[KEY, FRANCIS SCOTT.] National Intelligencer. Washington: September 27, 1814. Vol 15, no 2187.
Bifolium (500 x 320 mm). Disbound, light brown stain to outer margin, closed tear to lower edge.
CONTAINS A VERY RARE COMPLETE PRINTING OF THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER, ONE OF THE EARLIEST PRINTINGS OBTAINABLE, under its original title of "Defence of Fort McHenry," with the author un-named, and noting that the tune is that of the English drinking song, "Anacreon in Heaven." Key's famous shipboard composition of the Star Spangled Banner had taken place less than two weeks before, on the morning of September 14, 1814 and first appeared in the local Baltimore papers before making it, as here, to Washington.
The National Intelligencer prints all four verses as well as the story of its composition: how "a gentleman" was captured by the British, although traveling under a flag of truce, and forced to watch the bombardment of Fort McHenry in defense of Baltimore. The paper makes its own comment that "Whoever is the author of these lines they do equal honor to his principles and his talents."