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The Star Spangled Banner...



Item # 595918

September 27, 1814

NATIONAL INTELLIGENCER, Washington, D.C., September 27, 1814  An extraordinary newspaper as it contains one of the earliest printings of the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner.” This issue was printed just two weeks after the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships, an event that inspired “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
The top of the first column of the back page is headed: “Defence of Fort McHenry”, and taking two-thirds of the column is the complete text of what is now the United States national anthem.
It is prefaced with a detailed paragraph reading in part: “The annexed song was composed under the following circumstances. - A gentleman had left Baltimore, in a flag of truce ... he was compelled to witness the bombardment of Fort McHenry ... He watched the flag at the fort through the whole day ... at early dawn his eye was again greeted by the proudly waving flag of his country.” with more (see). The entire song follows. This was so new that the author was yet unknown by the editor, who wrote: “Whoever is the author of those lines, they do equal honor to his principles and his talents.”
Key wrote the poem on the back of a letter he had kept in his pocket. At twilight on September 16, he and Skinner were released in Baltimore. He completed the poem at the Indian Queen Hotel, where he was staying, and entitled it "Defence of Fort McHenry". Key gave the poem to his brother-in-law, Judge Joseph H. Nicholson, who saw that the words fit the popular melody "Anacreon In Heaven".
The "National Intelligencer" was the paper of record during the War of 1812. The words to “The Star-Spangled Banner” first appeared in print in two Baltimore newspapers, as Baltimore was Key’s home. The Baltimore printings are virtually unobtainable.
Complete in four pages, light damp staining at top and bottom, slightly irregular at the spine, very minor margin chipping, generally good condition. A newspaper for the best of collections.
Another issue of this same newspaper is offered on the "New York Times Store" for $25,000.

Category: Pre-Civil War