The National Park Service (NPS) recently concluded the inaugural year of the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail (Trail) Ambassador Sail program in partnership with Pride of Baltimore, Inc. (Pride, Inc). The program reached more than 7,435 in-person visitors through park-ranger led educational programs and deck tours onboard the tall ship Pride of Baltimore II (Pride II) and over 11,000 people virtually through live streams and videos. These educational programs taught people in eight Maryland port towns about privateers and the African American experience in the Chesapeake during the War of 1812.
Pride II, a reproduction privateer War of 1812 schooner, sailed the Chesapeake Bay and engaged visitors in the history of the people and places in the regions along the Trail. Participants experienced history firsthand through free public deck tours and sailing activities, such as raising the sails and witnessing cannon firing demonstrations. Volunteers from the Chesapeake Independent Blues also provided living history representations of the Maryland citizen-soldiers during the War of 1812.
Learn more about each port stop below.
The season debut!
St. Mary’s City, MD
April 23 - April 25Pride II arrived on the afternoon of Friday, April 23 and docked at the Maryland Dove dock. Due to COVID protocols, there were no deck tours or day sails. The public viewed Pride II Friday, Saturday, and Sunday as access to the dock and waterfront area was free of charge for the weekend.
An educational shoreside display was set-up near the ship and virtual and onsite programs were offered, including: "Coffee with the Captain," featuring local author Michael Kent; Chesapeake Independent Blues living history demonstrations; the "Gentleman or Traitor?" playlet, an interactive 10-minute play based on historical events and set in the summer of 1814 during the War of 1812; and an in-person presentation of "Mulatto: The Black History of Calvert County."
This event was in partnership with Southern Maryland Heritage Area and Historic St. Mary's City.
Learn more about the Southern Maryland region during the War of 1812.
Havre de Grace, MDMay 8-10
Pride II sailed into Havre de Grace to much fanfare on Friday, May 8. A thunderstorm loomed in the distance but held off until the historic replica ship had docked, then the skies opened up. Pride II was docked at Hutchins Park (100 Congress Avenue), behind the city’s Saturday morning farmers market. Due to COVID protocols, there were no deck tours or day sails.
The public viewed Pride II Friday, Saturday, and Sunday as well as an educational shoreside display that was set-up near the ship.The National Park Service staffed a tent and distributed a Junior Ranger booklet especially designed for Havre de Grace, telling the story of the British raid on the town and the citizens response. Virtual programming included “Coffee with the Captain,” featuring Havre de Grace Mayor Bill Martin while on-site programming included volunteers from the Chesapeake Independent Blues who provided living history representations of the Maryland citizen-soldiers during the War of 1812.
This event was in partnership with Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway and Havre de Grace Visitor Center and Tourism.
Learn more about the Upper Bay Maryland region during the War of 1812.
Memorial Day Weekend, May 29-31
Pride II sailed into town Friday, June 25, kicking off a fun-filled weekend of on-water activities highlighting the Trail in Kent County.
Throughout the weekend, Pride II offered free deck tours and partnership day sails with park ranger-led educational programs about privateers and the African American experience. Participants experienced history first-hand raising the sails and witnessing a cannon firing demonstration. Volunteers from the Chesapeake Independent Blues also provided on-site programming through living history demonstrations of the Maryland citizen-soldiers during the War of 1812.
Learn more about the Battle of Caulk's Field and the War of 1812 on the Eastern Shore.
St. Michaels, MD
August 6 - August 8
Solomons Island, MD
September 4-6What a beautiful weekend to sail through history! We were so excited to partner with Pride II to share the local history of the War of 1812 around Solomons Island. We had a great time; Ranger Betsy even got to help raise some sails!
The weekend event included two educational day sails on Saturday and Sunday, followed by deck tours open to the public Sunday afternoon. Local author Michael Kent also presented onboard about his book, “Mulatto: The Black History of Calvert County.”
Our partner, the Calvert Marine Museum, hosted two 10-minute plays entitled “Gentleman or Traitor?” Sunday afternoon about historic events set during the Summer of 1814. The next Trail Ambassador stop will be back here in Baltimore Sept. 18-19 for Defenders' Day! Stay tuned for more details.
Many thanks to our other amazing partners who helped make this a memorable weekend: The Calvert Marine Museum, Destination Southern Maryland and the Chesapeake Independent Blues.
October 15 - 17
Last updated: March 25, 2022