Interesting Research

MacMillan Judge, Privateer is a novel I work on from time to time. Well, I was doing some research the other day and came across some a very interesting find at the National Archives (of the United States that is).  I was looking for information about the War of 1812 as it is known in America, when the United States fought Great Britain again. The character MacMillan Judge missed out on his chance to serve in this war due to the fact that his father was a Quaker and not only forbid MacMillan to fight, but also ruined his chances by revealing certain information to the United States Navy regarding a renegade action MacMillan was about to undertake.

So in the national archives, I found the report of Colonel Armistead, who was commander at Fort McHenry in Baltimore during the famous British shelling of that facility. This is the event that triggered Francis Scott Key to write the Stars Spangled Banner. Here is the direct link to the page that contains the document: http://www.archives.gov/historical-docs/todays-doc/index.html?dod-date=914

Below I insert a thumbnail of the first page of this two-page document for your review:

mchenry11Note the clear handwriting of this man, something that always impresses me about previous generations. (My own left-handed scrawl is barely legible, sometimes only to myself and perhaps one other person). Also, he describes the action clearly and almost detachedly, simply related the facts of the situation without much embellishment or exaggeration. I’ve seen log books from previous centuries which include similar writings. It is literally amazing the records that still remain. We can learn plenty of these first hand accounts, which I dare to say are better than what passes for journalism in the current age.

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Published in: on February 3, 2009 at 11:52 am  Leave a Comment  
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