Peace is signed in the arms of victory!"
The British fleet remained in the Chesapeake even after the Battle of Baltimore and continued to menace the citizens of Maryland. The threat of attack remained until news arrived in February of 1815 that the Treaty of Ghent had been signed and the war was over.
In Annapolis, residents celebrated the peace by illuminating their streets and houses with bonfires. On February 22, another celebration was held marking both the end of the war and George Washington's birthday. The city's cannons were fired and the State House became a "scene of light," with a full-length portrait of Washington suspended from the dome.
For the enslaved residents of Annapolis, the departure of the British fleet meant the end of a path to freedom. While 21 slaves had escaped from Annapolis to the British ships, doubtless many more would have followed their friends, family and neighbors to a new life had there been an opportunity.