Aside Archives

On March 27, 1814, William Smith, a local politician and merchant who represented Maryland at the Continental Congress, died at home in Baltimore. Born in 1728 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Smith moved to Baltimore Town in 1761. At the start of the American Revolution, Smith  joined the Baltimore Committee of Observation and, in 1777, became a member of the Continental Congress. In 1789, he took office as the first representative of Maryland’s 4th Congressional District to the First United States Congress at Federal Hall in New York City.

William Smith, member of the Continental Congress.
The pictorial field-book of the Revolution. NYPL, 1239453.

On February 14, 1814, John Merryman died in Baltimore at age 77. Born on February 16, 1736 on the 1000-acre “Hereford Farm,” Merryman moved to Baltimore Town around 1763 and built a home on Calvert Street just south of Baltimore Street.

In 1774, he helped to found the “Baltimore Town Committee of Observation,” one of many citizen groups organized around the beginning of the American Revolution to challenge the weakening authority of the British Colonial government. Merryman was commissioned as a Justice for Baltimore County in 1778 and served as a judge for the Orphan’s Court of Baltimore County in 1784. He survived by his wife Sarah Rogers Smith and four children.

Source: Browne, William Hand, and Louis Henry Dielman. 1915. Maryland Historical Magazine. Maryland Historical Society. p. 286-287.

On February 12, 1814, the French army under Emperor Napoleon I won the Battle of Château-Thierry against a Prussian army under Marshal von Blücher. Learn more.

On January 19, 1814, John Henry Fusselbaugh, a resident of East Street in Old Town, died. Fusselbaugh was survived by his wife, Barbara Fusselbaugh, and his son William, born in May 1800 making him only 13 years old when his father passed away. Decades later, an obituary for Fusselbaugh’s grandson captured a very brief biography:

“John Henry Fusselbaugh was a native of Germany, and at an early day took up his residence in Baltimore. Here he owned a large sand bank and was a dealer in building materials until his death, in 1814.”

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.