Illumination – The Treaty of Peace and Amity

On February 1815, the schooner Transit arrived in Annapolis from France with Marylander Christopher Hughes, Jr. Esq., carrying a copy of the Treaty of Ghent, signed in Ghent, Belgium by the American and British commissioners on December 25, 1814 ending the War of 1812. News of the treaty was conveyed onboard the schooner Adeline with Colonel John S. Skinner, U.S. State Department agent to  inform Captain James Claville, RN, with his blockading squadron in the Chesapeake Bay. On February 23rd the City of Annapolis was illuminated. In the midst of this light, the State House ” was conspicuous for its elevation and splendor.” The State House hall was decorated with a full length portrait of George Washington, suspended from the center of the inner dome.

On February 22, 1815, Annapolis cabinet-maker and keeper of the armory John Shaw, fired a national salute with artillery from the illuminated Maryland State House on account of Washington’s birthday and the confirmation of peace.

Maryland now began the rebuilding process of the depredations destruction of the tidewater region and  the economic loss of her trade during the embargoes, and expanding once more to Europe and as far as Canton, China on board the once privateer Chasseur. A new national song “The Star-Spangled Banner” now gave Maryland a sense of national pride and symbolic emblem into what it meant to be an American.

Sources:“Maryland Armory Book, 1813-1820, John Shaw” Records of the War Department, Adjutant General’s Office, National Archives; Maryland Gazette, February 23, 1815.

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Published in: on March 21, 2011 at 10:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

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