Francis Scott Key
Francis Scott Key
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Francis Scott Key
Francis Scott Key (August 1, 1779 – January 11, 1843) was an American lawyer, author, and amateur poet from Frederick, Maryland and later Georgetown,

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Francis Scott Key Francis Scott Key circa 1825 Born (1779-08-01)August 1, 1779
Frederick County (now Carroll County), Maryland, U.S. Died January 11, 1843(1843-01-11) (aged 63)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S. Nationality American Occupation Poet, lawyer, district attorney Spouse(s) Mary Tayloe Lloyd Children Elizabeth Phoebe Howard
Maria Lloyd Steele
Francis Scott Key, Jr.
John Ross Key
Ann Arnold Turner
Edward Lloyd Key
Daniel Murray Key
Philip Barton Key II
Ellen Lloyd Blunt
Mary Alicia Lloyd Nevins Pendleton
Charles Henry Key Relatives Philip Barton Key, uncle
Francis Key Howard, grandson
F. Scott Fitzgerald, distant cousin
Philip Barton Key, Jr., first cousin

Francis Scott Key (August 1, 1779 – January 11, 1843) was an American lawyer, author, and amateur poet from Frederick, Maryland and later Georgetown, D.C., near Washington, D.C. who wrote the lyrics for a poem entitled at first "The Defence of Fort McHenry", which when set to an old English gentlemens' society tune, eventually became the United States' national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner".

Contents
  • 1 Early life and family
  • 2 "The Star-Spangled Banner"
  • 3 Legal career
    • 3.1 Slavery and American Colonization Society
    • 3.2 Anti-abolitionist
  • 4 Religion
  • 5 Death and legacy
  • 6 Monuments and memorials
  • 7 Media
  • 8 See also
  • 9 References
  • 10 External links

Early life and family Coat of Arms of Francis Scott Key

Francis Scott Key was born to Ann Phoebe Penn Dagworthy (Charlton) and Captain John Ross Key at the family plantation Terra Rubra in what was then part of Frederick County, now Carroll County, Maryland. His father was a lawyer, judge, and officer in the Continental Army. His great-grandparents on his father's side, Philip Key and Susanna Barton Gardiner, were both born in London and then immigrated to Maryland in 1726.

Key graduated from St. John's College, Annapolis, Maryland in 1796, and "read the law" under an uncle, Philip Barton Key who was (along with his wife) loyal to the British Crown during the War of Independence. He married Mary Tayloe Lloyd on January 1, 1802.

"The Star-Spangled Banner" Main article: The Star-Spangled Banner

During the War of 1812, Key, accompanied by the British Prisoner Exchange Agent Colonel John Stuart Skinner, dined aboard the British ship HMS Tonnant as the guests of three British officers: Vice Admiral Alexander Cochrane, Rear Admiral George Cockburn, and Major General Robert Ross. Skinner and Key were there to negotiate the release of prisoners, one of whom was Dr. William Beanes, a resident of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, who had been arrested after jailing marauding British troops who were looting local farms. Skinner, Key, and Beanes were not allowed to return to their own sloop because they had become familiar with the strength and position of the British units and with the British intent to attack Baltimore. Thus, Key was unable to do anything but watch the bombarding of the American forces at Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore on the night of September 13–14, 1814.

Fort McHenry looking towards the position of the British ships (with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in the distance on the upper left)

At dawn, Key was able to see an American flag still waving. Back in Baltimore and inspired, Key wrote a poem about his experience, "Defence of Fort M'Henry", which was soon published in William Pechin's American and Commercial Daily Advertiser on September 21, 1814. He took it to Thomas Carr, a music publisher, who adapted it to the rhythms of composer John Stafford Smith's "To Anacreon in Heaven", a popular tune Key had already used as a setting for his 1805-song "When the Warrior Returns", celebrating U.S. heroes of the First Barbary War. (Key used the "star-spangled" flag imagery in the earlier song.) It has become better known as "The Star-Spangled Banner". Though somewhat difficult to sing, it became increasingly popular, competing with "Hail, Columbia" (1796) as the de facto national anthem by the time of the Mexican–American War and American Civil War. More than a century after its first publication, the song was adopted as the American national anthem, first by an Executive Order from President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 (which had little effect beyond requiring military bands to play what became known as the "Service Version") and then by a Congressional resolution in 1931, signed by President Herbert Hoover.

Legal career Key law office on Court Street in Frederick, Maryland

Key was a leading attorney in Frederick, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. for many years, with an extensive real estate as well as trial practice. He and his family settled in Georgetown in 1805 or 1806, near the new national capital. There the young Key assisted his uncle, the prominent lawyer Philip Barton Key, such as in the sensational conspiracy trial of Aaron Burr and the expulsion of Senator John Smith of Ohio. He made the first of his many arguments before the United States Supreme Court in 1807. In 1808 he assisted President Thomas Jefferson's attorney general in United States v. Peters.

In 1829, Key, a supporter of Andrew Jackson, assisted in the prosecution of Tobias Watkins, former U.S. Treasury auditor under former President John Quincy Adams for misappropriating public monies. He also handled the Petticoat affair concerning Secretary of War John Eaton, who had married a widowed saloonkeeper. In 1832, he served as the attorney for Sam Houston, then a former U.S. Representative and Governor of Tennessee, during his trial for assaulting Representative William Stanbery of Ohio.

President Jackson nominated Key for United States Attorney for the District of Columbia in 1833. After the U.S. Senate approved the nomination, he served from 1833 to 1841, while also handling his own private legal cases. In 1835, in his most famous case, he prosecuted Richard Lawrence for his unsuccessful attempt to assassinate President Andrew Jackson at the entrance doors and top steps of the Capitol, the first attempt to kill an American chief executive.

Slavery and American Colonization Society

Key purchased his first slave in 1800 or 1801 and owned six slaves in 1820. Mostly in the 1830s, Key manumitted (set free) seven slaves, one of whom (Clem Johnson) continued to work for him for wages as his farm's foreman, supervising several slaves.

Throughout his career Key also represented several slaves seeking their freedom in court (for free), as well as several masters seeking return of their runaway slaves. Key, Judge William Leigh of Halifax, and bishop William Meade were administrators of the will of their friend John Randolph of Roanoke, who died without children and left a will directing his executors to free his more than four hundred slaves. Over the next decade, beginning in 1833, the administrators fought to enforce the will and provide the freed slaves land to support themselves.

Key publicly criticized slavery's cruelties, so much that after his death a newspaper editorial stated "So actively hostile was he to the peculiar institution that he was called 'The Nigger Lawyer' .... because he often volunteered to defend the downtrodden sons and daughters of Africa. Mr. Key convinced me that slavery was wrong—radically wrong." In June 1842, Key attended the funeral of William Costin, a free, mixed race resident who had challenged Washington's surety bond laws.

Key was a founding member and active leader of the American Colonization Society and its predecessor, the influential Maryland branch, the primary goal of which was to send free African-Americans back to Africa. However, he was removed from the board in 1833 as its policies shifted toward abolitionist.

Anti-abolitionist

A slave-owner himself, Key used his position as U.S. Attorney to suppress abolitionists. In 1833, he secured a grand jury indictment against Benjamin Lundy, editor of the anti-slavery publication, the Genius of Universal Emancipation, and his printer, William Greer, for libel after Lundy published an article that declared, "There is neither mercy nor justice for colored people in this district ". Lundy's article, Key said in the indictment, "was intended to injure, oppress, aggrieve, and vilify the good name, fame, credit & reputation of the Magistrates and constables" of Washington. Lundy left town rather than face trial; Greer was acquitted.

In August 1836, Key agreed to prosecute botanist and doctor Reuben Crandall, brother of controversial Connecticut school teacher Prudence Crandall, who had recently moved to the national capital. Key secured an indictment for "seditious libel" after two marshals (who operated as slave catchers in their off hours) found Crandall had a trunk full of anti-slavery publications in his Georgetown residence, five days after the Snow Riot, caused by rumors that a mentally ill slave had attempted to kill an elderly white woman. In an April 1837 trial that attracted nationwide attention, Key charged that Crandall's actions instigated slaves to rebel. Crandall's attorneys acknowledged he opposed slavery, but denied any intent or actions to encourage rebellion. Key, in his final address to the jury said:

"Are you willing, gentlemen, to abandon your country, to permit it to be taken from you, and occupied by the abolitionist, according to whose taste it is to associate and amalgamate with the negro? Or, gentlemen, on the other hand, are there laws in this community to defend you from the immediate abolitionist, who would open upon you the floodgates of such extensive wickedness and mischief?"

A jury acquitted Crandall.

This defeat, as well as family tragedies in 1835, diminished Key's political ambition. He resigned as district attorney in 1840. He remained a staunch proponent of African colonization and a strong critic of the antislavery movement until his death.

Religion

Key was a devout and prominent Episcopalian. In his youth, he almost became an Episcopal priest rather than a lawyer. Throughout his life he sprinkled biblical references in his correspondence. He was active in All Saints Parish in Frederick, Maryland, near his family's home. He also helped found or financially support several parishes in the new national capital, including St. John's Church in Georgetown and Christ Church in Alexandria.

From 1818 until his death in 1843, Key was associated with the American Bible Society. He successfully opposed an abolitionist resolution presented to that group around 1838.

Key also helped found two Episcopal seminaries, one in Baltimore and the other across the Potomac River in Alexandria, Virginia (the Virginia Theological Seminary). Key also published a prose work called The Power of Literature, and Its Connection with Religion in 1834.

Death and legacy The Howard family vault at Saint Paul's Cemetery, Baltimore, Maryland.

On January 11, 1843, Key died at the home of his daughter Elizabeth Howard in Baltimore from pleurisy at age 63. He was initially interred in Old Saint Paul's Cemetery in the vault of John Eager Howard but in 1866, his body was moved to his family plot in Frederick at Mount Olivet Cemetery.

The Key Monument Association erected a memorial in 1898 and the remains of both Francis Scott Key and his wife, Mary Tayloe Lloyd, were placed in a crypt in the base of the monument.

Despite several efforts to preserve it, the Francis Scott Key residence was ultimately dismantled in 1947. The residence had been located at 3516–18 M Street in Georgetown.

Though Key had written poetry from time to time, often with heavily religious themes, these works were not collected and published until 14 years after his death. Two of his religious poems used as Christian hymns include "Before the Lord We Bow" and "Lord, with Glowing Heart I'd Praise Thee".

In 1806, Key's sister, Anne Phoebe Charlton Key, married Roger B. Taney, who would later become Chief Justice of the United States. In 1846 one daughter, Alice, married U.S. Senator George H. Pendleton and another, Ellen Lloyd, married Simon F. Blunt. In 1859 Key's son Philip Barton Key II was shot and killed by Daniel Sickles‍—‌a U.S. Representative from New York who would serve as a general in the American Civil War‍—‌after he discovered that Philip Barton Key was having an affair with his wife. Sickles was acquitted in the first use of the temporary insanity defense. In 1861 Key's grandson Francis Key Howard was imprisoned in Fort McHenry with the Mayor of Baltimore George William Brown and other locals deemed pro-South.

Key was a distant cousin and the namesake of F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose full name was Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald. His direct descendants include geneticist Thomas Hunt Morgan, guitarist Dana Key, and American fashion designer and socialite Pauline de Rothschild.

Monuments and memorials This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Francis Scott Key Monument in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco Plaque commemorating the death of Francis Scott Key placed by the DAR in Baltimore Maryland Historical Society plaque marking the birthplace of Francis Scott Key
  • Francis Scott Key Monument in Baltimore
  • Two bridges are named in his honor. The first is the Francis Scott Key Bridge between the Rosslyn section of Arlington County, Virginia, and Georgetown in Washington, D.C. Scott's Georgetown home, which was dismantled in 1947 (as part of construction for the Whitehurst Freeway), was located on M Street NW, in the area between the Key Bridge and the intersection of M Street and Whitehurst Freeway. The location is illustrated on a sign in the Francis Scott Key park.
  • The other bridge is the Francis Scott Key Bridge, part of the Baltimore Beltway crossing the outer harbor of Baltimore. Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge is located at the approximate point where the British anchored to shell Fort McHenry.
  • St. John's College, Annapolis, which Key graduated from in 1796, has an auditorium named in his honor.
  • Francis Scott Key was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970.
  • He is buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Frederick. His family plot is next to Thomas Johnson, the first governor of Maryland, and friend Barbara Fritchie, who allegedly waved the American flag out of her home in defiance of Stonewall Jackson's march through the city during the Civil War.
  • Francis Scott Key Hall at the University of Maryland, College Park is named in his honor. The George Washington University also has a residence hall in Key's honor at the corner of 20th and F Streets.
  • Francis Scott Key High School in rural Carroll County, Maryland.
  • Francis Scott Key Middle School in Houston, Texas
  • Francis Scott Key Elementary School (several, including California, Maryland, Virginia, Washington, DC); Francis Scott Key School in Philadelphia.
  • Francis Scott Key Mall in Frederick, Frederick County, Maryland.
  • The Frederick Keys minor league baseball team – a Baltimore affiliate – is named after Key.
  • A monument to Key was commissioned by San Francisco businessman James Lick, who donated some $60,000 for a sculpture of Key to be raised in Golden Gate Park. The travertine monument was executed by sculptor William W. Story in Rome in 1885–87. The city of San Francisco recently allocated some US$140,000 to renovate the Key monument, which was about to be lost to environmental degradation if repairs were not made. Repairs were recently finished on the monument located in the music concourse outside the de Young Museum.
  • The US Navy named a submarine in his honor, the USS Francis Scott Key (SSBN-657).
Media The Star-Spangled Banner (1942) Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians sing The Star-Spangled Banner in 1942 The Star-Spangled Banner (1915) A 1915 recording of the Star-Spangled Banner as sung by Margaret Woodrow Wilson, daughter of Woodrow Wilson Problems playing these files? See media help. See also
  • War of 1812
  • In God We Trust
  • Biography portal
  • Poetry portal
References
  1. ^ Leepson, Marc, What so Proudly We Hailed: Francis Scott Key, a life (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), Appendix A, p. 202 (Google books preview)
  2. ^ Francis Scott Key: Patriotic Poet By Susan R. Gregson
  3. ^ a b "Francis Scott Key". Find A Grave. Retrieved April 7, 2014. 
  4. ^ Spangled Banner – The Story of Francis Scott Key By Victor Weybright
  5. ^ a b c Hubbell, Jay B. The South in American Literature: 1607–1900. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 1954: 300.
  6. ^ a b Hubbell, Jay B. The South in American Literature: 1607–1900. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 1954: 301.
  7. ^ Baltimore Sunday Sun Magazine, Sept 13, 1964
  8. ^ Mark Clague, Star-Spangled Mythbusting (June 5, 2014) at www.chorusamerica.org/singers/star-spangled-mythbusting
  9. ^ When the Warrior Returns – Key. Potw.org. Retrieved on 2011-09-11.
  10. ^ "Star-Spangled Mythbusting". 
  11. ^ Leepson, pp. 16, 20-24
  12. ^ Leepson, pp. 116-122
  13. ^ Sam Houston. Handbook of Texas Online.
  14. ^ "Francis Scott Key | Biography". Encyclopedia of World Biography. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  15. ^ Leepson p. 25
  16. ^ Leepson pp. 130-131 post-Turner's rebellion emancipations of Romeo, William Ridout, Elizabeth Hicks, Clem Johnson.
  17. ^ a b Morley, Jefferson. "'Land of the Free?' Francis Scott Key, Composer of National Anthem, Was Defender of Slavery". The Huffington Post. 
  18. ^ Leepson pp. 125 (successful in freeing Harry Quando),
  19. ^ Leepson, p. 144
  20. ^ Leepson p. 26 citing Cincinnati Daily Gazette July 11, 1870
  21. ^ WYPR News. "Francis Scott Key: A Profile (Part 1)". WYPR. Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  22. ^ Morley, Jefferson, Snow-Storm In August: Washington City, Francis Scott Key and the Forgotten Race Riot of 1835 (Nan Talese/Doubleday, New York, 2012), 81
  23. ^ Morley, Jefferson, Snow-Storm In August: Washington City, Francis Scott Key and the Forgotten Race Riot of 1835 (Nan Talese/Doubleday, New York, 2012), 211–220
  24. ^ Leepson, pp. 169-72, 181-85
  25. ^ Morley, Jefferson. "What role did the famous author of "The Star-Spangled Banner" play in the debate over American slavery?". www.theglobalist.com. The Globalist. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  26. ^ Leepson, pp. x-xi.
  27. ^ "History of American Bible Society - American Bible Society". americanbible.org. Archived from the original on 23 July 2010. Retrieved 25 November 2015. 
  28. ^ Jason, Philip K.; Graves, Mark A. (2001). Encyclopedia of American war literature. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press. p. 197. 
  29. ^ Francis Scott Key Park Marker. Hmdb.org. Retrieved on 2011-09-11.
  30. ^ "The Cyber Hymnal". Retrieved 2011-05-26. http://www.hymntime.com/tch/bio/k/e/y/key_fs.htmhttp://www.hymntime.com/tch/
  31. ^ "George Hunt Pendleton". Ohio Civil War Central. March 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  32. ^ "Simon Fraser Blunt". Find A Grave. Retrieved November 24, 2015. 
  33. ^ "Assassination of Philip Barton Key, by Daniel E. Sickles of New York". Hartford Daily Courant. March 1, 1959. Retrieved 2010-11-30. For more than a year there have been floating rumors of improper intimacy between Mr. Key and Mrs. Sickles They have from time to time attended parties, the opera, and rode out together. Mr. Sickles has heard of these reports, but would never credit them until Thursday evening last. On that evening, just as a party was about breaking up at his house, Mr Sickles received among his papers... 
  34. ^ Twain, Mark (2010). The Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume One. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. p. 566. ISBN 978-0-520-26719-0. 
  35. ^ "Francis Scott Key Park". Historical Marker Database. 2006-02-23. Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
  36. ^ "Francis Scott Key Elementary School, San Francisco, CA". 
  37. ^ a b "Francis Scott Key". New York Times. March 14, 1897. Retrieved 2008-02-17. Francis Scott Key, the author of "The Star-Spangled Banner," is to have a monument erected to his memory by the citizens of Baltimore, Md., the city in which he died. The monument will be in the form of a bronze statue of heroic size, with a suitable pedestal – the work of Alexander Doyle, a sculptor of this city. ... There is a monument to Key in Golden Gate Park. It was executed by William W. Story ... 
  38. ^ "San Francisco Landmark 96: Francis Scott Key Monument, Golden Gate Park". Noehill in San Francisco. Retrieved 2008-02-17. 
External links Find more aboutFrancis Scott Keyat Wikipedia's sister projects
  • Media from Commons
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  • Quotations from Wikiquote
  • Texts from Wikisource
  • Textbooks from Wikibooks
  • Learning resources from Wikiversity
  • 2014 biography, What So Proudly We Hailed: Francis Scott Key, A Life
  • Works by Francis Scott Key at Project Gutenberg
  • Works by or about Francis Scott Key at Internet Archive
  • Works by Francis Scott Key at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
  • Francis Scott Key at the Songwriters Hall of Fame
  • Short biography
  • Francis Scott Key biography at Cyber Hymnal http://www.hymntime.com/tch/bio/k/e/y/key_fs.htmhttp://www.hymntime.com/tch/
  • Preservation of the Residence of Francis Scott Key, Special Collections Research Center, Estelle and Melvin Gelman Library, The George Washington University. This pamphlet was written by the Columbia Historical Society in an effort to save the Francis Scott Key home from destruction in the 1940s.
  • Booknotes interview with Irvin Molotsky on The Flag, The Poet and The Song, September 9, 2001.
  • Francis Scott Key at Find a Grave
  • "Francis Scott Key's OTHER Verse" – selections from Key's other poetry and verse.
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What So Proudly We Hailed: Francis Scott Key, A Life
What So Proudly We Hailed: Francis Scott Key, A Life
What So Proudly We Hailed is the first full-length biography of Francis Scott Key in more than 75 years. In this fascinating look at early America, historian Marc Leepson explores the life and legacy of Francis Scott Key. Standing alongside Betsy Ross, Thomas Paine, Patrick Henry, Paul Revere, and John Hancock in history, Key made his mark as an American icon by one single and unforgettable act, writing "The Star-Spangled Banner." Among other things, Leepson reveals:• How the young Washington lawyer found himself in Baltimore Harbor on the night of September 13-14, 2014• The mysterious circumstances surrounding how the poem he wrote, first titled "The Defense of Ft. M'Henry," morphed into the National Anthem• Key's role in forming the American Colonization Society, and his decades-long fervent support for that controversial endeavor that sent free blacks to Africa• His adamant opposition to slave trafficking and his willingness to represent slaves and freed men and women for free in Washington's courts• Key's role as a confidant of President Andrew Jackson and his work in Jackson's "kitchen cabinet"• Key's controversial actions as U.S. Attorney during the first race riot in Washington, D.C., in 1835. Publishing to coincide with the 200th anniversary of "The Star Spangled Banner" in 2014, What So Proudly We Hailed reveals unexplored details of the life of an American patriot whose legacy has been largely unknown until now.

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Francis Scott Key (Sower Series)
Francis Scott Key (Sower Series)
This courageous Christian penned "The Star Spangled Banner."

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Francis Scott Key's Star-Spangled Banner (Step into Reading)
Francis Scott Key's Star-Spangled Banner (Step into Reading)
Francis Scott Key was a very busy man. He and his wife had 11 children. He was a lawyer and many people came to him for advice. But whenever he had a moment, he would jot down a line of poetry. He loved writing poems. When the War of 1812 broke out, Francis became even busier. He was well-respected and often called upon to help keep the peace as the war between the United States and England raged on. One fateful night Francis and his friend helped talk the British Navy into releasing a prisoner of war. But they couldn't return home just yet because the Battle of Fort McHenry was starting! If the British captured the fort, America might very well lose its independence. Francis and his friends could only sit on a boat and observe the battle. For 25 hours they watched in awe. What Francis saw inspired him to write a poem that would become America's national anthem! This Step 3 reader is perfect  for children who are ready to read independently.

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Francis Scott Key: The Life and Legacy of the Man Who Wrote America’s National Anthem
Francis Scott Key: The Life and Legacy of the Man Who Wrote America’s National Anthem
*Includes pictures *Includes Key's quotes and contemporary accounts about the Star Spangled Banner *Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading “Then, in that hour of deliverance, my heart spoke. Does not such a country, and such defenders of their country, deserve a song?” – Francis Scott Key “O say can you see, by the dawn's early light, What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming, Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight O'er the ramparts we watch'd were so gallantly streaming? And the rocket's red glare, the bomb bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there, O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?” These words elicit strong emotions in the hearts of Americans more than 200 years after they were written. The Star Spangled Banner is still sung at sporting events, political rallies, and even church services around the nation on a daily basis, and for decades, they were considered mandatory memory work for every kid in grade school. Today, some find the song disturbing for various reasons, ranging from its martial words to its high notes, and others believe that the national anthem should not be sung because of the character of the man who wrote them: Francis Scott Key. And what of this man, this brilliant lawyer who was born into slave-holding Maryland and himself held slaves even as he wrote of “the land of the free”? He was, to say the least, complex, as he at times fought in court both for and against slaves seeking their freedom. He was a founding member of an organization seeking to return captured slaves to their homelands, yet he also fought abolition tooth and claw. He seems to have been, like many men of his age, torn nearly to pieces by the these contradictions, even as he wrote in one of the song’s later verses: “A home and a Country should leave us no more? Their blood has wash'd out their foul footstep's pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.” On the one hand he considered the law of the land the highest authority on earth, but he saw little difference between faith in God and faith in America, as he wrote in the song’s rarely sung final verse: “Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this be our motto – ‘In God is our trust.’” He was a well-known and well-connected Washington, D.C. attorney who was always in debt, even as he lived and worked among the most powerful people in the nation. In fact, he died a poor man even though he owned the rights to one of the most popular songs in American history. Francis Scott Key’s personal life was somewhat less confusing, if more tragic. He came from a closely knit family and was especially influenced by his mother and grandmother. He was happily married for more than 40 years to a woman who never quite lived up to his standards of piety. He was a devoted and devout father of 11 children who suffered the pangs of burying several before their time. As a result, there was always a conflict between his desire to rejoice in all he had and his often melancholic state of mind. Francis Scott Key: The Life and Legacy of the Man Who Wrote America’s National Anthem examines one of 19th century America’s most influential figures. Along with pictures and a bibliography, you will learn about Francis Scott Key like never before.

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Francis Scott Key: Life and Times
Francis Scott Key: Life and Times
This book contains the most definitive biography of Francis Scott Key ever written; a portrait of “an unusual character—a lawyer, orator, churchman, statesman, and poet, who was deeply patriotic and deeply religious.” “Certain it is that the fame of Francis Scott Key flowed almost entirely from the fact that he wrote The Star Spangled Banner. Yet his life is significant for many other reasons. For many years, from the time when he first appeared before Chief Justice Marshall to plead for the release of Aaron Burr’s messengers, Key was one of the leaders of the American Bar. He defended Sam Houston in his dramatic trial in the House of Representatives; he figured in Peggy Eaton’s quarrel; he opposed Nullification and the United States Bank; and he was Andrew Jackson’s conciliator in Alabama in one of the most stirring episodes in the history of the State.” Illustrations, poems, “all the important utterances of his known public speeches,” a bibliography, and an index to full names, places and subjects enhance this exceptional work.

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Through the Perilous Fight: From the Burning of Washington to the Star-Spangled Banner: The Six Weeks That Saved the Nation
Through the Perilous Fight: From the Burning of Washington to the Star-Spangled Banner: The Six Weeks That Saved the Nation
In a rousing account of one of the critical turning points in American history, Through the Perilous Fight tells the gripping story of the burning of Washington and the improbable last stand at Baltimore that helped save the nation and inspired its National Anthem.   In the summer of 1814, the United States of America teetered on the brink of disaster. The war it had declared against Great Britain two years earlier appeared headed toward inglorious American defeat. The young nation’s most implacable nemesis, the ruthless British Admiral George Cockburn, launched an invasion of Washington in a daring attempt to decapitate the government and crush the American spirit. The British succeeded spectacularly, burning down most of the city’s landmarks—including the White House and the Capitol—and driving President James Madison from the area. As looters ransacked federal buildings and panic gripped the citizens of Washington, beleaguered American forces were forced to regroup for a last-ditch defense of Baltimore. The outcome of that “perilous fight” would help change the outcome of the war—and with it, the fate of the fledgling American republic.   In a fast-paced, character-driven narrative, Steve Vogel tells the story of this titanic struggle from the perspective of both sides. Like an epic novel, Through the Perilous Fight abounds with heroes, villains, and astounding feats of derring-do. The vindictive Cockburn emerges from these pages as a pioneer in the art of total warfare, ordering his men to “knock down, burn, and destroy” everything in their path. While President Madison dithers on how to protect the capital, Secretary of State James Monroe personally organizes the American defenses, with disastrous results. Meanwhile, a prominent Washington lawyer named Francis Scott Key embarks on a mission of mercy to negotiate the release of an American prisoner. His journey will place him with the British fleet during the climactic Battle for Baltimore, and culminate in the creation of one of the most enduring compositions in the annals of patriotic song: “The Star-Spangled Banner.”   Like Pearl Harbor or 9/11, the burning of Washington was a devastating national tragedy that ultimately united America and renewed its sense of purpose. Through the Perilous Fight combines bravura storytelling with brilliantly rendered character sketches to recreate the thrilling six-week period when Americans rallied from the ashes to overcome their oldest adversary—and win themselves a new birth of freedom.Praise for Through the Perilous Fight“Very fine storytelling, impeccably researched . . . brings to life the fraught events of 1814 with compelling and convincing vigor.”—Rick Atkinson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of An Army at Dawn   “Probably the best piece of military history that I have read or reviewed in the past five years. . . . This well-researched and superbly written history has all the trappings of a good novel. . . . No one who hears the national anthem at a ballgame will ever think of it the same way after reading this book.”—Gary Anderson, The Washington Times   “[Steve] Vogel does a superb job. . . . [A] fast-paced narrative with lively vignettes.”—Joyce Appleby, The Washington Post   “Before 9/11 was 1814, the year the enemy burned the nation’s capital. . . . A splendid account of the uncertainty, the peril, and the valor of those days.”—Richard Brookhiser, author of James Madison   “A swift, vibrant account of the accidents, intricacies and insanities of war.”—Kirkus ReviewsFrom the Hardcover edition.

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Francis Scott Key: Poet and Patriot (A Discovery book)
Francis Scott Key:  Poet and Patriot (A Discovery book)
A Biography Of The Washington Lawyer And Amateur Verse Writer Who Composed The Words Of The Star-Spangled Banner During The War Of 1812.

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Francis Scott Key (Robbie Readers) (What's So Great About?)
Francis Scott Key (Robbie Readers) (What's So Great About?)
On a September morning in 1812, an eyewitness to the British bombing of Ft. McHenry scribbled a poem about the American flag on the back of an envelop. The eyewitness was Francis Scott Key, a well-known Washington D.C. poet and lawyer. The sight of the American Flag waving through the battle told Key that the Americans were holding strong, and stirred Key to put the pride he felt into the words of a poem. These words became “The Star-Spangled Banner,” our national anthem. Today every American knows Key’s words and sings them proudly at official proceedings and before sports events. Key went on to create an African republic where former slaves could live in freedom. He helped President Andrew Jackson settle differences between Native Americans and settlers in Alabama, and he was made District Attorney for Washington D.C. But it is for “The Star-Spangled Banner” that he is most remembered. Here is the story of the man who was the first to call the fledging United ! States of America the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”

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Francis Scott Key: A Short Biography
Francis Scott Key:  A Short Biography
A Short Biography about Francis Scott Key:

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