Barbara (Hauer) Fritchie
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Barbara (Hauer) Fritchie (1766 - 1862)

Barbara Fritchie formerly Hauer aka Frietschie
Born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvaniamap
Wife of — married 17 May 1806 in Frederick County, Maryland, United Statesmap
[children unknown]
Died at age 96 in Frederick, Frederick County, Maryland, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 14 Nov 2008
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Barbara (Hauer) Fritchie is a part of Maryland history.
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Barbara (Hauer) Fritchie is Notable.

Barbara (Hauer) Fritchie, Civil War Hero. At ninety-five years of age she reputedly defied the Confederate troops under Stonewall Jackson as they advanced through Frederick, Maryland. Her memory has been preserved in poem entitled "Barbara Frietchie" by John Greenleaf Whittier in 1864: "Shoot, if you must, this old gray head, But spare your country's flag," she said. A shade of sadness, a blush of shame, Over the face of the leader came; The nobler nature within him stirred To life at that woman's deed and word; "Who touches a hair of yon gray head Dies like a dog! March on!" he said. Again in a play by that same title by Clyde Fitch in 1899 where he takes artistic liberty and intertwines her story with that of his own grandparents' love story, which also takes place during the Civil War. She was born Barbara Hauer in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and was married to John Casper Fritchie, a glove maker, on May 6, 1806. She was a personal friend of Francis Scott Key and they participated together in a memorial service at Frederick when George Washington died. When Winston Churchill passed through Frederick in 1943, he stopped at the house and recited the poem from memory. Her house is preserved as a museum on West Patrick Street in Frederick, Maryland to this day. (bio by: D C McJonathan-Swarm)

Poem by John G. Whitter about Barbara Fritchie and her protection the union Flag from Rebels in Frederick in Sept. 1862. Whitter stated: “the only thing he had written for the truth that he could not vouch” His poem written in 1864.

Barbara’s father: Nicholas Hauer, born in Nassau-Saar-brucken, in Dillendorf, Aug. 6, 1733, who left Germany May 11, 1754, and arrived in Pennsylvania October 1, of the same year. Mother’s name Catherine. Barbara was born in Lancaster, Pa., where her father first settled, on the 3d of December, 1766. Moved to Frederick before 1783. Barbara remembers when Geo. Washington came to Frederick in 1791.

May 6, 1806 - Barbara married Casper Fritchie - Frederick City by the Rev. Mr. Wagner, of the German Reformed Church. He was a glove maker. Casper died Nov. 10, 1849.

Barbara at age 95 and nine months had kept her flag outside the top window since the previous winter. Confederate Stonewall Jackson and troops marching through Frederick Sept. 6, 1862. HOWEVER, his troops may never have actually fired on the flag or Barbara. Nothing was known or said about Jackson's ordering his troops to fire. The troops fired; Barbara waved the flag which the firing threw down, reproaching the men for their disloyalty, and the stern voice of the general cried, " March on ! "

Barbara died 3 ½ months after the event on Dec. 18,1862. A great nephew at Barbara’s funeral heard about a flag story, told it to his brother later in Washington, DC (who was a real estate agent) who then told the story to Mrs. Eden Southworth, of Washington DC, a writer of stories. Southworth, using some imagination, wrote the story to her friend, Whittier. He embellished it more.

Barbara Hauer born in Frederick, Maryland, USA in December 3, 1766 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to Nicholas Hauer and Catherine (Zealer). Barbara married John Casper Fritchie. She passed away on 18 Dec 1862 in Frederick, Frederick County, Maryland, USA.


  • Nicholas Hauer 1733-1799
  • Catherine Zealer 1743-1834


  • John Casper Fritchie 1780-1849


Mount Olivet Cemetery, Frederick, Maryland Frederick Frederick County Maryland, USA Plot: Area MM Lot 00


  • Barbara Hauer Records - [1]
  • Margaret E. Myers. Marriage Licenses of Frederick County, 1778-1810
  • FindAGrave: [2].
  • The Women of '76 by Sally Smith Booth, Hastings House publishers, New York, 1973. E276 B66. Page 68. Mention of her father being found guilty of plotting against the rebels.

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Barbara by comparing test results with other carriers of her ancestors' mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known mtDNA test-takers in her direct maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with Barbara:

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From Family Search profile off Johan Niklaus Hauer:

Maryland Historical Magazine, Vol XXXVII, September, 1942, No. 3. Barbara Frietschie by Dorothy Mackay Quinn and William Rogers Quinn.

Excellent article giving real history. It would appear that Whittier's poem was a significant embellishment, and the profile needs to be re-written to reflect greater historical accuracy! The Whittier poem can be included under a separate section called "Legacy and Legend"!
posted by Jack Day

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