1000's Take Oath


Baltimore Police Department
1000's Take Oath

Baltimore Police History 21 Aug 1902, the entire department was forced to re-take their oath of office, as prior to this day, they had improperly and illegally been sworn, and had been improperly sworn for 35 years, based on the following:

Sun paper article dated 21 August 1902 titled, "1000 to take Oath" 
the entire police force, including Matrons, Must be Re-Sworn

1000 to take Oath

Entire Police Force, Including Matrons, Must Be Re-Sworn

Old Form Declared Illegal

Mr. Alonso Miles, Counsel For The Board, Makes The Discovery And Change Is Ordered.

Is possible that for 30 years, or ever since the recognition of the Police Department in 1867, the members of the department have been sworn in illegally?

Is it possible that each and every member of the department, from the Veteran Marshall to the most Verdant Probationary Patrolman, carrying his Espantoon like a stick of dynamite, must file up to the courthouse, pay $.10 and be properly sworn in by the clerk of the Superior Court?

These questions are not vaguely speculative but have assumed distinct form, and already preparations have been made for the swearing-in once more of the entire department. The walls of the police board sanctum will echo more oaths within the next few days then Dorn any other. Since the board was created.

News of this remarkable prospect only leaked out yesterday (Wednesday, 20 Aug 1902), and behind it is an interesting story. Hitherto it has always been the custom for the secretary of the board of police commissioners to swear in the newly appointed or promoted policeman. The system has been in vogue since the recognition of the department and its legal status has never heretofore been questioned. It is probably a relic of the old regime when the department was a municipal organization. The discovery that the old way of administering the oath is illegal was due to the desire of the present board to conform with the letter of the law in all matters.

Mr. Upshur Investigates

When Marshal Farnan was appointed to his present rank on August 8 it happened that Mr. Joshua H Kinsley, the secretary of the board, was spending his vacation at the seashore. After the appointment had been made the question arose who should administer the oath of his new office to Marshall Farnan. Present ups are for the time being by concluding that as the secretary had administered the oath in the past, the president of the board had an equal right to do so, especially as the president is empowered to administer the oath to witnesses at trials. He accordingly swore in Marshal Farnan.

Afterward, in thinking over the matter, it occurred to Mr. Upshur that, while he had as much right to swear in an officer as a secretary, the authority of the latter official to do so was not entirely clear.

Mr. of sire being a lawyer, the subject naturally interested him and he made a diligent search of the state and police loss but failed to find any statue which would enlighten him. Realizing then that the matter was an important one and required immediate attention, he determined to call the attention to Mr. Alonso W. Miles, the Council to the board, to the subject. This was accordingly done.

Counsel Miles Opinion

Mr. Miles devoted much time to the subject and after a painstaking investigation came to the conclusion that since its organization in 1867 no member of the Police Department has been sworn in legally. This option he based upon a section of the Maryland Constitution and a statue of the public general laws of Marilyn. Section 6 of article 1 of the Constitution is as follows:

every person elected or appointed to any office of profit or trust, under this Constitution, or under the laws made pursuant thereto, shall, before he enters upon the duties of such office, take “and subscribe to the following oath or affirmation:

“I, _______, do swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I will support the Constitution of United States; and that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the state of Maryland, and support the Constitution and laws thereof; and that I will, to the best of my skill and judgment, diligently and faithfully, without partiality or prejudice, execute the office of ________ according to the Constitution and laws of the state, and (if the governor, senator, member of the house of delegates or judge) that I will not directly, or indirectly receive the profits of, or any part of the profits, or any other office during the term of my acting as _______.”

Article 7 of the public general laws deal with official oaths, by whom, when and where they must be taken. After describing the oath for the governor, secretary of state, judges, comptroller incorporation officers, the article section 6 says:

all other officers elected or appointed to any office of trust or profit under the Constitution or laws of the state, including the mayor or other chief magistrates of municipal corporations, shall take and subscribe the said oaths, in the city of Baltimore before the clerk of the Superior Court, and in several counties before the clerk of the circuit court or before one of the sworn deputies of such clerk’s.

Section 7 says:

The said clerk shall each procure and keep in his office a well-bound book, to be called a test book, in which shall be printed or conspicuously written the oaths aforesaid, and every person taking or subscribing the same shell Annex to his signature the title of the office to which he shall have been elected or appointed, and the date of his signature.

Section 2 of the same article 6 is the fee of the clerk for ministering the oaths at $.10 each.

1000 Will Swear Anew

At yesterday’s meeting of the board, Mr. Miles submitted to the board the result of his investigation. Immediate action was then taken. Deputy clerk Peter Stevens, of the Superior Court, was summoned to the boardroom and consulted about the best possible means of administering that oath to the 1009 members of the Police Department. He was also ordered to procure a book to be used as a “test book” in which will be preserved to signatures of each officer. This announcement will probably cause an immense expenditure of ink on the part of those who signatures resembled Chinese laundry tickets and who will naturally desire to improve their penmanship.

The work of Reese wearing in the membership of the department will begin at once and will be carried on as rapidly as is consistent with the workings of the department. Exactly how it will be done has as yet not been definitely settled. There are 1000 members of the Police Department, including matrons and employees, and it $.10 each these Wilmette the clerk of the Superior Court about $100.

A Great Surprise to the Board

President Upshur was seen last night at the Maryland club. In answer to questions about the change in the manner of swearing in the members of the department he said:

“Yes, it has been found necessary to re-administer the oath of office to every member of the department. Mr. Miles announced to the board today that this was necessary, and the work of Reese wearing in the officers will begin at once. Mr. Stevens has been ordered to procure a test book, and the swearing-in of the men will probably take place in the boardroom.

“The discovery that the oaths as administered to the officers by the secretary of the board is illegal was a great surprise to the board. Ever since the recognition of the department in 1867, it has been the custom of the secretary to swear in the officers, and his right to do so has never, I believe, been questioned. As soon as Mr. Miles gave his opinion on the subject the board ordered that all of the men must take another oath, as prescribed by the law.”

Doesn’t Affect Departmental Acts

Mr. Alonso W Miles counsel to the board, at first declined to discuss the matters, but when pressed to talk, said:

“There is no doubt that the manner in which the oath of office has been administered in the past is illegal. The law is very plain and definite as to the manner in which the oath must be administered, and the wonder is that the fact should not have been discovered years ago. The question involved, however, is one of a minor detail and does not affect anything that the department has done or any arrest that has been made. The law says that a fee of $0.10 is required for each oath and the men themselves will probably have to pay this fee.”

Mr. Peter Stevens, deputy Kirk of Superior Court, was seen but declined to say anything about the matter. He admitted, however, that he had been called to the board on business.

See article HERE

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Ptlm Thomas Norton - Sgt Philip J. Flood.


Patrolman Thomas Norton

Sergeant Philip J. Flood.

Patrolman Thomas Norton
NortonPatrolman Thomas Norton


Policeman Re-appointed

8 April 1898

8 April 1898 – page 10

Policeman Re-appointed

The police board yesterday reappointed Sgt. Henry Shoemack and patrolman S. J. D. Wilson, Andrew Jemison and James and. McGeeney, of the central district, Sgt. Philip flood and patrolman Lewis the bus of the southern district; patrolman John Nix and George and. Kissner, of the Eastern district; patrolman Matthews for an Edwin M. Taylor of the Northeast district, and patrolman Joseph Brummer, of the Western district.

Saved Boy from Drowning

31 August 1901

31 August 1901 – page 12

Saved Boy from Drowning

Patrolman Norton Dives Overboard in Full Uniform

Patrolman Thomas Norton, of the southern district, played the role of a hero yesterday at ferry bar by diving into the water in full uniform and saving a life of Adolph Pfeffer, 16 years old, of 14 the PepsiCo Street

Young Pfeiffer, who had been crabbing was seized with a fit and fell into the water. Sgt. Flood and patrolman Norton were nearby, and the patrolman jumped into the water and with the assistance of Sgt. flood got the boy out. He was sent to his home in the southern patrol wagon, and patrolman Norton went home and changed his clothing.

Boy Tells of Holdup

27 October 1902

27 October 1902 – page 12

Boy Tells of Holdup

11 – Year – Old William Snyder Says He Was Robbed

Saved Watch by Screaming

but is $.25 is gone – John, 17 years old, and Henry Stockman, 14 years, arrested.

A community visitor from Masonville, Anne Arundel County, will return to his home today after an experience with the boys of South Baltimore which will doubtless cause him to look upon them with suspicion and fear for some time to come. In a full light of day and just off a busy thoroughfare he says he was held up and robbed of $.25, saving the watching war only by desperate resistance and lusty cries for help. The visitor is William Snyder – 11 years old, and locked up at the southern police station are: John – 17 years old, living on Williams Street. And Henry Stockman – 14 years old, 1614 Elizabeth Ln.

Snyder came to Baltimore to visit and aunt who lives on Denver Street, and about 2P. M. Was walking along that highway, which leads from light Street to the good ship Dale, in company with Williams Slert, 1211 Peach Alley, when, so he claims, three boys, all considerably larger than he, rust from the bushes on the side of the road and in dramatic tones commanded the two to “stand and deliver.” Sitting in the attack the realization of stories they had heard of how boys of that location “hung out” adventures who dared to trespass on their grounds, and afraid of the consequences of an attempt to escape, the two “stood.”

The “delivering” part, however, appears to have been less easy. To slurred the alleged highway men paid little attention. As there were no signs of wealth about him, they contended themselves with the posting one of their number over him was orders to cover his eyes. But the generally prosperous look of Snyder and a gold watch and chain which dangled from his pocket concentrated interest upon him. While one held his hands over Snyder’s eyes, the other is alleged to have searched his pocket. The victim sobbed when he left quarter department, but when strange hands grasped his watch and chain he arose in his wrath and get, screamed and fought so energetically and lustily that, though the chain was broken as the robbers fled, the timepiece remained.

Then with tears streaming down his cheeks and a sharp contrast to his manly stride, Snyder called his companion and the two sought out patrolman Thomas Norton between sobs the choked is utterance he told his story, and a few minutes later the patrolman picked up And Stockman. They were deeply engaged in watching the stringing of wires on light Street, and Snyder hid behind the big policeman’s farm as he walked up to them.

The to use under arrest are charged with simple assault.

“You be here tomorrow morning at 8 o’clock” said round Sgt. refer to Snyder at the police station, after the two accused had been locked up.

“If mom will let me come,” answered the boy

“Tell Mama that you must come,” said round Sgt. “all right, sir” said Snyder as he and his friend departed together.

Egypt’s Wonders Pictured

19 March 1909

19 March 1909 – page 9

Policeman Saves Two Lives

Mrs. Praeger and Mr. Alt. Carried from Burning Home.

Patrolman Thomas Norton, the champion wrestler of the southern district, distinguished himself early yesterday morning by saving the lives of Mrs. Catherine Praeger, 76 years old, and her son-in-law, Mr. Frantz Alt, from their burning home, 1500 Hanover St.

Mr. Norton was returning home with his wife and daughter when he saw smoke coming from the windows of the house. He threw himself against the door and burst it open. He was met by Mrs. Lena all, who shouted to him to save her mother, who was on the second floor. Norton put a handkerchief over his face and made his way to the second floor, where his foot struck the body of Mrs. Praegner. He picked her up and carried her to the home of Mr. Andrew Wilber, who lives across the street. When he went back he was told by Mrs. Alt that her husband had gone upstairs to fight the fire and see was afraid he would be overcome. Again Mr. Norton entered the house and carried Mr. Alt down the stairs.

The damage will not amount to more than a few hundred dollars (this was in 1909)

Arraignments 3 – No Title

20 October 1909

20 October 1909 – page 3

Married a Half Century

Mr. and Mrs. Henry Mack, parents of patrolman David Mack of the southern district celebrated their golden wedding anniversary at their home 120 W. Fort Ave., Monday night. The celebration was arranged by their children and the old folks were greatly surprised when their friends called.

Mr. Mac was born in Ireland, and as a boy he came to this country with his parents among those at the reception were Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Egan, Charles Begnelle, Lloyd Clayton, Raymond Feidt, Thomas Norton, Thomas Williams, Henry Kirby, Ms. Rosa McMahon, master Edward Larkins, Henry Mack, Dominic Larkins, Johnny Mac, William Mack, John Damon, William Delman, Charles Wilkes and William Patrick.



Iris Goat Likes Beer

19 July 1912

19 July 1912 – page 12

Iris Goat likes Beer

also Nibbles of the Luscious Limburger with his Beverage.

Patrolman Thomas Norton, of the southern district, as an Iris goat the drinks beer and each Limburger cheese, spars like a prize fighter and earns his living in prosperous times by being the business and of a goat express service – at least that’s what patrolman Norton says.

Billy bouncer, as is versatile goat is named, comes from Belfast about eight years ago on the Ulstermore. His home from that day on this has been 136 Westport Ave., where patrolman Norton, his wife and nine children live. Billy was given a good but practical education by his adopted master.

Bill’s business is hauling a green express wagon, usually full of children around the block. He is extremely popular in his neighborhood and is met Capt. cold and other big men of the South Baltimore police district. There was once circulated a Libby Lewis report the patrolman Norton said his goat on police lookout sheets, but this was denied.

Yet Billy is not a prohibitionist and is never requested the honor of becoming acquainted with Mr. William H Anderson.

Sgt. Flood Dies Suddenly

7 January 1913

7 January 1913 – page 5

Veteran Policeman who Died Suddenly

Sgt. Philip A. Flood

Sgt. Flood Dies Suddenly

Expires in Wife’s Arms – Had Excellent Police Record

Stricken with apoplexy in the dining room of his home, 1423 Light St., Sergeant Philip A. Flood, of the southern district, who had one of the best records in the police department, died in the arms of his wife at 1130 o’clock yesterday morning.

Sgt. Flood, who was on night duty, return to his home shortly after 4 o’clock yesterday morning, he rose shortly after 9 o’clock and complained of feeling ill. Mrs. Flood advised him to walk in the yard, thinking the air would relieve him. He went to the kitchen door, but did not go out, saying it was too cold. Mrs. Flood prepared a cup of coffee, which he drank, and he then went to the dining room and laid on the couch. His wife suggested that a physician be called, but he said he was not so ill that he needed a doctor.

Going to the kitchen to finish household duties, Mrs. Flood heard a sound as though her husband was choking. She went to his side and raise him in her arms. A physician was called, but the Sgt. died before his arrival.

Sgt. flood was born November 7, 1855. He was appointed a patrolman November 11, 1882, and was made Sgt. April 10, 1886. From the time of his appointment he served in the southern district. Three times he was commended by the board of police commissioners.

In 1890 he was commended for the arrest of George Mason, who was convicted of stealing a yacht. Five years later he arrested William Metz Dorf, who was convicted of smashing a number of store windows and stealing valuable articles. This arrest bar brought another commendation, as did the arrest of Charles Boyd alias Henry coaster, who was convicted in 1898 on the charge of using United States males to defraud.

Sgt. Flood was a member of the ancient order of him brands and of St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Catholic Church. He is survived by his widow miss Molly a flood: four daughters, Ms. Rose LeCompte, and Mrs. Anna, Margaret and Betsy flustered, one brother, John T Flood; one sister, miss Elizabeth Flood, and one grandson, Philip LeCompte.

60 Patrolman to March

10 January 1913

10 January 1913 – page 3

60 Patrolman to March

Capt. Cole will be in Command at Sgt. Flood’s Funeral.

The funeral of Sgt. Philip J. Flood, of the southern district, who died suddenly last Monday, will take place at 9 o’clock this morning 10 January 1913 from the Catholic Church of St. Mary’s Star of the Sea, Riverside Avenue and Clement Street. The procession will leave his home, 1423 Light St., at 830 o’clock Rev. J. T. Whalen, Francis Flanagan and Albert Smith will celebrate requiems mass.

Under the personal command of Capt. Cole, 60 patrolman of the southern district, in full dress uniform, will attend the service. Eight sergeants will be honorary pallbearers and six patrolman acted upon their. A large delegation from the ancient order of hibernians will also attend.

The honorary pallbearers will be round Sgt. on and Sgt. guess one, Owens, Ramsey, Shultz, white, Pfister, and the abuse. The active pallbearers will be patrolman William McCue, Thomas Norton, Robert Sullivan, George Lamarr, Matthew Cavanaugh, William Blank, Benjamin Vickers and Lawrence Talbot. Burial will be in Bonnie Bray Cemetery.

Police as Guard of Honor

11 January 1913

11 January 1913 – page 3

Police as Guard of Honor

Sgt. Flood Born to Grave by Former Conrad’s

60 patrolman of the southern district, under the command of Capt.: Lieut. Glenn, acted as guard of honor at the funeral of Sgt. Philip J. Flood yesterday morning. Sgt. Flood died suddenly at his home, 1423 Light St., Monday morning.

Short services were held at the house at 830 o’clock and at 9 o’clock a high mass of Requiem was celebrated at St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Catholic Church. Rev. John T. Well in, pastor of St. Mary’s, was the celebrant. He was assisted by Rev. Francis Flanagan as deacon and Rev. Albert E. Smith as sub deacon

The honorary pallbearers were round Sgt. on and sergeants Gesswein, Owens, Ramsey, Schiltz, white, Pfister and DeBuse, of the southern district; Sgt. Griffith, of the Western district, and Sgt. Rowell of the Northwestern district

The active pallbearers were patrolman McCue, Norton, Sullivan, Lamarr, Cavanaugh, link, Talbot and Vickers. A large delegation from the ancient order of Hibernians was present. A number of beautiful floral designs, including one from the police of the southern district, were received.

Sgt. Gave Password

7 April 1913

7 April 1913 – page 12

Negroes Fight Policeman

Clothes torn, but he landed them in the station.

John Williams and Joseph Turner, Negroes, who gave their respective residences as 1218 North Calhoun St. and 118 West Hill St., tried to take possession of a light streetcar yesterday afternoon while imbued with a spirit of conquest and Sunday whiskey.

Patrolman Thomas Norton, of the southern district, boarded the car and in some way got them off at West and light streets. He was proceeding toward the southern police station by way of Marshall Street when both the Negroes turned on him and tried to beat him and get away. Though taken off his guard, Norton defended himself until Sgt. Owens and patrolman Nelligan came to his rescue.

Brennan to be Retired

16 February, 1914

16 February, 1914 – Page 12

Brennan to be Retired

Veteran detective ordered before police surgeons first survey – has been 34 years on the force rumor has it that others of the older men of the department will be retired.

After 34 years of service in the police department Peter J. Brennan, for 16 years a headquarters Detective, has been directed to appear before the board of police surgeons for a physical examination and it is likely that in less then a week he will be retired from active service.

Detective Brennan was not surprised when he received the order from secretary Kinsley Saturday afternoon, for these have been rumored for some time that some of the older man in the department would be retired.

Pres. McEvoy of the police board said last night that the decision of retirements came up at the board meeting last Friday after testimony had been heard in a trial of patrolman Thomas Norton, of the southern district. Norton was accused of drinking intoxicating liquor while on duty. He pleaded that he had been suffering from grip and was taking medicine. Norton is 60 years old. The Commissioner reserved their decision

Pres. McEvoy’s Polley

Pres. McAvoy declared during the trial that the board did not expect a policeman to remain on duty if he was ill. “It is an injustice to the men to permit them to remain on duty if they are ill.” he said.

It is said that a number of retirements are considered and it is understood that a physical survey of the personnel of the entire department will be made in the near future.

Detective Brennan is one of the most widely known of headquarters men. He was appointed a patrolman December 2, 1880, made Sgt. June 1, 1884 and appointed detective in 1886. He had served under Detective Capt. Freeburger, Pumphrey and McGovern and has been rated a first-class detective.

To his many friends he is known as “Pete” Brennan. In the old days when Baltimore was a stopping off place for high-class crooks and was there most dangerous foe in the banking districts. He has been commended many times by his superiors

Capture of Mooney in Denver
One of Brennan’s notable feats was the arrest of Lee Mooney, the leader of rigor and Mooney streetcar holdup in June 1904. The car, on the lake side line of the United railways, was held up, the conductor shot in the head and several pastors robbed of their money and jewelry. Brennan new Moody. Rigor was arrested in Ohio and a month later Capt. Pumphrey received word that Mooney was in Colorado. Brennan and Ackerman went to Denver and while walking near the Denver post office, Brennan saw Mooney leave the post office. Brennan leveled his pistol at Mooney.

“It’s all up, Pete, you’ve got me.” Said Mooney, who was armed with a brace of pistols. He was shackled where he stood and brought to this city.
Brennan was ordered before the police surgeons for survey 10 April, 1912. The report was submitted to president Soper, and the commissioners decided that he was not ready for retirement

Brian Schwaab
Sergeant Philip J. Flood

floodSergeant Philip J. Flood

Sergeant Philip Flood was born in this city on November 7, 1855. He was appointed to the police force on November 11, 1882, and on April 9, 1886, was commissioned as sergeant.

Our Police 1888
Pg 372

Patrolman Thomas Norton had a colorful career, he was a champion wrestler for the department, and was often headline news for saving lives, and selfless acts of heroism. Often times Sergeant Flood was by his side, or not long after on scene as will be found in the following aricles;
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Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pics to 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222

Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll



Houdini Comes to Town


The Magic in Baltimore Police History
Houdini Comes to Town 

26 April 1916 no less than 50,000 men, women and children jammed shoulder to shoulder in downtown Baltimore to see Harry Houdini the famous escape artist, give the greatest free show that up until that time the city had never seen.  In front of the old Sun Paper Building at Baltimore and Charles Streets was a block and tackle which extended down to a platform on the sidewalk facing the Savings Bank of Baltimore.  The short stocky magician stripped off his coat and dropped to a sitting position on the platform, his assistants James Collins and James Victory swiftly went to put padding around his ankles, applying a brace to his ankles that would be attached to the rope of the block and tackle above.  Then our Baltimore Police ancestors Patrolmen George W.  Baudel and James a. Moncks both of which were trained in the use of the restraint having worked the cell block, pulled their jacket a regulation Baltimore Police Straight jacket tight behind the Houdini’s back, tugging to fasten the leather straps as securely as they possibly could.  They then placed his sheathed arms across his chest and again yanked and tugged until the thongs at the closed end of the sleeves were buckled tightly to the rear of the straitjacket and the final strap going from front to back between the performer's legs preventing him from simply slipping the jacket over his head were put into place and secured. Soon he was being hoisted, head downwards, high above the streets of Baltimore.  When he was approximately 50 feet in the air an official timekeeper from the Sun Paper gave a signal and the struggle the crowd had come to see began. Houdini squirmed and twisted in the air like a wicket tuna at the end of a fishing line.  His face became red then redder by the moment as his blood rushed to its head. Every 5 seconds the man with a stopwatch shouted the time, “50-seconds – 55-seconds – 1 minute, by the 1.5-minute mark one of his arms had freed its buckle.  That brought cheers, his other arm was wrenched three at 1:55. Another minute he had begun to slip the jacket from his body, 30 seconds later the canvas and leather police restraint was seen to plummet from 50 feet in the air, down into the crowd below.  A mighty roar came from the crowd greeting his success; the master showman smiled and extended his arms, taking his bow while still upside down... and still hanging 50 feet in the air.

For Houdini fans, it might be interesting to know that Houdini performed often in Baltimore. So while it is not as fascinating as the upside-down escape jacket, But still interesting; in the Tony Curtis movie, reflecting the life and time of harry Houdini, we see Bess, Harry’s wife angry because she didn’t want him doing the “Chinese Water Torture Cell” and made it seem as if the first time he had done the trick it took his life. Truth be told, while in Baltimore many years earlier Harry performed what he described as his most strenuous performance ever. At each performance, he would be locked upside down in a water-filled “Chinese Water Torture Cell” and freed himself every time, a trick he had performed for many many years going back to 1916 right here in Good ole Baltimore.

Over the years, some of the names recorded by the Sun Paper as having assisted him on stage were. Marshal Robert Carter. Turnkey John Lanahan, Patrolman John Kelly, and Officers George W.  Baudel and James a. Moncks.  

NOTE - Turnkey John J. Lanahan was killed in the line of duty, he had a Houdini crossing which was told often by him to his friends and family, as well, his partner at the time, Patrolman John Kelly also recounted the story of that meeting. Some say they don’t think it was true because it was not covered, what they don’t know is Houdini controlled the stories written about him. In this case, he simply didn’t have his paid reporter, report the story. I doubt John Kelly and John Lanahan would have created such a tail.  What follows is the story as told many years later in a 1926 Sun paper article by Ptlm John Kelly. 

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Stories of Saratoga Street Station Recalled by Patrolman

26 Nov 1926

“Temporary” Headquarters, Occupied 18 Years, was Seen of Houdini Exhibition and Only Murder Committed In City Police Building

When the city cell of the old central police station building on Saratoga street the police department will lose it's champion long-distance temporary location.

Originally occupied by an African American High School, the building was converted for use as a police station after the old Central Station on Guilford Avenue, near Lexington Street had been condemned.  This was in 1908.  Even at that time, talk of a new Police Headquarters Building had begun to enter into the minds of public officials, and four years later the "Enabling act" was passed by the voters at the General Election.

War Delays Building

Before negotiations for the location, building plans etc were complete the World War II came, and it was not until about three months prior to this news story – 18 years after the Central District’s establishment in the Saratoga Street Building – that had by this point found itself as the permanent quarters planned for it.

Standing out from the usual run of happenings common to Baltimore Police stations after two that Patrolman continues to remember in connection with the "Old Building."  10 years ago, the late Harry Houdini gave an exhibition of his skill in the old cell-room.  Yesterday Patrolman John Kelly, a property clerk and one of the oldest men on the district force, recalled the story of the magician's escape from one of the old Central District Cells.

Houdini escaped from a cell

“Turnkey John J. Lanahan, and I [Ptlm John Kelly] escorted Houdini into the cell-room, Patrolman Kelly related, “Houdini stopped at the first cell, shook the bars, and remarked that they were not strong enough!" A few cells further he stopped again as he grasped the bars this time he grabbed up higher on the cell door, I [Kelly] noted that he dropped something above the cell door on top the cell's roof." Kelly continued, “After he had gone to the rear of the room to undress, I found a thin, twisted piece of steel with flat ends.  I seized it and handed it to John just as Houdini made his appearance.  John looked him over and lock him up.  As we were about to leave the cell-block area Houdini called out for us to give him his “pick.” It was returned to him, and a few seconds later he had freed himself.”

Patrolman shot by suspect

In July 1919, the only murder that ever took place in a Baltimore Police Station occurred in the old Central Building.  Frank Wezniak, who had been arrested as a suspected burglar, shot Turnkey John Lanahan through the heart as the turnkey was searching him in the assembly room.

Wezniak then fired at Lieutenant William J.  Klinefelter I [Ptlm John Kelly] was sitting behind a desk.  The bullet lodged in the wall behind Kelly, and Wezniak was quickly overpowered by several patrolmen.  He was given a life term in the penitentiary.

Although the building was large and well-constructed, the fact that it was situated on one of the steepest hills in the city ‘caused many difficulties.

Breaks Leg on Ice

“The second night after we had moved into our new quarters,” recalled Patrolman William (“Uncle Billy”) Warnsman, “One of the patrolman broke his leg while walking down the hill to go on duty.  It was freezing at the time, and the man slipped on some sheet ice.  In the winter it often was impossible for the wagon to make its run because of the snow and ice.

“It was a common occurrence for persons who had come into the station to make a complaint, or summon the police to be unable to talk for a minute or more because of their insertion in climbing up the grade of the sidewalk/path which led to the station house entrance.”

And those are just a few of the many stories involving Baltimore's Magic with Harry Houdini and the Baltimore Police, giving us a few names we never heard of and a few names that have been heard from our Baltimore Police past.

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Copies of: Your Baltimore Police Department Class Photo, Pictures of our Officers, Vehicles, Equipment, Newspaper Articles relating to our department and or officers, Old Departmental Newsletters, Lookouts, Wanted Posters, and or Brochures. Information on Deceased Officers and anything that may help Preserve the History and Proud Traditions of this agency. Please contact Retired Detective Kenny Driscoll.

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How to Dispose of Old Police Items

Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to Honor the fine men and women who have served with Honor and Distinction at the Baltimore Police Department. Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pics to 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222


Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll 


American Patch And Pin

When asked where we have our patches done we are quick to say American Patch and Pin. Over the years we have had many patches made. We had Retired Baltimore City Police patches made in both full size and baseball cap. Then we had Pink Baltimore City Police Patches, Motto Patches, all three of these designs came in both full size and smaller baseball cap sized patches. We did 2015 Riot patches, Motor and Marine unit anniversary patches. Every time we ordered no less than 300 sometimes as many as 600. Before Ken found American Patch and in every time we made an order we had problems, That is why Ken went looking for a new company and found American Patch and Pin. Ken has had more than 1000 patches made, only having to send his design in, and with no questions they make the patch, First sending the mock up witch has always been spot on. I don't know what else to say, other than if you want your patches made fast and made right, oh and affordable. Go where we go, contact the fine folks at American Patch Company. to switch to their page click HERE American Patch And Pin​ an Award winning manufacturers of Custom Embroidered Patches, Lapel Pins, Challenge Coins and Trading Pins.

Here are some of the designs Ken had made by other patch makers. When you see these next to just one of American Patch Maker's work you'll see why Ken will only by from

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Below is the Commemorative Shoulder Patches we had made by The American Patch Company. These represent our 1952 Shoulder patch, prior to 1952 The Baltimore Police Department didn't wear a shoulder patch. The first shoulder patch came in that year and was designed as a Rocker type patch, they used a Black background, with yellow/gold fonts and outline/boarder When they made this patch it was Black with Gold/Yellow Border and Fonts. A little known fact is that around the same time they had these made they had some White/Blue patches made too. The idea was to put the Black/Gold patches on an officer's the Coat and Class A uniform Blouse, while on the shirt they were thinking about putting the White Patch that had a Blue Boarder, and Fonts. After serious consideration they went with black/gold on just the coats at first, eventually adding them the shirt because by now Officers were not wearing coats in the summer months anymore, and would need a shoulder patch on their shirts too. These Blue/White Commemorative Shoulder patches can be purchased, they come in a set that has bother the black/Gold and a White/Blue. Send us an email, we ask for a donation of 15.00 that covers shipping and both patches.Our email is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. add a note that these are for the 2PC 1952 Commemorative Shoulder Patch Set

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Sale Price on any of the Full size, or baseball cap sized patches for just $5.50 each

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When you follow the link you just type in your dollar mount based on how many you want, then send us a list of which patches you wanted.
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All of our Patches look better in your hands than they do in the photos I've taken.

All our products are backed by a 100% money back guarantee. - Receive a Free High Resolution PDF Proof Before You Pay. - If you are not absolutely delighted with your purchase  your money will be cheerfully refunded. - Please click on the item of interest below and see how much money you can save by doing business  with American Patch and Pin.

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Copies of: Your Baltimore Police Department Class Photo, Pictures of our Officers, Vehicles, Equipment, Newspaper Articles relating to our department and or officers, Old Departmental Newsletters, Lookouts, Wanted Posters, and or Brochures. Information on Deceased Officers and anything that may help Preserve the History and Proud Traditions of this agency. Please contact Retired Detective Kenny Driscoll.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Devider color with motto


How to Dispose of Old Police Items

Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to Honor the fine men and women who have served with Honor and Distinction at the Baltimore Police Department.

Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pics to 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222


Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll 

Auxiliary Police

December 1941, our Police Commissioner organized an "Auxiliary Police Force," a "Civilian Defense Organization", which had a membership of approximately two thousand white and colored persons, whose services are on a strictly voluntary basis without remuneration of any character. These men were selected from owners of big business and executives, as well as other men from all walks of life including laborers. They provide at their own expense, uniforms, and patrol box keys, the department furnished badges, whistles, and Espantoons (nightsticks). They receive ten hours of training in first-aid, two hours instructions in the handling of bombs, and no less than six hours of instruction in police work. During their training period, they were assigned to work with the regular uniformed patrolmen until they had a better understanding of their role and the expectations of the police force. They were required to report to various districts to perform two hours of actual police duty assigned to them by a sworn police Captain.

Aviation Unit

23 October 1970, marked the appearance of a new police tool for the Baltimore Police Department. After many months of planning and researching, a light observation helicopter was officially placed in service by this Department. Availing itself of a Federal grant, the BPD purchased an FH 1100 helicopter. Assembled by the Fairchild Hiller Aircraft Co., Inc., Hagerstown, Md_, the "chopper" met standard requirements and specifications for its service to the City of Baltimore. Special equipment was installed for the unique Departmental "vehicle" a hoist with a lifting capacity of 300 pounds, a 3.5 million candlepower spotlight, a combination siren/public address system, and a "police communications network." Officials involved in the original planning of helicopter use were admittedly awaiting with anticipation the inception of this aid to municipal law enforcement. And now that helicopter patrol is a reality, the five men assigned to that unit have inherited this feeling of anticipation, and even excitement.

P/O Robert Brown

In 1991 Bobby Brown joined the Baltimore Police Department where he was initially assigned the Western District after graduating the academy. In January of 1998 he was transferred to the Southern District where he currently serves. During his career Officer Brown was awarded The Distinguished Service Award, a Bronze Star, three Commendation Ribbons, three Police Commissioner's Special Service Ribbon, (2000, 2008 and 2011), a Ten year Safe Driving Award, and 12 Letters of Commendation.

Street Lamps

Baltimore would obtain Street Lights by order of the Police Department - These lights were oil lamps and they were lit by order of the police, they were extinguished by the police, and they were maintained by order of the police.   

Silver Star

Awarded by the Police Commissioner for an exceptional act or execution of duty performed in the presence of great danger and personal risk without endangering or jeopardizing the lives of others, and performed in such a manner as to clearly indicate that the sworn member performance of duty should have resulted in the prevention or solution of a crime, the arrest of those responsible, and thereby sets apart and distinguishes the member from other members. 

Sun Paper History

The History of The Sun



May 14, 1922

The Sun (1837-1989);; pg. 117

The History of The Sun

Next Wednesday is the 85th anniversary of the day on which the Baltimore Sun made its bow to the world. Achievements since that they are probably without parallel in the newspaper world. Some of them are hereinafter chronicled by Harold E. West, a veteran of The Sun staff, whose long service is exceeded by that of only gray-haired rival of the reportorial staff and whose devotion to the fine tradition of the flock sun is exceeded by that of none.

The little four-page sheet which appeared 85 years ago is reproduced in its entirety on page 5 – 8 of this section.

Judged by present-day standards, The Sun was an odd little seat when it first made its appearance in Baltimore, 17 may 1837, with its appeal for public approval and support. That was just 85 years ago. It had only four pages, each about half the size of the page of the son of today, and there were four columns on each page.

But for all that The Sun of 1837 was a real newspaper, the first the town had. Not that there were no other papers: there were, several of them, but they were largely journals of opinion, fill with essays, with long communications and with weighty editorials on abstruse subjects. They were all “six pennies,” expensive to buy and hard for average man to read. News had little place in their columns. With his one cent paper, whose mission was the printing of news, Arunah Shepherdson adell blazed a new trail in Baltimore. With The Sun the news was the thing. Everything else was incidental or of secondary importance. And from this article of his journalistic creed The Sun has never departed.

Odd as the day would seem, its typographical appearance. It’s “makeup,” the arrangement of its news, as advertisements and the news it printed, the son of May 17, 1837, was the son of May 17, 1922 as the Baltimore of 1837 was the Baltimore of today. For the Baltimore of 1837 was an odd little place, a sprawling, overgrown village of about 85,000 inhabitants. Many of its streets were unpaved, and such as were paved were paved with loose stones spread in the roadway or with cobblestones.

And “Campaigner” Even Then

There was no regular police force. The old “Night Watch”, first established in 1775, was still on the job. The watchmen patrolled the streets with lanterns, calling out the time of the night each quarter hour from 10 PM until daybreak. The familiar cry of “12:30 and all was well” was regarded as a necessity, and it was continued until The Sun, in 1843, pointed out that the practice of calling out the time notified thieves and “other evil disposed persons” of the locality of the Night Watch and gave them the opportunity of fixing the time and locality of their operations. Upon The Sun’s recommendation the practice was abandoned.

Not until the year after The Sun was established in Baltimore have a “day watch,” which consisted of a “high Constable,” one regular policeman for each of the 12 wards, and in each Ward 2 extra men, who could be called upon in emergencies. This, by the way, was a separate organization from the Night Watch, and it was not until 20 years after The Sun was established that the two were combined into one force. In those days would was commonly used as the principal household fuel – coal was freighted down the Susquehanna from the coal regions in “arcs”; the soft coal mines of Maryland and West Virginia had not been opened up; chimney sweeping was a recognized and essential calling, and the grimy slaves made their regular rounds to clean the city’s chimneys of suet as a means of preventing fires.

The Town of Those Days.

The “Meadows,” or “Steiger’s Meadows,” as it was generally known – that stretch of low land line between Calvert Street and Jones falls and what are now Baltimore and Eager Street – was still, to a large extent, unfilled. The city had not been separated from Baltimore County, but was still the county seat.

Roger Brooke Taney had just taken his seat on the Supreme Court of the United States under appointment by Pres. Jackson as Chief Justice to succeed John Marshall; Reverdy Johnson was one of the leaders of the Baltimore bar, and did not yet been elected to the United States Senate, nor become attorney – general; John Pendleton Kennedy was the city’s most promising writer; Johns Hopkins was a leading merchant: the city was even then demanding increased representation in the legislature – it wanted for instead of two members: there was no such thing as a registration of voters, and the city had just acquired peals of museum, on Holliday Street, near Lexington, for a City Hall.

While there was a water company which piped water to more pretentious homes and buildings of the city, a large proportion of the inhabitants secured their water from town pumps, which were on nearly every corner, these pumps going down into Doug Wells. Several large springs also help supply the city with water.

The Society Center

One of these, the city spring on Calvert Street, where mercy hospital now stands, was one of the beauty spots of town. A temple saved dome covered the spring where bubbled up from the ground, and the place was a favorite resort for the gallant and damsels of that day. Calvert, St. Paul, Charles, Lexington, Pleasant, Saratoga, front and Lombard streets were occupied by the homes of the wealthy and fashionable of the city, but even in these homes that tells were not common. What is called “sanitary plumbing” was as undreamed of as the telephone.

Domestic servants were slaves, for the most part, and “free Negroes, were looked upon with disfavor by the white people and the slaves alike. Hoop skirts were in fashion and that “flapper” of that day would’ve died of mortification had her legs been exposed to the gaze of a strange man. Times have changed.

Washington’s Monument had just been completed “on a hill densely covered with trees.” On the outskirts of the city; the cathedral was an almost new building. And Samuel Eccleston was Archbishop of Baltimore. The public school system was in its infancy, there being but eight teachers and about 700 pupils; women teachers were not permitted to instruct even the small boys. The fire department consisted of a number of volunteer companies, which always fought one another first and then turn their attention to the fire. Lotteries were in fashion and were used for the raising of funds for public purposes.

Druid Hill Park was a way out in the county and was still the estate of David N. Rogers, it’s purchase for the park was not having even been considered; Fort McHenry was still an effective defense against the warships of that day.

Lee Then a Capt.

Fort Carol was not begun until 11 years after The Sun made its appearance. Robert E. Lee, who built it and you afterward became commander – in – chief of the armies of the Confederacy, was then a captain of engineer in the United States Army and was superintending the improvements of the harbor of St. Louis and the improvements of the Missouri and upper Mississippi River’s. The Baltimore clipper ships were just beginning to astonish the Maritime world by their wonderful records.

10 years before Charles Caroll of Carrollton, last of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, had laid the cornerstone of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, which, in 1837, had only been completed to Harpers Ferry. The Washington branch of the Baltimore and Ohio had just begun. Ross Wimans, a wonderful mechanical genius, had but recently come to Baltimore from his farm in New Jersey and was experimenting in the building of locomotives for the Baltimore and Ohio; people were still talking about Peter Copper’s first steam locomotive, which have been tried out on the Baltimore and Ohio between Mount Clare in Ellicott city. Merchandise was still brought to Baltimore from the West in big wagons, and people traveled almost all together by stagecoach.

When the Streetcars Came

Of course there was no such thing as streetcars. The first bus line in Baltimore was not established until eight years after The Sun first made its appearance, and The Sun commended this enterprise, declaring that: “in other cities, in addition to the general convenience, these lines of tended to enhance the value of property in the outskirts of the big city, enabling persons to reside at a distance from their place of business in more healthy localities, without loss of time or fatigue from walking, whilst the cost is but a trifle.”

“Incidentally, the cost of a ride was 6 ¼ cents, or a “flip,” was was half of a “bit,” which was 12 ½ cents.

Streetcars did not make their appearance in Baltimore until 21 years after The Sun had been established. There was a big fight over their establishment. The Sun favored the streetcars and an old chronicler states that – “a remonstrance against the granting of authority for the street railway was signed by all the businessmen along Baltimore Street but two, these two being the proprietor of The Sun and Messrs. Howell & Bro.”

Barnum’s hotel, on the present site of the equitable and Calvert buildings, was then new and the leading hotel of the city; the old fountain in, on the site of the present southern hotel, was in the height of his popularity, and that famous old structure, the exchange hotel, which afterward became the Baltimore customhouse and post office building, and which was torn down to make way for the present customhouse, was still a popular hotel, much frequented by Southern plant tears and by ship captains and ship owners. In the basement were cells in which the slaves of travelers were kept overnight. The columns from the rotunda and this old building, regarded as the finest white marble monoliths in the United States, now adorn the court of appeals building at Annapolis.

The war of 1812 was still comparatively a recent event and the war the revolution was fresh in the minds of the older people. Dueling had not gone out of fashion. Mothers called their children, when naughty, “little Hessians,” to indicate that they were behaving like the German mercenaries whom George three had hired from Hesse-Darmstadt and it sent to America to help suppress the desire of America for independence.

The Rising of The Sun

Such was the Baltimore of 1837, a funny little town, judged by present-day standards, when, on 17 may, a copy of The Sun, a funny little paper, judged by the same standards, was laid upon the doorsteps of nearly every dwelling in business house in the city. It took just 15,000 copies to go around. The period was one of great business depression, and when the founder of the paper, Arunah S. Adell, investigated the conditions here in anticipation of establishing his journal, he received very discouraging reports from the proprietors of the other papers to whom he had brought letters of introduction. Those on whom he called were Mr. Poe, of the Chronicle; Messrs. Streeter and Skinner, of the transcript; Messrs. Dobbin, Murphy and Bose, of the American; Mr. Gwynn of the federal Gazette, and Mr. Harkerdi of the Republican. In spite of their gloomy predictions, he felt there was an opening in Baltimore for a penny paper and decided to establish it.

Mr. Adell was a New England printer. He had been born in these Providence, R.., On August 10, 1806. His grandfather, Robert Adell was the grandson of Sir Robert Adell, four of whose sons came to America to avoid religious persecution. When Arunah Adell was 14 he left school and got a job in the store of a dealer in “West India goods,” after two years in the store he determined to become a printer and became an apprentice in the office of the Providence patriot, a Democrat journal of the Jeffersonian school.

Three Musketeers Set Out

With this paper Mr. Adell “served out his time,” and as a journeyman printer started out into the world to make his fortune. There were no railroads and he went from Providence to Boston by stagecoach, and in Boston got himself a job in a print shop. From Boston he later went to New York and promptly secured employment. Here he met his future partners, William M. Swain and Azariah age. Simmons, both practical printers.

The “penny press” had just secured a foothold in New York and the three ambitious young men discussed the advisability of establishing another penny newspaper there. It didn’t take a great deal of money to establish a newspaper in those days. Mr. Adell felt that the New York film was fully occupied, but agreed to go in which Messrs. Swain and Simmons in the establishment of a penny paper in Philadelphia, which at that time had no paper of that sort. The others agreed, and on 29 February 1836, the articles of agreement were drawn up which resulted in the establishment of the public ledger.

Investigates Possibilities Here

In spite of early difficulties, the ledger became firmly established in a year, its future seemed secure, and it occurred to Mr. Adell to come to Baltimore to investigate the possibilities of establishing a similar paper here. He felt the Baltimore field was a fertile one and so reported to his Associates, who agreed to the establishment of another paper, provided Mr. Adell should organize it, assume the immediate responsibility and personal control.

This was satisfactory to Mr. Adell: type of material were ordered and the most modern president day was bought. An office was secure at 21 Light St., the second door from Mercer, and on 17 may, 1837, the son was born. In its salutatory it declared that its object was the furnace a newspaper equal to any, at a price which would bring it within the means of all who could read, and of the large number of persons to whom the more expensive dailies were inaccessible. It also made some distinct pledges as to the rules which should govern the editorial conduct of the paper. It declared:

We shall give no place to religious controversy, nor to political discussions of merely partisan character. On political principles and questions involving the interest or the honor of the whole country it will be free, firm and temperate. Our object will be the common good, without regard to that of sects, factions or parties, and for this object we shall labor without fear or partiality. The publication of this paper will be continued for one year at least, and the publishers hope to receive, as they shall strive to deserve, a liberal support.

The Sun was very much better received in Baltimore than the ledger had been received in Philadelphia. In less than three months it had a larger circulation than the ledger has gained in nine months. Within a year it circulated twice as many copies as the oldest established journal in Baltimore. It has been often said that his success was more immediate and more rapid than has attended any similar enterprise in the country.

Not that it was all easy and plain sailing: not that there were no trying times and dark days for there were, but it was not long before The Sun outgrew its limited quarters on light Street, and on February 16 it was moved to the southeast corner of gay and Baltimore streets. These quarters two, were soon outgrown, for The Sun had secured the confidence of the community and its business was developing by leaps and bounds.

The Sun Iron Building

It was decided that before making another change a site should be purchased and a building erected for The Sun’s own purposes. This building, it was determined, should be an ornament to the city which had so graciously supported this newspaper. Mr. Adell was authorized to select the site, and after looking over a number of lots he settled on one, then in the very heart of the business district, at the southeast corner of South and Baltimore streets, which, incidentally, had been the site of the first newspaper published in Baltimore – the old Maryland Journal and Baltimore advertiser, published by William Goddard. The whole site chosen for The Sun’s new home was occupied by five old brick buildings and cost approximately $50,000.

It had been determined that the building to be erected should equal, if not surpass, any of the business structures then in Baltimore, and a good deal of the time was devoted to the discussion of plans. At about this time James Bogardus, of New York, was in Baltimore looking for an opportunity to test out his invention for the construction of buildings of iron. New York had received his proposition coldly, so he had come to Baltimore hoping to find his chance here. He was almost in despair when he submitted his plans to the owner of The Sun. They gave his plans the most serious consideration and became convinced of their feasibility.

Mr. Adell therefore entered into a contract with Mr. Bogardus for the erection of the building according to the Bogardus plan, specifying, however, that the CASTINGS should all be made in Baltimore, although Mr. Bogardus wanted them to be made New York, where he resided, and where, with more convenience to himself, he could superintend this part of the work.

The CASTINGS were made in the foundry of Benjamin S. Benson and were remarkable specimens of foundry work. The ornamentation on the columns – full-length figures of Washington, Jefferson and Franklin – and the various medallions with which the building was ornament, where is clear and sharp as if cast in bronze.

This building was completed in 1851, and The Sun moved into it one 13 September of that year. It was the first iron building in the world: it was known as The Sun iron building, and architects and builders came from all parts of the country to inspect it. So successful was it that more orders flowed upon Mr. Bogardus than he could fulfill and for a time practically all the new business buildings in Baltimore were built of iron. This building houses The Sun until the great conflagration (Fire) of 1904, when it went down with a large part of the business section of the city. Mr. Simmons, of the firm of Swain – Adell and Simmons, resided for a time in Baltimore soon after The Sun started, and assisted Mr. Adell in the management of the paper. He soon returned to Philadelphia, however, and with Mr. Swain, devoted himself to the management of the ledger. Leaving The Sun and sold charge of Mr. Adell.

New Partnership Formed

This arrangement continued until the death of Mr. Simmons in 1855, which dissolved the original copartnership. The two surviving partners immediately formed a new firm of Swain and Adell, and continued as before the publication of The Sun and the Philadelphia ledger, their interests in the two papers being equal. As Mr. Swain lived in Philadelphia and Mr. Adell in Baltimore, it naturally resulted that the management of the ledger and its affairs fell to Mr. Swain, while The Sun continued under the management of Mr. Adell.

Gradually, however, Mr. Swain’s health began to decline and he was unable to give the ledger his active personal supervision. The Civil War, too, broke out, and Mr. Adell’s duties to the Baltimore paper became difficult and erroneous. He strongly sympathized with the South in his position and that of The Sun were not free from danger. To complicate matters Mr. Swain took the extreme northern view of the conflict between the sections.

Under these circumstances, Mr. Adell notified Mr. Swain that he was willing to dispose of his interest in the ledger, and after lengthy negotiations the ledger was, on three December, 1864, sold to George W. Childs and Drexel & company, bankers, of Philadelphia.

After the sale of the ledger, The Sun was conducted by Mr. Adell alone as agreed upon between his partner and himself until 16 February, 1868, when Mr. Swain died. Mr. Adell then sold his interest in the ledger building and other real estate in Philadelphia, which he had held in common with Mr. Swain, to Mrs. Swain and her two sons, and they in turn sold all their interest in The Sun, The Sun iron building and other real and personal property here to Mr. Adell, thus completely severing the old interest.

News Gathering Unimportant

In the first year the son’s life established its reputation as a news gather which has not been excelled by papers anywhere. When the publication of The Sun was begun it had but one reporter. History Adell himself often set type, wrote editorials and edited and “made up” the paper.

No regular reports of local events were given by any of the city papers until the custom was established by The Sun. Not even the proceedings of the courts or of the legislator were then reported by the Baltimore papers, nor those of Congress, the Baltimore paper depending upon those of Washington to furnish them the following day with whatever of interest that occurred in Congress.

The president’s message of December 1838, offered The Sun its first big opportunity of displaying its newsgathering enterprise. The other Baltimore newspapers were custom to obtaining their supplements with the president’s message from Washington, printed with the headline of the Baltimore paper, transmitted by mail and delivered to Baltimore readers the next day, and possibly later.

Pony Express Developed

The Sun determined upon something more up-to-date. Through posting a “friend, mounted on a Canadian pony, nimble as a goat and fleet as the wind” at the “outer depot,” the printed copy of the message was brought to the office on light Street, and in five minutes after its arrival 49 compositors were at work on it and in two hours the first copy printed in Baltimore was handed to the crowd which filled the office. Thus The Sun anticipated all its contemporaries by two days.

This. Of enterprise had so developed the business of The Sun that on 30 March, 1840, the paper had to be enlarged. This was followed by another display of enterprise when The Sun spread Pres. Harrison’s inaugural address before it’s Baltimore readers on the same day it was delivered, winning from one of its Western contemporaries (the Louisville Gazette) the complementary remarked that –

“in the enterprise of the war the proprietors of The Sun we have an example worthy of all praise; they have on this occasion of their prompt and untiring energy, placed the whole Western and nearly all the southern part of the country in possession of this important document at least 24 hours in advance of all its contemporaries.”

Of the New York and Philadelphia papers, only those in exchange with The Sun receive the early copy

Foreign News Gathered Also

These were not merely spirits of enterprise. The pace was kept up. The death of Gen. Harrison, the address of Pres. Taylor, the message to the extra session of Congress followed in the same prompt and rapid manner. The Sun ran a pony express from Boston to Baltimore, a distance of about 400 miles, and beat all the other Baltimore papers with the foreign news, which in those days arrived by ship to Boston, as well as with the news of the northern part of the country.

This was the beginning of the newspaper pony express, which, until the telegraph was established and reached over the country, and able to sun to be always ahead of its contemporaries. The feet of the fiscal bank bill in 1841 was first made known in Baltimore through The Sun by “horse express,” and the trail of the lead, in the “CAROLINE” affair, which took place in Utica, and. Why., In October 1841, was reported especially for The Sun and transmitted partly by rail and partly by pony express. The trail lasted several days and as it was thought to involve the issue of another war with Great Britain excited the greatest interest throughout the whole country.

New York Learned Something

The New York papers, which have been allowing the Baltimore Sun to “scoop” them right and left on matters of national importance, woke up in 1844 and for the next three years extensive expresses were run with European news from Halifax to Boston. Into these enterprises The Sun entered as a leading spirit.

The relations with the United States and Great Britain growing out of the Oregon matter were of intense interest and every bit of the news relating to them was eagerly sought. Halifax and Boston were the chief points of the reception of this news, and as the time of the steamers from those points to New York were very slow the newspaper had to arrange other means for getting this news promptly. The Sun entered the combinations with New York papers and exclusive extras were issued from its office and sent by express trains to Washington, thus furnishing the president and his cabinet the earliest intelligence.

The news, was brought by the ship liberty and the steamer Cambria, was thus given to the people of Baltimore and Washington, the West and the South at least 24 hours ahead of “blanket sheets.”

The expresses from Halifax were “planned on an extensive scale and were considered to be the most extraordinary evidence of newspaper enterprise ever brought before the American people.” So they were described by the historian of that day. A relay of horses extending from Halifax across Nova Scotia to Annapolis on the Bay of Fundy, a distance of more than 150 miles, connected at Annapolis with a steamer, which carried the news packets to Portland, Maine. They were carried thence to Boston by locomotive, thence via New York and Philadelphia to Baltimore. The whole distance was more than 1000 miles and the time about 50 hours

Even Chartered Ocean Vessel

The Cambria’s news was awaited with more interest than that of almost any steamer that ever arrived in the country. The railroad and Steamboat lines were under contract to run expresses with their advices. The Sun was only Baltimore paper to print the news she brought. The news of the Hibernia was received by The Sun on 20 March 1946, from Halifax, and 62 hours and 45 minutes and was immediately published in an extra. The Sun was the only Baltimore paper that joined in the charter of the pilot boat Romer to run to Liverpool and return with foreign news.

When the war with Mexico turned the news point of the compass to the south The Sun stepped immediately to the front rank of enterprise in procuring early and reliable news from the seat of war. In this respect, it was conceded that it excelled any paper in the country. To meet the demand for news of the Mexican war Mr. A. S. Adele, early in 1846, established exclusively for the Baltimore Sun “without consultation or previous arrangement or agreement with any other paper,” and overland express from New Orleans, comprising about 60 blooded horses.”

First News of Mexican War

Notwithstanding the obstacles thrown in the way of the success of this enterprise by the postal authorities the express almost in variably beat the great Southern mail from New Orleans to Baltimore by more than 30 hours. As the war progressed these expresses became a public necessity, and in view of the great satisfaction with which The Sun’s efforts In this direction was received several northern papers joined with it in the enterprise. The trip was usually made from new Orleans to Baltimore in six days at an expense to the Baltimore Sun of about $1000 a month

117 October, 1846, The Sun laid before traders and engraved representation of Monterey, its vicinity, its fortification and the advance of the American troops, drawn for the war department to Capt. Eaton. This was followed on six November by a “view of Monterey and the American Army prior to the battle.” This enabled the readers of The Sun to locate the principal forts, the main buildings of the city and the position of the American Army, according to division, brigades and regiments. On three April following the sons published a map of the battlefield a Bona Vista, showing the topography of the country, which had been drawn by an engineer on the staff of general Wool.

The News Triumph of 1847

110 April – 1847, The Sun was the first to announce to the president and his cabinet at Washington and to the citizens of Baltimore, “the fall, surrender and unconditional capitulation of the city of Veracruz in the Castle of San Juan d’Ulloa.”

This piece of newspaper enterprise was heralded in all parts of the United States, and upon the reception of the news in Washington, on Saturday morning, 10 April, in the columns of the Baltimore Sun, it caused universal rejoicing. The Washington union of the same afternoon said;

“The whole city was filled with enthusiasm today by the accounts, for which we are in debt to the Baltimore Sun, through the extraordinary express from Pensacola. The Sun must’ve run and express through the city last night. It shows what enterprise can do, and no press has done more experiments of this nature than The Sun.”

Aid to Federal Government

While it’s “punctual and never failing” team of ponies kept The Sun supplied with news far in advance of its contemporaries this news was never used for personal or improper purposes. The practice of the paper on the arrival of European news was to issue a bulletin or “slip synopsis” of the markets at the earliest possible moment, thus placing at the disposal of the whole community valuable information that could be obtained in no other way. The government at Washington was also kept advised of every important event transpiring at the seat of the war.

The Sun was particularly instrumental at this time in serving governmental interests. In referring to this on one occasion The Sun said:

“It was generally admitted that the news of the capture of Veracruz, arriving by our express on the very day appointed for the close of a national loan, was directly favorable to the national interest in the final negotiations.”

Before the publication of this intelligence, even the columns of The Sun, Mr. Adele sent a private telegraph dispatch to the president of the United States announcing the event and received an acknowledgment in which the “zeal and enterprise” of the paper were commended.

Victory at Churubusco

The ponies of the Baltimore Sun on 15 September again made a record and brought the news of the brilliant victories at Contreras and Churubusco, distancing stages, railroads, steamboats and telegraphs and enabling The Sun to publish this news in advance of all its contemporaries. They next brought in the news of the operations in the vicinity of the Halls of Montezuma, which were announced thus on for October:

Our pony team, as if in anticipation of the great excitement prevailing in the city on Saturday evening to October, came flying up to the stopping post with the most thrilling and important intelligence yet received from the seat of war, for 24 hours ahead of steamboats, railroads and even telegraphs. The news brought by them 24 hours in advance of the mail being of such exciting and thrilling interest we put the press at a late hour on Saturday night and extra son with full details, which were sought after by our citizens during yesterday morning.

The addition of the southern daily pony express on 29 November, 1847, completed the arrangements of The Sun for obtaining news from the seat of the war, and thereafter, until the war ended, readers of The Sun received every morning the very latest news of the operations of the Army’s.

Carrier Pigeons Next

About the time the pony expresses were being so successfully used for the transmission of news Mr. Adele conceived the idea of using carrier pigeons for the same purpose, especially for short dispatches. Accordingly, he organized the first carrier pigeon express ever known in this country for the sending of dispatches between New York and Philadelphia Baltimore and Washington DC. About 500 pigeons were trained for this service and were kept in a house on Hampstead Hill, near the old Maryland hospital for the insane.

Foreign steamer news was frequently obtained in this way, and on more than one occasion a synopsis of the presidential message were brought by the pigeons to Baltimore immediately after its delivery to Congress, and published in extras, to the great surprise of the public. This carrier pigeon service was maintained until the telegraph was developed enough to supersede.

While the pony express were the quickest means at the time of securing news from distant points, The Sun was looking for something even quicker. Prof. Samuel F. B. Morse had worked out a magnetic telegraph and had petitioned Congress for assistance to enable him to conduct an experimental line between Baltimore and Washington. Congress was so incredulous that his measure never got out of committee. This was in 1837, the year The Sun was established

five years later, in 1842, Prof. Morris renewed his application, which was strongly endorsed by The Sun. John Pendleton Kennedy, of Baltimore, was then a member of Congress and chairman of the House committee to which the bill had been referred to. Mr. Kennedy worked hard for its passage, and on 3 March, the last day of the session, the bill, appropriation: $30,000 to test out the practicability of the invention, went through. The experimental line was to be run from Baltimore to Washington and the first advertisement for materials for the line was inserted in the Baltimore Sun on 30 March, 1843. The line was completed by 24 March 1844 and The Sun became one of its most constant patrons, using the service whenever it was possible to use it.

The First Great Wire Message

The first presidential message ever transmitted over the wire was sent exclusively to The Sun on 11 May, 1846.

This achievement was the forerunner of the establishment of the telegraph in France. The Sun’s telegraphic copy of the message was reprinted by the Academy of science at Paris, side-by-side with an authenticated transcript of the original. The Paris correspondent of the national intelligence, speaking of this event in the French chamber of deputies, said:

Prof. Morris had the goodness to send me an account of the recent achievements of the electrical telegraph with a copy of the Baltimore Sun containing the president’s message on the Mexican war as it was magically transmitted to that paper. I sent the communications to Pouillet, the deputy author of the report hereto for submitted to you, and he placed them in the hands of Arago, who submitted their very interesting and decisive contents to the Academy of science and the chamber of deputies.

In the chamber on the 18th inst. when the proposal appropriation for electrical telegraph from this capital to the Belgian frontier came under consideration, barrier opposed it on the ground that the experiment of the new system or incomplete: that it would be well to wait for the full trial of what was undertaken between Paris and Rouen. Arago answered:

“The experiment is consummated: in the United States the matter is settled irresistibly. I received three days ago The Sun, of Baltimore, with a letter from Mr. Morris, one of the most honorable men of this country, and there is the president’s message, printed from the telegraph in two or three hours. The message would fill four columns of the Moniteur ; it could not have been copied by the most rapid Penman in a shorter time than it was transmitted. The galvanic fluid travels 70,000 leagues per minute.”

The appropriation of nearly half Fr.1 million passed with only a few dissenting votes.

Their discussions over the practicality of the invention and the backing was the son gave the enterprise resulted in the establishment of a strong friendship between Prof. Morris and A. S. Adele, and when a company was afterward formed for the extension of telegraphic facilities from Washington to New York The Sun firm of swine and Adele and Simmons was associated in the enterprise with Prof. Morris, Richard M. Hoe, of New York, the great printing press manufacturer of that time, also a strong friend of Mr. Adele, and a most candle and beep. Beep. French of Washington.

Telegraph is Organized

A great deal of difficulty was found in raising the money for the enterprise in New York and Philadelphia, so the publishers of The Sun and the Philadelphia ledger, with a few friends in Baltimore and Philadelphia, supplied the money needed for the Baltimore Philadelphia extension. The line being opened on 21 April, 1846. When The Sun iron building was completed the offices of the telegraph company were moved into it and were maintained there during the infancy of the enterprise and for many years thereafter.

The value of the telegraph in securing electric returns from distant points was early recognized by The Sun and it was among the first newspaper in the country to use the telegraph for this purpose. In this work and in receiving the news of Congress by wire control C Fulton, then a reporter on The Sun and later proprietor of the American, was especially expert. He developed it as a specialty and for a considerable period handled most of the telegraphic news received by The Sun.

First Cable News to Baltimore

The short-lived Atlantic cable of 1858 was also made to do service for the Baltimore Sun even in the very few moments of its serviceable existence by sending a special dispatch exclusively to The Sun, which was the first news telegraph from London over the Atlantic cable received and made public in Baltimore.

The Civil War

Was trying period was trying one for The Sun. While it was always moderate and dignified in his utterances and in its comment upon the issues involved in the controversy between the North and South, it’s sympathies were strongly with the South. The military occupation of Baltimore by the federal authorities was very trying hosts of the most prominent citizens of the place were arrested and confined in Fort McHenry or sent to distant prisons and the military authorities work constantly watching for an opportunity to suppress The Sun. For a large part of the time a federal Marshall was posted in the building.

“Getting” The Sun

As there could be no such thing as a free discussion of the issues, The Sun became silent and throughout the war utter not a word editorially, confining itself solely to the printing of the news. Editorially, it maintained a silence more impressive than any word it would have been permitted to utter.

At one time in order for the closing of The Sun and the arrest of Mr. Adell was actually issued by the war department and was about to be transmitted to the commander of the forces of Baltimore when Mr. Adele received information of it. He had an earnest and effective protest entered against such a proceeding and the execution of the order was suspended.

The motive which had instigated it was betrayed a day later 12 noted politicians: Mr. Adell at his office and offer to buy The Sun. They anticipated that the fate of other prints which had been suppressed and their editors imprisoned staring him in the face he would be only too willing, if not thankful, to retire from his dangerous position and be rid of his precarious property at any sacrifice. They intimated as much. They were accordingly surprised and disappointed when they found the design was thoroughly understood and they were told that The Sun was not for sale at any price.

The close of the war found Maryland in a trying position. She had been of the middle ground during the struggle, and her people had been divided on the issue. Upon her, military rule would fall on with a heavy hand, and during the war of state constitution which did not represent the will of the people had been forced upon her. In addition, there was a registry law which disenfranchise thousands of her citizens, and which put the civil government in the hands of a small minority.

On the other hand, nothing had been done to recognize the situation which it followed from the abolition of slavery, accomplished by constitutional provision as well as by the war.

Starting Reconstruction

It fell to The Sun as the leading exponent of public opinion in Maryland to do his best and bringing about the rehabilitation of the state. Its work along this line had directed by John A. Crowe, then its managing editor, who during the war had been its Washington correspondent. Mr. Crowell Saul, as did Mr. Adell, the proprietor of The Sun, that to the Reese duration of state unity two things were essential, the ability to ration of restrictions upon suffrage imposed in the heat of the war and the recognition in the state statutes of the new status of the Negroes.

Advancing step-by-step, and crystallizing public opinion as it proceeded, The Sun directed its best efforts to bringing about a complete transformation in political affairs. The first response came from Howard County, where a mass meeting was held in the summer of 1865, when the registry act was denounced. Similar movements followed in other parts of the state and a test case of the validity of the law was made. This, however, on being carried to the Court of Appeals, as then constituted, when decided against the contestants.

Recourse was then had an appeal to the legislature. The pressure became very strong, and governor Branford yielded to it, and: extra session of the Gen. assembly to deal with the situation. It was urged by The Sun at that time that there was no need of calling a constitutional convention, the legislature having ample authority for the purpose. Mass meetings were held and a memorial was presented, praying for a repeal or modification of the laws under which so large a number of people were disenfranchised. The Senate, however, failed to take action on the memorial.

Next Fight At The Polls

The recourse was then to the ballot box. The Sun did not shrink from the issue, and to the good – tempered, although outspoken, articles which it public during this critical period may be traced to conservative victory at the following election. That election gave Maryland, for the first time since the beginning of the war, a representative legislature and insured the erasure from the statutes of the suffrage proscriptions. It was then possible to secure a new constitutional convention to undo the work of the convention of 1864 this The Sun advocated with powerful arguments, and among the first acts of legislative session was the calling of the convention of 1867. This convention adopted the Constitution under which, although much amended, the state now operates.

While this movement under the leadership of The Sun was going on and Maryland Pres. Johnson was inaugurating his southern reconstruction policy, and into the work The Sun entered heartedly. It felt that the two movements should advance hand-in-hand and that in sustaining the hands of the president The Sun would be helping in the cause at home. The editorial utterances during this period were distinguished for the eloquence and logic with which they advocated the Reese duration of the seating states to their former status, the acceptance on all sides of the results of the war and the resumption’s and all sections of amicable business and social relations. This course was highly commended in all parts of the South and one for The Sun the position of the leading exponent of conservative Southern thoughts.

While strongly Democratic in its tendencies and believing in the old time principals of the Democratic Party, The Sun has always been independent in its politics. It is never been a party organ, has always opposed bossism, and is never condoned boss role. On occasion it is not hesitated to lead revolts against the Democratic machine in the city and state, and it is not too much to say that every such revolt has led to far reaching results.

One of the earliest big fights of this sort in which The Sun took part was the new judge movement in 1882. The Civil War had been over but 17 years. The war had left many sore spots, many of the leading people of the city had been imprisoned, and the Republicans had carried things in the state with the right hand. For the four years of the war the menace of suppression had hung over The Sun, and while it was not bitter, it suffered enough to make it feel not over kindly toward the Republicans. Yet in spite of this it opposed the elections of what was then known as the “old judges,” all Democrats, with all its vigor

The Fight of 1882

That campaign was one of the bitterest that it ever been waged in Maryland, and not even accepting the vitriolic campaigns of 1895, 1896 and 1897. William Pinckney Whyte, one of the most brilliant men in the state, was then Mayor and the Democratic boss. His machine was autocratic to the last degree, and at his instance judge Henry F. Garey, Robert Gilmor and Campbell W. Pinckney were renominated for places on the bench, together with William A. Fisher. The supreme bench of the city then consisted of five judges, the chief judge being George William Brown, who had been mayor at the beginning of the Civil War. His term was still unfinished when the election of 1882 was held.

The manner in which the nomination of the old judges had been made caused many rumblings of discontent. It was charged that Mr. White, if he could reelect the old judges, would be able to perpetuate his political power. There was no question that the judiciary of that day was considerably mixed up in politics. Before the nominations were made, The Sun began the fight by demanding fair primaries under the law that had been passed by the legislature in 1882. It was pointed out that fraudulent primaries according to the old methods would arouse such resentment among the people that party disaster would follow. The bosses paid no attention to these demands: the primaries were held in the old way – the possession of the “window” being equivalent to a nomination, and a machine ticket was overwhelmingly nominated. 16 October the convention, composed of hand-picked delegates, nominated the ticket that had been agreed upon – Gilmore, Garey and Pinckney, in comments, and William A. Fisher. It was charged that Mr. Fisher was put on the ticket as “the cleaning collar.”

Public Meeting at Names Ticket

Immediately after word the independent movement started and on 14 October an appeal to the people calling upon them to put up a ticket of their own and feet the old judge ticket, was published in The Sun. This was signed by more than 300 of the most representative men of the city. Including many old-time Democrats. Two days later a call for a meeting of citizens was issued by William Keyser, a leader in this as well as in many later fights for clean politics: Thomas D Ford. John B. Dixon, William H. Baldwin and John E. Hurst, later to become a machine candidate for governor and to go down and feet because of the manner of his nomination.

This meeting nominated William A. Fisher and William A. Stewart, Democrats, and Charles E. Phelps and Edward Duffy, Republicans as independent or “new judge” ticket. Mr. Duffy was the father of the present judge Henry Duffy. The next night the Republican judicial convention met and endorsed the “new judge” ticket and declined it to put a ticket of its own in the field. Later this action was rescinded and a straightout Republican ticket was put in the field.

The Sun went into this contest heart and soul and made one of the most vigorous political fights of its life. All the other newspapers of the city were against it. On one November the returns showed the old judge ticket defeated by about 11,000 votes, the regular Republican ticket only getting about 1000 votes. Judge Fisher, who had no opposition,; judge Stewart got 33,318; judge Duffy, 33,232, and judge Phelps, 32,697. The highest man on the old judge ticket except of course judge Fisher was judge Garey, who got 22,046 votes. All but four of the city’s 20 wards was carried by the new judges.

The results of this fight or far-reaching and are felt even up to today. Not only was the power of the city ring broken election began the movement which is given Baltimore a practically nonpartisan judiciary. While the judges are named as party candidates, the custom of one party endorsing the nomination of a judge of another party who has a good name on the bench has grown until now it is the accepted thing.

The Famous Gorman Fight

it was not until 1895 that The Sun felt itself called upon to make another fight on the dominant political machine in the state. United States Sen. author P. Gorman was the state boss and I. Freeman Rasin was the city boss. They had made of the Democratic Party and Maryland a close political corporation, and it was useless for any man to run for any political office and Maryand without their permission.

Arrogance of the machine reached its climax with the nomination of John E. Hurst for governor. The nomination was made at the convention held in the Academy of music on the 1st of August. Isadore Raynor, afterward United States Sen.; Thomas G. Hayes, afterward Mayor of Baltimore; John Walter Smith, afterwards governor and United States Sen., and Spencer C. Jones, of Montgomery County, had announced their candidacies and had made campaigns for the nomination.

Suddenly Raynor withdrew and disappeared. When he was located in Atlantic City he said he was out of the race; that the bosses had decided against them. He was said at the time that Raynor was told he could have the nomination, but it would cost him $40,000.

The War is On

after Raynor withdrew judge William A. Fisher announced his candidacy. He and Hayes were popular candidates. But Fisher did not suit Gorman and Hayes did not suit Rasin, so it was “thumbs down” for both of them. The bosses and decided upon John E Hurst, who had not been a candidate and whose name had not been mentioned in connection with the nomination. They offered him the nomination; he said he would take it and that was all there was to it. His nomination was put through the convention on the first ballot.

That very afternoon Charles W. dashiell, the city editor of The Sun, and William H. Davis, the political reporter, who had attended the convention, laid the whole proceeding before a conference which was attended by Edwin F. Adell, then the head of The Sun organization; Oakland P. Haine. The managing editor, and Norval E. Foard, state editor. It was decided that the only decent and proper course for The Sun to take would be to fight. The next morning the whole proceeding at the convention was laid bare, it’s true inwardness and significance described and the whole performance announced in several terms.

Opposition Rallies Quickly

the result of The Sun stand was a general uprising of independence, and Democrats by the thousands came out publicly against the Hurst ticket. Throughout the campaign The Sun lead the revolt. Battling with The Sun in this fight against machine rule were such men as William Pinckney Whyte, himself an old-time boss; Roger W. Cull, then a young man, whose zeal for decency and politics took the form, almost of religious exaltation; Thomas G. Hayes, Joseph Packard, then as now, one of the leaders in the community; Col. Charles Marshall, William Keyser, one of the leaders of the new judge campaign, in 1882; William Cabell John K. Cowen, head of the legal department of the Baltimore and Ohio and afterword its president; S. Davies Warfield, now head of the Seaboard air line and president of the continental trust company; Lee Bonsal, William L. Marbury and a host of others.

The result was a disaster for the Democratic machine. The bosses were overthrown, their ticket swept off the field and the Democratic political organization in the state crushed. It never fully recovered. Lloyd Lowndes, of Cumberland, was elected, the first Republican ever to be elected governor of the state. He carried practically the whole ticket with him, Alcaeus Hooper being elected Mayor of Baltimore city over Henry Williams. The legislature was also strongly Republican, and this legislature elected George L. Wellington, who had directed the Republican campaign, to United States Senate, and a close friend of Sen. Gorman.

Victory a Bloody One

the election day with Saul the defeat of the Democratic machine was the most turbulent that had taken place in Baltimore for years. Several men were killed and the riding was continuous for the time the polls opened in the morning until they were closed that night.

The legislature which resulted from this election, in addition to electing Wellington to the Senate, past the reform league election law which was backed by The Sun and which was as nearly a nonpartisan law as could be framed. It has been modified since, but some of it’s best features have been retained. One provision of that law, the Prohibiting electioneering within 100 feet at the polls, has absolutely killed this order at the polls, and from the passage of that law until today there is not been a serious fight at the polling place on election day.

Although this defeat of 1895 broke the power of the machine, Gorman and Rasin were still the political bosses of the state and city. The legislature of 1897 was to elect the successor to Sen. Gorman. He was a candidate for reelection of course, and made a strong flight. The Sun supporting the Republican legislative ticket, which was elected.

In the state Senate, the Republican had 18 members to eight Democrats while in the House of Delegates there were 49 Republicans the 42 Democrats. One joint ballot the Republicans had 67 votes to the Democrat 50. They, therefore, elected Lewis E. McComas, Republican, to succeed Gorman who, a pond his exploration of his term in 1889, passed out of the United States Senate. The Sun feeling that it would appear to be persecution to oppose him again, did not make any campaign against him when he was later a candidate for election to the Senate, and he was chosen, but his power as a boss had been broken. He was still nominated the state boss, but a very circumspect boss.

Opposed Bryan in 1896

The previous year, 1896, was the year of the first Bryan campaign and the free silver craze. The Democrats had nominated William Jennings Bryan and author Sewall on the free silver platform, and the Republican nominated William McKinley and Garrett A. Hobart on the sound money platform. Grover Cleveland, who was president, had refused to countenance the free silver plank in a Democratic platform or to support the Bryan ticket. Palmer and Buckner were nominated as sound money Democrats at Indianapolis to give those anti-free silver Democrats who would not support the Republicans a place to go, but no one had any hope of electing them.

The Sun fought the Bryan ticket from start to finish on the sound money issue. Connected with it been subjected to so much abuse and misrepresentation. The Democratic honest money league of Maryland had been formed with Harry A. Par as president, but S. Davies Warfield, then postmaster of Baltimore under appointment of Pres. Cleveland, was really its guiding spirit. The work of this organization to prevent Maryland giving its endorsement to the free silver proposition was backed by The Sun to the limit. The Gorman – raisin organization fought as best it could to hold the state for Bryan, and its failure to do so, in face of the opposition of The Sun, made the defeat of Gorman the following year it easier to accomplish than it otherwise would of been.

The election resulted in McKinley carrying the state by 136,978 to 104,746 for Bryan. 2507 votes in the whole state

Later Stands on Bryan

Bryan ran again for the presidency in 1899, the issue of imperialism being the principal issue in the campaign. On the issue The Sun supported them, but the sentiment of the state against Bryan was too strong and McKinley carried the state by hundred and 36,185 votes the 122,238 the next time Bryan ran was in 1908, when The Sun again oppose them, and supported William H Taft, now Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Bryan’s attitude at the time was generally taken to be in favor of government ownership of the railroads, and he was opposed to The Sun on this grounds and because of his supposed socialistic tendencies in the other directions. The official canvases of the returns of that election gave the highest Taft a look toil 603 more votes than the highest Bryan elect or, and declared to Republicans and six Democratic elect were J. H. Robertson and Albert A. Towers.

The Way the Staff Fought

The Sun activities in the political fights of 1895 96 and 97 resulted in one of those tragedies which means much of the small circle but of which few persons outside that circle ever here. It cost the life of The Sun city editor Charles W. Dashiell.

Mr. Dashiell was a strapping chap, about 6’2” tall and supposed himself to be as strong as an ox. In 1895 campaign he was just 38 years old, had been city editor for about 10 years, and was one of the ablest and most resourceful newspaper men of his day. He entered into the sons fights with wholehearted enthusiasm, was on the job anywhere from 12 to 18 hours a day, and never seem to tire. There was but a slight letup between the Hurst-Lowndes campaign and the Bryan free silver campaign. That was hardly well out of the way before the campaign for the election of the Republican legislature and the defeat of Gorman for the Senate began. When the campaign was getting particular yacht Mr. Dashiell and had to take to his bed. He remained indoors about three weeks and then insisted on getting out and directing the news and of The Sun’s fight against Gorman. The campaign was then in its critical stage. His physician warned him of the consequences saying he was in no shape to resume activity, and that unless he took a long rest the results may be fatal to him.

“Oh, well,” said Mr. Dashiell, “I’ll chance it. You just patch me up so that our last out these next two or three weeks and then I’ll take a long rest.”

He was patched up and lasted out the the next two or three weeks. Then he was compelled to take to his bed again. He was never able to go back to his post, and then a short time he died.

Convention Comes to Baltimore

in 1911, when there was much speculation as to the cities in which the national convention of the two great political parties would be held The Sun and strong editorial suggested that the Democratic convention be on Baltimore and urged that every effort be made to secure it. This was the first suggestion to this effect, and admit with immediate response. An organization was formed, with Robert Crane at the head, and it went to work at once. Every influence that The Sun could exert was thrown into the movement, and the organization went after the members of the national committee and lined up as many as possible for Baltimore.

St. Louis was Baltimore’s most formidable competitor and it offered a guarantee of $75,000. The national committee had said the city which would get the convention would have to provide a guaranteed fund of $100,000. Mr. Crane’s committee raised that amount. But even then some obstacles were in the way. These were removed, and the national committee finally, at a meeting in Washington, decided upon Baltimore.

Supported Wilson

when the convention was held in June 1912 The Sun through its influence to the nomination of Woodrow Wilson, although champ Clark was the choice of the party managers in Maryland, who had elected a majority of the delegates. It was impartial in its accounts of convention proceedings, but editorially it strongly supported Wilson. After the convention it received a number of letters and telegrams congratulating it upon its course. Gov. Wilson telegraphed The Sun onto July this message;

“I want you to know how warmly and deeply I have appreciated the splendid support of The Sun.”

William Jennings Bryan, whom The Sun had twice opposed for the presidency, wrote;

“The Sun has shown great enterprise in reporting the Democratic convention and I think the delegates appreciate the fairness and correctness of its reports”

William F. McCombs sent this message;

“As manager of the Wilson campaign I want to thank The Sun for its loyal and enthusiastic support of Gov. Wilson. It has been one of the most effective agencies in bringing about his nominationfor the presidency. We all appreciate and feel much to The Sun for the efforts put forth in the cause of Gov. Wilson and in the cause of progressive government. It’s work cannot be overestimated.

As a newspaper The Sun has been at its best during the memorable days of the convention and those was immediately preceded it. The news was presented fully and fairly and with a degree of masterly skill was has been the subject of comment from all with whom I have talked on the subject.”

Mr. Daniels Comment

Joseph Daniels. Member of the national committee for North Carolina and chairman of the press committee of the convention and later secretary of the Navy throughout both the Wilson administration wrote The Sun as follows;

“The Baltimore Sun took the initiative in securing the Democratic national convention this year. Along with Mr. Robert Crane, chairman of the Baltimore committee, it submitted the matter to the referendum, and Baltimore nobly seconded the suggestion and heartedly responded to the call to raise the big sum of money that showed Baltimore generosity and hospitality. All that Mr. Crane and The Sun promised and more has been carried out and the visitors and delegates say, “well done Baltimore.” The reporters of the convention in the Baltimore Sun have never been surpassed by any paper in this decade. They were fresh, accurate, instinct, with life and gave a true picture of the proceedings with illuminating sidelights.

More than that, The Sun was a powerful factor in bringing about the nomination of Woodrow Wilson. It had a vision to see that the Jersey government was the strongest candidate the party could name. And it convinced visitors and delegates that no man who could be named could appeal so strongly to the imagination of the American people or secure so large a vote in November. The Wilson forces and the cause of progressive and militant democracy 08 lasting debt of gratitude to the Baltimore Sun long may she shine!”

Stand on local government

In local and state affairs The Sun has asked that the public’s business be conducted with as much efficiency and with as little waste as that of any big private enterprise. Long before anybody else seemed to realize it, it felt that there all to be a decided reform in the municipal affairs of Baltimore and it advocated a new charter for the city. It kept hammering at this for years until finally, in 1898, the Gen. Assembly authorized the appointment of a commission to draw a new charter for the city. This commission was appointed by Mayor Malster and was composed of William Pinckney Whyte, Ferdinand C. Latrobe; Daniel C. Gilman, president of Chairman, to prepare a plan and a bill for the budget system. Dr. Goodenow had been chairman of a federal commission on economy and efficiency, appointed by Pres. Taft, which had prepared a plan for a federal budget, which, however, was pigeonholed by Congress and never saw the light of day.

This commission was appointed and soon as the election was over, and its report was submitted to the legislature in 1916, which passed a law providing for the present model system.

Not only has The Sun been constant in its advocacy of those things which would make for a better political conditions and cleaner government, but it has never failed to urge the liberal expenditure of money for those things which would make life more comfortable in city and counties. It backed up Governor Crothers’ good roads program with all its strength, and this program, began with an original expenditure of $5 million, has resulted in appropriations to date of $33 million and has given Maryland the best and most comprehensive system of good roads in the United States. To this may be added 5 ½ million dollars of county funds, administered by the commission, and all federal funds.

It is back to loans for improvement of the city streets; it got behind and helped to pass the stewards alone was is given Baltimore a model sewage system; it fought for the success of water loans; it is been consistent in its support of loans for the improvement of the public school system; it was among the first to urge a loan for the building of a system of conduits so the overhead electric wires which disfigured the city streets might be carried underground, and it through all the weight of its influence in support of the largest series of loans voted by the people of Baltimore for the improvement of the harbor, public schools in general improvements running up to approximately $100 million.

It is felt called upon at times to oppose loans for some purposes which it did not think wise or justified by the condition of the city’s finances, and these loans have been uniformly defeated. In fact, practically every loan with The Sun has endorsed has been ratified by the people in every loan which is opposed has been defeated


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Copies of: Your Baltimore Police Department Class Photo, Pictures of our Officers, Vehicles, Equipment, Newspaper Articles relating to our department and/or officers, Old Departmental Newsletters, Lookouts, Wanted Posters, and/or Brochures Information on deceased officers and anything that may help preserve the history and proud traditions of this agency Please contact retired detective Kenny Driscoll.

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Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to honor the fine men and women who have served with honor and distinction at the Baltimore Police Department.

Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pictures to 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore, Md. 21222


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