Overlooking Baltimore Inner Harbor waterfront on Federal Hill stands the statue of Major General Samuel Smith (1752-1839), Revolutionary War officer, merchant, ship-owner, and U.S. Senator earned him the experience and fortitude in the momentous crises before to successfully command Baltimore during the War of 1812 and it’s darkest hour the Washington-Baltimore campaign of 1814
The statue itself was by German sculptor Hans Schuler (1874-1951) who studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. The original site location where the statue was erected in 1917 was Wyman Park at North Charles and 29th Street dedicated on Independence Day, July 4, 1918 funded by the 1914 centennial celebration four years earlier.
In 1953 Baltimore’s City of Recreation and Parks Department moved the sculpture to Sam Smith Park at the corner of Pratt Street and Light Street, the future waterfront site of the 1980 Rouse Company project – Harborplace Market. In 1970 with the Inner Harbor renewal project underway the statue was relocated to its present site on Federal Hill, where in 1814 a gun battery had been erected and the citizens of Baltimore witnessed the fiery bombardment of Fort McHenry.
Today, Federal Hill, a National Historic Landmark, shares its high honor with Maryland’s pre-imminent citizen soldier, both overlooking the city that gave birth to a new national hymn “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
MAJOR-GENERAL SAMUEL SMITH, 1752-1839 / UNDER HIS COMMAND THE ATTACK OF THE BRITISH UPON BALTIMORE BY LAND AND SEA SEPTEMBER 12-14, / 1814 WAS REPULSED. MEMBER OF CONGRESS FORTY SUCCESIVE YEARS, / PRESIDENT U.S. SENATE, SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, MAYOR OF BALTIMORE. /HERO OF BOTH WARS FOR AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE – LONG ISLAND – WHITE / PLAINS – BRANDYWINE – DEFENDER OF FORT MIFFLIN – VALLEY FORCE – / MONMOUTH – BALTIMORE. /
ERECTED BY THE NATIONAL STAR-SPANGLED BANNER CENTENNIAL
Source: (Extract) New Discoveries and Interpretations: War of 1812 in Maryland by Scott S. Sheads (unpublished, 2011)