Francis Key Howard (1826 - 1872)
Francis Key Howard (1826 - 1872) was the grandson of Francis Scott Key and Revolutionary War colonel John Eager Howard. Howard was the editor of the Baltimore Exchange, a Baltimore newspaper sympathetic to the Southern cause. He was arrested on September 13, 1861 by U.S. major general Nathaniel Prentice Banks on the direct orders of general George B. McClellan enforcing the policy of President Abraham Lincoln. The basis for his arrest was for writing a critical editorial in his newspaper of Lincoln's suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, and the fact that the Lincoln administration had declared martial law in Baltimore and imprisoned without due process, George William Brown the mayor of Baltimore, Congressman Henry May, the police commissioners of Baltimore and the entire city council. Howard was initially confined to Ft. McHenry, the same fort his grandfather Francis Scott Key saw withstand a British bombardment during the War of 1812, which inspired him to write The Star Spangled Banner, which would become the national anthem of the United States of America. He was then transferred first to Fort Lafayette in Lower New York Bay off the coast of Brooklyn, then Fort Warren in Boston. He wrote a book on his experiences as a political prisoner completed in December of 1862 and published in 1863 titled Fourteen Months in the American Bastiles. Howard commented on his imprisonment; "When I looked out in the morning, I could not help being struck by an odd and not pleasant coincidence. On that day forty-seven years before my grandfather, Mr. Francis Scott Key, then prisoner on a British ship, had witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry. When on the following morning the hostile fleet drew off, defeated, he wrote the song so long popular throughout the country, the Star Spangled Banner. As I stood upon the very scene of that conflict, I could not but contrast my position with his, forty-seven years before. The flag which he had then so proudly hailed, I saw waving at the same place over the victims of as vulgar and brutal a despotism as modern times have witnessed."
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