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Below is the art work of Francis Guy (Brooklyn Museum). Showing what Baltimore looked like in 1802-1803.

Balt 1802

And this is what the mayor had to say about Baltimore in 1803:

Mayor’s Message – February 14, 1803: Mayor Calhoun. Experience evinces that no measure we can take contributes so much to protect us from the malignant effects of fever as cleanliness, and therefore that every exertion ought to be made to remove from the City all impure substances and putrefactive matter, and to fill up low and sunken situations which retain stagnant water and filth; much has already been done in this respect since we have been incorporated, and every observant mind must view with pleasure the great improvements that have been made, as well in the east part of the City as the west, in filling up low and sunken grounds, and in making streets, that were before quagmires, not only passable but elegant; these, together with a variety of other matters, such as watching and lighting the City, erecting and repairing bridges, repairing and improving markets, assisting to build and to support an hospital, erecting a powder magazine, deepening and improving the Harbour, sinking wells and keeping pumps in repair, cleaning the streets, etc., etc., have been attended with heavy expense to the City, and have borne hard on many individuals, but I trust they will reflect that the expense has been unavoidable, and was the only means whereby their property could have been rendered valuable to them.

Hard to see, for me at least, how one is related to the other. The artist shows Baltimore as a clean, nice little town on the Patapsco Basin. The mayor paints a picture of Baltimore as a “quagmire”; talking the politics of how much has improved.

To quote the Talking Heads – it is “The same as it ever was…”

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