The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Baltimore

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1550081The American Cyclopædia — BaltimoreJ. C. Carpenter

BALTIMORE, a city of Baltimore county, Md., ranking sixth in the United States for size and population, situated in lat. 39° 17' N., lon. 76° 37' W., on an arm of the Patapsco river, 14 m. from Chesapeake hay, 178 m. from the Atlantic, 38 m. by rail N. E. of Washington, 97 m. S. W. of Philadelphia, and 185 m. S. W. of New York. The population in 1790 was 13,503; 1800, 26,514; 1810, 35,538; 1820, 62,738; 1830, 80,625; 1840, 102,313; 1850, 169,054; 1860, 212,418; 1870, 267,354. In 1870, 227,794 were whites and 39,558 colored; 210,870 were natives of the United States, and 56,484 of foreign countries. The arm of the Patapsco on which the city is situated is about 3 m. long, varying in width from 18 to 134 m., having its extreme breadth opposite the eastern part of the city, a suburb called Canton. This inlet gives an easy access to the city, and a harbor sufficiently capacious to contain 2,000 vessels. The harbor is divided into an outer and inner bay; the inner bay is styled the basin, and has but 12 feet of water. The outer bay consists of a harbor between Fell's Point and Canton on the north and east, and Whetstone Point opposite, on the south, and is capable of floating the largest merchant ships. Owing to the accumulation of deposit for many years, the harbor had at one time become shoal in numerous parts, but by proper dredging it has been made available for steamers of the largest class. The entrance to the port is defended by Fort McHenry, situated on a point of land between the harbor and the Patapsco. This was successfully defended against the British fleet in 1814 by Col. George Armistead and the force under his command. It was on this occasion that the famous song of the “Star-Spangled Banner” was composed by Francis S. Key, while a prisoner on board one of the British vessels. Fort Carroll, an immense fortification on Seller's Point flats, about 8 m. below the city, after involving the government in a heavy expenditure, has been roofed over and abandoned.

Baltimore, from Federal Hill.

—The general appearance of Baltimore is striking and picturesque. It is regularly laid out, its surface is undulating, its streets are of good width, and there is ample sewerage. An aspect of cheerful elegance prevails; the larger mansions are generally in good taste, and not crowded together, and the dwellings of the poor are generally neat and thrifty. There are very few of the large tenement houses common in other cities. The light and cheerful appearance of the city is greatly owing to the quality of the brick used in building. The clay is of fine texture and agreeable color, and when taken from the kilns is neither a very dull nor a glaring red. The Baltimore county marble, a fine, hard, and beautifully white species of limestone, extensively employed in building churches, public buildings, and in some private residences, adds also materially to this effect. The chief points of view are known as Federal hill and Patterson park. The former stands on the south side of the inner basin, crowned by a signal station, and commands an extensive prospect of the shipping, the city to the north and west, and the river and bay. The park, comprising about 56 acres, lies to the east of Fell's Point, and overlooks the principal docks and ship yards, Canton, and the surrounding country. On the N. side of the city is Druid park, a fine pleasure ground of 600 acres, with an undulating surface, partly in wood and partly in open meadow. It has recently been purchased at a oost of about $800,000, and its architectural decorations are as yet but few. Its chief charm is in its secluded walks, rides, and bridle paths. The annual revenue of the park is derived from a tax of one fifth of the gross receipts of the city passenger railways. Within the borders of Druid park is Druid lake, the last of the chain of costly lakes and reservoirs recently constructed to supply the city with pure water. From main elevations in Druid park, and especially from the head of Druid lake, fine views of the city and river can be obtained.—Besides the main streets, three great avenues on the east, north, and west have been surveyed, and are partly graded, paved, and built upon. These are at least 150 feet wide, planted with trees, and form an elevated drive around the city. There are 12 public squares. The largest of the public buildings is the exchange, which contains the custom house, post office, Merchants' bank, exchange, reading rooms, a vast rotunda for public sales, &c. The Athenreum is of the Italian style of architecture; it contains the rooms of the historical society and the mercantile library association, a very flourishing institution, with a large number of members, and 26,000 volumes on its shelves. The Maryland institute “for the promotion of the mechanic arts” is a large structure, 355 ft. long by 60 wide; it is built upon piles, and over the centre or Marsh market. An annual exhibition of the products of American mechanical industry is held in the main hall, which is 260 ft. long. It also contains a library, lecture rooms, school of design, chemical school, &c. The new city hall, now nearly finished (1873), is one of the finest municipal structures in the country. It occupies an entire square, on Holliday, North, Lexington, and Fayette streets, and is 125 ft. in height to the top of the centre building and 222 to the top of the dome. The renaissance style predominates. The material used for the outer walla is Maryland marble, with an inner casing of brick, and the building is fire-proof. Its entire cost will be $3,000,000. The court house, on Monument square and Lexington street, has ample accommodations for three courts besides various offices. Near it is the record office, a fire-proof building of solid granite. The jail, built in 1864, and containing all the modern improvements in prison discipline, is a substantial structure of hammered stone, flanked by square towers, with a high wall on the sides and rear. The penitentiary, a large brick building, adjoins it on the southeast. The city contains 189 churches, viz.: 21 Protestant Episcopal, 18 Presbyterian, 23 Roman Catholic, 55 Methodist Episcopal (of which 6 are colored), 8 Methodist Protestant, 2 Independent Methodist, 6 African Methodist, 6 Reformed, 1 Christian, 9 Baptist, 12 Evangelical Lutheran, 2 Evangelical Association, 2 Independent, 1 Seamen's Union Bethel, 3 Friends', 1 Universalist, 1 Unitarian, 3 Swedenborgian, 9 Jewish synagogues, and 6 United Brethren. Many of the churches are very fine. The Roman Catholic cathedral, the most imposing, is in the form of a cross, and surmounted by a lofty dome and two bell towers. The church of St. Ignatius Loyola, St. Alphonsus, and many others, are rich in architecture and decorations. Many of the Protestant churches are elegant. Of other public buildings, the vast state tobacco warehouses well repay inspection.—The total number of charitable institutions is 22. The more prominent of these are the new state insane asylum; the Mt. Hope retreat; the Maryland institution for the instruction of the blind, in the northern part of the city; St. Mary's industrial school for boys; the orphan asylums of St. Anthony of Padua and of St. Vincent de Paul; and the Baltimore infirmary, under the supervision of the Sisters of Charity. The church home, on Broadway near Baltimore street, belonging to the Episcopal church, and the Union Protestant infirmary, are under the management of ladies. In the W. part of the city is an elegant edifice called the aged widows' home, and near it is a similar structure for aged men. The house of refuge and city almshouse are situated near the Frederick turnpike, about two miles from the city. During the year 1871 over $600,000 was bequeathed by wealthy citizens to charitable purposes.—St. Mary's college, a Roman Catholic institution under the charge of the Sulpitians, with a theological seminary, was founded in 1791, and maintained itself with vigor for many years, possessing very extensive grounds and buildings, a Gothic chapel, and a library of 16,000 volumes. The seminary had 70 pupils in 1871. The college was suppressed in 1851. Loyola college, in another part of the city, supplies its place for Roman Catholics; this is under the charge of Jesuits, and was opened in 1855; in 1871 it had 158 students and a library of 21,000 volumes. The Roman Catholic female seminary of Notre Dame was chartered in 1864, and in 1871 had 170 pupils. Baltimore college was chartered in 1803, and subsequently united to the medical school under the title of the “University of Maryland,” but the academical department, independent of the school of medicine, alone went into operation. This academy was not generally flourishing, and in 1854 was finally given up, and a scientific school established in the building. The medical school, on the contrary, has always been active; at one time it stood highest in the United States, and is now in excellent condition; in 1871 it had 10 instructors and 172 students. It has a massive building on Lombard street, completed in 1812. The Washington university was established in 1828, but has never been very flourishing, and its medical school, which in 1871 had 9 instructors and 170 students, is the only department ever organized. The Baltimore female college (Methodist Episcopal) was chartered by the state in 1849, and in its course of study and power of conferring degrees is similar to the colleges for male students; it had 175 pupils in 1871. The convent of the Visitation has a very large female school under charge of the sisterhood. The first public school was opened in 1829. By one of the sections of the act providing for public education throughout the state, passed by the legislature in 1870, the control of the public school system of Baltimore is vested in the mayor and city council. The entire management of the schools is intrusted by the mayor and council to a board of 20 commissioners, one from each ward, elected annually. On Jan. 1, 1872, there were under the authority of this board the city college, 2 female high schools, 18 male and 19 female grammar schools, 28 male and 31 female primary schools, 10 day and 3 evening colored schools, and 2 schools unclassified; total number of schools, 113. Male teachers, 70; female teachers, 508; total number of teachers, 578. Number of pay pupils, 11,627; free, 13,730; total on roll Jan. 1, 1872, 25,357. Number in all the schools during 1871, 34,872; number in colored schools, 2,048; increased attendance over 1870, 7,316. The total amount expended for school purposes in 1871 was $583,108. To those who can afford it, a charge of $1 a term of 12 weeks is made for each pupil; all others are admitted free on application to the board of education. The Bible is daily read in all the schools, the version of King James to the Protestants, and the Douay version to the Roman Catholics, in separate apartments. The principal libraries are the state law library, containing 8,000 vols.; Odd Fellows', 21,136; and mercantile, 26,000. There are published in the city 9 daily newspapers, of which 3 are in German; 1 tri-weekly; 16 weekly, of which 3 are in German; 9 monthly; and 1 quarterly, the “Southern Review.” The Peabody institute was founded by the munificence of Mr. George Peabody. His first gift of $300,000, subsequently increased to $1,000,000, is to establish a gallery of the finest works of art, a library of the first class, and, during certain seasons of the year, concerts and lectures. The institute, a marble building facing the Washington monument, contains the concert hall on the first floor and the library on the second floor. The library numbers nearly 20,000 volumes of standard works, and is increasing at the rate of from 4,000 to 5,000 volumes annually. It is a library of reference, and its books are free to all for use within the rooms. To the east of the present building a lot has been purchased upon which an academy of art will be erected. Johns Hopkins, a wealthy citizen, has deeded his residence and grounds near the city limits, on the Harford road, to trustees, to be held in trust after his death for a university, and has further provided for its liberal endowment.

Washington Monument.

—From her several monuments, Baltimore is frequently designated as the “monumental city.” In 1809 the legislature granted permission to erect a monument to George Washington. This was erected at the intersection of Charles and Monument streets, on a lot of ground given for the purpose by Col. John Eager Howard. It is a Doric column of white marble, rising from a base 50 ft. square and 35 ft. high. The shaft of the column is 160 ft. high, and is surmounted by a colossal statue of Washington 15 ft. high. The Battle monument is in the centre of Monument square, formed by the intersection of Calvert and Fayette streets. This is also of white marble, and is 53 ft. high. It was erected to the memory of the citizens who fell in the defence of Baltimore, Sept. 12 and 13, 1814. It consists of a square base with a pedestal ornamented at each comer with a sculptured griffin. A fasciated column rises from the base, with bands, upon which are inscribed the names of those who perished. A statue representing the genius of Baltimore surmounts the column. On North Broadway a plain marble pediment and shaft, surmounted by a statue of Thomas Wildey, commemorates the founder of the order of Odd Fellows in the United States.—The bank of Maryland was established in 1790. The failure of this institution in 1834 caused riots in the succeeding year, when the mob sacked several houses belonging to prominent directors of the bank. In 1792 a branch of the United States bank was established in Baltimore, the charter of which expired in 1835. In 1795 the bank of Baltimore was chartered; in 1804 the Union bank of Maryland; in 1806 the Mechanics' bank; and in 1810 the Franklin, Marine, Farmers' and Merchants', and the Commercial and Farmers'. Other banking institutions were chartered subsequently, and there are now 14 national banks, with an aggregate capital of $11,241,985; 8 state banks, with $2,563,013; and 7 savings banks. There are 23 insurance companies, chiefly fire, with an aggregate capital of $3,501,585, besides numerous agencies. The city has 52 hotels, 9 markets, and 8 lines of city passenger railways.—Baltimore is divided into 20 wards, and is governed by a mayor and city council, consisting of 20 members in the first branch and 10 in the second. In 1769 the “Mechanical” fire company was organized, and purchased their first engine for $250. The paid fire department now comprises 9 engines and 3 hook and ladder companies. The expenses of the department for 1871 to Nov. 1 were $125,197 39. The fire inspector reports 156 fires within the city limits in the same period; loss, $475,394 87; loss by fire in 1870, $432,717 07. In connection with the fire department there is a fire alarm telegraph with 94 stations, ramifying to every portion of the city; its cost for 1871 was $15,249 84. The police force is governed by a board of three commissioners appointed by the legislature. Under this board are a marshal, deputy marshal, 4 captains, 8 lieutenants, and 489 uniformed patrolmen. The city is chiefly supplied with water from Roland lake, about 7 m. distant, and 225 ft. above tide. Mount Royal reservoir is near the N. limits of the city, 150 ft. above tide.—On July 4, 1828, the corner stone of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad was laid by Charles Carroll of Carrollton. This road now extends to Columbus, Ohio, a distance of 518 m., and is one of the grandest works of its kind in the world. The other railroads centring here are the Baltimore and Susquehanna, usually called the Northern Central; the Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore; the Washington branch of the Baltimore and Ohio; the Western Maryland; and the Baltimore and Potomac. The last-named road was opened for travel in 1872. For the use of several of these railroads an immense tunnel traverses the city, with open cuts at intervals, from the western limits to tide water at Canton. There is also a railroad from Annapolis, the state capital, which joins the Washington branch road. The “Tide-water canal” has never proved productive; but the Chesapeake and Ohio canal has of late years been prosperous.—Baltimore suffered severely during the civil war, but since that time has rapidly increased both in population and commercial activity. Two lines of European steamers now start from her harbor; and through her two great arteries of traffic, the Baltimore and Ohio and the Northern Central railroads, this city is successfully competing for the trade of the west and northwest. The coasting trade is also extending. In 1871 there were inspected at Baltimore 137 steamers, with a tonnage of 40,752. Of the vessels trading to her port 398 were American, 358 British, and 53 North German. The total exports for 1871 were $18,000,000, an increase of nearly 50 per cent. over 1870. The principal articles exported were flour and meal, grain, tobacco, cotton, rosin, oil cake, petroleum, bacon, butter, cheese, and lard. The principal articles imported were coffee, sugar, guano, hides, iron, tin plates, cotton, flour, grain, and naval stores. The receipts of Cumberland coal for 1871 were 1,458,920 tons; of grain, 11,774,303 bushels; of cotton, 112,989 bales; of naval stores—spirits turpentine 22,852 bbls., rosin 79,352 bbls., tar 11,302 bbls., pitch 1,941 bbls. The inspections of flour were 1,123,028 bbls.; of tobacco, 49,571 hhds.; of leather, 352,646 sides. Importations of sugar, 126,619 hhds., 49,129 bags, 55,044 boxes; of coffee, 556,995 bags. The canning of oysters, fruits, and vegetables is estimated to reach the annual value of $5,000,000. The boot and shoe trade is also becoming one of importance. New cotton factories are building and old ones adding to their capacity; number of spindles in 1872, 137,000; number of bales of cotton used, from 40,000 to 50,000. The productive industry of Baltimore comprises 2,261 establishments, employing 28,178 hands, with a value in products of $51,106,278. The assessed value of property within the city limits, which is much below its real value, is $207,181,550. The debt of the city is $27,809,025 47. From this are to be deducted $12,023,006 25, on which the interest is provided for by various works of public improvement, and $10,786,888 16 invested in other productive investments; actual debt, $4,999,071 06; unproductive investments, $4,477,364 79.—It was not till 1729 that the assembly of Maryland passed an act entitled “An act for erecting a town on the north side of the Patapsco in Baltimore county,” although settlements had been made at an earlier date, the first of which was by Charles Gorsuch, a Quaker, who in 1662 patented 50 acres of land on Whetstone Point, opposite the eastern section of the present city. In 1682 David Jones, the first settler on the N. side of the harbor, gave his name to the small stream which now divides Baltimore into “old town” and “new town.” On Jan. 12, 1730, a town of 60 acres was laid out W. of Jones's falls, and called Baltimore in honor of Cecilius Calvert, Lord Baltimore. In the same year William Fell, a ship carpenter, having purchased a tract E. of the falls, called it Fell's Point. In 1732 a new town of 10 acres, in 20 lots, was laid out on the east of the falls, and called Jonestown, in honor of David Jones, the first settler. This name has long been forgotten, and as a settlement existed there before that of Baltimore, it was called “old town.” Jonestown was united to Baltimore in 1745, dropping its own name, and two years afterward Baltimore, which properly lay up about the head of the “basin,” near the foot of the present South Charles street, was extended as far eastwardly as Jones's falls, under an express provision that there was nothing in the act recognizing a right to “elect delegates to the assembly as representatives from the town.” This was the earliest manifestation of that singular jealousy which has ever since been shown in the legislature by the Maryland county members against the city of Baltimore. In 1752 Baltimore contained but 25 houses and 200 inhabitants. In 1756 several of the unfortunate Acadians took refuge in Baltimore, and were hospitably received. The county town was removed from Joppa to Baltimore in 1767, and the courts and records were established there; during the next year provision was made for the erection of a court house and prison. The court house stood upon the site of the present Battle monument in Calvert street, but much higher, and the whipping post was to be seen adjoining till 1808, when the old court house was pulled down. In 1773 William Goddard began the first newspaper in Baltimore, entitled the “Maryland Journal and Baltimore Advertiser.” In the same year communication was opened with Philadelphia by means of stage coaches and sailing packets, and a theatre was also erected on Albemarle street. In 1775 Baltimore contained 564 houses and 5,934 inhabitants. In 1776, Philadelphia having been menaced by the British, congress established itself in Baltimore, in Jacob Fite's building, on the S. E. corner of Baltimore and Liberty streets. John Adams says of this building in his journal: “The congress sits in the last house at the west end of Market street (as Baltimore street was formerly called), on the south side of the street; a long chamber with two fireplaces, two large closets, and two doors. The house belongs to a Quaker, who built it for a tavern.” The place where this “last house at the west end” once stood is now in the very heart of the city. In 1780 the first custom house in Baltimore was established; before that time all registers and clearances were obtained at Annapolis. In 1784 the first market house, which stood near the intersection of Market with Gay street, having been found inadequate to supply the wants of an increasing population, was superseded by three new ones: the centre or Marsh market, the Hanover, and the Fell's Point market. At the same time, 1784, the streets were lighted with oil lamps, and three constables and 14 watchmen were appointed for the security of the town. At the close of the revolutionary war the commerce and trade of the city rapidly increased, and a large number of intelligent merchants settled here. Some of the most enterprising of these were from the north of Ireland, of Scotch descent, and by their exertions and wealth Baltimore became famed as a commercial port. Lines of packets and stage coaches were established for communication with points on the shores of Chesapeake bay, as well as in the interior of the state; in 1787 turnpikes were authorized to Washington, Frederick, and Reistertown, but were not fully completed till 1809. In 1789 the course of Jones's falls within the city, which ran along by the site of the present court house, was altered by cutting a new channel from Bath street to Gay street bridge, and the old bed of the stream was filled up. In 1792 a large number of refugees from Santo Domingo came to the city, where many of their descendants still reside. In 1796, the population being about 20,000, and the town having attained a high degree of prosperity, it was erected into a city, the corporation being styled “the mayor and city council of Baltimore,” and James Calhoon was elected as the first mayor. Since that date the city has rapidly increased in population. On April 19, 1861, a body of federal troops, comprising a portion of the 6th Massachusetts regiment and the 7th Pennsylvania, while passing through Baltimore on their way to Washington, were attacked by a mob with missiles and firearms. In the conflict which ensued 9 citizens were killed and 3 wounded, and 2 soldiers were killed and 23 wounded. For several days great excitement prevailed in the city, which caused President Lincoln, at the instance of the mayor of Baltimore and the governor of Maryland, to issue an order that no more troops destined for Washington should be brought through Baltimore. Communication with the city and the removal of stores therefrom were suspended by order of the mayor and board of police. On May 13 Gen. Butler, who had taken possession of the Relay House on the oth, with a body of federal troops, took military possession of Baltimore. He was succeeded by Gen. Banks, and on July 19 Gen. Dix assumed command of the troops stationed at Baltimore, and the city thenceforth remained peaceful and tranquil.