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Wells & McComas: The Writing of the National Anthem
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Background of the War of 1812

Battle of North Point

The Writing of the National Anthem

Wells & McComas in the War of 1812
The Writing of the National Anthem

Francis Scott Key heard about the town of Upper Marlboro near September 1814. Their beloved town physician, Dr. Beanes, had been captured by British forces. An American prisoner exchange agent, Colonel John Skinner, accompanied him, and they set sail on the morning of September 3rd, 1814.4

The two went aboard the TONNANT, the British ship holding the physician, and talked with General Ross and Admiral Cochrane. They refused to give up any of the American captives they had, and Francis Scott Key was forced to wait out the battle behind the British lines.4

George, Christopher, "MG Robert Ross," My Edgemere (2002-2004), <>.

Despite continuous attacks on the current aim of the British--Fort McHenry--followed by a mysterious silence, in the morning, the US flag was still waving proudly. The British had failed to take the fort, and Key, moved by the sight, wrote "Defence of Fort M'Henry". This poem became popular nearly instantaneously, and once accompanied to the tune of "Anacreon in Heaven," it was dubbed the Star Spangled Banner.4

     1 George, Christopher, "Wells & McComas," My Edgemere (2002-2004), <>.

     2 MultiEducator, Inc, "United States Declares War on Great Britain," History Central (2003) <>.

     3 Feldmeth, Greg D., "Key Events & Causes: War of 1812," U.S. History Resources (1998), 31 March 1998 <>.

     4 Streufert, Duane, "Francis Scott Key," The Flag of the United States of America (1994), 20 November, 1994 <>.