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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Bladensburg in Prince George's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Incidental Cause of the Star-Spangled Banner (1814)

 
 
The Incidental Cause of the Star-Spangled Banner (1814) Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 18, 2010
1. The Incidental Cause of the Star-Spangled Banner (1814) Marker
Inscription. Following the Battle of Bladensburg and the sacking and burning of Washington, D.C., during the war of 1812, British troops reentered the town of Upper Marlboro on August 26, 1814. It was at this point that some stragglers were arrested and imprisoned by Dr. William Beanes and two other Upper Marlboro residents. This act angered British General Ross, and in retaliation he had Dr. Beanes and his accomplices taken captive as prisoners of war.

By August 30, 1814, the British had retraced their invasion route to Benedict and were back on board their ships headed for Baltimore and the siege of Fort McHenry. Although his fellow prisoners were released, Dr. Beanes remained captive on board a British ship that proceeded to Baltimore Harbor. Francis Scott Key came aboard the same ship in an attempt to negotiate the release of Dr. Beanes, his family friend and physician. While witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry on September 13 and September 14, 1814, Key was inspired to write The Star Spangled Banner.
 
Location. 38° 56.109′ N, 76° 56.323′ W. Marker is in Bladensburg, Maryland, in Prince George's County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Annapolis Road (State Highway 450) and 46th Street. Touch for map. Marker is in Bladensburg
Key's Handwritten Copy of the Star-Spangled Banner image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 18, 2010
2. Key's Handwritten Copy of the Star-Spangled Banner
Waterfront Park, .2 miles south of the entrance at this intersection. Marker is in this post office area: Bladensburg MD 20710, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Dinosaur Alley (a few steps from this marker); Clearing the Way to Washington (within shouting distance of this marker); Encampment of Coxey's Army (1894) (within shouting distance of this marker); Duels and the Bladensburg Dueling Grounds (within shouting distance of this marker); First Unmanned Balloon Ascension (1784) (within shouting distance of this marker); Historic Bladensburg Waterfront Park - Port Town History (within shouting distance of this marker); Colonial Ropemaking (within shouting distance of this marker); The First Telegraph Line (1844) (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bladensburg.
 
More about this marker. On the lower left is a photo of The handwritten words of Francis Scott Key. In the center is a portrait of Francis Scott Key and on the upper right is a drawing depicting the siege of Fort McHenry. A map in the center shows the approaches to Baltimore, with the locations of Fort McHenry and the ship from which Key witnessed the bombardment. On the lower right is a map of eastern
Map of the Upper Chesapeake Bay image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 18, 2010
3. Map of the Upper Chesapeake Bay
Maryland indicting the locations of Baltimore, Washington, Upper Marlboro, and Benedict.
 
Also see . . .  Dr. William Beanes, the Incidental Cause of the Authorship of the Star-Spangled Banner. By Caleb Clarke Magruder Jr. Records of the Columbia Historical Society, Washington D.C., Vol. 22, (1919), pp. 207-225. (Submitted on October 26, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.) 
 
Categories. War of 1812
 
The Approaches to Baltimore image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 18, 2010
4. The Approaches to Baltimore
The Incidental Cause of the Star-Spangled Banner (1814) Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 18, 2010
5. The Incidental Cause of the Star-Spangled Banner (1814) Marker
The Seige of Fort McHenry image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 17, 2013
6. The Seige of Fort McHenry
Close-up of image on marker
Maryland Historical Society
Francis Scott Key image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 17, 2013
7. Francis Scott Key
Close-up of portrait on marker
Key, Beanes and Skinner <br>Observe the Siege of Fort McHenry image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 8, 2009
8. Key, Beanes and Skinner
Observe the Siege of Fort McHenry
"... Ironically were it not for fellow Marylander, Dr. William Beanes of Upper Marlboro, who had been taken into custody by the British and held aboard their warship, Francis Scott Key would not have witnessed the bombardment and composed his now-famous words of inspiration. Key had come to seek the safe release of Dr. Beanes from the British, but was forced to stay on board the enemy's ship until the siege of Fort McHenry was over.

Shown here are Francis Scott Key (left) Dr Beanes (center), and Colonel John S. Skinner (right)." -- Diorama at Darnell's Chance, Upper Marlboro
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 18, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,375 times since then and 56 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on July 18, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   6, 7, 8. submitted on September 8, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.
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