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Baltimore Information

The name of the Maryland city of Baltimore comes from the first Proprietary Governor of the province, Lord Baltimore. In actuality, the Port of Baltimore was created first in 1706, before the town was founded. The tobacco trade precipitated the need for the port. The town's founding followed later in 1729.

The role that Baltimore has played in the history of the United States cannot be overstated. From the end of 1776 until February of 1777, delegates from the Thirteen Colonies met in the Henry Fite House, thereby forming the Second Continental Congress. By doing so, they literally made Baltimore the U.S. capital for that period of time. The town had been instrumental in providing resistance to the oppression of British taxation, and Baltimore's merchants signed paperwork agreeing that they would not participate in trade with Britain. After the Revolutionary War was won, the town of Baltimore joined with two other named locations, Jonestown and Fells Point, to incorporate together in 1796 as one city, Baltimore.

Later, in the War of 1812, the British burned Washington, D.C., and turned their sites on Baltimore. It was during the night of September 13, 1814, that a battle raged between the U.S. forces in Fort McHenry and the British attackers aboard a ship in the harbor. The next morning, an American lawyer who was aboard the ship during the night of perilous fighting looked out to see his country's flag still waving after the attack. He famously penned words to describe what he had just witnessed. From this, today we have Francis Scott Key's poem that later became our National Anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner.

Later history of Baltimore involves Maryland's status as a slave state. During the Civil War, Maryland did not secede from the Union, but Confederate sympathizers who lived in Baltimore attacked Union troops as the soldiers were marching through at the beginning of the war. A riot ensued, and people were killed. These actions caused the federal government to bring Maryland under its administration and to also order troops to occupy the city of Baltimore.

Tragically, a fire in February of 1904 burned over 70 blocks of Baltimore's downtown area to the ground. More than 1,500 buildings were destroyed in 30 hours in what came to be called the Great Baltimore Fire. The city, however, now has nearly 300 properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

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