Eastern Shore 1812 celebrations and web site

  • Posted on: 27 February 2012
  • By: mysterylovescompany

Here on the Eastern Shore we are gearing up for the celebrations of the Forgotten War: The War of 1812. It was Maryland's War as we see it and most definitely the war of the Chesapeake. Although some say all the action took place on the Western shore of the Bay, those of us on the East Side of the Bay have much to think about it and commemorate. I am part of a committee creating ideas about meaningful events in Talbot County headed by Marie Martin of St. Michael's.

In today's Star Democrat is a story about Caulk's Field in Kent County where a battle took place in 1814. It is a major battle site on the Eastern Shore and one that will have encampments, re-enactments and parades and celebrations which begin this year.http://www.stardem.com/news/local_news/article_e58d0fbf-0387-5fae-b09b-123299018eaf.html

In Talbot, of course there is the Battle of St. Michael's in August of 1813 when the town's folk and militia were able to thwart the British 'invaders." Although there is much folklore attached to this event, there is an element of great pride that the stalwart towns folk were able to defend their town.

As President Madison discovered from the beginning of 1812 the small "navy" of the United States of seven vessels would not be enough to deter the British. He therefore  gave Letters of Marque to those private captains and ship owners to act as Privateers  to "annoy" and harass the British. This they very successfully did, many of them closer to British Soil than American soil. 

The beautiful schooners built in the shipyards of St. Michael's, and most of all Fells Point in Baltimore were just the type of vessel President Madison needed. 

Their story is told in the works of some wonderful authors who I hope to have speak at various times during the next three years in a series of lectures here on the Shore. You can get all the books from our store by calling 410-226-0010 or visiting us in Beautiful Oxford.http://www.mysterylovescompany.com/

Christopher George was born in Liverpool, England, but I met him in my old Fells Point store in Baltimore. You might remember him from the documentary about Maryland's participation in the War of 1812 which has been shown on television. Chris is the author of the seminal work TERROR ON THE CHESAPEAKE (2001).  This book has an interesting perspective on the war since he used British and American primary sources, and is full of wonderful material.

Bert Hubinger is the author of 1812: RIGHT OF PASSAGE (2012), a novel set during the period.

George Daughan's 1812: THE NAVY WAR (2012) tells the complete story of the U. S. Naval involvement.

Stay tune for more exciting news, including an Evening with President Madison at the Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michael's in June with a full dress ball, food, music, and dancing from 1812 and all the trimmings.

The Talbot Historical Society has costume making workshops so you will be ready for all those celebrations.

Also in the works are celebrations in Dorchester County.

I also would like to do a series of "Find Your 1812 Relative" Family History/ Genealogy workshop in Talbot County to gear up local interest.

Also a booklet of recipes to inspire local chefs to try 1812 dinners, including those wonderful rum drinks.

You can see the web site developed for all of the War of 1812 events on the Shore which includes primary sources such as letters and newspaper clippings about the war and maps of the area here:http://www.easternshore1812.org

Hope you will become informed about the War on the Eastern and Western Shores and of course the vallient efforts of women like Dolley Madison who saved the treasures of the White House as it burned and Mary Pickergill who made the Stars and Stripes.http://www.flaghouse.org/

I'll keep you posted on more local 1812 events. If you have ideas of your own or events to share let me know. Of course you can stop by for books as well.

Kathy Harig