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Baltimore Wholesale Business Directory and Business Circular for the Year 1845
Volume 528, Page 9   View pdf image (33K)
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spot where the Battle Monument now stands, and continued till the new Court
House was built in 1808; the latter, of stone, was near St. Paul's lane, and
stood till the erection of the present county Jail, in 1800.

In 1769, an association, aided by a general subscription, procured a fire en-
gine, at an expense of upwards of $250; and took the name of the " Mechani-
cal Company." This was the first engine in the place; and the association
which procured it may be regarded as the germ of the present extended and
efficient organization of companies for extinguishing fires.

In 1773, about eighty acres of Plowman's, Philpot's and Fell's lands were
added to the east of the town. An alms-house was erected, and work pro-
vided for the poor. On the 20th of August, Mr. Wm. Goddard commenced
the first newspaper, a weekly, under the title of the " Maryland Journal and
Baltimore Advertiser." Before this, it was the custom to take the papers
from, and send advertisements to, Annapolis and Philadelphia. Soon after,
proposals were issued for a circulating library, but the plan failed. Theatri-
cal performances were about this time presented to the inhabitants, in a ware-
house on the corner of Frederick and Baltimore streets; but a small theatre
was afterwards erected in Water street, and the performances continued till
the revolution. The increasing trade and intercourse, at this period, induced
the establishment of a line of stages and packets, by the head of Elk, to and
from Philadelphia.

When the revolutionary crisis came on, as Annapolis was the capital of the
province, the stamps and the teas, upon which duty was to be raised, were
sent to that city. There is no doubt, however, that, had they been sent to
this place instead of that, their reception would have been resisted with equal
energy. On the arrival, in 1774, of the news that the port of Boston had been
closed, a meeting was promptly held, and a committee appointed to corre-
spond with the neighboring colonies. Non-exportation resolves were after-
wards entered into; collections were made for the distressed Bostonians ; and
the most decided measures taken to manifest the patriotic zeal of the citizens.
Several companies were formed, and great exertions were made to procure
arms and ammunition.

Early in the year 1775, there were in the town, 564 houses, and 5,934 in-
habitants. In the course of this year, Mr. John Dunlap established a weekly
paper, called " Dunlap's Maryland Gazette." A battery was commenced on
Whetstone Point, and three massive iron chains, passing through floating
blocks, were stretched across the river, leaving a narrow passage only, on the
side next the fort. In 1776, the members of the Convention authorized the in-
habitants of Baltimore to choose two delegates, to represent the town, exclu-
sive of the four for the county; and on this election there appear to have
been 472 votes taken. The population of the Point, about the same time, was
821. On the 22d of July, the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed
at the Court House, with great rejoicings. In consequence of the possession
of Philadelphia by the British, Congress assembled in Baltimore on the 26th
of December of this year. They occupied Mr. Jacob Fite's house, on the
south-east corner of Baltimore and Liberty streets, which was long afterwards
known as " Congress Hall."

In 1778, foreign goods having become scarce, numerous manufactories of
articles which had been prohibited in the colonies, were established in or near
the town. Hitherto, the merchants of Baltimore had been obliged to obtain
registers, and to enter and clear vessels at Annapolis; but in 1780, a Custom
House was opened, and the naval officer, Thomas Sollers, was authorized to
grant registers for vessels here. In one week in May, there entered one brig,
from France; one ship, three brigs,and five schooners, from the West Indies.


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Baltimore Wholesale Business Directory and Business Circular for the Year 1845
Volume 528, Page 9   View pdf image (33K)
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