Before the Civil War

Baltimore MD

History of Baltimore/Before the Civil War
VAMONDE Baltimore
Written By VAMONDE Baltimore

Before the Civil War

Baltimore incorporated as a city in 1792. Its growth was fast. During the War of 1812, the city was the site of the Battle of Baltimore. After burning Washington, D.C., the British attacked Baltimore outside the eastern outskirts of town on the "Patapsco Neck" on September 12, at the Battle of North Point, then in 1814. United States forces from Fort McHenry successfully defended the city's harbor from the British. A Maryland lawyer from Georgetown and Frederick, named Francis Scott Key was aboard a British ship where he had been negotiating for the freedom of Dr. William Beanes, an American prisoner. A distinctive local culture started to take shape, and a unique skyline full of churches and monuments was developed. Baltimore acquired its moniker "The Monumental City" after an 1827 visit to Baltimore by President John Quincy Adams.

The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) became the first chartered railroad in the United States that led to commercial and financial success. The B&O became the first company to operate a locomotive built in America. Following the B&O's start of regular operations in 1830, other railroads were built in the city. Baltimore attracted thousands of ex-slaves from the surrounding countryside between the late 18th century into the 1820s. After the 1810s slavery in Maryland declined as the state's economy shifted away from plantation agriculture. With unskilled and semiskilled employment available in the shipyards and related industries, minimal friction occurred with white workers. Due to Baltimore's location in a border state, opportunities were available for enslaved people in the city to run away and find freedom in the north—as Frederick Douglass did. The dramatic decrease in the enslaved population between 1850 and 1860 indicates that slavery was no longer profitable in the city because they were as expensive as house servants. Before the Civil War, Baltimore had the largest free black community in the nation. Schools that supported all races were self-sustaining, as whites in Baltimore generally opposed educating the black population. The local government continued to tax black property holders to maintain schools from which black children were excluded by law. At the time, Baltimore's black community was one of the largest and most divided in America due to this experience.

Information sourced from Wikipedia. Cover photo by William Henry Bartlett and sourced from Wikipedia and is available in the Public Domain

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History of Baltimore

Before the Civil War

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