- By Norman Fine
The Port of Baltimore earned a place in American history two hundred years ago this month during the War of 1812. The British, after burning and sacking Washington, D.C. in August of 1814, turned their attention to Baltimore with an assault by naval and ground troops in September. Francis Scott Key, a witness to the naval bombardment of Fort McHenry, jotted down the words to what became our national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner.”
The Port of Baltimore earned its place in American foxhunting history that very same month—September, 1814. After the British fleet withdrew to make its final assault of the War of 1812 on New Orleans, a merchant ship entered the Port of Baltimore and disembarked two foxhounds from Ireland, Mountain and Muse.
Unusual for their appearance, speed, aggression, hunting style, and pre-potency, Mountain and Muse turned out to be progenitors of our principal American foxhound strains: July, Birdsong, Trigg, Bywaters, and Walker. The Midland Crossbred, developed by Ben Hardaway, MFH, found today in kennels all over North America as well as England, and having its roots in the July strain, also goes back to Mountain and Muse.