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 Francis Scott Key

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Francis Scott Key Famous memorial

Birth
Keymar, Carroll County, Maryland, USA
Death
11 Jan 1843 (aged 63)
Baltimore, Baltimore City, Maryland, USA
Burial
Frederick, Frederick County, Maryland, USA
Plot
Orginally, Area H, Lot 436, then crypt in monument
Memorial ID
578 View Source

Poet. He was the American patriot, who penned "The Star Spangled Banner," which became the national anthem of the United States of America. Born at Terra Rubra, his family's 1,865-acre plantation in Frederick County north of Keymar, which today is in Carroll County, Maryland, he was the son of judge John Ross Key and his wife Anne Phebe Penn Dagworthy Charlton. He went to St. John's School in Annapolis and then continued to study law with his uncle's firm, passing the bar in 1801. He considered the ministry more than once in his life and became a leader in the Sunday School movement. His published works include "The Power of Literature and Its Connection with Religion" in 1834 and the posthumous collection "Poems" in 1857. By 1805 he had his own well-established law practice in Georgetown, a town a few miles from the nation's Capital. The tranquility usually found here had been broken by the British attack during the War of 1812 and capture of Washington, D.C. where the British had set fire to both the Capitol and the White House on August 24, 1814, the flames of which could be seen forty miles away in Baltimore. Learning that a much-respected elderly physician, Dr. William Beanes was hostage on the British flagship "Tonnant," Key together with Colonel John Skinner, an American agent for prisoner exchange, set sail on a sloop from Baltimore flying a flag of truce. This potentially dangerous mission was with the approval of United States President James Madison. After much negotiation with the British, the release was arranged, but they had overheard the preparations for the attack on Baltimore. They were forced to wait under guard behind the British fleet. It was from this position that after a long night of battle where they were assured by the 25-hour shelling that Fort McHenry had not surrendered. Long before dawn there was a sudden and mysterious silence and waiting in the darkness that anxiety was finally broken when daylight came, as the flag was still there! On September 14, 1814, this led the amateur poet to write on the back of a letter in his pocket the lines that would become the Unites States National Anthem. Later that same month the "Baltimore Patriot" published the completed verses under the title "Defence of Fort M'Henry" with the added note "Tune: Anacreon in Heaven." A Baltimore actor sang the new song in a public performance the next month as "The Star-spangled Banner," and it became a popular patriotic song. In 1931 the Unites States Congress enacted legislation that made this the official national anthem. Key was appointed the United States District Attorney for Washington D.C., appearing many times before the Supreme Court. Married in 1802 to Mary Tayloe Lloyd, the couple had six sons and five daughters and continued to live in Georgetown until around 1833. He died in Baltimore from pleurisy while visiting his daughter Elizabeth Howard and was first buried at Saint Paul's Cemetery there in, but was removed to his family's lot in Frederick in 1866. The Key Monument Association erected a memorial in 1898 and the remains of both Francis Scott Key and his wife were placed in a crypt in the base of the monument. There are cenotaphs at Fort McHenry, on Eutaw Street in Baltimore and at the Presidio in San Francisco, California. His collateral relative, F. Scott Fitzgerald, novelist, was named for him.

Poet. He was the American patriot, who penned "The Star Spangled Banner," which became the national anthem of the United States of America. Born at Terra Rubra, his family's 1,865-acre plantation in Frederick County north of Keymar, which today is in Carroll County, Maryland, he was the son of judge John Ross Key and his wife Anne Phebe Penn Dagworthy Charlton. He went to St. John's School in Annapolis and then continued to study law with his uncle's firm, passing the bar in 1801. He considered the ministry more than once in his life and became a leader in the Sunday School movement. His published works include "The Power of Literature and Its Connection with Religion" in 1834 and the posthumous collection "Poems" in 1857. By 1805 he had his own well-established law practice in Georgetown, a town a few miles from the nation's Capital. The tranquility usually found here had been broken by the British attack during the War of 1812 and capture of Washington, D.C. where the British had set fire to both the Capitol and the White House on August 24, 1814, the flames of which could be seen forty miles away in Baltimore. Learning that a much-respected elderly physician, Dr. William Beanes was hostage on the British flagship "Tonnant," Key together with Colonel John Skinner, an American agent for prisoner exchange, set sail on a sloop from Baltimore flying a flag of truce. This potentially dangerous mission was with the approval of United States President James Madison. After much negotiation with the British, the release was arranged, but they had overheard the preparations for the attack on Baltimore. They were forced to wait under guard behind the British fleet. It was from this position that after a long night of battle where they were assured by the 25-hour shelling that Fort McHenry had not surrendered. Long before dawn there was a sudden and mysterious silence and waiting in the darkness that anxiety was finally broken when daylight came, as the flag was still there! On September 14, 1814, this led the amateur poet to write on the back of a letter in his pocket the lines that would become the Unites States National Anthem. Later that same month the "Baltimore Patriot" published the completed verses under the title "Defence of Fort M'Henry" with the added note "Tune: Anacreon in Heaven." A Baltimore actor sang the new song in a public performance the next month as "The Star-spangled Banner," and it became a popular patriotic song. In 1931 the Unites States Congress enacted legislation that made this the official national anthem. Key was appointed the United States District Attorney for Washington D.C., appearing many times before the Supreme Court. Married in 1802 to Mary Tayloe Lloyd, the couple had six sons and five daughters and continued to live in Georgetown until around 1833. He died in Baltimore from pleurisy while visiting his daughter Elizabeth Howard and was first buried at Saint Paul's Cemetery there in, but was removed to his family's lot in Frederick in 1866. The Key Monument Association erected a memorial in 1898 and the remains of both Francis Scott Key and his wife were placed in a crypt in the base of the monument. There are cenotaphs at Fort McHenry, on Eutaw Street in Baltimore and at the Presidio in San Francisco, California. His collateral relative, F. Scott Fitzgerald, novelist, was named for him.

Bio by: D C McJonathan-Swarm


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 25 Apr 1998
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 578
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/578/francis-scott-key: accessed ), memorial page for Francis Scott Key (1 Aug 1779–11 Jan 1843), Find a Grave Memorial ID 578, citing Mount Olivet Cemetery, Frederick, Frederick County, Maryland, USA; Maintained by Find a Grave .