C. Browne, December 21, 2014
4. Prelude to War Marker
The Baltimore Gin Riot, 1808 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen C. Browne, December 21, 2014
5. The Baltimore Gin Riot, 1808
With great ceremony, fires consumed the barrels of gin hanging from makeshift gallows on Hampstead Hill.
Close-up of Gerry Embleton painting on marker
Impressment of American Seamen following the defeat of the USS Chesapeake by HMS Leopard, June 1807 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen C. Browne, December 21, 2014
6. Impressment of American Seamen following the defeat of the USS Chesapeake by HMS Leopard, June 1807
The practice of “impressments” forcing American sailors into the British navy was one of the causes of the War of 1812.
Close-up of painting on marker
The Granger Collection, New York.
 
 
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 994 times since then and 29 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.

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May. 28, 2024