Fell's Point National Register Historic District and Ft. McHenry National MonumentA "nest of pirates"—that's what the British admiralty once dubbed Baltimore's historic Fell's Point, then one of the most important shipbuilding centers in the nation and the home port of courageous privateers who sailed speed Chesapeake Bay pilot boat schooners, to assure American freedom on the seas.
Privateers had government licenses called "Letters of Marque and Reprisal," authorizing the capture of enemy merchant ships as "prizes" for their owners. These privately-owned, armed schooners ran blockades, harassed British convoys, and captured merchant ships, actions that caused great frustration and financial loss.
122 Fell's Point privateers captured more than 500 British ships, wrought havoc on British trade, and secured millions of dollars in prizes. Their audacity and success caused the British to attack the city in 1814, only to be turned away at the Battle of Baltimore and Fort McHenry.
"The Star-Spangled Banner"Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine is home to two of America's most powerful symbols-the National Anthem and the American Flag. It was here in 1814, at the height of the War of 1812, that this embattled garrison held off a massive bombardment and attempted invasion by a British naval fleet—-and defended a greater prize-Baltimore
Francis Scott Key, who witnessed the attack, was so overjoyed to see the flag still flying "by the dawn's early light" that he wrote the "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Hop on a water taxi and visit the Fort to take part in the twice-a-day Flag Change, where you can help fold or hoist the flag right where the original flagpole stood. As you stand on the ramparts of the Fort looking down toward the Bay, you stand at the crossroads of history.
For the Chesapeake Bay's ship owners and their crews, privateering was a risky business, but also lucrative. Owners fronted as much as $40,000 ($643,000 in today's dollars) to build and outfit a privateer. However, if a privateer captured several enemy vessels on a single voyage, the return could be as much as five times that initial investment.
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Monday, September 29th, 2014 at 8:46am PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||18S E 362595 N 4349258|
|Decimal Degrees||39.28180000, -76.59310000|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 39° 16.908', W 76° 35.586'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||39° 16' 54.48" N, 76° 35' 35.16" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Area Code(s)||410, 443|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 1647 Thames St, Baltimore MD 21231, US|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|
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