How Home Played a Role in the Writing of The Star Spangled Banner

Francis Scott Key, as I’m sure you well know, penned the words to what is now our national anthem during the Battle of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812. What you may not realize is that it took a man losing his home for these words to be written.

The story begins with an elderly man you probably never heard of named, Dr. William Beanes. Dr. Beanes was a prominent citizen of Upper Marlboro, Maryland during the late 1700′s into the early 1800′s. He built a home on farm land that he owned. While he lived on a working farm and knew his way around a plow, he was also a very well known doctor and respected scientist. Chances are this is the kind of guy you’d want as your neighbor.

During the War of 1812, Dr. Beanes offered his home and land as a place of rest and refuge for British soldiers who were fighting in Chesapeake Bay. Dr. Beanes invited British General Robert Ross to use his home and land as his headquarters for a few days as the British regrouped on upcoming battle plans.

After General Ross had left and the war carried on, soon Dr. Beanes and other …read more


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