Prelude to War

Prelude to War (HM1IDB)

Location: Baltimore, MD 21224
Country: United States of America

N 39° 17.418', W 76° 35.034'

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Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail

— War of 1812 —

Events here October 4, 1808, known as "Gin Riots" were more rallies than riots. Some 1,300 horsemen, 400 sailors, and thousands of civilians paraded to Hampstead Hill to destroy 720 gallons of Dutch gin.

The British, intercepting Baltimore-based Sophia at sea, demanded a tax on each gallon of gin. When Sophia returned home, citizens—-angered that the "infamous tribute" had been paid—-ordered the cargo "condemned to flames" in protest.

Tensions Mount-The Sophia episode was just one of numerous times the British stopped American merchant ships—-sometimes forcing crewmen into the Royal Navy. Many unlucky ships and sailors hailed from Baltimore.

"...the brig Sophia, of Baltimore...was boarded by an English gun brig, the commander of which ordered (the) vessel to England to pay duties on his cargo."
-Easton Republican Star, November 4, 1808.

(Inscription beside the image on the left) With great ceremony, fires consumed the barrels of gin hanging from makeshift gallows on Hampstead Hill.

(Inscription beside the image on the right) The practice of "impressments" forcing American sailors into the British navy was one of the causes of the War of 1812.

(Inscription under the image on the right) Impressment of American seamen following the defeat of the USS Chesapeake by HMS Leopard, June 1807-Image/The Granger Collection, New York.

Series This marker is part of the Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail series
Placed ByNational Park Service-United States Department of the Interior
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, December 15th, 2014 at 1:02pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 363406 N 4350188
Decimal Degrees39.29030000, -76.58390000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 17.418', W 76° 35.034'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 17' 25.08" N, 76° 35' 2.04" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)410
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 101-199 S Patterson Park Ave, Baltimore MD 21224, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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