Maryland Society Traditions

1)¬†“To Never Disband and Meet Annually”

Fort McHenry veterans met in a tavern at the Fort vowing to meet annually on each anniversary of the bombardment. Subsequent provisions were made by the Defenders organization to allow their descendants to fulfill this vow in perpetuity. Thus, the foundational basis for the Society of the War of 1812 in Maryland originated with the veterans of the Battle of Baltimore. With this vow, also, the custodian-ship of Defenders Day was solidified.

Dedication of the wayside at Fort McHenry marking the tavern location where this vow was taken.

2) Defenders Day

The Society of the War of 1812 in Maryland has honored the Battle Monument on September 12th, the anniversary of the Battle of North Point, in proxy of the Baltimore Defenders, since their passing. The cornerstone was set in place for the Battle Monument on September 12, 1815, the entire City pausing in solemn remembrance. September 12th eventually became known as “Defenders Day, and became an official holiday, taking on the form of the 4th of July in many respects. In its current form, at Fort McHenry, the Army Field Band, 1812 re-enactors, Maryland National Guard Artillery gun salutes, and fireworks complete Defenders’ Day Events.

3) Jackson Day

The annual business meeting takes place at the Maryland Club on or around Jackson Day. Jackson Day is an observance and time to honor of hero Andrew Jackson, who prevailed over the British in January of 1815. As a Society offering, this event provides members with time to reflect on a new year in the ambiance of the Maryland Club.

The Maryland Club in Baltimore.

4) Old Defenders Day (Mint Julep Party)

The Defenders of Baltimore came together in May of 1814 after Napoleon had fallen to the British, making a full-scale British attack on the United States and Baltimore inevitable. The Association of the Defenders of Baltimore chose May 14th as the formal formation, not September 12th, and not April 1st when this official date was recorded in Baltimore City. We have a Mint Julep Party to celebrate the anniversary of the formal date of formation. The Mint Julep beverage has been a longtime Maryland tradition.