a potato famine in Ireland and a revolution on the continent prompted thousand
to leave home. Louis Braille develops a new form of writing. Jane Austen publishes
Pride and Prejudice, and Charles Darwin, On the Origin of the Species.
became a nest of pirates in British eyes when shipping was raided for Baltimoreans'
profit. Raiders were fast schooners called Baltimore Clippers.
the War of 1812 culminated in a British attack on Baltimore, September
12-13, 1814. Citizens with some outside help defeated the enemy. Thus Baltimore
remained the only major American city never occupied by foreign forces. A Marylander,
Francis Scott Key, witnessed the attack and celebrated victory in a poem, "The
Star-Spangled Banner." Postwar Baltimoreans made the town the peppiest in
the Union. Its clipper schooners threaded trade routes everywhere carrying cargoes
of wheat and flour from the back country.
reach farther and farther west, citizens evolved a railroad, the Baltimore
& Ohio (B&O). Philip Thomas borrowed the idea from England, and Peter
Cooper, investor and inventor, helped make it work. So did inventor Ross Winans
and financiers Johns Hopkins and John Work Garrett.
and money may have been the sea on which Baltimore floated, but civilizing tides
lifted it to notice everywhere. Edgar Allan Poe, for example, scion of
a local family, achieved his first public recognition in Baltimore. Here he fou
another resident, Mother Elizabeth Seton, began her founding of the American
parochial school when she moved to Paca Street.
innovators were the artists in the Peale family. Rembrandt Peale not only
painted, but also built the first museum building in the country. After being
the first person anywhere to light a street with gas light, he formed the first
company to light a city.
influences came with notable architecture. Luckily, the city attracted three architects
of genius who created landmarks: Benjamin Henry Latrobe's Cathedral, Godefroy's
Unitarian Church and his Battle Monument. The classic restraint embodied in
those works influence builders of rowhouses. They thus gave Baltimore its logo-refined
and restrained style in red-brick rows with white-marble trim. Baltimore County
quarries yielded the white marble.
town needed civilizing. Slaves were declining in numbers (one slave who had learned
to read and write in Baltimore, Frederick Douglass, went on to become a heroic
statesman and reformer), but free blacks, a relatively large group, suffered discrimination.
Violent rioting gave Baltimore the name of Mob Town. In 1812 a mob broke
into jail to kill or maim men whose political opinions offended. Violence erupted
again in 1835, when popular anger over a bank closing led to several sacked houses,
including the mayor's.