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Are we Northern? Southern? Yes.


March 28, 2010|By Frederick N. Rasmussen fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

It was Schoettler's conviction that the Old South lingered on in Baltimore in the "hallowed Virginia accents of the remotest upper classes, in the collard greens at Lexington Market and in the memories of the ladies of the United Daughters of the Confederacy."

In 2005, Frank R. Shivers Jr., a Bolton Hill author and historian, repeated for Style Magazine what John F. Kennedy said about Washington and implied the same could be said of Baltimore: "Washington is a town of Northern charm and Southern efficiency."

In 1956, a Tennessee woman wrote to the State Department of Information asking whether Maryland was a Northern or Southern state. The department told her to draw her own conclusion based on the following (which was reprinted in The Baltimore Sun at the time):

1. "Maryland lies south of the Mason and Dixon Line."

2. "Only eleven states in the country produce maple syrup; Maryland is the southernmost state that produces this product."

3. "Almost all Southern states have cypress swamps. Maryland has the northernmost cypress swamp."

4. "Many Northern and Southern states produce tobacco; so does Maryland."

5. "Virginia pines grow in most Southern states; hemlock trees grow in most Northern states; Maryland produces both."

6. "The mockingbird is considered a Southern bird; there are many in Maryland.'

7. "Fried chicken is considered a Southern delicacy; Maryland fried chicken is world famous."

8. "During the War Between the States, sometimes called the Civil War, Maryland had troops in both the Union and Confederate armies."

9. "Maryland's 175th Infantry is authorized to carry the Confederate flag."

10. "Maryland belongs to the Southern Governor's Conference."

11. "Maryland belongs to both the Northern and Southern Regional Park Conference."

12. "Maryland belongs to the Federal Government's Eastern Coastal Migratory Bird Flyway."

13. "At Gettysburg, there are monuments to the Maryland Regiment, U.S.A, and the Maryland Regiment, C.S.A."

14. "At Antietam battlefield, sometimes called Sharpsburg, there is a monument to the memory of the men of Maryland 'who died here for their convictions.' "

The department added at the end: "Most Marylanders find it difficult to answer the question. Some consider themselves Southerners; others as Northerners. Perhaps the truth lives between the extremes."

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