War of 1812 in Baltimore

Researching the War of 1812 in Baltimore

How to get started:

The Fort McHenry Library has put together a good list of digital resources to begin your research.

Resources at the BCA and MSA:

  • BRG22: The records from the War of 1812 located at the Baltimore City Archives were gathered into a single Record Group, which has been digitized and linked online through the Guide to Government Records.
  • S931: Miscellaneous documents pertaining to the War held at the Maryland State Archives. Includes requests for arms, names of volunteers, applications for commissions, orders on the treasury, accounts, payrolls, settlements of claims, vouchers, and more.  See also S926 and S927
  • S1075: Correspondence to and from the Governor and Council
  • S1004: Executive papers, indexed
  • S1005: Sharf Collection consisting of correspondence and includes a number of military-related records.  Index available online
  • S348: Militia Appointments- record of officers commissioned in Maryland units
  • General Assembly Journals: Journals of the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates which contain messages from the governor, correspondence, and other information relating to Maryland’s preparations for the War

How to find:


  • The City Directory for 1814-1815, the information of which was gathered in the fall of 1813, gives an excellent snapshot of the City of Baltimore on the eve of the British attack.  Directories for other years can be found on our City Directories page.
  • The Defenders of Maryland in the War of 1812 Database from the Fort McHenry Library provides documents including muster rolls, obituaries, photos and burial sites of citizen-soldiers and Federal forces from Maryland the served during the War of 1812
  • BRG4-1: General Property Tax Books held by the Baltimore City Archives have been digitized from 1799-1812, 1818-1822. These books contain information including names of individuals and companies, assessment amount or tax, and payments. Some give race, out-of-town residence, occupation, and property improvements. After 1812, the include property information such as furniture, horses, special fees and taxes, abatements, adjustments, bank stock, and more.
  • BRG4-2: Assessor Tax Records held by the Baltimore City Archives have been digitized from 1800-1810, 1813, 1816-1824, 1827, 1836-1837. These ledgers generally contain the same information as the tax books in BRG4-1 but are arranged internally by streets and often contain modifications and corrections made by the field assessors.
  • The 1810 Census and the 1820 Census have been digitized and placed onto Archive.org, and provide a look at the population a few years before and a few years after the war.



The following newspapers were printed during the War of 1812 and are available at the Maryland State Archives:

  • Baltimore Telegraph SC5055
  • Baltimore Telegraph and Mercantile Advertiser SC5054
  • Federal Gazette & Baltimore Daily Advertiser SC3722 (Also available through GenealogyBank; Readex/America’s Historical Newspapers)
  • American and Commercial Daily Advertiser SC3392 (Also available through Google Newspapers; GenealogyBank; Readex/America’s Historical Newspapers)
  • Federal Republican & Commercial Gazzette SC4054 (Also available through GenealogyBank; Readex/America’s Historical Newspapers)
  • Baltimore Whig SC3259
  • Baltimore Patriot & Evening Advertiser SC3683 (Also available through GenealogyBank; Readex/America’s Historical Newspapers)
  • Baltimore Patriot and Evening Advertiser SC5058 (Also available through GenealogyBank; Readex/America’s Historical Newspapers)

Thanks to Owen Lourie at the MSA for this newspaper compilation.

Government Activity:

  • BRG16-5 and BRG16-17 contain digital versions of the manuscript and published ordinances and resolutions passed by the Baltimore City Council. Links to the ordinances and resolutions as well as the Journal of Proceedings are located on our City Council e-publications page
  • BRG9-2 Mayor’s Correspondence contains HRS Indexed descriptions of paper correspondence from the Mayor with other offices, departments, and outside people and businesses.

This web site is presented for reference purposes under the doctrine of fair use. When this material is used, in whole or in part, proper citation and credit must be attributed to the Maryland State Archives. PLEASE NOTE: The site may contain material from other sources which may be under copyright. Rights assessment, and full originating source citation, is the responsibility of the user.

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