War of 1812 Bicentennial Resources
Events, organizations and sites in Maryland
Media and Archives
American Heritage Magazine: “The magazine is the oldest and most widely known popular U.S. history magazine, providing high quality writing on the American experience for its half million readers.” Their website allows users to browse the magazine’s archives for War of 1812-related articles.
Archives of the Eastern Shore 1812 Consortium: The single largest, and growing, source of primary resources and overall War of 1812 information, this online archive contains a searchable database of over 130 newspaper articles from 1812-1814 as well as audio tours, lesson plans, and a scrolling timeline.
Defense of the Nation: Maryland in the War of 1812: The Baltimore National Heritage Area has developed a traveling exhibit about Maryland's role in the War of 1812, available to museums, historic sites and libraries for free. Contact Ernie Dinsmore for more information.
Journal of the War of 1812: An international journal dedicated to the last Anglo-American war, published by the War of 1812 Consortium, Inc., this publication has various articles of interest to the War of 1812 community.
The Man Who Captured Washington: Dr. John McCavitt has developed an online guide to General Robert Ross, the British general responsible for the burning of Washington who was killed by snipers at the Battle of North Point (Baltimore County).
Maryland Digital Cultural Heritage--War of 1812 Collection: A digital collection consisting of paintings, manuscripts, American military accessories, prints, weapons, and photographs related to the War of 1812 from the Maryland Historical Society’s Museum and Special Collections Departments.
The Museum of Underwater Archaeology article: Dr. Susan Langley, the State Underwater Archaeologist for the Maryland Historical Trust at the Maryland Department of Planning, writes about using a multi-sensor gradiometer to investigate vessel remains believed to be those of Commodore Joshua Barney’s flagship, Scorpion, scuttled in August 1814 to prevent its capture by the pursuing British.
Music of the War of 1812 in America: Dr. David Hildebrand, a member of MHC's Speakers Bureau and Director of the Colonial Music Institute, has put together a comprehensive website covering the rich musical history that came about during the War of 1812. He has also been featured on WWFM and C-SPAN.
Rediscover 1812: Marylander David Healey, author of 1812: Rediscovering Chesapeake Bay's Forgotten War, compiles War of 1812 news, information, events and articles on this website.
Star-Spangled Banner online exhibition: The original 15-star flag that flew at Fort McHenry in the War of 1812—the inspiration for Francis Scott Key to write the poem that would become our national anthem—has been at the Smithsonian since 1907. Explore their website to learn about the history of the flag, play a quiz game, find classroom materials and enjoy a detailed, interactive view of the flag.
For more information on other events around Maryland, see Key Notes, the e-newsletter of the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission.
Historic sites and events
Baltimore National Heritage Area: A starting point for Baltimore organizations planning War of 1812 commemorative events, the site also offers information about walking tours and upcoming events.
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine: The only national monument and historic shrine in the United States, Fort McHenry continues to be an important site in Maryland history. The fort, which is today operated by the National Park Service, protected the city during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812. It has also served as a prison, hospital, Coast Guard base in the years following the War of 1812. The site offers a brand-new visitors’ center as well as interactive living history and ranger-led presentations on the weekends. The Annual Defender’s Day celebration at Fort McHenry takes place on and around September 12 each year.
Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum: Maryland's state museum of archaeology, JPPM is home to the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory (MAC Lab) and houses over 8 million artifacts. The museum is located on the site of the Battle of St. Leonard Creek, where Commodore Joshua Barney’s Chesapeake Flotilla fought the British navy blockading the Bay in June 1814.
Star-Spangled Banner Flag House: “Built in 1793, the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House was the home and place of business of Mary Pickersgill, maker of the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key’s famous poem that later became our national anthem. Mary and her daughter Caroline moved into the house in 1806, along with Mary’s mother, Rebecca Young, who began the flag-making business in Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War. In 1927, the house was sold to the city of Baltimore and the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House Association established a museum inside the historic home.”
Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail: “The story of the Star-Spangled Banner was shaped by the events of the Chesapeake Campaign during the War of 1812. The Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail—an initiative of the National Park Service—is currently in the planning phase. Through sites and landscapes, many of which you can visit now, the Trail will tell the stories of the events, people, and place that led to the birth of our National Anthem.” Includes information on the 30 sites of the Star-Spangled Banner Geotrail.
Star-Spangled Sailabration: An international maritime festival that launched Maryland's three-year War of 1812 bicentennial celebration, the Sailabration took place June 13-19, 2012 in Baltimore's Inner Harbor and the Chesapeake Bay. Operation Sail (OpSail), the Congressionally-chartered nonprofit producer of tall ship events, partnered with the U.S. Navy to produce the commemoration event.
Star-Spangled Trails: These sites in Baltimore are a part of the Maryland Historical Trust’s Maryland Heritage Areas program. The site encourages you to “explore this system of guided and self-guided walking, biking, and driving routes to encounter inspiring stories of our nation’s heritage, set in the unique landscape of the Chesapeake’s largest city. Learn more by navigating this site, the links for the individual trails, or by picking up trail brochures at the Inner Harbor Visitor Center.”
Todd’s Inheritance: Located between Edgemere and Fort Howard in eastern Baltimore County, this homestead was pivotal to the defense of the peninsula in 1814. For over 300 years (1664 - 1970's), the Todd family lived and worked the land, passing the property from father to son for 10 generations.
Chesapeake 1812: “Chesapeake 1812 is a loosely-knit community of War of 1812 living-history groups and historic site event coordinators -- all with an interest in early-19th century Chesapeake Bay history.”
Eastern Shore 1812 Consortium: The primary War of 1812 organization on Maryland’s Eastern Shore has developed a website containing historical information, tourism and travel tips, and educational materials for teachers and students.
Dundalk-Patapsco Neck Historical Society and Museum: “Their Defenders’ Day event interprets and commemorates military actions that happened on Patapsco Neck ( North Point) on Monday, September 12th, 1814. These actions, now known as the Battle of North Point, resulted when a British invasion fleet landed thousands of troops near Baltimore. These same forces had only three weeks earlier attacked and burned much of Washington.”
Maryland State Society of the US Daughters of 1812: “The Maryland Society of the United States Daughters of 1812 is a state chapter of the national society. Currently, there are three Chapters in the State of Maryland.”
The Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission: “Governor Martin O'Malley issued an Executive Order on September 8, 2007 to create the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission. The Commission is planning a multi-year cultural tourism and educational initiative to commemorate Maryland's unique contributions to the defense and heritage of the nation including the pivotal clash that ensured American victory, an iconic flag, and our national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner.“ Watch their new video, “A National Bicentennial in Maryland” and check back for event postings.
Society of the War of 1812 in Maryland: “The objectives of the Maryland Society are the collection and preservation of rolls, records, books, and other documents relating to the War of 1812; the encouragement of research and the preservation of historical data, including memorials to patriots of that era in our national history; the caring for the graves of veterans of the War of 1812; the cherishing, maintenance and extension of the institutions of American freedom; the fostering of true patriotism and love of country.” Also includes a virtual museum.
Visit 1812: This website, managed by the Niagara 1812 Legacy Council--a partnership between several Canadian government agencies--offers a detailed timeline of events as well as a list of historic sites in both Canada and the US.
Visit Baltimore: This tourism agency offers a brief history of the War of 1812 in Baltimore in addition to tools which will help you plan a trip to the city.
Washington, DC War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission: The Washington, DC commission’s website offers historical information, job listings, tour planning guides, a virtual museum containing maps, a photo gallery and archives, as well as a curriculum guide for teachers.