The Pack Horse Ford Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) sponsored a chartered bus trip to Baltimore Maryland, on Saturday, June 15, to see and learn about history. Over 30 members and residents of the community supported this fundraising event. The day was filled with fun and adventure.
Chapter members and guests began the day with author Lois Zanow guiding us through historic sites and prominent buildings in the city of Baltimore, including Mount Vernon and Fells Point. Zanow co-authored the book, "Monuments to Heaven: Baltimore's Historic Houses of Worship." She pointed out little unknown facts about the area. Lunch was served in the beautiful Peabody Court Hotel's private dining room with a spectacular panoramic view of the city.
For the afternoon, the group visited the museum of the Maryland Historical Society, with a special temporary exhibit featuring the life, love, and fashion of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte (1785-1879). Although Betsy was a native of Baltimore, her marriage to Napoleon Bonaparte's younger brother, Jerome Bonaparte, became an international drama. Elizabeth and Jerome Bonaparte were married on December 24, 1803. She gave birth to a son on July 7, 1805 in London. Napoleon Bonaparte insisted his brother get an annulment and marry royalty. Betsy returned to Baltimore, where she became one of the city's wealthiest landowners. In 1815, by special Act of the Legislature of Maryland, she secured a divorce. Her last years were spent in Baltimore in the management of her estate, the value of which she increased to $1.5 million.
Other highlights of the tour included seeing one of only three surviving Revolutionary War officer's uniforms in America; an extensive collection of Confederate and Union uniforms; a collection of important flags, including one of the only surviving examples of a Civil War flag carried by an African-American regiment; furniture from the early 19th century; the world's largest collection of Baltimore Album quilts; and the world's largest collection of paintings by members of the Peale family, including a painting of General Horatio Gates from the Revolutionary War, who retired to Martinsburg after the War.