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“John Bull and the Baltimoreans” Lampooning British Defeat at Fort McHenry in Baltimore Following their Earlier Success at Alexandria
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Mercy! mercy on me. What fellows those Baltimoreans are. After the example of the Alexandrians I thought I had nothing to do but enter the Town and carry off the Booty. And here is nothing but Defeat and Disgrace!!

A masterpiece of design and composition.

[WAR OF 1812]. WILLIAM CHARLES. Print. John Bull and the Baltimoreans. Satirical engraved aquatint cartoon. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania [October, 1814]. 1 p., 12½ x 9 in. Frame: 18¾ x 15 in.

Inventory #25448       Price: $3,400

Per Wikipedia’s extensive entry on these prints, “Charles, despite being a native Scot, had no compunction in displaying Scots accents out of the mouths of the enemy in the dialogue here, perhaps for humorous reasons as well as accuracy.” Italicized text is a transcript from our print.


[American soldier prodding John Bull:] “Oh! hoh! -- Johnny you thought you had Alexandrians to deal with did you -- But we’ll teach you to know what a flogging is!!!

[John Bull:] “Mercy! mercy on me -- What fellows those Baltimoreans are -- After the example of the Alexandrians I thought I had nothing to do but enter the Town and carry off the Booty -- And here is nothing but Defeat and Disgrace!!!

[Mounted officer, possibly Admiral Cockburn, urging the British on:] “What’s the Matter! you Cowardly rascals! Back back and execute the orders of your Government --We must attack every point that’s assailable!

[a Highlander replies:] “In gude troth Admiral I think ye are as mad as our government Dinna ye ken the General’s kilt -- ye must only attack sie places as Hampton, Havre de Grace, & Alexandria.

[an American sniper in the background firing at General Robert Ross:] “Now for this Chap on Horseback with the plaid Bonnet on -- There – there’s a Rifle pill for you -- Thats a quietus.

[Ross:] “Deil [sic] tak that Republican rascal wi his Rifle gun for he’s blawn my brains out.

Historical Background
Having burned the Capitol and captured Alexandria without a fight, the British sailed up the Chesapeake. On September 12, their army and navy attempted a combined assault on Baltimore. Thanks in part to a storm (likely a hurricane) that hit the fleet right after the burning of Washington, and in part due to the foray into Alexandria, the Americans had just enough time to strengthen critical American defenses and organize resistance. The bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore harbor failed, and General Ross was killed by an American sniper. The British retreat provided America with a major morale boost after the destruction of Washington.

Condition: Overall very good and vibrant. Lower left corner expertly restored—loss is about the size of a Kennedy half dollar.

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