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"James R. Randall" Author of "Maryland, My Maryland" 1894 Dated Fair Copy Which Includes All Nine Stanzas!
JAMES RYDER RANDALL (1839-1908). American Journalist and Poet, best remembered as the Author of "Maryland, My Maryland".
December 14, 1894-Dated, Autograph Quote Signed, "James R. Randall," 5 pages, measuring 8" x 10.5", Baltimore, Very Fine. Signed on the final page after the conclusion of a complete Fair Copy of his Poem, "My Maryland." which includes All Nine Stanzas! Light toning, some minor losses at the top margins which have repairs not affecting text, some paper in-filled, expected folds, weak and separated folds expertly repaired on verso, overall very displayable condition. The concluding Signed Note portion reads, in full:
"Originally Composed in April 1861, at the Fausse Rivire, Parish of Pointe Coupe, La, and copied, Dec'r 14, 1894, in Baltimore, Md. for my friend Capt. H. P. Goddard."
Randall's Poem begins, in part: "The despot's heel is on thy shore, Maryland! His torch is at thy temple door, Maryland! Avenge the patriotic gore That flecked the streets of Baltimore, And be the battle queen of yore, Maryland! My Maryland! (See the full text presented in our Online Auction Catalog at www.EarlyAmerican.com).
Although Fair Copies of Randall's famous anthem appear on the market with some regularity, copies which include All Nine Stanzas are seldom encountered. Only two other examples have sold at auction in the last 40 years! The Neufield Copy sold at auction 20 years ago for about $5,750.
After hearing of the death of a friend involved in a skirmish with Union troops marching through Baltimore on April 19, 1861, Baltimore-born Randall, teaching in Louisiana, was so aroused that he wrote the poem, "Maryland! My Maryland!" at night by candlelight.
It first appeared in the April 26, 1861, issue of the New Orleans Sunday Delta and was eventually set to the music of "Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum." The song became very popular throughout the Confederacy. In 1939, "Maryland! My Maryland!" was adopted as the Maryland state song.
The recipient, Henry Perkins Goddard (1842-1916) was a distinguished Civil War officer and journalist. As a twenty year-old journalist from Norwich, Connecticut, Goddard joined the Union Army in March 1862. Goddard served with the 14th Connecticut serving at Antietam, Fredericksburg (where he saved the life of his colonel), and Chancellorsville, where he was seriously wounded and forced to take leave from his regiment. Following the war, Goddard resumed his work as a journalist, writing extensively on the trials and vicissitudes of southern Reconstruction.
In a column published in the Springfield Republican in 1907 shortly following Randall's death, Goddard mentioned owning the present copy of "My Maryland!" Goddard recalled that Randall, who worked as the literary editor of the Baltimore American with him for some time, "always felt that circumstances prevented his developing his poetic genius and was somewhat sore about it, hence did not make many friends while in Baltimore, although he had some very strong ones, notable our present United States senator, ex-Gov. William P. Whyte, who is just now endeavoring to have published a collection of Randall's poems." Goddard then continues, noting the origin of the poem's transition to an anthem: "As to his famous war song, I have felt it owed much to the success of that famous Baltimore belle, 'Hetty Carey' (the late Mrs. Martin) in finding such suitable music for the words." (quoted in Calvin Goddard Zon, ed., The Good Fight That Didn't End, 2008, pp. 281-282).
Randall's Poem reads, in full:
"The despot's heel is on thy shore, Maryland! His torch is at thy temple door, Maryland! Avenge the patriotic gore That flecked the streets of Baltimore, And be the battle queen of yore, Maryland! My Maryland!
Hark to an exiled son's appeal, Maryland! My mother State! to thee I kneel, Maryland!For life and death, for woe and weal, Thy peerless chivalry reveal, And gird thy beauteous limbs with steel, Maryland! My Maryland!
Thou wilt not cower in the dust, Maryland! Thy beaming sword shall never rust, Maryland!
Remember Carroll's sacred trust, Remember Howard's warlike thrust,-And all thy slumberers with the just, Maryland! My Maryland!
Come! 'tis the red dawn of the day, Maryland! Come with thy panoplied array, Maryland!
With Ringgold's spirit for the fray, With Watson's blood at Monterey, With fearless Lowe and dashing May, Maryland! My Maryland!
Dear Mother! burst the tyrant chain, Maryland! Virginia should not call in vain, Maryland!
She meets her sisters on the plain- "Sic semper!" 'tis the proud refrain That baffles minions back amain, Arise in majesty again, Maryland! My Maryland!
Come! for thy shield is bright and strong, Maryland! Come! for thy dalliance does thee wrong, Maryland! Come to thine own anointed throng, Stalking with Liberty along, And chaunt thy dauntless slogan song, Maryland! My Maryland!
I see the blush upon thy cheek, Maryland! For thou wast ever bravely meek, Maryland! But lo! there surges forth a shriek, From hill to hill, from creek to creek- Potomac calls to Chesapeake, Maryland! My Maryland!
Thou wilt not yield the Vandal toll, Maryland! Thou wilt not crook to his control, Maryland!
Better the fire upon thee roll, Better the shot, the blade, the bowl, Thou crucifixion of the soul, Maryland! My Maryland!
I hear the distant thunder-hum, Maryland! The Old Line bugle, fife, and drum, Maryland! She is not dead, nor deaf, nor dumb- Huzza! she spurns the Northern scum! She breathes! she burns! she'll come! she'll come! Maryland! My Maryland!"