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Baltimore, Maryland (Hayward)


John Hayward, Gazetteer of the United States of America… (Philadelphia: James L. Gihon, 1854), 276-278.

Baltimore, Md. City, port of entry, and seat of justice of Baltimore co. Situated on the Patapsco River, about 14 miles from its entrance into Chesapeake Bay, and about 200 miles from the ocean by ship channel. It lies 40 miles N. E. from Washington, and 97 S. W. from Philadelphia. The population in 1790 was 13,503-, in 1800, 26,514; in 1810, 35,583; in 1820, 62,738; in 1830, 80,625; in 1840, 102,313; in 1850, 169,012. The city is favorably located on the N. side of a bay which is formed by the Patapsco River; having an area, over which it is compactly built, of about two miles on the bay, E. and W., and a mile and a half N. and S. As laid out, it includes a plot of 4 miles square. The ground is slightly uneven, having many gentle elevations; which give the city a fine drainage, and affords many commanding sites for public edifices and private dwellings, especially towards the N. and E. The highest of these elevations, is that on which the Washington Monument is erected, the base of which is 150 feet above the harbor. The streets are laid out with much regularity, generally straight, and crossing each other at right angles, having a width of from 50 to 100 feet. The principal promenade is Baltimore Street, 86 feet wide and 2 miles long, running E. and W. through the centre of the city. A small river, called Jones's Falls, empties into the harbor, passing through the city, and dividing it into two nearly equal parts on the E. and W. Over this stream are three elegant and substantial stone bridges, and four of wood, by which the different parts of the city are conveniently united. The houses are generally built of brick, with a basement of granite or marble, the materials for which are obtained from the vicinity; and they evince a state of general prosperity and substantial wealth, without ostentation or display. Among the public buildings, the city hall, on Holliday Street, is a plain edifice, three stories high, with a portico supported by four massive columns ; a substantial and convenient structure, without much pretension to architectural beauty, occupied by the city council and several public offices. The court house, on the corner of Washington and Monument Streets, is a handsome building, constructed of brick and marble, 145 feet long, 65 wide, and 2 stories high. The building is elevated 10 or 12 feet above the level of the adjacent streets, and is approached by steps in the front and rear. Above the steps is a colonnade, with Tuscan pillars supporting a plain entablature above. The building is crowned with a cupola of imposing appearance. Its interior arrangements are such as to render it one of the finest court houses in the country. The state penitentiary, on the corner of Forrest and Madison Streets, consists of a centre building, and two wings, a little separated from it, on the E. and W.; of which the first is occupied by the keeper's family, officers, and guards ; the E. wing, having 320 dormitories, by the male prisoners ; and the W. wing by the females. Besides these buildings, there are ranges of workshops extending 250 feet in length and 25 in breadth, in which the prisoners work by day. By night they are confined in their separate cells. Near to the state penitentiary is the county prison, two stories high, with a basement and an attic, surmounted by a neat cupola, and adorned by towers at both the ends. Among the church edifices, the two most distinguished for architectural elegance are the Roman Catholic Cathedral, corner of Cathedral and Mulberry Streets, and the Unitarian Church, corner of Charles and Franklin Streets. The cathedral is a cruciform building, 190 feet in length, and at the transept 177 feet in breadth. Its height, from the foundation to the top of the cross upon the dome, is 127 feet. The building is lighted from the dome by windows not visible below. At the W. end of the building two tall towers arise, which are crowned with Saracenic cupolas, resembling the minarets of a Mahometan mosque. It was originally designed to place an elegant Ionic portico between these towers; but this part of the design remains unexecuted by reason of the great expense of the edifice. This church has one of the largest organs in the United States, having 6000 pipes and 36 stops. It contains two splendid paintings, the one, the descent from the cross, presented by Louis XVI., and the other, St. Louis burying his officers and soldiers slain before Tunis, presented by Charles X. of France. The Unitarian Church, which is also much admired for the beauty of its architecture, is 108 feet in length and 78 feet in width. It has a colonnade in front consisting of four Tuscan columns and two- pilasters. From this portico the building is entered through five bronze doors, in imitation of those of the Vatican at Rome, three leading into the body of the house and two into the galleries. The interior is square, supporting a dome 55 feet in diameter. The summit of the cupola is 80 feet high. The organ in this church contains 6000 pipes and 32 stops. St. Paul's Church, Episcopal, with its lofty tower and steeple, the First Presbyterian Church, with two towers, and the First Baptist Church, with its Ionic portico and dome, are prominent buildings of the city. Among the commercial institutions, the Exchange, between Water and Gay Streets, is a splendid building, 225 feet long, and 141 feet deep, and three stones high above the basement. On the E. and W. fronts, the building is adorned with colonnades of six Ionic columns each, the shafts of which are single blocks of Italian marble finely wrought. The edifice is surmounted with a dome 115 feet above the street. The Merchants' Room, in the Exchange, is 53 feet square. The Custom House is entered from Water Street. It has an extensive saloon divided by colonnades into three apartments. The desks of the officers are ranged between the columns, and the central area is occupied by persons doing business with the department. The Collector's Room is at the upper end of the hall. The buildings of the Maryland University are situated in Lombard Street, and those of St. Mary's College upon the corner of Franklin and Green streets. A number of the public schools have handsome and convenient edifices. A fine building of Gothic architecture has been erected for the accommodation of the institution known as McKim's Free School. Among the benevolent institutions, the Hospital is provided with a spacious and commodious building in the N. W. suburbs of the city, which was erected at a cost of $150,000. It commands a fine view of the city and surrounding country. On account of the number of monuments which it contains, Baltimore has obtained the name of the “Monumental City." The Washington Monument, at the intersection of Charles and Monument Street*, is a most imposing structure. This is a column of the Doric order, 20 feet in diameter at the base and 14 at the top, rising 180 feet from a base 20 feet high, and bearing a statue of Washington which is 13 feet in height. The whole is constructed of white marble. There is an ascent to the top of the column by a winding staircase within the shaft, where a most commanding view of the city and its environs is obtained. The Battle Monument, at the corner of Calvert and Fayette Streets, is a handsome structure of fine white marble, erected to commemorate the bravery of those who fell in defending the city from the attack of the British on the 12th of September, 1814. The base is Egyptian, in the form of a truncated pyramid, rising about 20 feet from the ground, having on each front an Egyptian doorway, with the winged globe and other Egyptian .symbols, under the shadow of a deep overhanging cornice. Above this base rises the column, in the form of a Roman fasces, on the bands of which are inscribed, in letters of gold, the names of those who fell in the battle. The column is surmounted by a female figure, emblematical of the city of Baltimore, saved by the event of this engagement. The British force which invaded the city in this attack consisted of about 12,000 troops, and a squadron of 40 or 50 vessels. Fort Mellenry at the entrance of the harbor from Patapsco Bay, was bombarded by sixteen ships from the squadron for twenty-four hours. These, being repulsed, drew off. The troops, to the number of 9000 men, landed at North Point, and proceeded to within six miles of the city, where they were met, on the 12th of September, by the Baltimore brigade, under General Stryker, consisting of 3,200 men. In the severe battle which ensued the British commander, General Ross, was killed- The Americans retreated towards the city, and were slowly followed on the next day by the enemy; but fearing lest their own retreat should be cut off, which was contemplated, they hastily returned on board their fleet, and left the Chesapeake. — Baltimore is well supplied with pure and wholesome water. In different parts of the city are public fountains, supplied by springs, enclosed by circular iron railings, and covered by small open temples, consisting of columns supporting a dome, which answer both a useful and an ornamental purpose. But the chief supply is by means of an aqueduct, in which water is brought from Jones's Falls, a distance of about half a mile, into a reservoir in Calvert Street, and thence distributed to every part of the city. Baltimore enjoys great facilities both for foreign and domestic trade. The harbor is very fine, consisting of three parts. The entrance to the outer harbor, between Fort Mellenry and the Lazareton, is no more than about 600 yards in width, with 22 feet of water. This width gradually increases, with the same depth of water, for a mile and a quarter, where it is again contracted to one fourth of a mile, and forms the entrance to the second or middle harbor, over a channel of about 12 feet of water. Above this, which is called Fell's Point, the harbor again expands into an ellipse, half a mile in width and a mile long, having a depth of 15 feet. The third or inner harbor, called the Basin, has a depth of 10 feet, and extends nearly into the middle of the city. Vessels of 500 or 600 tons can lie at the, wharves near Fell's Point, and those of 200 tons or more can come into the city through the inner harbor. A marine telegraph is located on Federal Hill, which communicates with a signal on the Chesapeake Bay to give notice of the approach of vessels through the bay. In respect to domestic commerce, this city possesses distinguished advantages. By its natural position it must necessarily draw to itself most of the trade of Maryland, one half of that of the great state of Pennsylvania, and no inconsiderable portion of that of the Western States. And then, by the means which its own enterprise has provided, these natural advantages are greatly increased. It has lines of steam packets running to Philadelphia and Norfolk, and of sailing packets to New York, and to other large ports on the Atlantic coast. The communication of Baltimore with the surrounding country is now greatly facilitated and extended by railroads. One chain connects the city with 'Philadelphia and New York. The Baltimore and Susquehanna Railroad extends to York, in Pennsylvania, and thence by another route connects the city with Philadelphia. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, which is designed to connect the city with Wheeling, on the Ohio River, is in operation as far as Cumberland, near the foot of the Alleghany Mountains, and when carried through to Wheeling, will open the most direct and speedy communication between the valley of the Mississippi and the Atlantic coast. A branch from this road connects the city with Washington, a distance of about 40 miles, and thence extends by an almost continuous route to New Orleans. As a market for tobacco, Baltimore is second to no other, and has been reckoned the greatest flour market in the world. The manufactures of this city are not less important to its prosperity than its commerce. A great amount of water power exists in the vicinity, which has been made extensively available for manufacturing purposes. Upon Jones's Falls, the small stream which passes through the city, there is a succession of mill sites, which are improved for manufacturing purposes. The Patapsco River, though not large, has a fall of about 800 feet, through a distance of 30 miles out of Baltimore, affording numerous and valuable situations for mills and factories. There are, within 20 miles of the city, 60 or more flouring mills ; also numerous manufactories of cotton arid woolen fabrics, of powder, paper, iron, copper, glass, steam engines and other machinery, chemicals, tobacco, &c. The literary and scientific institutions of Baltimore are various and respectable. The Maryland Institute, established for the promotion of the mechanic arts, has a fine chemical laboratory, and philosophical apparatus. The Maryland Academy of Sciences and Literature has its library and collections in the Athenaeum buildings. There is also the City Library, the Apprentices' Library, and the Exchange Reading Rooms. The Maryland University, and St. Mary's College, which latter institution is under the direction of the Roman Catholics, are located in this city. For the particulars of these institutions, the reader is referred to the article on Colleges in this work. The charitable and benevolent institutions of the city are also numerous, among which, besides the Hospital, already noticed, there are the Almshouse, several orphan asylums, a City Dispensary, and various other associations for the relief of poverty and distress. There are in the city something over 40 churches of different denominations. The Roman Catholics, by whom Baltimore was originally settled, are the most numerous. They have six church edifices, including their great cathedral. The Methodists have 9 ; the Episcopalians 5 ; the Presbyterians 5; the Baptists 4; the Unitarians 1; besides those of the Lutherans, German Reformed, and Friends.

Baltimore was first laid out as a town in 1792. It contained only 50 houses in 1765. In 1797 it was chartered as a city. Owing to its eminent natural advantages, it has had a rapid growth in population and in wealth. The municipal government is vested in a mayor and city council the mayor is elected for two years, by twelve electors, one from each ward, chosen by the people.


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