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Research Strategies: Baltimore and the War of 1812
Edward C. Papenfuse, Maryland State Archivist, retired
Detail of the defenses on the approach to Baltimore from James Kearney “Sketch of the Military Topography of Baltimore and Its vicinity and of Patapsco Neck to North Point,” 1814, National Archives
For an overview of the British invasion of the Chesapeake see Scott Sheads, Chesapeake Campaigns of 1813-1815. Scott Sheads' The War of 1812 in the Chesapeake: A Reference Guide to Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010) and the Maryland Center for History and Culture's Guide to Sources provide an excellent starting point for exploring the military aspect of the war. They should be supplemented by recourse to the records at the Baltimore City Archives, especially record group BRG22, and to the records at the Maryland State Archives, especially record series MdSA S931. Both are introduced here with links to the records online, some of which are only available from http://transcribedoc.net, the research wiki related to http://rememberingbaltimore.
Future blog entries will explore the records at the British National Archives, especially those related to sailors from the Chesapeake Bay region who were incarcerated in British Prisons such as Dartmoor during the War of 1812.
BALTIMORE CITY ARCHIVES
(War of 1812 Records)
War of 1812 Records
Correspondence relative to the settling of Baltimore's claim for interest due the city on monies loaned to the federal government for purposes of defense during the War of 1812. The majority of the letters are addressed to Mayor John Montgomery and concern a memorial passed in Congress to authorize payment of the funds owed.
MARYLAND STATE ARCHIVES
(War of 1812 Papers)
This series consists of miscellaneous documents pertaining to the War of 1812. It includes requests for arms, names of volunteers, applications for commissions, orders on the treasury, returns of arms and equipment, accounts, payrolls, settlements of claims, vouchers, and blank forms. In a partially successful attempt to recover from the Federal treasury Maryland's and Baltimore's expenditures on defense, Maryland submitted the account book of the State Armorer, John Shaw, as proof of the arms it supplied during the War of 1812. The account book was discovered and analyzed by Scott Sheads who has supplied a copy, linked here as a pdf, which he cites as John Shaw's armory account, Records of the War Department. Post Revolutionary War Records, Office of the Adjutant General, National Archives (NA RWD AGO MAK 1813-1820). As Scott Sheads explains in his blog, "the 351 [account book entries] in all concern the defenses and State House of Annapolis from 1813 – 1820. John Shaw (1745-1829) was the superintendent of the State House and grounds as well as the Annapolis Armorer and well known cabinetmaker. His Armory Ledger Book (74 pages) lists company commanders and the disbursements of war materials obtained for their companies during the War of 1812.
Includes returns of volunteers and draftees, 1812; commission applications, 1813; letters and accounts to Governor and Council from Brigade Quartermaster, Baltimore, 1813-1818. Consists of old Box 55, part of old Box 455, and old Boxes 66 and 68
- Old Box 66, Miscellaneous documents pertaining to the War of 1812.
- Old Box 68, Miscellaneous documents pertaining to the War of 1812.
Includes papers on settlement of Maryland claims against U.S., consists of old Box 67.
Report of The Treasury of the United States on the claims of Baltimore for reimbursement for money and supplies expended during the War of 1812. Electronic only.
- E-Publication of U. S. Treasury Report on Baltimore's claims relating to the War of 1812, 1828.
- Report of the Treasury of the United States on the Claiims submitted by Baltimore for money and supplies furnished during the War of 1812
 This review of the records was initiated by Professor Glenn T. Johnston whose students were responsible for the transcriptions of Baltimore City Archives, BRG 22 now available at http://transcribedoc.net/msa_
 The email address for Dr. Papenfuse has not been corrected on this website. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The transcription programs alluded to are no longer available from the Maryland State Archives.
 The searchable pdf is useful for finding the last name of captains and their morning reports for 1814, HRS numbers 922-1723. While it is awkward to find the HRS numbers in the online e-book they do appear as numbered labels on the documents which are in the e-book in HRS sequence. Unfortunately when the e-book was compiled neither the index information in the HRS inventory nor complete transcriptions were included as was originally intended. Resources were not made available to do so and the staff involved in the project moved on.
 Note that the page jump cgi script no longer works on any of the e-books because it was removed from the Maryland State Archives server.