The Baltimore City Circuit Court
Baltimore Bar Library Art Collection
in Connection with the
Maryland State Archives
MSA SC 5590
Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. Courthouse
Criminal Court Lobby West Wall
The Burning of The Peggy Stewart
Dimensions: 10 H x 60 W ft.
By Charles Yardley Turner (1850-1919)
unveiled October 19, 1904
The brigantine Peggy Stewart arrived in Annapolis,
Maryland on Friday, October 14, 1774, laden with more than a ton of tea.
The owners of the ship were Anthony Stewart and his father-in-law James
Dick. The tax for the tea was quickly paid by Stewart, in violation of
a non–importation agreement amongst local merchants. This was not the first
time that Stewart and Dick paid a tax on imported British goods. The Anne
Arundel County Committee decided that the tea should not be landed and
called for a public meeting to determine the final fate of the cargo on
Wednesday October 19, 1774. Although the majority of the people
at the meeting voted against violent measures, the minority members were
determined to burn both the ship and the tea. Stewart finally consented to
burn his own ship out of fear for his own life and concern that the mob might
also burn his house. The burning of the Peggy Stewart was a seminal
event in both Maryland’s and the colonies’ history prior to the outbreak
of the Revolutionary War. The following quote is from a letter written by Charles
Yardley Turner read at the occasion of the unveiling of his painting.
In the center panel is Charles Carroll of Carrollton and Dr. Warfield
"leader of the mob". In the left panel wearing the white shirt sleeves
is Anthony Stewart. The right panel portrays a group of citizens near
Anthony Stewart's mansion.
In the mural painting , "The Burning of the Peggy Stewart,"
my purpose was to express the protest upon the part of Maryland's citizens
against the oppression of the mother country. The burning vessel has been
used as the symbol and outward manifestation of this protests against "taxation
The Burning of the Peggy Stewart & Religious Toleration in
Maryland: Mural Decorations in the Baltimore Courthouse, Baltimore:
The Muncipal Art Society of Baltimore, 1905
Copyright June 14, 2005 Maryland State Archives