Myths & Legends: The Thomas Shaw House, North Point: September 12, 1814

Like many historical events, myths and legends have their own unique place in the documented stories providing a time line of events along with the documented main events. The Battle of North Point has too it’s own share of stories that have made their way into the historic lore as the British marched along the old North Point Road towards Baltimore.

Thomas Shaw House (also known as the Foulkes Farmhouse, circa1800). On the morning of Sept. 12 as the British army began their march along the Old North Point Road, British Major General Robert Ross’s staff took possession of the house on the ground floor, while ordering the family upstairs.

Eleanor Shaw, the daughter of Mr. Shaw (1745-1829), was forced to climb out of a second story window, to avoid the unwanted advances of a British lieutenant. Ever the disciplinarian, Major Gen. Robert Ross, RA ordered the officer back to the fleet for later punishment. The lore does not record the name of the young lieutenant nor any records that may substantiate the claim – but the story remains. The origin of the story appeared in The Sun on September 8, 1907.

Thomas’s son Joshua Shaw (1791-1832) served in Captain Joel Green’s company, 46th Maryland Regiment of Baltimore County. Today the site of the house is located on Foulkes’ Farm Road off the North Point Road. It survived until 1967 when it was torn down. A private family graveyard is nearby.

Source: “Battle of North Point in Legend and Tradition,” The Sun, September 8, 1907; Baltimore Gazette and Daily Adv., January 16, 1830 and December 1, 1832.

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