Francis Scott key is the author of the star spangled banner, the national anthem of the USA.
Francis Scott Key was an American lawyer, author, and amateur poet from Frederick, Maryland , best known for writing the lyrics to the American national anthem “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Key experienced the British bombardment of Fort McHenry in 1814 during the War of 1812.
He was inspired to see the American flag still flying over the fort at dawn and wrote the poem “Defense of Fort M’Henry”; it was published within a week to the suggested melody of the popular song “For Anacreon in Heaven.
The song with Key’s lyrics became known as “The Star-Spangled Banner” and slowly gained popularity as an unofficial anthem, finally gaining official status over a century later under President Herbert Hoover as the national anthem.
Biography of Francis Scott Key – of the Star Spangled Banner
Francis Scott Key, born August 1, 1779, in Carroll County, Maryland, and died January 11, 1843, in Baltimore, Maryland, was an American lawyer famous for writing the lyrics to his country’s national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner.
Born on August 1, 1779, in Frederick County, Maryland, Francis Scott Key became a lawyer who witnessed the British attack on Fort McHenry during the War of 1812.
McHenry withstood the one-day assault, which was an inspiration for Key to write a poem that would become the future American national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner. Key later served as a district attorney in Washington, DC. He died on January 11, 1843.
Francis Scott Key was born on August 1, 1779, in Carroll County, Maryland, to a wealthy clan on the Terra Rubra plantation. He was educated at home until the age of 10 and then attended a grammar school in Annapolis.
He continued his education at St. John’s College, and eventually returned to his home county to serve as an attorney.
Key was married to Mary “Polly” Taylor Lloyd in the 1800s, and the couple had 11 children. By 1805, he had established the practice of law in Georgetown, a part of Washington, DC
In the early 1810s, the United States had come into conflict with Britain over the kidnapping of American sailors and the disruption of trade with France.
The hostilities that followed would come to be known as the War of 1812. Although opposed to war because of his religious beliefs and belief that the disagreement could be settled without armed conflict, Key nevertheless served in the Georgetown Light Field Artillery.
British forces took Washington, DC, in 1814. and took prisoner Dr. William Beanes, who was a colleague of Key’s.
Because of his work as a lawyer, Key asked to help him in negotiating Beanes’ release and in the process went to Baltimore, where the British naval forces were located along the Chesapeake Bay.
He with Colonel John Skinner, managed to obtain the freedom of Beanes, if they are not allowed to return to land until the British have completed the bombardment of Fort McHenry.
On September 13, the three at sea watched what would become a day-long assault. After the continuous bombardment, to Key’s surprise, the British could not destroy the fort, and Key saw on the dawn of the next morning, a large American flag flown. (It had actually been sewn by Mary Young Pickersgill at the request of the fort’s commander.)
The British stopped their attack and left the area. Key immediately wrote the lyrics for a poem he would continue to compose at an inn the next day.
The work, which relied heavily on visualizations of what he saw, would come to be known as “Defense of Fort M’Henry” and was printed in leaflets and newspapers, including the Baltimore Patriot.
The poem was later set to the tune of a drinking song by John Stafford Smith, “To Anacreon in the Sky,” and came to be called “The Star-Spangled Banner.
It was long mistakenly believed that Francis Scott Key wrote the famous hymn while being held captive by the British fleet off the coast of Fort Mc-Henry near Baltimore.
But he was not a prisoner of war. He had met with British officials to negotiate the release of one of his clients.
In order not to reveal the secrets of the planned attack, he was held during the night of the assault on an enemy ship. The day after the battle, seeing the American flag flying over Fort McHenry, he wrote the famous rhymes used by the American army at the end of the nineteenth century.
After falling ill with pleurisy, Key died on January 11, 1843, in Baltimore, Maryland, at the age of 63 and was buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery near the town of Frederick.
“The Star-Spangled Banner” continued to be held as an American musical symbol but also faced criticism, with the song being marked by some heavy lyrics as violent and beneficent.
Decades later, in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson declared “The Star-Spangled Banner” should be played at official events.
On March 3, 1931, President Herbert Hoover along with Congress declared the song as the American national anthem.
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