Everybody knows that the “Star-Spangled Banner” was written by Francis Scott Key as he watched the British attack on Fort McHenry in Baltimore harbor during the War of 1812. But few know that in 1861 Francis Key Howard, the grandson of Francis Scott Key, wrote this of his grandfather: “The flag which then he so proudly hailed, I saw waving at the same place over the victims of as vulgar and brutal a despotism as modern times have witnessed.” Howard was one of the many Marylanders who were political prisoners of Abraham Lincoln, arrested to prevent the people of Maryland from ever having an opportunity to vote on secession.
Maryland was a Southern State. It was founded as a plantation colony like Virginia and its way of life did not differ greatly from Virginia’s. In the 1860 election Lincoln received less than 3% of the popular vote. As soon as Union occupiers departed at the end of the War for Southern Independence, Maryland elected conservative Southern Democrats to office, a practice that continued well into the 20th century.
Joyce Bennett is a patriot holding a last outpost of the reat Maryland. She knows the history and original culture of her commonwealth. She has watched that pleasant and very American culutre–its speech, manners, cuisine , attitudes, and traditions–being vigorously wiped out by newcomers who have turned Maryland into a mere minor part of the northereastern meglopolis. The things sadly lost are the things that constiute civilization and create community.