Francis Scott Key

Francis Scott Key (HM4E)

Location: Washington, DC 20007
Buy District Of Columbia State flags at!
Country: United States of America
Buy United States of America flags at!

N 38° 54.295', W 77° 4.136'

  • 0 check ins
  • 0 favorites
1779-1843. The author of our National Anthem was a lawyer, patriot, community leader and poet. His home and law office stood approximately 100 yards west of here. Francis Scott Key lived there from 1803 to about 1833 with his wife, the former Mary Taylor Lloyd of Annapolis, Maryland, and their six sons and five daughters. The house was demolished in 1947 after years of neglect by various owners.

During the war of 1812, British troops had invaded and captured Washington in August of 1814. They set fire to the Capitol, the White House and most Federal buildings. as they withdrew to their ships they took Dr. William Beanes prisoner because he had arrested some stragglers among the British troops for looting.

The popular and respected 35-year-old George Town lawyer, Francis Scott Key, came to the aid of friends seeking Dr. Beanes' release. Under a flag of truce approved by President James Madison, key set out with Colonel John Stuart Skinner, an American agent for prisoner exchange. They located the British fleet and boarded Admiral Cochrane's Royal Navy Flagship. Key successfully arranged for Dr. Beanes' release.

However, lest they reveal the British plans to attack Fort McHenry and Baltimore, they were detained under guard aboard their ship. Throughout the night of September 13-14, 1814, Key stood on deck watching the bombardment of Ft. McHenry. At dawn Key's anxiety was relieved. Our flag was still there! Key began to compose a poem on the back of a letter.

After the release following the British defeat, Key continued to work on his poem. On the next day, he showed it to a relative, Judge Joseph Hopper Nicholson, a Fort McHenry's defender. Nicholson was so moved he immediately had broadsides of the poem printed and circulated. That poem became The Star Spangled Banner.

Francis Scott Key's law practice continued to flourish. He was three times appointed to the post of U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. He was active in anti-slavery causes, advocated the establishment of public schools, negotiated a treaty in 1833 between the Creek Indians and settlers in Alabama, and was a vestryman of St. John's Church as well as a founder of Christ Church in George Town. On a trip to Baltimore in 1843, Francis Scott Key died of pneumonia on January 11 at the home of his eldest daughter, Mrs. Charles Howard. He is buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery near his birthplace in Frederick, Maryland.

The high standards which guided Francis Scott Key's life continue to be an example to all Americans.
HM NumberHM4E
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, October 16th, 2014 at 9:48pm PDT -07:00
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 320599 N 4308259
Decimal Degrees38.90491667, -77.06893333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 54.295', W 77° 4.136'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 54' 17.70" N, 77° 4' 8.16" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)202
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 3508-3512 US-29, Washington DC 20007, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. Is this marker part of a series?
  2. What historical period does the marker represent?
  3. What historical place does the marker represent?
  4. What type of marker is it?
  5. What class is the marker?
  6. What style is the marker?
  7. Does the marker have a number?
  8. What year was the marker erected?
  9. Who or what organization placed the marker?
  10. This marker needs at least one picture.
  11. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  12. Is the marker in the median?