The British fail to take Baltimore during the War of 1812

[Drawn, engraved and published by Andrew Duluc], FIRST VIEW of the BATTLE OF PATAPSCO NECK. DEDICATED TO THOSE WHO LOST THEIR FRIENDS IN DEFENCE OF THEIR COUNTRY. SEPTR. 12 1814., Baltimore, 1814 (but printed c.1895) .
Engraving and etching on heavy wove paper, Image size 12 1/2 x 16 3/8", uncolored. Sheet backed prior to printing on another sheet bearing a fragment of "Lady of the Lake," an S. Arlent Edwards print published in 1894.

The only contemporary view of the September 1814 Battle of Patapsco Neck, at which Maryland militia bravely defended Baltimore against a large force of British regulars.

The early land campaigns of the War of 1812 took place along the Canadian border. In mid-1814, however, the British shifted offensive operations southward and sent an expeditionary force under General Ross and Admiral Cochrane into the Chesapeake Bay. In August they captured and burnt Washington, DC, allegedly in retaliation for the American sacking in 1813 of the provincial capital of Upper Canada at York. A few days later Alexandria, Virginia-at the time a major port-surrendered almost without a fight. These defeats marked a low point in American military history.

After burning Washington the British troops re-embarked and landed soon after at North Point on the Patapsco Neck, several miles east of Baltimore. Advancing toward the city they encountered a force of Maryland militia at Boulden’s Farm. The militia gave ground after a sharp fight, but not before the British commander General Ross was mortally wounded by a sniper.

This crude but compelling and extremely rare view shows Maryland militia (at bottom, in and in front of a line of trees) astride the main road to the city and blocking the oncoming British units. At upper right British General Ross is shown receiving his mortal wound.

We know from advertisements in the period press that the print was drawn and engraved by Corporal Andrew Duluc. Duluc was a member of the Baltimore Jaegers whose unit met the first British assault at the small log house shown at lower right. He advertised his engraving in the Baltimore American on September 28, 1814, a mere two weeks after the battle. Only a handful of early strikes are known, two at the Peale Museum and possibly another at the Library of Congress. The plate survived at the Peale Museum (now the Maryland Historical Society), and offered here is a later strike from the late 19th or early 20th century. Given the great rarity and documentary value of the print, even this later restrike is extremely desirable.

Deak, Picturing America, #285. OCLC has five entries for this title, two of which are digital reproductions, two of which appear to describe a single example held by the Library of Congress, and one of which lists a 3-page pamphlet published by the Peale Museum in 1951 and held by the American Antiquarian Society. Not in Stokes & Haskell.