John Stafford

John Stafford

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John Stafford was born in London in 1766. By 1815 Stafford was the Chief Clerk at Bow Street. One of his main tasks was to recruit Home Office spies, give them their orders and to receive their reports. The Times later reported: "His sound knowledge of criminal law, his consummate skill in the framing of indictments, and his long practical acquaintance with the duties which devolved upon him, caused him very frequently to be consulted by the ablest criminal lawyers of the day."

In 1816 the government became very concerned about the growth of Spencean Philanthropists, a group inspired by the ideas of Thomas Spence. Stafford recruited John Castle, a convicted convict to join the Spenceans and to report on their activities. In October 1816 Castle reported to Stafford that the Spenceans were planning to overthrow the British government.

On 2nd December 1816, the Spencean group organised a mass meeting at Spa Fields, Islington. The speakers at the meeting included Henry 'Orator' Hunt and James Watson. The magistrates decided to disperse the meeting and while Stafford and eighty police officers were doing this, one of the men, Joseph Rhodes was stabbed. The four leaders of the Spenceans, James Watson, Arthur Thistlewood, Thomas Preston and John Hopper were arrested and charged with high treason.

James Watson was the first to be tried. However, the main prosecution witness was the government spy, John Castle. The defence council was able to show that Castle had a criminal record and that his testimony was unreliable. The jury concluded that Castle was an agent provocateur (a person employed to incite suspected people to some open action that will make them liable to punishment) and refused to convict Watson. As the case against Watson had failed, it was decided to release the other three men who were due to be tried for the same offence.

John Stafford remained concerned about the Spenceans and in early 1817 he asked a police officer, George Ruthven, to join the group. Ruthven discovered that the Spenceans were planning an armed rising. One of the leaders of the Spenceans, Arthur Thistlewood, claimed at one meeting that he could raise 15,000 armed men in just half an hour. As a result of this information, John Williamson, John Shegoe, James Hanley, George Edwards and Thomas Dwyer were also recruited by Stafford to spy on the Spenceans.

Percy Bysshe Shelley later complained: "It is impossible to know how far the higher members of the Government are involved in the guilt of their infernal agents. But this much is known, that so soon as the whole nation lifted up its voice for parliamentary reform, spies went forth. These were selected from the most worthless and infamous of mankind, and dispersed among the multitude of famished and illiterate labourers. It was their business to find victims, no matter whether right or wrong."

It was information obtained by these spies that made it possible for the arrest of the men involved in the Cato Street Conspiracy. After the experience of the previous trial of the Spenceans, Lord Sidmouth was unwilling to use the evidence of his spies in court. George Edwards, the person with a great deal of information about the conspiracy, was never called. Instead the police offered to drop charges against certain members of the gang if they were willing to give evidence against the rest of the conspirators. Two of these men, Robert Adams and John Monument, agreed and they provided the evidence needed to convict the rest of the gang. On 28th April 1820, William Davidson, James Ings, Richard Tidd, Arthur Thistlewood, and John Brunt were found guilty of high treason and executed at Newgate Prison on the 1st May, 1820.

Robert Peel offered John Stafford the post of Police Magistrate but he turned it down "from a feeling, perhaps, of diffidence in his own abilities, and a natural desire not to obtrude himself into a situation which would necessarily bring him so frequently before the public."

John Stafford died at his home in September 1837.

It is impossible to know how far the higher members of the Government are involved in the guilt of their infernal agents. It was their business to find victims, no matter whether right or wrong.

I told him he did not deal candidly with me, and that I knew he had not disclosed all he knew. He declared nobody could say anything against him, for he detested violence and bloodshed. When people had too much drink they talked of that had better not been mentioned. He said he knew he was liable to be brought to Bow Street and publicly examined. He with others had suffered a great deal from distress and that he did not much care for his life and a man could only die once.

His sound knowledge of criminal law, his consummate skill in the framing of indictments, and his long practical acquaintance with the duties which devolved upon him, caused him very frequently to be consulted by the ablest criminal lawyers of the day.

When the Cato Street Conspiracy was fully detected and the capture of the party determined upon, Mr. Stafford volunteered his services to head the Bow Street officers who distinguished themselves on that occasion, although his duties as Chief Clerk by no means required that he should hazzard his person in such a desperate enterprise. He had prepared his pistols and made the necessary arrangements when, just as he was about to join the officers and proceed to the scene of action, a message from the Home Office requiring his immediate attendance compelled him to forego his intention. He gave his pistols to the brave but ill-fated Smithers.

John Stafford - History

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History of the Stafford Name

The family name STAFFORD is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word "Stat", meaning a town, and "ford" meaning a ford. These two words joined together produce the name Statford, which through a simple transition was finally spelled STAFFORD, the name of a town in England, which was originally built by Ethelfleda, daughter of King Alfred, about 910-915 A. D. It is located on the Sow River, near its junction with the Penk River. It is located about 130 miles north of London, and, in 1921, it had a population of approximately 30,000. It is the birth place of Isaac Walton. Staffords, from the Encyclopedia Britannica: The famous English House was founded in England by Robert, a younger brother of Ralph de Tosney, of a noble Norman House, who was standard bearer of the Dutchy. Robert received at the conquest of England a great feif extending into seven counties and became known as Ralph de Stafford from his residence at Stafford Castle. With his son the male line became extinct and his sister's husband, Hervey Bagot, one of knightly tenants, succeeded to her right (1194), their descendant Edward de Stafford was summoned as a baron in 1299. His son, Ralph conducted the brilliant defense of Aiguillon against the host of France, fought at Crecy and in the siege of Calais. Chosen Knight of the Garter at the foundation of the Order. He was created Earl of Stafford in 1351. His son, Hugh, who succeeded as second earl in 1372, served in the French Wars. From 1376 he became prominent in politics, probably through his marriage to a daughter of Warwick, being one of the four lords of the comittee in the Good Parliament, and also serving on the committee that controlled Richard II (1378-80), whom he accompanied on his Scottish expedition in 1385. He died next year on a pilgrimage to Rhodes. His son Thomas, the third earl, married (1392) the daughter and heiress of Thomas, Duke of Buckingham (son of Edward III) who, on Thomases death married in 1398 his brother Edmond, the fifth earl. Their son Humphrey (1402-1460), the first Stafford Duke of Buckingham was placed by his descent and his possessions in the front rank of the English Nobility. Henry the second duke, was attained in 1483, but because of the triumph of Henry VII, in 1486, Edward, the third duke (1478-1521), regained the title and the estates, and recovered the ancestral office of Lord High Constable in 1509. He was accused of treason and after a nominal trial by his peers was beheaded on May 17,1521. A subsequent Act (1523) confirming his attainder. Henry (1501-1563), the son of the last duke, was granted by the Crown some of his father's manors for his support, and, espousing the Prostestant cause (though married to a daughter of Margaret, countess of Salesbury and sister of cardinal Pole) was restored in blood on Edward VI's accession and declared Lord Stafford, a new creation, by Act of Parliament. His second surviving son, Thomas, evidently assumed the royal Arms, sailed from Dieppe with two ships on April 1557, landed in Scarborough, seized the castle and proclaimed himself protector. He was captured and executed for high treason. His father's new barony, in 1637, passed to a cadet in humble circumstances who was called on, as a pauper, to surrender to the King, which he did (illegally it is now held) in 1639. The King therefore bestowed on Mary Stafford (the Heir general of the line) and her husband, William Howard, in whose descendants, it is now vested. Roger who had surrendered the title, died in 1640, the last heir male, apparently of the main line of this historic house.

1. Dugdale Baronage (1675) Vol. i.

2. G. E. Cokayne, Complete Peerage.

3. Wrottealey. History of the Family of Bagot 1908 and Crecy and Calais.

4. Harconti. His Grace the Steward and the Trial of the Peers (1907). Episcopal Registers, diocese Exeter, 1395 to 1409.

Edmond Stafford Bishop of Exeter. King Henry IV, By his Letters Patent had granted License to the Ekerdon and Edmond Elyot, clerks, and to Robert Gray enabling them to convey to the Dean and Chapter of Exeter the Manors of Wynterborn Wast, Bokhamton and Swanwych, in the County of Dorset and the Avowson of the Church of Wynterborn, to find three chaplins to celebrate daily in the Catholic Church for the King himself and his sons in life, and for their souls after death, and kinsmen and for all the faithful departed. Subsequently, the said William Ekerdon, Edmond Elyot and Robert Grey, conveyed the said estates accordingly and the Bishop proceeded to the ordinance- which provided (1) that the Dean priests to be called the Annivellarii of Edmond Stafford, Bishop, who should at the alter of St. John Evangelist, adjoining the Lady - Chapel, for the Bishop himself, and for Sir Humphrey de Stafford and Elizabeth, his wife also Sir Richard de Stafford, knight, and Isabella Stafford, the Bishop's father and mother, and his uncle Ralph de Stafford, and lastly for King Henry IV, - for all these whether living or departed and for the faithful departed. Ref: Book 5107, E8A3, Vol. 3, Cong. Lib. Dr. G. M. G. Stafford states in Stafford Genealogy: There was only one Stafford family in England, no matter how lowly in worldly goods or station a man might be who bore that name, it was definitely known that he was a member of that great parent family designated by it. The Staffords are Norman descent through Robert de Tonei, a knight who came over to England in the retinue of William the Conqueror and became the progenitor of the extensive family now known by the name of Stafford. His Royal Master appointed him Governor of the Castle of Stafford. From the title of the Castle, Robert de Tonei and his descendants assumed the name of Stafford. Edmond, fifth Earl of Stafford, married Lady Ann Plantagenet, eldest daughter of Thomas, Duke of Buckingham, youngest son of Edward III, by whom he had only one son, Humphrey, sixth Earl of Stafford, who in consequence of his near alliance to the Crown, was created in 1444 Duke of Buckingham. Consequently all of the descendants of Edmond, fifth Earl of Stafford, are in line of direct descent from the House of Plantagenet. For several generations the exponents of this great family were very close to the throne, and at least two of them lost their heads for political reasons. The Media Research Bureau of Washington, D. C. furnished the following data on the Stafford family: It is claimed that the family of Stafford is descended from a Norman follower of William the Conqueror, one Robert de Tonei, Governor of the Castle of Stafford, in the eleventh century, whose descendants used the name of de Stafford. Robert de Tonei was the great grand-father of Robert de Stafford who died about 1189, leaving an only child named Milicent who married Hervey who took the mother's surname. Edward de Stafford, great grandson of the last mentioned Hervey de Stafford was created first Lord Stafford in the latter part of the 13th century and married Maud de Comville who gave him among others Ralph and Richard, of whom the last was the ancestor of the barons, Stafford of Clifton, and the first constituted the line and was created Earl of Stafford in 1351. Ralph Stafford, Earl of Stafford, married Margaret, the only daughter of and Heiress of Hugh Audley, Earl of Glouster and grandson of King Edward I of England, and is said to have had issue by her of, among other children, a daughter Margaret who married her cousin Sir John Stafford and had a son named Ralph who was the Lord Steward of the House of King Edward III, and married Matilda Hastang, by whom she had Sir Humphrey, who married Margaret Fogge and had Sir William who married as his second wife a distant cousin Dorothy Stafford whose ancestry will be traced below. Edmond, fifth Earl of stafford, a direct descendant of the before mentioned Ralph de Stafford of the 14th century, was married in the latter part of that century to Lady Ann Plantagenet, granddaughter of King Edward III of England, and had issue by her of Humphrey Stafford, who was the first in line to bear the title of Duke of Buckingham who married Anne Nevile, daughter of the first Earl of Westmorland. They were parents of another Humphrey, Earl of Stafford, who married Margaret Beaufort, daughter of the Duke of Summerset, and had Humphrey who was the father of Edward, who married Eleanor Percy, daughter of the Earl of Northumberland, and had issue by her of Henry, who was the father of the before mentioned Dorothy Stafford, who married Sir William Stafford in the latter part of the 16th century. Another line of the family was that of the County of Wexford, which is said to have been represented as early as the year 1335 by one Hamon de Stafford, who was the ancestor of George and John Stafford of the time of King Edward IV, of whom the last had a son named Nicholas, who also had a son named Nicholas, and who was the father of John Stafford High Sheriff in Wexford in 1640. It is not definitely known from which of the many illustrious lines of the family in England the first emigrants to America were descended, but it is generally believed that all of the families of the name are of common ancestry. The descendants of the various branches of the family have spread to every State in the Union and have aided as much in the growth of the country as their ancestors aided in the founding of the nation. We, who are connected with this great family, may be assured that we are not only descended from English Royalty, but the ancestry can readily be traced back through the French Royalty and into the Roman Royalty to Mark Anthony. Tradition persists that our Stafford ancestry escaped from England, by night, in order to save their heads. They had a legitimate claim to the Castle, but being in the minority, escaped to Ireland and finally came to America. It is a well known fact that high rank and great wealth frequently involved great risk in medieval times, in England as well as other countries of the civilized world. The Stafford nobility seemed to have its share of reverses, but from that great family has stemmed many of the great men of the English speaking countries, including America. The Washingtons, Lees, Tafts and many other great men of the New World trace their ancestry back to the Stafford nobility. It is therefore a matter of great pride that we are privileged to align ourselves with the descendants of the Stafford family. Let us now turn to "The West Ulster Staffords and Their Descendants" by Thomas A. Stafford, 1952, page 11, which states in substance : The first direct lineal Stafford of whom we have a reliable record was John Stafford, of Staffordshire, England. He was the oldest of a family of four. His wife's maiden name was Margaret Brunt. He had two sisters: Margaret, who married James Welch, and Lettie who married John Gregg. Old records in Ohio hint that the above mentioned family all lived and died in Staffordshire, England. It is the belief of the writer (Thomas A. Stafford) that the above mentioned John accompanied his entire family of eight children to Ireland and built the first house they occupied in County Fermanaugh, which is situated in what was then known as the Province of Ulster. It is this writer's belief that the tradition which tells us that the Staffords had to leave England, by night, was this exodus from Staffordshire. These traditions have a way of being basically true, though the details as to dates and names are often in error. It is therefore believed that John Stafford took his family and removed to Ulster for safety. After his sons were grown and able to fend for themselves, they went to America. Philadelphia was the port of entry. The record shows that John Stafford, oldest child of Ralph and Jane (Kane) Stafford was born in Pennsylvania. Tradition tells us that John was born enroute to Virginia from Ireland. The historical record of Pennsylvania shows that there were some Staffords in Pennsylvania at that time. It therefore seems reasonable that the three Stafford brothers and their wives stopped in Philadelphia for a time. John was born 1779, and it is agreed that they did not reach Giles County until 1785. If that is true, then James who was born in 1780 must have been born in Pennsylvania also. Attention is invited to the fact that Jane and Nancy, children of John and Margaret (Brunt) Stafford, married Johnstons. Reference is now made to Johnston's History of the Middle New River Settlements, page 419, in which we find that the Johnstons who first settled in what is now Giles County, Virginia, migrated from County Fermanaugh, Ireland, to America, about 1750 or earlier. Through this connection, no doubt, glowing tales of america filtered back to County Fermanaugh, Ireland, and was, undoubtedly, the deciding factor which caused the Stafford men to immigrate to America and to settle in the same locality where their kin, the Johnstons, had previously made a start. The 1820 census for Giles County, Virginia, shows thirteen Stafford householders. The 1850 census for Giles County, Virginia, shows forty-one householders who were born in Ireland. John Stafford, b. ca. 1736-7, in Staffordshire, England m. Margaret Brunt in Staffordshire, England removed with his family to County Fermanaugh, Ireland, about 1760 built a substantial house and reared his family in that County. Ralph Stafford son of John Stafford and Margaret (Brunt) Stafford, was born ca. 1757, probably in Staffordshire, England m. ca. 1777, in Ireland, Jane Kane came to America about 1778-9. Thomas A. Stafford, in his West Ulster Staffords, says that the Virginia family of Staffords came to Giles (Montgomery) County in 1785, which we are inclined to believe is approximately correct. The first record we have of Ralph Stafford in Virginia, comes from the "Annals of South-West Virginia", by Summers, page 919, Nov. 2, 1787, stating that Ralph Stafford bought from John and Sarah Craig 67 acres west side of Roakers Creek for fifty pounds. Annalls of S-W Virginia by Summers, p. 942, Oct. 7, 1800, states: Jane Stafford sold to James Stafford, Jr., 230 acres on Sugar Run, Walkers Creek bordering on New River, for one dollar, Etc. The above mentioned transaction indicates that Jane (Kane) Stafford was living in 1800. The following data was furnished by Walter D. Osborne, of White House, Kentucky, taken from a photostat of the original volume of the "Schoolmaster's Assistant", a family record book. John Stafford was married to Polly (Mary) Davis, the 9th day of April 1809, A. D. Polly (Mary) Stafford was born the 8th day of December 1789. John Stafford was born the 17th day of February 1779. "Command you may your mind from every moment in the day, Arth Mullett". John is my name, America is my Nation, Walkers Creek, my to dwelling place but Christ is my salvation. John Stafford, 1810 James Stafford was born the fourth day of July, 1780. Ann Stafford was born the fifth day of November, 1786. Ralph Stafford was born the fourth day of July, 1791. (Tamsy) Stafford was born the first day of May, 1793. (The name Tamsy is illegible on the original). Attest: Jan. 6th, 1944, by Effie Guynn McClure. Will of Ralph Stafford, recorded in Will Book B, page 208, Montgomery County, Virginia. In the Name of God Amen I Ralph Stafford of Montgomery County and State of Virginia being weak in body but sound and perfect in mind and memory Blessed be Almighty God for the same, do make and publish this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following that is to say, I desire that my body may be decently Entered, and that all my Lawful debts be paid first I give and bequeath unto my beloved Wife Jane Stafford all my moveable Estate. I further give and devise to my Eldest son John Stafford his heirs and assigns my tract of a hundred acres of land joining John Wrays land. I further give and devise to my son James Stafford my plantation of two hundred acres of land on the Chinquepine Spring to him and his heirs and assigns, I also give and bequeath to my beloved Wife the use or rent of the Chinquepine Spring place till my son James comes of age. I also will and bequeath to my beloved Wife one third of the place I now live on during her natural life and also the whole use of said place till my son Ralph Stafford comes of age if she does not marry sooner and if she married before my son Ralph comes of age then the use of the two thirds of said place is to go to the use of all my children. I further give and devise to my son Ralph Stafford his heirs and assigns the plantation I now live on containing about two hundred acres be there more or less it being in two Surveys adjoining I also give and devise to the child my Wife is now pregnant my Tract of land on Sugar Run containing forty two acres and also the rent of the place that I hereby devise to my son John tho in case it dies before my son John comes of age then the Rent of said place is to go to my son John when he comes of age. I hereby appoint Thomas Shannon, and John Stafford Executors and my beloved wife Jane Stafford Executrix of this my last will and testament, in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the 15th day of April In the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety three. Witnesses: John Hicks, Edward Stafford, and Elizabeth Bogle. At Montgomery August Court, 1794: The last will and testament of Ralph Stafford decd. was exhibited in Court and proved by the oaths of John Hicks, Edward Stafford and Elizabeth Bogle the witnesses thereon and ordered to be recorded And on the motion of John Stafford one of the Executors and Jane Stafford the Executrix therein named certificate is granted them for obtaining a probate thereof in due form they having first made oath and entered into Bond as the law directs. Charles Taylor C. M. C. The unborn child referred to in the will of Ralph Stafford was called "Tamsy", probably a nickname. We believe her real name was Thamisine. The brothers and sisters of the above mentioned Ralph Stafford were: Jane Stafford, Nancy Stafford, Thomas Stafford, James Stafford, Edward Stafford, Mary Stafford, and John Stafford. Thomas Stafford, m. Barbara Irwin and remained in Ireland. Many of his descendants came to America later. Thomas A. Stafford, who wrote the genealogy of the West Ulster Staffords and Their Descendants, is a descendant of this couple. He lives in Ohio. James Stafford, probably born in Ireland, married Nancy Eaton and came to America, settled in Giles County, Virginia. It is said that he came later than his other brothers. The 1810 census for Giles County shows the following data for him and his family: 1m 0-10 1m 16-26 1m 26-45 1m over 45 (James) 3f 0-10 1f 26-45. Edward Stafford, b. in Ireland m. Margaret Eaton and removed to Giles County, Virginia, about 1785. The 1810 census for Giles County shows the following data for him and his family: 1m over 45 (Edward) 1f 0-10 2f 16-26 1f over 45 (Margaret). John Stafford, b. in Ireland m. Mrs. Elizabeth (Brown) Fair and removed to Giles County, Virginia, about 1785. The 1810 census for Giles County shows the following data for him and his family: 1m 0-10 1m 16-26 1m over 45(John) 1f over 45 (Elizabeth).

Stafford graphic may not be used without the permission of the author.


Francis Scott Key's lyrics

On September 3, 1814, following the Burning of Washington and the Raid on Alexandria, Francis Scott Key and John Stuart Skinner set sail from Baltimore aboard the ship HMS Minden, a cartel ship flying a flag of truce on a mission approved by President James Madison. Their objective was to secure an exchange of prisoners, one of whom was William Beanes, the elderly and popular town physician of Upper Marlboro and a friend of Key who had been captured in his home. Beanes was accused of aiding the arrest of British soldiers. Key and Skinner boarded the British flagship HMS Tonnant on September 7 and spoke with Major General Robert Ross and Vice Admiral Alexander Cochrane over dinner while the two officers discussed war plans. At first, Ross and Cochrane refused to release Beanes but relented after Key and Skinner showed them letters written by wounded British prisoners praising Beanes and other Americans for their kind treatment. [ citation needed ]

Because Key and Skinner had heard details of the plans for the attack on Baltimore, they were held captive until after the battle, first aboard HMS Surprise and later back on HMS Minden. After the bombardment, certain British gunboats attempted to slip past the fort and effect a landing in a cove to the west of it, but they were turned away by fire from nearby Fort Covington, the city's last line of defense. [ citation needed ]

During the rainy night, Key had witnessed the bombardment and observed that the fort's smaller "storm flag" continued to fly, but once the shell and Congreve rocket [6] barrage had stopped, he would not know how the battle had turned out until dawn. On the morning of September 14, the storm flag had been lowered and the larger flag had been raised. [ citation needed ]

During the bombardment, HMS Terror and HMS Meteor provided some of the "bombs bursting in air". [ citation needed ]

Key was inspired by the U.S. victory and the sight of the large U.S. flag flying triumphantly above the fort. This flag, with fifteen stars and fifteen stripes, had been made by Mary Young Pickersgill together with other workers in her home on Baltimore's Pratt Street. The flag later came to be known as the Star-Spangled Banner and is today on display in the National Museum of American History, a treasure of the Smithsonian Institution. It was restored in 1914 by Amelia Fowler, and again in 1998 as part of an ongoing conservation program. [ citation needed ]

Aboard the ship the next day, Key wrote a poem on the back of a letter he had kept in his pocket. At twilight on September 16, he and Skinner were released in Baltimore. He completed the poem at the Indian Queen Hotel, where he was staying, and titled it "Defence of Fort M'Henry". It was first published nationally in The Analectic Magazine. [7] [8]

Much of the idea of the poem, including the flag imagery and some of the wording, is derived from an earlier song by Key, also set to the tune of "The Anacreontic Song". The song, known as "When the Warrior Returns", [9] was written in honor of Stephen Decatur and Charles Stewart on their return from the First Barbary War. [ citation needed ]

Absent elaboration by Francis Scott Key prior to his death in 1843, some have speculated more recently about the meaning of phrases or verses, particularly the phrase "the hireling and slave" from the third stanza. According to British historian Robin Blackburn, the phrase allude to the thousands of ex-slaves in the British ranks organized as the Corps of Colonial Marines, who had been liberated by the British and demanded to be placed in the battle line "where they might expect to meet their former masters." [10] Mark Clague, a professor of musicology at the University of Michigan, argues that the "middle two verses of Key's lyric vilify the British enemy in the War of 1812" and "in no way glorifies or celebrates slavery." [11] Clague writes that "For Key . the British mercenaries were scoundrels and the Colonial Marines were traitors who threatened to spark a national insurrection." [11] This harshly anti-British nature of Verse 3 led to its omission in sheet music in World War I, when the British and the U.S. were allies. [11] Responding to the assertion of writer Jon Schwarz of The Intercept that the song is a "celebration of slavery," [12] Clague argues that the American forces at the battle consisted of a mixed group of White Americans and African Americans, and that "the term “freemen,” whose heroism is celebrated in the fourth stanza, would have encompassed both." [13]

Others suggest that "Key may have intended the phrase as a reference to the Royal Navy's practice of impressment which had been a major factor in the outbreak of the war, or as a semi-metaphorical jab at the British army as a whole (which included many foreign-born soldiers [mercenaries])." [14]

John Stafford Smith's music

Key gave the poem to his brother-in-law Joseph H. Nicholson who saw that the words fit the popular melody "The Anacreontic Song", by English composer John Stafford Smith. This was the official song of the Anacreontic Society, an 18th-century gentlemen's club of amateur musicians in London. Nicholson took the poem to a printer in Baltimore, who anonymously made the first known broadside printing on September 17 of these, two known copies survive. [ citation needed ]

On September 20, both the Baltimore Patriot and The American printed the song, with the note "Tune: Anacreon in Heaven". The song quickly became popular, with seventeen newspapers from Georgia to New Hampshire printing it. Soon after, Thomas Carr of the Carr Music Store in Baltimore published the words and music together under the title "The Star Spangled Banner", although it was originally called "Defence of Fort M'Henry". Thomas Carr's arrangement introduced the raised fourth which became the standard deviation from "The Anacreontic Song". [15] The song's popularity increased and its first public performance took place in October when Baltimore actor Ferdinand Durang sang it at Captain McCauley's tavern. Washington Irving, then editor of the Analectic Magazine in Philadelphia, reprinted the song in November 1814. [ citation needed ]

By the early 20th century, there were various versions of the song in popular use. Seeking a singular, standard version, President Woodrow Wilson tasked the U.S. Bureau of Education with providing that official version. In response, the Bureau enlisted the help of five musicians to agree upon an arrangement. Those musicians were Walter Damrosch, Will Earhart, Arnold J. Gantvoort, Oscar Sonneck and John Philip Sousa. The standardized version that was voted upon by these five musicians premiered at Carnegie Hall on December 5, 1917, in a program that included Edward Elgar's Carillon and Gabriel Pierné's The Children's Crusade. The concert was put on by the Oratorio Society of New York and conducted by Walter Damrosch. [16] An official handwritten version of the final votes of these five men has been found and shows all five men's votes tallied, measure by measure. [17]

National anthem

The song gained popularity throughout the 19th century and bands played it during public events, such as Independence Day celebrations.

A plaque displayed at Fort Meade, South Dakota, claims that the idea of making "The Star Spangled Banner" the national anthem began on their parade ground in 1892. Colonel Caleb Carlton, post commander, established the tradition that the song be played "at retreat and at the close of parades and concerts." Carlton explained the custom to Governor Sheldon of South Dakota who "promised me that he would try to have the custom established among the state militia." Carlton wrote that after a similar discussion, Secretary of War Daniel S. Lamont issued an order that it "be played at every Army post every evening at retreat." [18]

In 1899, the U.S. Navy officially adopted "The Star-Spangled Banner". [19] In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson ordered that "The Star-Spangled Banner" be played at military [19] and other appropriate occasions. The playing of the song two years later during the seventh-inning stretch of Game One of the 1918 World Series, and thereafter during each game of the series is often cited as the first instance that the anthem was played at a baseball game, [20] though evidence shows that the "Star-Spangled Banner" was performed as early as 1897 at opening day ceremonies in Philadelphia and then more regularly at the Polo Grounds in New York City beginning in 1898. In any case, the tradition of performing the national anthem before every baseball game began in World War II. [21]

On April 10, 1918, John Charles Linthicum, U.S. congressman from Maryland, introduced a bill to officially recognize "The Star-Spangled Banner" as the national anthem. [22] The bill did not pass. [22] On April 15, 1929, Linthicum introduced the bill again, his sixth time doing so. [22] On November 3, 1929, Robert Ripley drew a panel in his syndicated cartoon, Ripley's Believe it or Not!, saying "Believe It or Not, America has no national anthem". [23]

In 1930, Veterans of Foreign Wars started a petition for the United States to officially recognize "The Star-Spangled Banner" as the national anthem. [24] Five million people signed the petition. [24] The petition was presented to the United States House Committee on the Judiciary on January 31, 1930. [25] On the same day, Elsie Jorss-Reilley and Grace Evelyn Boudlin sang the song to the committee to refute the perception that it was too high pitched for a typical person to sing. [26] The committee voted in favor of sending the bill to the House floor for a vote. [27] The House of Representatives passed the bill later that year. [28] The Senate passed the bill on March 3, 1931. [28] President Herbert Hoover signed the bill on March 4, 1931, officially adopting "The Star-Spangled Banner" as the national anthem of the United States of America. [1] As currently codified, the United States Code states that "[t]he composition consisting of the words and music known as the Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem." [29] Although all four stanzas of the poem officially compose the National Anthem, only the first stanza is generally sung, the other three being much lesser known. [ citation needed ]

In the fourth verse, Key's 1814 published version of the poem is written as, "And this be our motto-"In God is our trust!"" [8] In 1956 when 'In God We Trust' was under consideration to be adopted as the national motto of the United States by the US Congress, the words of the fourth verse of The Star Spangled Banner were brought up in arguments supporting adoption of the motto. [30]


The song is notoriously difficult for nonprofessionals to sing because of its wide range – a 12th. Humorist Richard Armour referred to the song's difficulty in his book It All Started With Columbus:

In an attempt to take Baltimore, the British attacked Fort McHenry, which protected the harbor. Bombs were soon bursting in air, rockets were glaring, and all in all it was a moment of great historical interest. During the bombardment, a young lawyer named Francis Off Key [sic] wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner", and when, by the dawn's early light, the British heard it sung, they fled in terror. [31]

Professional and amateur singers have been known to forget the words, which is one reason the song is sometimes pre-recorded and lip-synced. Pop singer Christina Aguilera performed wrong lyrics to the song prior to Super Bowl XLV, replacing the song's fourth line, "o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming", with an alteration of the second line, "what so proudly we watched at the twilight's last gleaming". [32] Other times the issue is avoided by having the performer(s) play the anthem instrumentally instead of singing it. The pre-recording of the anthem has become standard practice at some ballparks, such as Boston's Fenway Park, according to the SABR publication The Fenway Project. [33]

"The Star-Spangled Banner" has been performed regularly at the beginning of NFL games since the end of WWII by order of NFL commissioner Elmer Layden. [34] The song has also been intermittently performed at baseball games since after WWI. The National Hockey League and Major League Soccer both require venues in both the U.S. and Canada to perform both the Canadian and U.S. national anthems at games that involve teams from both countries (with the "away" anthem being performed first). [35] [ better source needed ] It is also usual for both U.S. and Canadian anthems (done in the same way as the NHL and MLS) to be played at Major League Baseball and National Basketball Association games involving the Toronto Blue Jays and the Toronto Raptors (respectively), the only Canadian teams in those two major U.S. sports leagues, and in All Star Games on the MLB, NBA, and NHL. The Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League, which play in a city on the Canada–US border and have a substantial Canadian fan base, play both anthems before all home games regardless of where the visiting team is based. [36]

Two especially unusual performances of the song took place in the immediate aftermath of the United States September 11 attacks. On September 12, 2001, Elizabeth II, the Queen of the United Kingdom, broke with tradition and allowed the Band of the Coldstream Guards to perform the anthem at Buckingham Palace, London, at the ceremonial Changing of the Guard, as a gesture of support for Britain's ally. [37] The following day at a St. Paul's Cathedral memorial service, the Queen joined in the singing of the anthem, an unprecedented occurrence. [38]

During the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests, the anthem was sung by protesters demonstrating outside the U.S. consulate-general in an appeal to the U.S. government to help them with their cause. [39] [40] [41]

200th anniversary celebrations

The 200th anniversary of the "Star-Spangled Banner" occurred in 2014 with various special events occurring throughout the United States. A particularly significant celebration occurred during the week of September 10–16 in and around Baltimore, Maryland. Highlights included playing of a new arrangement of the anthem arranged by John Williams and participation of President Barack Obama on Defender's Day, September 12, 2014, at Fort McHenry. [42] In addition, the anthem bicentennial included a youth music celebration [43] including the presentation of the National Anthem Bicentennial Youth Challenge winning composition written by Noah Altshuler.


The first popular music performance of the anthem heard by the mainstream U.S. was by Puerto Rican singer and guitarist José Feliciano. He created a nationwide uproar when he strummed a slow, blues-style rendition of the song [44] at Tiger Stadium in Detroit before game five of the 1968 World Series, between Detroit and St. Louis. [45] This rendition started contemporary "Star-Spangled Banner" controversies. The response from many in the Vietnam War-era U.S. was generally negative. Despite the controversy, Feliciano's performance opened the door for the countless interpretations of the "Star-Spangled Banner" heard in the years since. [46] One week after Feliciano's performance, the anthem was in the news again when U.S. athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos lifted controversial raised fists at the 1968 Olympics while the "Star-Spangled Banner" played at a medal ceremony. Another famous instrumental interpretation is Jimi Hendrix's version, which was a set-list staple from autumn 1968 until his death in September 1970, including a famous rendition at the Woodstock music festival in 1969. Incorporating sonic effects to emphasize the "rockets' red glare", and "bombs bursting in air", it became a late-1960s emblem. [ citation needed ]

Marvin Gaye gave a soul-influenced performance at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game and Whitney Houston gave a soulful rendition before Super Bowl XXV in 1991, which was released as a single that charted at number 20 in 1991 and number 6 in 2001 (along with José Feliciano, the only times the national anthem has been on the Billboard Hot 100). In 1993, Kiss did an instrumental rock version as the closing track on their album, Alive III. Roseanne Barr gave a controversial performance of the anthem at a San Diego Padres baseball game at Jack Murphy Stadium on July 25, 1990. The comedian belted out a screechy rendition of the song, and afterward, she mocked ballplayers by spitting and grabbing her crotch as if adjusting a protective cup. The performance offended some, including the sitting U.S. president, George H. W. Bush. [47] Sufjan Stevens has frequently performed the "Star-Spangled Banner" in live sets, replacing the optimism in the end of the first verse with a new coda that alludes to the divisive state of the nation today. David Lee Roth both referenced parts of the anthem and played part of a hard rock rendition of the anthem on his song, "Yankee Rose" on his 1986 solo album, Eat 'Em and Smile. Steven Tyler also caused some controversy in 2001 (at the Indianapolis 500, to which he later issued a public apology) and again in 2012 (at the AFC Championship Game) with a cappella renditions of the song with changed lyrics. [48] In 2016, Aretha Franklin performed a rendition before the nationally-televised Minnesota Vikings-Detroit Lions Thanksgiving Day game lasting more than four minutes and featuring a host of improvisations. It would be one of Franklin's last public appearances before her 2018 death. [49] Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie gave a controversial performance of the anthem in 2018. Critics likened her rendition to a jazzy "sexed-up" version of the anthem, which was considered highly inappropriate, with her performance compared to that of Marilyn Monroe's iconic performance of Happy Birthday, Mr. President. Fergie later apologized for her performance of the song, stating that ''I'm a risk taker artistically, but clearly this rendition didn't strike the intended tone". [50]

A version of Aerosmith's Joe Perry and Brad Whitford playing part of the song can be heard at the end of their version of "Train Kept A-Rollin'" on the Rockin' the Joint album. The band Boston gave an instrumental rock rendition of the anthem on their Greatest Hits album. The band Crush 40 made a version of the song as opening track from the album Thrill of the Feel (2000). [ citation needed ]

In March 2005, a government-sponsored program, the National Anthem Project, was launched after a Harris Interactive poll showed many adults knew neither the lyrics nor the history of the anthem. [51]

O say can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner, O long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country, should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation.
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the Heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: 'In God is our trust.'
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave! [52]

Additional Civil War period lyrics

Eighteen years after Key's death, and in indignation over the start of the American Civil War, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. [53] added a fifth stanza to the song in 1861, which appeared in songbooks of the era. [54]

When our land is illumined with Liberty's smile,
If a foe from within strike a blow at her glory,
Down, down with the traitor that dares to defile
The flag of her stars and the page of her story!
By the millions unchained, who our birthright have gained,
We will keep her bright blazon forever unstained!
And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
While the land of the free is the home of the brave.

Alternative lyrics

In a version hand-written by Francis Scott Key in 1840, the third line reads: "Whose bright stars and broad stripes, through the clouds of the fight". [55] In honor of the 1986 rededication of the Statue of Liberty, Sandi Patty wrote her version of an additional verse to the anthem. [56]

Several films have their titles taken from the song's lyrics. These include two films titled Dawn's Early Light (2000 [57] and 2005) [58] two made-for-TV features titled By Dawn's Early Light (1990 [59] and 2000) [60] two films titled So Proudly We Hail (1943 [61] and 1990) [62] a feature film (1977) [63] and a short (2005) [64] titled Twilight's Last Gleaming and four films titled Home of the Brave (1949, [65] 1986, [66] 2004, [67] and 2006). [68] A 1936 short titled The Song of a Nation from Warner Bros. Pictures shows a version of the origin of the song. [69] The title of Isaac Asimov's short story No Refuge Could Save is a reference to the song's third verse, and the obscurity of this verse is a major plot point. [70]

When the U.S. national anthem was first recognized by law in 1931, there was no prescription as to behavior during its playing. On June 22, 1942, the law was revised indicating that those in uniform should salute during its playing, while others should simply stand at attention, men removing their hats. The same code also required that women should place their hands over their hearts when the flag is displayed during the playing of the national anthem, but not if the flag was not present. On December 23, 1942, the law was again revised instructing men and women to stand at attention and face in the direction of the music when it was played. That revision also directed men and women to place their hands over their hearts only if the flag was displayed. Those in uniform were required to salute. On July 7, 1976, the law was simplified. Men and women were instructed to stand with their hands over their hearts, men removing their hats, irrespective of whether or not the flag was displayed and those in uniform saluting. On August 12, 1998, the law was rewritten keeping the same instructions, but differentiating between "those in uniform" and "members of the Armed Forces and veterans" who were both instructed to salute during the playing whether or not the flag was displayed. Because of the changes in law over the years and confusion between instructions for the Pledge of Allegiance versus the National Anthem, throughout most of the 20th century many people simply stood at attention or with their hands folded in front of them during the playing of the Anthem, and when reciting the Pledge they would hold their hand (or hat) over their heart. After 9/11, the custom of placing the hand over the heart during the playing of the national anthem became nearly universal. [71] [72] [73]

Since 1998, federal law (viz., the United States Code 36 U.S.C. § 301) states that during a rendition of the national anthem, when the flag is displayed, all present including those in uniform should stand at attention non-military service individuals should face the flag with the right hand over the heart members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present and not in uniform may render the military salute military service persons not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold the headdress at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart and members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note. The law further provides that when the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed. Military law requires all vehicles on the installation to stop when the song is played and all individuals outside to stand at attention and face the direction of the music and either salute, in uniform, or place the right hand over the heart, if out of uniform. The law was amended in 2008, and since allows military veterans to salute out of uniform, as well. [74] [75]

The text of 36 U.S.C. § 301 is suggestive and not regulatory in nature. Failure to follow the suggestions is not a violation of the law. This behavioral requirement for the national anthem is subject to the same First Amendment controversies that surround the Pledge of Allegiance. [76] For example, Jehovah's Witnesses do not sing the national anthem, though they are taught that standing is an "ethical decision" that individual believers must make based on their conscience. [77] [78] [79]

As a result of immigration to the United States and the incorporation of non-English-speaking people into the country, the lyrics of the song have been translated into other languages. In 1861, it was translated into German. [80] The Library of Congress also has record of a Spanish-language version from 1919. [81] It has since been translated into Hebrew [82] and Yiddish by Jewish immigrants, [83] Latin American Spanish (with one version popularized during immigration reform protests in 2006), [84] French by Acadians of Louisiana, [85] Samoan, [86] and Irish. [87] The third verse of the anthem has also been translated into Latin. [88]

1968 Olympics Black Power salute

The 1968 Olympics Black Power salute was a political demonstration conducted by African-American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos during their medal ceremony at the 1968 Summer Olympics in the Olympic Stadium in Mexico City. After having won gold and bronze medals respectively in the 200-meter running event, they turned on the podium to face their flags, and to hear the American national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner". Each athlete raised a black-gloved fist, and kept them raised until the anthem had finished. In addition, Smith, Carlos, and Australian silver medalist Peter Norman all wore human rights badges on their jackets. In his autobiography, Silent Gesture, Smith stated that the gesture was not a "Black Power" salute, but a "human rights salute". The event is regarded as one of the most overtly political statements in the history of the modern Olympic Games. [93]

Protests against police brutality (2016–present)

Protests against police brutality and racism by kneeling on one knee during the national anthem began in the National Football League after San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt during the anthem, as opposed to the tradition of standing, in response to police brutality in the United States, before his team's third preseason game of 2016. Kaepernick sat during the first two preseason games, but he went unnoticed. [94] In particular, protests focus on the discussion of slavery in the third verse of the anthem, in which the song condemns slaves that had joined the British in an effort to earn their freedom. [95] [96] Since Kaepernick's protest, other athletes have joined in the protests. In the 2017 season, after President Donald Trump's condemnation of the kneeling, which included saying players need to be fired and calling them sons of bitches, many NFL players protested during the national anthem that week. After the police-involved killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, when the 2020–21 NBA season resumed play in July 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of players and coaches kneeled during the national anthem through the end of the season.

NAACP call to remove the national anthem

In November 2017, the California Chapter of the NAACP called on Congress to remove "The Star-Spangled Banner" as the national anthem. Alice Huffman, California NAACP president, said: "It's racist it doesn't represent our community, it's anti-black." [97] The third stanza of the anthem, which is rarely sung and few know, contains the words "No refuge could save the hireling and slave [f]rom the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave", which some interpret as racist. The organization was still seeking a representative to sponsor the legislation in Congress at the time of its announcement. [ citation needed ]

John Stafford Historic District

Photo: House at 103 Marion Avenue in the John Stafford Historic District, Ventnor, NJ. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. Photographed by User:Smallbones (own work), 2010, [cc-by-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons, accessed January, 2013.

The John Stafford Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [&Dagger] .

In the beginning of the twentieth century, Ventnor was about to explode from a developer's dream into a fully blown seaside automobile suburb. Where Atlantic City had relied on the train to concentrate guests in downtown hotels, Ventnor was connected by the Black Horse Pike to Philadelphia, and provided up-scale houses in a planned automobile suburb to attract the driving public. The result was a new form of resort, one which anticipated Miami Beach as well as much of the remainder of the twentieth century New Jersey seashore development in its low density and wide streets. Although much of Ventnor is a unified development, certain districts have particular interest among the earliest areas to develop, and one which retains its identity owing to a chance isolation created by its being bracketed by modern high rise apartments is the zone associated with Philadelphia developer John Stafford. It was Stafford who hired Philadelphia architect Frank Seeburger to design the buildings that established the area's character. Occurring simultaneously with Ventnor's principal growth, the John Stafford Historic District affords a microcosm of the resort's heyday, and represents a pattern of development of significance in resort history.

The growth of Ventnor is apparent in the changes in the atlases of the city between 1896 and 1914. In 1896 there were no more than a handful of cottages between Madison Avenue and Atlantic City, and indeed it was not until 1903 that Ventnor was incorporated. By 1914, almost every square showed some development from the Atlantic Ocean to the rear Thoroughfare as the rear channel was called. This is corroborated by published data on the growth of the village from fewer than 100 houses in 1910 to nearly 1,300 in 1917. It was in those same years, that New Yorkers Carrere and Hastings, best remembered for their design of the New York Public Library and for the early concrete hotels at St. Augustine, Florida, were asked to provide a plan for the new city. Published in the 1907-8 T-Square Club Catalogue, it shows a City Beautiful arrangement of broad boulevards and cross axes. Subsequently carried out, the plan is still reflected in the street pattern and by its connection to Atlantic City at the World War I monument, designed by the same architects in 1922. With such stimuli and the growth of the highway networks it was no surprise that Ventnor would become so fashionable, attracting Wanamakers and film makers to cottages that were valued in the tens of thousands of dollars. In the 1920s, newspaper accounts of real estate prices were extraordinary. Houses that had sold before World War I for "$13,500 to $15,000 are now reselling at prices ranging from $40,000 to $65,000, while beach front lots were quoted at $25,000 to $40,000." This was accounted for by the proximity to "the greatest resort in the world," but also by the city's "wise restrictions and zoning plan" making it a distinctive monumental planned resort neighborhood.

The John Stafford Historic District conformed to the planned character of the community, with building set backs, investment requirements, and nuisances and uses controlled in the manner of modern zoning. It is of special note both for its developer, and his chosen architect, Frank Seeburger (c.1880-1934). As noted earlier, John Stafford was a well-known Philadelphia businessman who at the end of the nineteenth century and the first years of this century, commissioned Horace Trumbauer to design the St. James Hotel on Walnut Street in Philadelphia, and who was active in the development of North Philadelphia real estate. It was probably that connection that caused him to retain Frank Seeburger who had been in the Trumbauer office, and had-then gone out on his own, designing houses in other resorts including Cape May. In Ventnor he designed the handsome, broadly proportioned Colonial Revival houses that made him such an asset in the Trumbauer office. These give visual unity to the district and help establish its pleasant character.

Of even greater interest are some of the early residents who commissioned houses here. Their names are familiar to the student of Atlantic City's hotel trade, for at least four of the properties were owned by members of the Josiah White family, owners of the Marlborough and Blenheim hotels, while another was owned by A.C. Buzby (108 South Baton Rouge Avenue), whose family owned the Dennis, adjacent to the Blenheim. The 1914 Philadelphia Real Estate Record and Builder's Guide lists two houses by Philadelphia architect J. Fletcher Street, formerly of the office of Price and McLanahan, architects of the Marlborough and Blenheim hotels, one of which was specifically noted as being for the White family, while the other was listed as "owner's name withheld." Both were of hollow tile and concrete, the chosen materials of the office, and are probably the buildings on Vassar Square.

The house for A.C. Buzby also was listed in the Philadelphia Real Estate Record but was designed by an Atlantic City architect, Bertram Ireland (fl. 1900-1930), who was active in the early twentieth century and designed a number of the high-style buildings in his resort. That house is also in the Colonial Revival style so popular in Ventnor. The proximity of these houses for the hotel operators of Atlantic City, while still being out of the city, probably indicates the pressures of operating a major resort hotel. On the other hand, the character of the architects working in this zone of Ventnor seems to typify the community and most of the later seashore suburbs &mdash young architects, who either have an earlier contact with the client for a parent office &mdash or a local architect.

A.H. Mueller and Co. Atlas of Atlantic City, New Jersey, Including South Atlantic City, Chelsea, Ventnor, Oberon and Longport, Philadelphia, 1896, plates 13, 17.

A.H. Mueller, Atlas of Absecon Island, vol. II, Philadelphia, 1914, plate 23.

A.H. Mueller, Atlas of Ventnor City, Margate, Longport, vol. II, Phila. 1924, plate 24.

Atlantic County Clerk, Mays Landing, Records, deeds, tax maps property restrictions are summarized in Vol.500. pp.481-6 Deed from John Stafford to John Mackert, 15 February 1913.

Philadelphia Real Estate Record and Builder's Guide, Philadelphia, 1886-1940, lists projects outside of Philadelphia with enough frequency to warrant investigation.

The T-Square Club Journal, 14th Annual Exhibition catalogue, 1907-8, p. 35.

Atlantic City Press, numerous articles filed in morgue at Pleasantville, under "Ventnor."

Butler, Frank, Book of the Boardwalk, Atlantic City, 1952.

Funnell, Charles, By the Beautiful Sea, New York, 1973.

Smith, Sarah T., A History of Ventnor City, New Jersey, Ventnor, 1953.

Thomas, George E., et al. Atlantic City Historic Building Survey New Jersey Office of Historic Preservation, 1980.

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Stafford has been a crossroads for many important events and travelers in history. From Pocahontas and Captain John Smith, to George Washington and his famous fabled &ldquochopping of the cherry tree,&rdquo to the countless Civil War soldiers&rsquo encampments and hospitals, Stafford has centuries of tales to tell.

Stafford&rsquos history spans millions of years. Prehistoric animals, such as the Sauroposeidon (the longest dinosaur in Virginia), lived in Stafford. Native Americans of the Patawomeck and Manahoac tribes lived here in substantial numbers. European explorer Captain John Smith sailed up the Potomac from Jamestown to present-day Stafford and set foot on its shores. Powhatan Indian princess, Pocahontas, was kidnapped from Stafford&rsquos Indian Point. All of this took place before Stafford County was formally established in 1664.

Stafford&rsquos fisheries, tobacco plantations, iron works and flour mills were major suppliers to Great Britain in the Colonial period. The port town of Falmouth, located on the Rappahannock River, was established in 1728 by the same charter that created Fredericksburg &ndash both very important points of trade in the new world. One of Stafford&rsquos most famous residents was George Washington, who lived here as a youngster from age six to nineteen. It was most likely here that he threw &ldquostones&rdquo across the Rappahannock River, not silver dollars &ndash as they did not exist at that time. Aquia Church was built between 1751-1757, and still stands today with many of its original windows.

During the Civil War, Stafford was a logistical and transportation center, and a staging ground. Chatham, like many other homes in Stafford County, was utilized as a Union headquarters and hospital. Among Chatham's visiting nurses were Walt Whitman and Clara Barton. President Lincoln also visited Chatham during the war, giving Chatham the distinction of being the only private home whose threshold both Lincoln and Washington are known to have crossed. Not far from Chatham, Falmouth native and nationally known Southern abolitionist Moncure Conway led his family slaves to freedom in Yellow Springs, Ohio in 1862. From the banks of the Rappahannock River in December 1862, Union forces staged an advance known as the bloody Battle of Fredericksburg. Shortly after, Union General Ambrose Burnside bogged down his army on the famous "Mud March." The civilians of Stafford were among the first in the new world to suffer the devastating effects of a modern war, having to host most of the Union's Army of the Potomac from 1862-1863. Over 200,000 soldiers camped, ate, and lived off the land, straining the county's resources to the point of collapse. Stafford's population did not recover until the 1940s, well into the twentieth century.

In 1916, Gari Melchers, an American impressionist artist moved to Belmont. The Marine Corps Base Quantico was established in 1917, and the new Stafford courthouse was built in 1922. With the completion of Interstate 95 in the 1960s, growth continued in the county. More recent additions such as Hartwood Winery, Potomac Point Winery, Riverside Center Dinner Theater, and White Oak Civil War Museum. Recreation opportunities include dozens of parks, 3 golf courses, and Cavalier Family Skating Center. Spas, shops and dining spots are popping up, as are new retail developments full of things to do. Finally, with the Virginia Railway Express, FBI Academy, and Stafford Regional Airport, Stafford remains an important crossroads for many of the world's travelers.

BAXTER, John, of Stafford.

A resident, if not a native, of Stafford, Baxter first appears during the Easter term of 1372 when he sued two local men for breaking into his close in the borough and grazing cattle there. He may perhaps have been in office as bailiff of Stafford at the time of his first return to Parliament in 1378, but the precise date of his appointment remains unknown. Like other bailiffs before him, Baxter abused his position by attempting to corner the market in wine and foodstuffs, and in November 1382 a royal commission was set up to examine this breach of statute. The letters patent authorizing the inquiry describe Baxter as a draper — an occupation which he evidently combined with farming on a small but not unprofitable scale.2 It is by no means certain that the John Baxter who received a royal pardon in January 1397 for a murder committed some three years previously ever represented Stafford in Parliament, or that the subject of this biography was involved in a feud with one Laurence Dreenge of Yorkshire during the same period. He was, on the other hand, clearly implicated in an assault on the late Sir John Gresley’s&dagger manor of Drakelow in Derbyshire, which took place in the spring of 1395, shortly after Sir John’s death. Together with his fellow MP, Richard Stanford, and Gresley’s widow, who had evidently enlisted their help in an attempt to secure her dower, he was accused of stealing plate and cash worth £400 but although he refused to appear in court to answer these charges he still obtained a royal pardon in the following year.3

Despite the fact that he never achieved more than local prominence, Baxter enjoyed considerable influence in the Stafford area, as can be seen from his five returns to Parliament and his two (or more) terms as bailiff of the borough, during which he was responsible for leasing out property on the townspeople’s behalf. In June 1398 he and three other leading burgesses were required to surrender a deodand to the escheator of Staffordshire, and at various times his name appears among the witnesses to property transactions in and around Stafford. On one occasion, in the summer of 1400, he witnessed a deed for Edmund, earl of Stafford, from whom he rented a garden next to the parish church of St. Mary.4 Baxter is last mentioned in October 1407, when, as bailiff of Stafford, he took part in both the borough and county elections to Parliament.5


Archbishop of Canterbury, chancellor of England d. Maidstone, Kent, England, May 25, 1452. He was the natural son of Sir Humphrey Stafford of Southwick Court, Wiltshire. A doctor of Canon Law and a prot é g é of Abp. Henry chichele, he was advocate in the court of arches (1414) and auditor of causes (1419). Like Chichele, he became chancellor of Salisbury (1420) after being archdeacon. He was made dean of Wells (1423), then bishop of bath and wells (1424). He was keeper of the privy seal (1421 – 22), treasurer (December 1422 to 1426), and chancellor of England during the most difficult period of the Lancastrian regime (1432 – 50). A number of diplomatic commissions fell to him: to France (1419), Brittany (1420), and Scotland (for the release of James I in 1423). He accompanied King Henry VI to France in 1430 and attended him at his coronation in Paris (1436). He supported Henry beaufort and later the unpopular William de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk. Still, Stafford's care and moderation as chancellor and the high opinion formed of him as a judge were sufficient to outweigh all criticism when he was appointed (Aug. 1, 1450) a member of the commission of oyer and terminer after Cade's rebellion. Tito Livio of Forli extolled Stafford's beneficence and sympathy in a poem on the other hand, Stafford was detested by Thomas Gascoigne, who charged him with having illegitimate offspring by a nun. The best testimonial to Stafford was in the two letters written by Chichele to Henry VI and to Pope eugene iv in 1442, recommending him for the archbishopric of Canterbury, ut patrem maxime meritum, on grounds that in administering justice to Henry's subjects, he "had emerged greatly loved of all" (plurimum dilectus evaserit ). The pope assented (1443), but in 1445 – 46 the new archbishop had the task of defending the country from the attempt of the pope to enforce a crusading tenth against the Turks and of making it clear that the termination of the French War had — for the English Council — priority over the defense of Constantinople and the security of the Mediterranean. He was successful in this, his tact avoiding strictures from Rome such as had fallen upon his master, Chichele.

Columbus, Texas Topics:

Columbus' history is so rich, it's difficult to mention even the highlights in the space available. We suggest that the reader consult one of the histories available at the K. Nesbitt Memorial Library (529 Washington Street). We will attempt to include some of the more interesting facts, although each could be (and many have been) written about in length.

The Early Years:
Columbus (as Beason's Ferry ) played an important part in the Texas Revolution and the few houses that comprised the town were burned by Houston in his scorched-earth tactics during the Runaway Scrape. He spent six days on the east side of the river drilling his troops before continuing on to San Jacinto. The last Indian raid in Columbus took place in 1838 when two citizens were killed.

Stagelines connected Columbus to San Antonio (a 48 hour adventure) and steamships appeared as early as 1838. The river was navigable from just above Matagorda and in later years (1871) a steamboat once went as far as Dripping Springs.

Just prior to the Civil War, the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado Railroad came just short of Columbus to Alleyton. This made Alleyton the most important town on the Confederacy's "Cotton Road" to Matamoros, Mexico. The railroad's post-war plan was to bypass Columbus and Columbians raised money to build a three-mile "tap line" to Alleyton.

The four Stafford Brothers came from Georgia just before the Civil War.

R.E. "Bob" Stafford drove cattle to Kansas in 1867 and started making his sizable fortune. He opened his bank in 1882 and he also owned the Columbus Meat and Ice Company on the river.

Columbus shares its name with 22 other municipalities (of varying size) around the country. They get together every two years and compare notes on what burdens and blessings the name brings. They also vote for a "Miss Columbus, U.S.A." The year 2000 winner was from Texas' Columbus.

Columbus, Texas Landmarks / Attractions

Benjamin Beason's Crossing Centennial Marker
See Battle of San Jacinto by Jeffery Robenalt
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson , February 2009
More Texas Centennial

Columbus Vintage Photos

Courtesy Nesbitt Memorial Library Archives
Timeless Men of Colorado County
Courtesy Nesbitt Memorial Library Archives
Timeless Women of Colorado County
Columbus Tower
400,000 nicely arranged bricks make up the 32-inch walls of this beautiful tower (c. 1883)
The tower stored water piped from the Colorado River.

The photo left is the earliest photograph of the tower.
Courtesy Nesbitt Memorial Library

County Jail Building
Courtesy Nesbitt Memorial Library, Columbus, Texas
More Texas Jails

Magnolia Gas Station
Courtesy Nesbitt Memorial Library, Columbus, Texas
More Texas Gas Stations
Snow covered low water bridge, 1947
Courtesy Nesbitt Memorial Library, Columbus, Texas
Columbus Nearby Destinations & Scenic Drives

Tails of Two Cities by Brewster Hudspeth
or The Great Columbus, Colorado County / Canada Cat Compromises

John Stafford

Copyright © 2000-2021 Sports Reference LLC. All rights reserved.

Much of the play-by-play, game results, and transaction information both shown and used to create certain data sets was obtained free of charge from and is copyrighted by RetroSheet.

Win Expectancy, Run Expectancy, and Leverage Index calculations provided by Tom Tango of, and co-author of The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball.

Total Zone Rating and initial framework for Wins above Replacement calculations provided by Sean Smith.

Full-year historical Major League statistics provided by Pete Palmer and Gary Gillette of Hidden Game Sports.

Some defensive statistics Copyright © Baseball Info Solutions, 2010-2021.

Some high school data is courtesy David McWater.

Many historical player head shots courtesy of David Davis. Many thanks to him. All images are property the copyright holder and are displayed here for informational purposes only.

Watch the video: The Orcas IV Ost - John Stafford


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