Generally Speaking: Remembering the Maryland 400


Members of the Michael J. Rawley Post #1636 of the American Legion and the Brooklyn Irish American Parade Committee mustered again in the yard behind the post headquarters at Eighth Street just off Third Avenue for their annual  Maryland 400 remembrance ceremony.

The legionnaires were led by Post Commander Michael Candia and the parade committee by Kathleen McDonagh.  Also in attendance were historian Joseph Ferris, a former member of the State Assembly; current Assemblymember Jim Brennan; Peter DeAngelis, chair of the United Military Veterans of Kings County, and Mary Nolan, president of Brooklyn’s Commodore John Barry Club.

The program included the National Anthem sung by John Houlihan, an invocation by the Reverend John Flannery, and a rifle salute and Taps by an honor guard from the McFadden Brothers American Legion Post.

There was also a solemn reading of the roster from the Maryland 400, and a placing of a wreath at the base of the flagpole. Bagpipe selections were performed by Bob O’Hare who later led a short parade from the Rawley Post to the Old Stone House, where a second wreath was presented.

According to historical records, the men of the Maryland 400 fought valiantly to defend the Old Stone House, however were eventually repelled by the British contingents that far outnumbered them.

The Marylanders were pushed toward the Gowanus Canal where 256 were buried on a knoll in a mass grave within the mill ponds. This site reportedly has been identified as roughly the southwest corner of Third Avenue near Eighth Street.

Additionally, 100 were wounded or captured by the Brits.  But, had it not been for the ultimate sacrifices by the Marylanders, Washington’s small army would not have been able to escape to fight another day.  There is a 12-foot monument in Prospect Park, designed by famous architect Stanford White, paying tribute to the Marylanders.


Reminder, the Society of Old Brooklynites will hold its 105th annual memorial tribute to the Prison Ship Martyrs, America’s first POWs, on Saturday, August 24, at 10 a.m., at the base of the 149-foot monument at the top of the hill in Fort Greene Park.

The next day, the focus on the 237th anniversary of the Battle of Brooklyn takes place at Green-Wood Cemetery with a re-enactment inside the main gate featuring live musket and cannon fire.

Then, there will be a 1:30 p.m. parade up Battle Hill led by the U.S. Merchant Marine marching band from Kings Point, Long Island, followed by memorial commemoration ceremonies at 2 p.m., by the Battle of Brooklyn Memorial Society.  Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley will be the guest speaker.

 * **

Democratic Brooklyn borough presidential candidate John Gangemi, a former GOP city councilmember, was knocked off the Democratic primary ballot due to insufficient valid petition signatures.

This leaves State Senator Eric Adams as the sole candidate for the Borough’s top spot. However, in the general election, the Kings County Conservative Party is running Elias J. Weir for borough president.

Weir, a community activist in Canarsie and former auxiliary police officer, in the past years has been a candidate for the City Council against Democrat incumbent Lew Fidler and more recently ran against State Senator John Sampson.

* * *

Congratulations to Principal Justin Berman and the teaching staff at I.S. 187, the Christa McAuliffe School, at 1171 65th Street.  I’m sure America’s first teacher astronaut would be quite proud of her school namesake if she were still alive today.  The sixth to eighth grade students at 187 racked up a 96 percent pass rate on the challenging new state exams.  This placed the school in second place throughout the city.

* * *

The Kings County chapter of the Catholic War Veterans has announced that it is holding its annual dinner on Thursday, September 5, at 7 p.m., at the Polonaise Terrace, 50 Greenpoint Avenue.

Attorney Michael Connors, a past national judge advocate of the CWV, is the current county commander. This year the group is honoring American Revolutionary General Tadeusz Kosciuszko and all soldiers of Polish heritage for their contributions to western civilization.

Tickets are $80 each and may be obtained at the Connors and Sullivan law firm, 7408 Fifth Avenue or by calling Monica at 718-238-6500.

* * *

The landmark William Cronyn Mansion on Ninth Street. (Photo courtesy of Ted General)

Every time we happen to amble up Ninth Street in Park Slope, we are simply amazed by the standout architecture of the stately mansion at 271 Ninth Street. It is the current home of the Slope Music School, but has a glorious and interesting history.

It’s a city landmark and is on the national Register of Historic Places. The building, which dates back to 1856, was designed by Patrick Keely and is known as the William Cronyn House.

In 1888, it was purchased by India ink manufacturer Charles Higgins, whose mausoleum is on the top of Battle Hill in Green-Wood Cemetery. The building, in the architectural style known as French Second Empire, is now owned by Vita and Charles Sibirsky.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.