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” 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
Erected by National Park Service-United States Department of the Interior.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail marker series.
Location. 39° 17.418′ N, 76° 35.034′ W. Marker is in Baltimore, Maryland. Marker is on South Patterson Park Avenue. Touch for map. The marker is located in Patterson Park near the Pagoda. Marker is in this post office area: Baltimore MD 21231, United States of America.
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 (was within shouting distance of this marker but has been reported missing. ); Spanish American War Monument (approx. 0.4 miles away); Recinoso (approx. 0.4 miles away); General Casimir Pulaski (approx. 0.4 miles away); Caulkers' Houses (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Baltimore.
Categories. • War of 1812 •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 14, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 739 times since then and 40 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.