15 June 2017
THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER – Daily Federal Republican. Georgetown: 22 September 1814.
The earliest obtainable full printing of The Star Spangled Banner. The second page features the text of Key’s poem, beneath the title, “The Defence of Fort McHenry” and offers the details of its composition: “The annexed song was composed under the following circumstances – A gentleman had left Baltimore, in a flag of Truce for the purpose of getting released from a British fleet, a friend of his who had been captured at Marlborough.– He went as far as the mouth of the Patuxent, and was not permitted to return lest the intended attack on Baltimore should be disclosed. He was therefore brought up the bay to the mount of the Patapsco, where the flag vessel was kept under the guns of a frigate, and he was compelled to witness the bombardment of Fort McHenry, which the Admiral had boasted that he would carry in a few hours, and that the city must fall. He watched the flag at the fort through the whole day with an anxiety that can be better felt than described, until the night prevented him from seeing it. In the night he watched the Bomb Shells, at an early dawn his eye was again greeted by the proudly waving flag of his country.” The poem was to be sung with the melody of “Anacreon in Heaven”. This is the earliest obtainable full printing of the “Star Spangled Banner.” The 20 September issue of the Baltimore Patriot containing the first printing of Key’s poem, (which precedes this issue) has never been offered for sale.
Four pages, folio (488 x 302 mm). (Spine fold partly separated, minor loss at top right corner.)
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