Francis Scott Key
Francis Scott Key (August 1, 1779 – January 11, 1843) was an American lawyer, author, and amateur poet from Frederick, Maryland, who is best known for writing the lyrics for the American national anthem "The Star-Spangled Banner".
Key observed the British bombardment of Fort McHenry in 1814 during the War of 1812. He was inspired upon seeing the American flag still flying over the fort at dawn and wrote the poem "Defence of Fort M'Henry"; it was published within a week with the suggested tune of the popular song "To Anacreon in Heaven". The song with Key's lyrics became known as "The Star-Spangled Banner" and slowly gained in popularity as an unofficial anthem, finally achieving official status more than a century later under President Herbert Hoover as the national anthem. The national motto "In God We Trust" derives from a line in "The Star-Spangled Banner".
Key was a lawyer in Maryland and Washington D.C. for four decades and worked on important cases, including the Burr conspiracy trial, and he argued numerous times before the Supreme Court. He was nominated for District Attorney for the District of Columbia by President Andrew Jackson, where he served from 1833 to 1841. Key was a devout Episcopalian.
Key owned slaves from 1800, during which time abolitionists ridiculed his words, claiming that America was more like the "Land of the Free and Home of the Oppressed". He freed his slaves in the 1830s, paying one ex-slave as his farm foreman. He publicly criticized slavery and gave free legal representation to some slaves seeking freedom, but he also represented owners of runaway slaves. As District Attorney, he suppressed abolitionists and did not support an immediate end to slavery. He was also a leader of the American Colonization Society which sent freed slaves to Africa.
Key's brother-in-law and "longstanding, close personal and professional friend" was Roger Taney, who as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court wrote the Dred Scott decision, denying even the possibility of citizenship to African Americans and stating that they "had no rights which the white man was bound to respect".
Birth and Death Data: Born 1779 (Terra Rubra), Died 1843 (Baltimore)
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1894 - 1940
Roles Represented in DAHR: author
Recordings (Results 1-25 of 47 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Berliner||355||7-in.||Before 1895||The star spangled banner||Soprano vocalist(s) (unidentified; Berliner Gramophone Records)||Female vocal solo||author|
|Berliner||4258||7-in.||June 1897-Apr. 1898||The star spangled banner||Artists vary||Male vocal quartet||author|
|Victor||E-1907||8-in.||2/13/1906||The star spangled banner||Frank C. Stanley||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||author|
|Victor||C-1907||12-in.||11/7/1904||The star spangled banner||Frank C. Stanley||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||author|
|Victor||B-1907||10-in.||11/7/1904||The star spangled banner||Frank C. Stanley||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||author|
|Victor||C-2421||12-in.||3/28/1905||Two American patriotic airs||Emma Eames||Soprano vocal solo, with piano||author|
|Victor||C-4833||12-in.||9/24/1907||The star spangled banner||Ellen Beach Yaw||Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra||author|
|Victor||B-6221||10-in.||5/21/1908||The star spangled banner||Emilio de Gogorza||Baritone vocal solo, with band and chorus||author|
|Victor||C-8272||12-in.||10/4/1909||Star spangled banner||Geraldine Farrar||Soprano vocal solo, with chorus and orchestra||author|
|Victor||B-8272||10-in.||5/25/1916||Star spangled banner||Geraldine Farrar||Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra||author|
|Victor||BVE-14570||10-in.||3/30/1928||The star spangled banner||Victor Mixed Chorus||Vocal chorus, with orchestra||author|
|Victor||B-14570||10-in.||3/13/1914||The star spangled banner||Victor Mixed Chorus||Chorus, with orchestra||author|
|Victor||B-15005||10-in.||6/24/1914||The star spangled banner||Margaret Romaine||Female vocal solo, with orchestra||author|
|Victor||B-19534||10-in.||3/29/1917||The star spangled banner||John McCormack||Tenor vocal solo, with vocal chorus and orchestra||author|
|Victor||B-20099||10-in.||6/27/1917||The star spangled banner||Elizabeth Spencer||Female vocal solo, with orchestra||author|
|Victor||B-20316||10-in.||7/3/1917||The star spangled banner||Reinald Werrenrath||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||author|
|Victor||B-20331||10-in.||7/10/1917||The star spangled banner||Louise Homer||Contralto vocal solo, with mixed vocal quartet and orchestra||author|
|Victor||B-20332||10-in.||7/10/1917||The star spangled banner||Louise Homer||Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra||author|
|Victor||C-21944||12-in.||6/4/1918||The star spangled banner||Wilfred Glenn||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||author|
|Victor||B-22193||10-in.||8/5/1918||Star spangled banner||František A. Pangrác||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||author|
|Victor||CVE-49530||12-in.||1/12/1929||Dedication of the Cascade Tunnel||Graham McNamee ; Ernestine Schumann-Heink||Radio broadcast : Contralto vocal solo, with piano||author|
|Victor||BS-023914||10-in.||6/27/1938||The star spangled banner||Boston Pops Orchestra ; Arthur Fiedler||Orchestra||author|
|Victor||BS-035320||10-in.||3/21/1939||The star spangled banner||Kate Smith||Female vocal solo, with mixed vocal chorus and orchestra||author|
|Victor||BS-048770||10-in.||4/11/1940||The star spangled banner||Emile Coté ; Victor Mixed Chorus||Mixed vocal chorus, with organ||author|
|Victor||[Trial 1914-09-03-01]||Not documented||9/3/1914||Star spangled banner||Chas. B. Hanford||Recitation||author|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Key, Francis Scott," accessed April 10, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102073.
Key, Francis Scott. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved April 10, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102073.
"Key, Francis Scott." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 10 April 2021.
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