The Star-Spangled Banner
28 Pages
English
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The Star-Spangled Banner

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28 Pages
English

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Star-Spangled Banner, by John A. CarpenterThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.netTitle: The Star-Spangled BannerAuthor: John A. CarpenterPosting Date: July 23, 2008 [EBook #727] Release Date: November, 1996Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER ***Produced by Anthony J. Adam.THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNERbyJohn A. CarpenterOn August 18, 1814, Admiral Cockburn, having returned with his fleet from the West Indies, sent to Secretary Monroe atWashington, the following threat:SIR: Having been called upon by the Governor-General of the Canadas to aid him in carrying into effect measures ofretaliation against the inhabitants of United States for the wanton destruction committed by their army in Upper Canada,it has become imperiously my duty, in conformity with the Governor-General's application, to issue to the naval forcesunder my command an order to destroy and lay waste such towns and districts upon the coast as may be foundassailable.His fleet was then in the Patuxent River, emptying into the ChesapeakeBay. The towns immediately "assailable," therefore, were Baltimore,Washington, and Annapolis.Landing at Benedict's, on the Patuxent, the land forces, enervated by a long ...

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SThpea nPgrloejde cBt aGnnuteer,n bbey rJg oEhBn oAo.k  Coaf rTpheen teSrtar-This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere atno cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under theterms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.netTitle: The Star-Spangled BannerAuthor: John A. CarpenterPosting Date: July 23, 2008 [EBook #727] ReleaseDate: November, 1996Language: English*E**B OSTOAK RTT HOE FS TTAHIRS- SPPRAONJGELCET D GBUATNENNEBRE *R*G*Produced by Anthony J. Adam.
THE STAR-SPANGLEDBANNERybJohn A. CarpenterOn August 18, 1814, Admiral Cockburn, havingrSeetcurrenteadr y wiMtho nhriso efl eate t Wfraosmh itnhget oWn, etsht eI nfodlileosw,i nsgent tothreat:SIR: Having been called upon by the Governor-General of the Canadas to aid him in carrying intoeffect measures of retaliation against theinhabitants of United States for the wantondestruction committed by their army in UpperCanada, it has become imperiously my duty, inconformity with the Governor-General's application,to issue to the naval forces under my command anorder to destroy and lay waste such towns anddistricts upon the coast as may be foundassailable.
His fleet was then in the Patuxent River, emptyinginto the ChesapeakeBay. The towns immediately "assailable," therefore,were Baltimore,Washington, and Annapolis.Landing at Benedict's, on the Patuxent, the landforces, enervated by a long sea-voyage, marchedthe first day to Nottingham, the second to UpperMarlborough. At the latter place, a town of someimportance, certain British officers wereentertained by Dr. Beanes, the principal physicianof that neighborhood; and a man well-knownthroughout southern Maryland. His character as ahost was forced upon him, but his services as aphysician were freely given, and formed afterwardthe main plea for his lenient treatment while aprisoner.As the British army reached Upper Marlborough,General Winder was concentrating his troops atBladensburg. The duty of assigning the regimentsto their several positions as they arrived on thefield was performed by Francis Scott Key, a youngaide-de-camp to General Smith. Key was apractising lawyer in Washington who had a likingfor the military profession. He was on duty duringthe hot and dusty days which ended in the defeatof the American army. Subsequently, he couldhave read a newspaper at his residence inGeorgetown by the light of the burning publicbuildings at Washington, and he passed withindignant heart the ruins left by the retreating army
when, after a night of frightful storm, they silentlydeparted in a disorderly forced march of thirty-fivemiles, to Upper Marlborough. He then knew whatany other city might expect upon which the "foulfootsteps' pollution" of the British might come.The sorry appearance of the British army gave theMarlborough people the idea that it had beendefeated, and on the afternoon of the following dayDr. Beanes and his friends celebrated a supposedvictory. Had they stayed in the noble old mansionthat the worthy but irascible doctor inhabited nearMarlborough, "The Star-Spangled Banner" wouldnever have been written. Tempted by thebalminess of a warm September afternoon,however, the party adjoined to a spring near thehouse, where, the negro servant having carried outthe proper utensils, the cool water was temperedwith those ingredients which mingle their congenialessences to make up that still seductive drink, aMaryland punch. It warms the heart, but if used toofreely it makes a man hot-tempered, disputatious,and belligerent. Amid the patriotic jollity, therefore,when three British soldiers, belated, dusty, andthirsty, came to the spring on their way to theretreating army, their boasting met with anincredulous denial, which soon led to theirsummary arrest as chicken-stealers and publicenemies. Confined in the insecure Marlborough jail,one of them speedily escaped, and reached ascouting-party of British cavalry, which, by order ofCockburn, returned to Upper Marlborough, rousedDr. Beanes out of his bed at midnight, andconveyed him to the British ships at Benedict's.
As soon as Key heard of the arrest of Dr. Beanes,one of his most intimate friends, he hurried, underthe protection of a flag of truce, to the British fleetat the mouth of the Patuxent to arrange for hisrelease. John S. Skinner of Baltimore, thencommissioner for exchange of prisoners,accompanied him with his cartel ship.When Key and Skinner reached the British fleet itwas already on its way up the Chesapeake Bay tothe attack on Baltimore. Its destination was tooevident for Cockburn to allow Key to depart andgive the alarm. He was informed in the admiral'sgrimmest manner, that while he would not hang Dr.Beanes at the yard-arm, as he had threatened, yethe would have to keep every man on board a closeprisoner until certain circumstances occurred whichwould render their release advisable. When theships arrived at their destination he assured themthat it would be only a matter of a few hours beforethey would be free.From the admiral's flag-ship the Surprise, uponwhich he was then detained, Key saw some of thefinest soldiers of the British army, under GeneralRoss, disembarked at North Point, to the southeastof the city of Baltimore. Then on Tuesday morning,September 13, 1814, the fleet moved across thebroad Patapsco, and ranged themselves in asemicircle two and a half miles from the small brickand earth fort which lay low down on a juttingprojection of land guarding the water approachesto Baltimore on that side.
Cockburn's boast to Key that the reduction of thecity would be "a matter of a few hours" did not lookimprobable. It was garrisoned by a small force ofregulars under General Armistead, assisted bysome volunteer artillerists under Judge Nicholson.It was armed with forty-two pounders, and somecannon of smaller caliber, but all totally ineffectiveto reach the British ships in their chosen position.In addition, a small earth battery at the Lazaretto—which, it will be seen, did good service—guardedthe important approach to the city by the northbranch of the Patapsco; while Fort Coventryprotected the south branch. These batteries werearmed only with eighteen and twenty-fourpounders.From seven on the morning of Tuesday until aftermidnight of Wednesday the fleet bombarded FortMcHenry at long range; occasionally the gunners inthe fort fired a useless shot at the ships. But atmidnight word was brought to Cockburn that theland attack on the North Point road to the east ofthe city had failed. Therefore, unless the fleet couldtake Fort McHenry on the west, retreat wasinevitable.Taking advantage of the darkness, a little aftermidnight sixteen British frigates, with bomb-ketchesand barges, moved up within close range. At oneo'clock they suddenly opened a tremendous anddestructive fire upon the fort. Five hundred bombsfell within the ramparts; many more burst over.meht
The crisis of the fight came when, in the darkness,a rocket ship and five barges attempted to pass upthe north channel to the city. They were notperceived until the British, thinking themselves safeand the ruse successful, gave a derisive cheer atthe fort under whose guns they had passed. Inavoiding Fort McHenry, however, they had fallenunder the guns of the fort at the Lazaretto, on theopposite side of the channel. This fort, opening fire,so crippled the daring vessels that some of themhad to be towed out in their hasty retreat.oFfr othme  fmoirdtnuingehst  toilfl  tmhoe rfniignhgt . KAet ys cuocuhl dc lkonsoe wq unaorttheirnsgfao rdt,e nasned  samddoekde  teon tvheleo bpleadc kbnoeths st hoef  tshhei pnsi gahnt.d theAfter the failure to ascend the north branch of thePatapsco, the firing slackened. Now and then asullen and spiteful gun shot its flame from the sideof a British vessel. Key, pacing the deck of thecartel ship, to which he had been transferred, couldnot guess the cause of this. The slackened firemight mean the success of the land attack, inwhich case it would not have been necessary towaste any more powder on the fort. Again, it mightbe that the infernal rain of shells had dismantledthe little fort itself, and the enemy was only keepingup a precautionary fire until daylight enabled him totake possession.The long hours were nearly unbearable. Key hadseen the fate ofWashington, and anticipated the fate of Baltimore.
At seven the suspense was unrelaxed. The firingfrom the fleet ceased. The large ships loomedindistinct and silent in the mist. To the west lay thesilent fort, the white vapor heavy upon it. Witheager eyes Key watched the distant shore, till in arift over the fort he dimly discerned the flag stillproudly defiant. In that supreme moment waswritten "The Star-Spangled Banner."TPhoien tB. riDtirs. hB sehainpse ss lwoewnlyt  hdroompep etod  Udoppwenr to NorthoMf atrhlbe oSrourupgrhis, ev emrye ltt hoaunt kfofu l saigs hth,e  usnabwu rtdheen yeadr.d-armOf all national airs, it breathes the purestpatriotism. Those of England, Russia, and Austriaare based upon a sentimental loyalty longoutgrown by this agrarian and practical age. The"Marseillaise" is a stirring call to arms, and upholdsonly the worst—the passionate military—side of anation's character. "The Star-Spangled Banner,"while it is animated, patriotic, defiant, neithercringes nor boasts; it is as national in its spirit as itis adequate in the expression of that spirit.Believing, then, that Key's poem will be the nationalair of succeeding generations of Americans, thefacsimile of the original draft is here reproduced bythe kindness of Mrs. Edward Shippen, agranddaughter of that Judge Nicholson who tookthe first copy of the poem to the "American" office,and had it set up in broad-sheet form by SamuelSands, a printer's apprentice of twelve. He wasalone in the office, all the men having gone to thedefense of the city. It is written in Key's hand. The
changes made in drafting the copy will be seen atonce, the principal one being that Key started towrite "They have washed out in blood their foulfootsteps' pollution," and changed it for "Theirblood has washed out their foul footsteps'pollution." In the second stanza, also, the dashafter "'T is the star-spangled banner" makes thechange more abrupt, the line more spirited, andthe burst of feeling more intense, than the usualsemicolon. The other variations are unimportant.Some of them were made in 1840, when Key wroteout several copies for his friends.The song, in its broad-sheet form, was soon sungin all the camps around the city. When theBaltimore theater, closed during the attack, wasreopened, Mr. Hardinge, one of the actors, wasannounced to sing "a new song by a gentleman ofMaryland." The same modest title of authorshipprefaces the song in the "American." FromBaltimore the air was carried south, and wasplayed by one of the regimental bands at the battleof New Orleans.The tune of "Anacreon in Heaven" has beenobjected to as "foreign"; but in truth it is an estray,and Key's and the American people's by adoption.It is at least American enough now to be known toevery school-boy; to have preceded Burr to NewOrleans, and Fremont to the Pacific; to have beenthe inspiration of the soldiers of three wars; and tohave cheered the hearts of American sailors inperil of enemies on the sea from Algiers to ApiaHarbor. If the cheering of the Calliope by the crew
of the Trenton binds closer together the citizens ofthe two English-speaking nations, should itscompanion scene, no less thrilling, be forgotten—when the Trenton bore down upon the strandedVandalia to her almost certain destruction, and theencouraging cheer of the flag-ship was answeredby a response, faint, uncertain, and despairing?Almost at once, as the last cheer died away:Darkness hid the ships. As those on shore listenedfor the crash, another sound came up from thedeep. It was a wild burst of music in defiance of thestorm. The Trenton's band was playing "The Star-Spangled Banner." The feelings of the Americanson the beach were indescribable. Men who on thatawful day had exhausted every means of renderingsome assistance to their comrades now seemedinspired to greater efforts. They dashed at the surflike wild creatures; but they were powerless.No; it is too late to divorce words and music.The song is generally accorded its deserved honor;the man who wrote it has been allowed to remainin unmerited obscurity. The Pacific coast alone, inone of the most beautiful of personal monuments,*has acknowledged his service to his country—aservice which will terminate only with that country'slife; for he who gives a nation its popular air,enfeoffs posterity with an inalienable gift. Yet Keywas the close personal friend of Jackson, Taney,—who was his brother-in-law—John Randolph ofRoanoke, and William Wilberforce. He it was, in all