On January 15, 1814, Ramsay McHenry was born to Daniel William McHenry and his wife Sophia Hall Ramsay. The child was the first grandson of Fort McHenry namesake James McHenry, a Revolutionary War veteran who served as a personal secretary to General George Washington and as the nation’s first Secretary of War. James McHenry had poor health throughout his life and, in early 1814, experienced a serious paralysis from which he never fully recovered:

“Though he was but little over sixty years of age McHenry’s health which had never been robust was entirely shattered by his attack of paralysis and from the beginning of 1814 he was almost a helpless invalid.”

Ramsay McHenry lived in Harford County up until his death on August 13, 1878. He served several terms in the state legislature, “took a great interest in agriculture and possessed fine herds of imported cattle,” and never married.

Source: Steiner, Bernard Christian. 1907. The Life and Correspondence of James McHenry: Secretary of War Under Washington and Adams. The Burrows Brothers Company.

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