The Star Spangled Banner and Upper Marlboro
O say can you see by the dawn's early light.
Everyone knows America's National Anthem the Star Spangled Banner
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
Most know it was written by Francis Scott Key
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
Some might know it was written by Key after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry from aboard a ship near the Inner Harbor in Baltimore Maryland.
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming.
Very few may know that Key was aboard that ship to negotiate the release of a prominent Upper Marlboro, Maryland citizen, Doctor William Beanes.
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
It's true! Dr William Beanes a resident of Upper Marlboro, Maryland was arrested by the British and held captive aboard a British Royal Navy Ship during the war of 1812. Francis Scott Key a Georgetown lawyer, and family friend of Beanes was sent to gain the release of the doctor.
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there
In August of 1814 British Royal Navy ships navigated the Chesapeake Bay and up the Patuxent River, eventually landing soldiers in Benedict Maryland. The British regiments marched unchallenged
towards Washington D.C. Arriving in Upper Marlboro the British were offered the use of his home for a headquarters by Dr William Beanes. On August 24th 1814. The British marched into Washington D.C. setting fire to the White House, the Capital and the Navy Yard.
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
The first and only occupation of Washington D.C. by a foreign country lasted only 26 hours. A heavy thunderstorm, believed to be a hurricane, producing a tornado, hit the city on August 25th 1814. The storm helped depress the fires and the British returned to their ships.
On the way back through Upper Marlboro several British soldiers defected from the Royal Navy and began looting local farms. Some Upper Marlboro residents with the assistance of Dr Beanes arrested and jailed the marauding defectors.
This enraged the commanding officers of the British Navy who immediately arrested Dr. Beanes and held him captive aboard their ships while on the way to the Battle of Baltimore.
Francis Scott Key boarded the British ships, now near the Batilmore Inner Harbor to negotiate the release of Dr Beanes. Initially the British commanders refused a release, changing their minds after hearing how well Dr. Beanes had treated wounded British Soliders.
Fearing that Key and Beanes may know too much about the planned attack on Fort McHenry British commanders would not allow the Americans to leave, holding them until after the attack on Fort McHenry.
Keys and Beanes witnessed the attack on Fort McHenry on September 13-14,1814. The next morning Francis Scott Key, an Amateur poet wrote the lyrics to what we know today as the Star Spangled Banner.
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
It is hard to imagine America without the anthem The Star Spangled Banner, but it may have never been written if it wasn't for a little town called Upper Marlboro and it's resident Doctor William Beanes.
Here's a beautiful rendition of The Star Spangled Banner by Lady Gaga. As you listen to it remember that it is our individual freedom, that makes us all Americans in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Brian is a third generation automotive service professional with 38 years of experience. His practical approach to auto repair has helped thousands of customers protect their automotive investment while saving them money.