Francis Scott Key Gravesite at Mount Olivet Cemetery

The final resting place of Francis Scott Key is located in Mount Olivet Cemetery within walking distance of downtown Frederick. Just inside the front gate, stands an impressive monument dedicated on August 9th, 1898 to pay lasting tribute to the author of our country’s national anthem.

On January 14, 1843 three days following his death of pleurisy at the age of sixty-three, Baltimore’s Niles’ Weekly Register reported his death:

“Francis Key, Esq., late U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, died suddenly whilst on a visit to his son-n-law, Mr. Howard, of Baltimore on the 12th inst. He was a man of a very high order of talent…He was the author of the deservedly popular national song, “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Key was visiting his oldest daughter Elizabeth Phobe Key Howard (1803-1897), the wife of Dr. Charles Howard (1802-1869), youngest son of Revolutionary War veteran Brigadier General John Edgar Howard (1752-1827). The site of the Howard's home (c.1853) is where now stands the United Methodist-Episcopal Church (built 1870) at 10 East Mount Vernon Place. His father's mansion of “Belvedere” was located further north. Following the funeral (in which no narrative is known to have survived) Key’s remains were placed in the brick vault of the Howard family in Old St. Paul’s Cemetery in Baltimore. Here he rested with his wife Mary Tayloe Lloyd Key (1784-1859) daughter of Governor Edward Lloyd of Wye House until removed to Frederick, Maryland in 1866 and buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery. In 1898 the Key Monument Association  dedicated the monument we view to day over Mr. & Mrs. Key’s grave.

“His patriotism will survive forever in his song.” Alexandria Gazette, January 14, 1843.


Francis Scott Key Memorial

Francis Scott Key Memorial

View of the Francis Scott Key Memorial at Mount Olivet Cemetery. | Source: Wikimedia Commons | Creator: Brian Bailey View File Details Page

Street Address:

515 S. Market Street, Frederick, MD 21701 [map]

Cite this Page:

Scott S. Sheads, “Francis Scott Key Gravesite at Mount Olivet Cemetery,” Battle of Baltimore, accessed November 20, 2019,


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