Witness to the War of 1812

Tour curated by: Baltimore Heritage

Discover historic places touched by the Battle of Baltimore and the War of 1812! When Francis Scott Key witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry from on board the British ship HMS Tonnant, he was just one of many who waited anxiously through the night hoping that Baltimore could stand before the British attack. Ship-builders, merchants, enslaved men and women, and seamstresses played a role in the defense of the city. In September of 1814, scores of local buildings stood witness to the War of 1812 – alongside Francis Scott Key, General Samuel Smith, Commander George Armistead, and Mary Young Pickersgill. Some still stand today as testaments to Baltimore’s resilience and survival.

Supported by funding from the Baltimore National Heritage Area and the Maryland Heritage Area Authority.

Locations for Tour

Construction on the Battle Monument began on September 12, 1815, a year to the day after Baltimore soundly defeated the British in the War of 1812, and the monument endures as a commemoration of the attack by land at North Point and by sea at Fort…

Henry Thompson was born in 1774 in Sheffield, England and came to Baltimore in 1794, where he became a member of the Baltimore Light Dragoons. He was elected captain of this company in 1809, six years after completing a house called…

Opened in 1786 by Baltimore's First Presbyterian Church, the Westminster Burying Ground is the resting place for many of early Baltimore's most notable citizens, including merchants, mayors, and fifteen generals from the Revolutionary War…

On August 14, 1814, almost exactly one month before the Battle of Baltimore and the bombing of Ft. McHenry in the War of 1812, Rembrandt Peale opened "Peale's Baltimore Museum and Gallery of Paintings" on Holliday Street in downtown…

Today, from the rise within Riverside Park, established in 1875, a visitor can see the rowhouses and churches of South Baltimore densely packed around the park in every direction. During the War of 1812, this rise, long known as Look-Out Hill,…

At the close of the eighteenth century, the far eastern edge of Baltimore was marked by Harris Creek, a modest tributary of the Patapsco that spilled into the River near where Boston Street and Lakewood Avenue in Canton today. In an area of Baltimore…

Daniel Wells and Henry Gough McComas gained fame as the "boy heroes" of the Battle of Baltimore. Though the historical record may offer slim evidence to confirm their role during the battle, Baltimoreans have celebrated the legend of Wells and…

707 South Regester Street was built between 1760 and 1780 when Regester was known as Argyle Alley. Deed research tracing back to 1814 shows the house was owned by Joseph Brown until he sold it to Issac Stansbury in October of 1814. It was originally…

713 South Ann Street is a rare wooden house surviving within a row from 711 to 715 South Ann Street. Built around 1800, the 1804 City Directory lists Patrick Travis, a sea-captain, as the resident of the house at the time. The earliest deed located…

South Bond Street features a handful of nineteenth century wooden houses, including several built before the War of 1812. A relatively diverse population of European descent made up the neighborhood during the early 1800s. Martin Breitenoder, a…

1627 Aliceanna Street, is a rare eighteenth century wooden house, built in 1797 and once home to "The Academy" run by schoolmaster Nicholas Leeke. Leeke's daughter, Mary, married a young sea captain, Henry Dashiell, who was a privateer…

Built around 1800, 1706 Lancaster Street was home to Thomas Kemp, a 24-year-old shipbuilder from St. Michaels on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, from 1803 to 1805 on the eve of the War of 1812. During the war, many regarded Kemp as the most skilled…

If some sea captains downplayed their financial success, others put it on display for all to see. In 1810, Alexander Thompson acquired the grand four-bay-wide house at 1729 Aliceanna (built c. 1780). Now altered, it was then 2½ stories tall. During…

The Key Monument on Eutaw Place is a grand reminder of how Baltimoreans have kept the memory of the Battle of Baltimore and the War of 1812 alive over 200 years. Francis Scott Key was a Maryland lawyer who was on board the British vessel HMS Tonnant…