Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Of Fort McHenry

Today's revisionist history taught via Common Core and other left-leaning education systems has intentionally removed our Founding Fathers and replaced them as heroes and heroines with those that give the Left ultimate glory.  Among the references removed is the War of 1812, which lasted until 1815.  Yet with the controversy rampant around the nation with disgraced athletes (names not referenced, but we know the guilty parties), they have intentionally ignored the importance of the War of 1812, and if they tried their tactics in Baltimore, they would be mocked owing to the importance of Fort McHenry, the Battle of Baltimore, and the correlation of an attorney from Frederick who worked with President Madison to release a friend imprisoned during the War of 1812.  In order to free the friend, that attorney went to observe the battle at the fort on a truce ship.  When seeing that the young country had scored a victory in the Battle of Baltimore on the next morning following the battles, that attorney wrote Defence of Fort McHenry to celebrate the resistance of the young country against Britain by seeing the country's flag staying.

Today, in that attorney's hometown, his name is used in its local Minor League Baseball team.  But what has been stored in Maryland archives is the famed document itself, Defence of Fort McHenry, which lead to the poem we know well today, from that attorney.

Much to the dismay of the protesters either in 1968 at Mexico City (which has been repeated now) or today (by certain disgraced athletes), who ignore American history in favour of advancing the Left's new narratives, we must remember the War of 1812, the Battle of Baltimore, and Fort McHenry, all of which has given us this important poem that was originally published on September 20, 1814, in the Baltimore Patriot and Evening Advertiser.  Have so many people forgotten it?

Note that the term "To Anacreon in Heaven" refers to the Anacreontic Society, a group of amateur musicians of the 18th century in London.  It was the attorney's request to Capt. Eades to use that tune.

NOTE:  Mr. Key's poem used abbreviations for some words, and for purposes of modernisation in this article, I have used the full words as it would be read in poetry.  Our Spelling and Poetry books had the poem in our poetry section, and obviously it was simplified in order to make it readable for our second-grade class, so I have kept the simplifications as I was taught this poem.  Summary of these slight word changes:  The term "O'er" is used when in modern English we would say "over".  In the seventh line of the second stanza, "'Tis" is used in modern English where we use "It is" or "It's".  The "e" is also not in the original poem in the third line of the fourth stanza, "heav'n".  And as was the case in our capitalisation rules in school, in this case, "H" in "Heaven" is capitalised.


The annexed song was composed under the following circumstances – A gentleman had left Baltimore, in a flag of truce for the purpose of getting released from the British fleet, a friend (Dr. William Beanes) who had been captured at (Upper) Marlborough. He went as far as the mouth of the Patuxent, and was not permitted to return lest the intended attack on Baltimore should be disclosed. He was therefore brought up the Bay to the mouth of the Patapsco, where the flag vessel was kept under the guns of a frigate (HMS Surprise), and he was compelled to witness the bombardment of Fort McHenry, which the Admiral had boasted that he would carry in a few hours, and that the city (Baltimore) must fall. He watched the flag at the Fort through the whole day with an anxiety that can be better felt than described, until the night prevented him from seeing it. In the night he watched the Bomb Shells, and at early dawn his eye was again greeted by the proudly waving flag of his country.


O! say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
Over the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the Rocket’s red glare, the Bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our Flag was still there;

O! say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
Over the Land of the free, and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, over the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected new shines in the stream,

It is the star spangled banner, – O! long may it wave
Over the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country, should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps pollution.
No refuse could save the hireling and slave,
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,

And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
Over the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

O! thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their loved home, and the war’s desolation,
Blest with victory and peace, may the Heaven rescued land,
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto – “In God is our Trust;”

And the star-spangled Banner in triumph shall wave,
Over the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

Works cited:  Attack on Fort McHenry

NOTE:  The original news article spells it D-E-F-E-N-C-E, so it is correct.

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