Washington, DC: 1893. 4to. Eight lines of manuscript on the letter sheet which is inlaid into heavier stock. The autograph reads in full: "Hark to an exiled son's appeal, / Maryland! / My mother-state to thee I kneel, / Maryland! / For life and death, for woe and weal, / Thy peerless chivalry reveal, / And gird thy beauteous limbs with steel, / Maryland ! My Maryland! / James R. Randall." Former Confederate General Eppa Hunton is listed as a member of the Post Offices committee; Randall worked as a journalist in Washington, D.C., after the war and probably encountered the letterhead in the course of his work. Very good. Faint old fold lines, a bit of spotting at the right margin. (61470) (9784). Item #61470
Randall, a native Marylander, composed these lyrics in April 1861, after Union troops marched through Baltimore. A Confederate sympathizer teaching in Louisiana at the time, Randall was outraged by this event which caused rioting and deaths in the city, including that of a close friend. In response, he penned this song which begins "The despot's heel is on thy shore, Maryland!" It became a popular battle hymn throughout the South during the Civil War when it was set to the tune of "Lauriger Horatius" by Jennie Cary, a member of Baltimore society. It was adopted as the official Maryland state song in 1939. Primarily because of this poem, Randall is often referred to as "Poet Laureate of the Lost Cause."