The Baltimore Riot of 1812

Discussion in 'The War of 1812' started by Yanky, Feb 9, 2007.

  1. Yanky

    Yanky New Member

    I'm reading The Burning of Washington, by Anthony Pitch. It starts off with a really loud bang, as Pitch breathlessly gives a blow-by-blow account of a little-known (well, by me at least) pro-war thug attack on a maverick Baltimore newspaper publisher/editor shortly after war was declared. This guy Hanson was apparently hated in Baltimore for broadcasting obnoxious criticism of the war and Pres. Madison and was driven out of town. He came back a few weeks later and ended up besieged in a building along with several dozen supporters, including Revolutionary War vets, not the least of whom was Light Horse Harry Lee. The local militia officers hated Hanson almost as much as the besieging mob, and most refused to help. It all ended up with Hanson and his supporters almost getting lynched after a mayor-negotiated removal to the supposed safety of a jail cell. As it was, several were severely beaten and tortured, and one of the veterans died of his wounds. Pitch says Lee's life was shortened by his injuries. Pitch gives sources in his foonotes, but seems to rely heavily on only one or two, including one written by a Lee (not sure if this Lee was a relative of Harry's, but probably).

    Does anyone know of any recent books, articles, etc. discussing this event?
  2. Uncle Ben

    Uncle Ben Member

    There is a book titled Lighthorse Harry, a biography of Washington's great cavalryman, General Henry Lee by Noel bertram Gerson. It was listed on Buy Books at A long time ago I read a book about his life. This might be the one but I'm not sure. A hardback was listed for not much money.
    Bye the bye, the part you read about the attack by a mob is correct. Harry was cruelly treated and evidently it did contribute to an early death. Everyone of those responsible for the attack should have been rounded up and shot. To this day I have no use for Baltimore or Baltimorons. Hope this has been of some help, YMH & OS, Ben
  3. Yanky

    Yanky New Member


    Of course, the account of the riot that I mentioned was written by a Lee was by Henry Lee himself. I don't know why I spaced and assumed it was another Lee that wrote it. It is "Lee, Henry. A correct account of the conduct of the Baltimore mob. Winchester, VA: N.p.; 1814."

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