Following the War of 1812, the defenders’ of Baltimore returned to their occupations, raised their families, and told their heroic stories to their grandchildren. By the 1840’s they were regarded as a national treasure much like their revolutionary forbearers before them. As each veteran from the war passed away, their obituaries were published throughout the country.
On April 1, 1842, the surviving registered members formally organized the “Association of Old Defenders of Baltimore in 1814” for the purpose of keeping alive the memory of those who fought in the defense of Baltimore in September 1814. They agreed to meet annually until such time when the last five members were no longer able to attend.On September 6, 1884, The Sun reported that the organization had disbanded since the number of surviors had dwindled. As a result, the Society of the War of 1812 in Maryland was organized on September 12, 1892 by the descendants to annually commemorate Defenders’ Day in Baltimore and keep the “Old Defenders’” stories alive.
Who was Maryland’s last “Old Defender”? On September 12, 1880, the last defenders’ gathered at the Druid Hill Mansion (site of the Maryland Zoo) and had their portrait taken seated in front of the portico. In the photograph taken there were twelve left.
Of the 1,259 registered members of the Old Defenders’ Association recorded at its founding in 1842, the last known Maryland defender may have been Cecil County native, Elijah Bouldin Glenn (1796-1898). Glenn was a private in Captain Peter Pinney’s company, 27th Maryland Regiment and had fought at the Battle of North Point. Glenn died on July 5, 1898 at the age of 102.
Source: (Extract) “The Last of the Old Defenders’ of Baltimore, September 12, 1880.” by Scott S. Sheads, The War of 1812 in Maryland: The War of 1812 in Maryland: New Discoveries and Interpretations. (2011, unpublished).