'Defence of Fort McHenry' (Star-Spangled Banner) in Analectic Magazine, Vol. IV

Francis Scott KEY

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[KEY, Francis Scott]. “Defence of Fort M’Henry.” IN: The Analectic Magazine, Volume IV; pp. 433-34. Philadelphia: [Moses Thomas], November 1814. Slim octavo, modern half green morocco. $2200.

First edition of the first magazine appearance—less than two months after the first publication—of the lyrics that later became known as “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

“In the fall of 1814 Francis Scott Key was asked to negotiate the release from British forces of a Washington physician, William Beanes, who had been taken prisoner and confined aboard a ship in the British fleet. Key secured the release of Dr. Beanes, but he was detained on the HMS Surprise by the British as preparations were being made to land British troops. Under guard, Key, Beanes and others were released to their ship, the Minden, and on September 13-14, 1814, during the naval bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Key observed the fight from the American vessel. Key remained on deck during the night, and when morning came he was excited to see the American flag still flying over the fort. According to an account of the incident given by Chief Justice Taney, Key composed [what would come to be known as] ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ wrote it out on his way to shore, and revised the notes in his hotel that night. Key is remembered and revered by the American public as the composer of the national anthem. The melody came from the popular British work ‘To Anacreon in Heaven,’ a well-known drinking song. The lyrics were printed in the Baltimore American [newspaper] on September 21, 1814, and although the song became moderately popular, it was not widely accepted as a national song until the time of the Civil War” (ANB). Key’s lyrics appear on pages 433-34 of Volume IV, the November 1814 issue, of The Analectic, “the most important periodical of its era The first 24 issues [of which this issue is the 23rd] were edited by Washington Irving” (Lomazow 107). BAL 11081. Edgar 21; also pages 34-35. Fuld, 532n12. See Streeter 1070.

Marginal fore-edges of pages 429-32 trimmed, some light marginal dampstaining, minor embrowning as usual. An important American literary, historical and musical landmark in extremely good condition.

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