Francis Scott Key (1779-1843)
"The Star-Spangled Banner."
Baltimore: Thomas Carr, 1814
Printed sheet music
Purchase, 1941 (29.1)
In 1814, Francis Scott Key wrote new words for a well-known drinking
song, "To Anacreon in Heaven," to celebrate America's recent victory
over the British. However, only in 1931, following a twenty-year
effort during which more than forty bills and joint resolutions
were introduced in Congress, was a law finally signed proclaiming
"The Star Spangled Banner" to be the national anthem of the United
The present copy, one of only five known to have been made by Key,
is the earliest of four dating from the period 1840-1842 near the
end of his life.
Shown here is a copy of the first printed edition combining words
and music -- one of only ten copies known to exist.