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

Local Hero, National Leader

 
 
Local Hero, National Leader Marker image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Busta-Peck, March 26, 2008
1. Local Hero, National Leader Marker
Inscription. Sam Smith is the most important public figure buried at Westminster. A hero in two wars, Smith (1752-1839) spent 40 years as a U.S. Congressman and Senator. As a merchant, Smith amassed and lost a fortune, but won the admiration of locals who, in 1835, didn't hesitate to call on the 83-year-old leader in the midst of rioting over a bank failure. Smith confronted the mob and helped end the violence. Months later, he was elected mayor and served a two year term.

An Illustrious Family
John Spear Smith, Sam's father, was a prominent Scots-Irish merchant who moved his young family to Baltimore from Carlisle, Pennsylvania in 1760. Sam entered his father's busines at 14 and by 19 was sent overseas. Sam's brother, Robert (buried here in the William and Robert Smith vault), served as the nation's second Secretary of the Navy (after Sam turned down Jefferson's offer) and sixth Secretary of State.

Inscriptions

(Vault) Samuel Smith, Lt. Col. U.S. Army American Revolution, Maj. Gen. U.S. Army War of 1812

(Ground Slab) Molly Smith, Daughter of Robert and Jane Buchanan and Wife of John Smith who was Born October 9th, 1723 and Died February 17th, 1782, Aged 58 Years And 4 Months

Molly Smith (1723-1782) was Sam Smith's mother. A plaque located in the catacombs marks the graves of Smith's
Samuel Smith marker and vault image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Busta-Peck, March 26, 2008
2. Samuel Smith marker and vault
father and granfather, John Smith (1723-1794) and Samuel Smith (1698-1784), respectively.

[print]
Distinguished Veteran Sam Smith spent three-and-a-half years as a Continental Army officer commanding Maryland troops at the battles of Long Island, Harlem, White Plains, Brandywine and Monmouth. Wounded at the Mud Fort, Smith spent the winter of 1778 with Washington at Valley Forge.

Major General Samuel Smith, engraving after St. Memin, undated
The Maryland Historical Society

[painting]
Interlocing Ties Margaret Spear's marriage to Sam Smith in 1778 linked several generations of Baltimore's leading Scots-Irish families, the Spears, Smiths, and Buchanans. Margaret's grandfather, Irish-born John Spear, came to America with his uncle, Robert Buchanan, in 1720. Buchanan's daughter, Molly, was Sam Smith's mother. Margaret Spear Smith (1759-1842), depicted here after Sam's death, was buried in this vault in 1842.

Margaret Spear Smith by William Edward West, oil on canvas, ca. 1839-1841
The Maryland Historical Society

[map]
Hero of the Mud Fort Lt. Colonel Sam Smith's stubborn defeense of the Mud Island fort in the fall of 1777 earned him a congressional award and the gratitude of his commanding general. The Mud Fort (later Fort Mifflin) sat on strategic ground on the Deelaware
Sam Smith image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 5, 2015
3. Sam Smith
Distinguished Veteran Sam Smith spent three-and-a-half years as a Continental Army officer commanding Maryland troops at the battles of Long Island, Harlem, White Plains, Brandywine and Monmouth. Wounded at the Mud Fort, Smith spent the winter of 1778 with Washington at Valley Forge.

Major General Samuel Smith, engraving after St. Memin, undated The Maryland Historical Society
Close-up of painting on marker
River below British-occupied Philadelphia. The fort fell under relentless British bombing, but not before the serously wounded Smith and his 400 troops stalled enemy supply ships, thus protecting Washington's troops from further attack.

The Course of the Delaware River...1779 (detail)
Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries

[painting]
Home of the Brave When war broke out with Great Britain in 1812, Sam Smith was appointed Major General of the Maryland Militia. His spirited command of the defense of Baltimore in 1814 helped American troops repel the invaders on land (the Battle of North Point) and on water (the naval bombardment of Fort McHenry).

The gathering of troops on Hampstead Hill (present day Patterson Park), shown here, was part of an American line of defense that included 16,000 militia and 100 cannons. The British decision to hald their march set the stage for a 25-hour bombardment of Fort McHenry, an event that inspired Francis Scott Key's immortal poem, "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Defense of Baltimore-Assembling of the Troops, September 12, 1814 by Thomas Ruckle, oil on canvas, ca. 1814-1815
The Maryland Historical Society
 
Location. 39° 17.379′ N, 76° 37.411′ W. Marker is in
Interlocking Ties image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 5, 2015
4. Interlocking Ties
Margaret Spear's marriage to Sam Smith in 1778 linked several generations of Baltimore's leading Scots-Irish families, the Spears, Smiths, and Buchanans. Margaret's grandfather, Irish-born John Spear, came to America with his uncle, Robert Buchanan, in 1720. Buchanan's daughter, Molly, was Sam Smith's mother. Margaret Spear Smith (1759-1842), depicted here after Sam's death, was buried in this vault in 1842.

Margaret Spear Smith by William Edward West, oil on canvas, ca. 1839-1841 The Maryland Historical Society
Close-up of painting on marker
Baltimore, Maryland. Marker can be reached from West Fayette Street near North Greene Street. Touch for map. Marker is on the grounds of Westminster Hall and Burying Ground. Marker is at or near this postal address: 519 West Fayette Street, Baltimore MD 21201, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 26 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Bernard von Kapff (here, next to this marker); James McHenry, M.D. (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named James McHenry (a few steps from this marker); Believe it or Not (a few steps from this marker); The Carriage Gates of Westminster Burying Ground (within shouting distance of this marker); Infusing Style and Sophistication: (within shouting distance of this marker); A Beloved General (within shouting distance of this marker); Dugan-Hollins Family Vault (within shouting distance of this marker); The Gilmors (within shouting distance of this marker); Among Family: Poe’s Original Burial Place (within shouting distance of this marker); Original Burial Place of Edgar Allan Poe (within shouting distance
Hero of the Mud Fort image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 5, 2015
5. Hero of the Mud Fort
Lt. Colonel Sam Smith's stubborn defense of the Mud Island fort in the fall of 1777 earned him a congressional award and the gratitude of his commanding general. The Mud Fort (later Fort Mifflin) sat on strategic ground on the Delaware River below British-occupied Philadelphia. The fort fell under relentless British bombing, but not before the seriously wounded Smith and his 400 troops stalled enemy supply ships, thus protecting Washington's troops from further attack.

The Course of the Delaware River...1779 (detail) Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries
Close-up of map on marker
of this marker); Final Rest (within shouting distance of this marker); Fame, Fortune and Financial Scandal (within shouting distance of this marker); A Swashbuckling Merchant (within shouting distance of this marker); “…a truly affectionate wife” (within shouting distance of this marker); Monumental Lives (within shouting distance of this marker); An 18th-Century Burying Ground (within shouting distance of this marker); A Mother’s Grief (within shouting distance of this marker); A Monument to the Memory of Edgar Allan Poe (within shouting distance of this marker); A La Memorie D’Edgar Allan Poe (within shouting distance of this marker); Westminster Hall & Burying Ground: (within shouting distance of this marker); John McDonogh (within shouting distance of this marker); The McDonoghs of Baltimore (within shouting distance of this marker); Poe’s Baltimore (within shouting distance of this marker); Westminster Church and Cemetery
Samuel Smith image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 5, 2015
6. Samuel Smith
This 1817 Portrait of Samuel Smith by Rembrandt Peale hangs in the Maryland Historical Society Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. It was commissioned by the Baltimore City Council in 1816. Samuel Smith was a Revolutionary War officer, Commander-in-Chief at the Defense of Baltimore in 1814 and Mayor of Baltimore 1835-38.
(within shouting distance of this marker); Among the Illustrious Men (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Baltimore.
 
Categories. Cemeteries & Burial SitesNotable PersonsPoliticsWar of 1812War, US Revolutionary
 
Home of the Brave image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 5, 2015
7. Home of the Brave
When war broke out with Great Britain in 1812, Sam Smith was appointed Major General of the Maryland Militia. His spirited command of the defense of Baltimore in 1814 helped American troops repel the invaders on land (the Battle of North Point) and on water (the naval bombardment of Fort McHenry).

The gathering of troops on Hampstead Hill (present day Patterson Park), shown here, was part of an American line of defense that included 16,000 militia and 100 cannons. The British decision to hold their march set the stage for a 25-hour bombardment of Fort McHenry, an event that inspired Francis Scott Key's immortal poem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.“

Defense of Baltimore-Assembling of the Troops, September 12, 1814 by Thomas Ruckle

This painting hangs in the Maryland Historical Society Museum.
Samuel Smith's Tomb image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 5, 2015
8. Samuel Smith's Tomb
Samuel Smith image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 5, 2015
9. Samuel Smith
Lt. Col. U.S. Army
American Revolution
Maj. Gen. U.S. Army
War of 1812
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 26, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. This page has been viewed 2,914 times since then and 86 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 27, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.   3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on September 7, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.
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