poem index


Francis Scott Key

Printer-friendly version

Born on August 1, 1779, in Frederick County, Maryland, Francis Scott Key was a lawyer who witnessed the daylong assault of Fort McHenry by British troops during the War of 1812. Key saw the fort hold during the attack and was inspired to write The Star-Spangled Banner, which became the U.S. national anthem. Key went on to serve as a district attorney in Washington, D.C. He died on January 11, 1843.

by this poet

O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,   
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?   
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,   
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming;   
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof