More Pirate Party Tales: Baltimore A “Nest of Pirates”

by Pirate Matty on February 12, 2009

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Commercial ports at various locations on the upper Chesapeake Bay were founded during the 17th century and called “Baltimore.” In 1706, the Maryland colonial General Assembly created the port at Locust Point as a tobacco port of entry. The present city of Baltimore dates from July 30, 1729 and is named after Lord Baltimore. Lord Baltimore was the first Proprietary governor of the Province of Maryland.

Baltimore’s growth seem to be boundless in the mid- to late 18th century as a granary for sugar-producing colonies in the Caribbean. This growth was partly due to the fact that Baltimore was shorter in distance from the Caribbean as compared to other large port cities such as New York City and Boston, which reduced transportation time and minimized the spoilage of flour. The profit gained from Baltimore’s sugar-producing abilities encouraged the cultivation of cane and the importation of food.

Baltimore and other cities joined together in protesting Boston’s punishment by the British and signed agreements to not import from or export to Britain due to the British taxation. Prominent city leaders such as Jonathan Plowman Jr. encouraged the city to join the resistance to British taxation. These agreements enabled Baltimore to play a key part in the events leading to and including the American Revolution.

The British declared Baltimore a “nest of Pirates” during the War of 1812. The British burned Washington, D.C., however, the American forces won by repulsing joint land and naval attacks.

The British landed at Sparrows Point and when the local residents run out of ammunition, they threw pots, pans and anything else they could get hold of at the British. At the Battle of North Point, local residents killed the British commander, General Ross. General Ross thought he would the battle and made the strong statement of: “We will win this battle or I eat dinner in hell tonight.” The British lost this battle. British reinforcements were not possible and their forces just withdrew. This naval engagement inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which became the lyrics to the United States’ national anthem. The battled was memorialized in the Battle Monument on the city seal.

Following the Battle of North Point, Baltimore’s population grew significantly. This growth was attributed mainly to the increased commerce abroad and more importantly with points west in the interior of the United States. Two major transportation accomplishments of the federally funded National Road and the privately funded Baltimore & Ohio Railroad made Baltimore a major shipping and manufacturing center. Fortunes were made and the city’s distinctive local culture started taking shape. Baltimore started to develop a unique skyline peppered with churches and monuments. John Quincy Adams visited the city in 1827 and nicknamed it “Monument City,” a nickname that remained popular for well over a century.

Baltimore was separated from Baltimore County in 1851 and became an independent city at that time.

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