September 18, 1814

Today I read in the Baltimore Patriot newspaper that the three American hostages were set free. While they were still hostages, Francis Scott Key wrote a few lines for a poem about the battle. That night, while at the Indian Queen Hotel, he finished the four stanzas for his poem. The next day, he went to his cousin, Judge J. H. Nicholson to get it printed. His cousin liked the poem, but the poem needed a name. Judge Nicholson suggested "Defence of M'Henry." That would be the name. We would use the tune of the popular drinking song "Anacreon."

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Last modified: September 19, 2005 1999 Marjorie Duby - Inquiry Unlimited