Part-One of F.S. Key After the Song – is sub-titled: “The Era of Good Feelings” Shortly after the Battle of Baltimore in September 1814 Francis Scott Key becomes wildly famous. His song had already traveled to New Orleans and was sung at the last battle of the War of 1812 that January of 1815. This battle was the foundation for Andrew Jackson’s presidency and along with it Frank Key’s destiny. As Key struggles with his newfound fame due to his song he begins a series of philanthropic efforts, some religious in nature but all revolving around slavery.
He and his brother-in-law Roger B. Taney become known for representing slaves, and along with John Randolph, a brilliant and eccentric congressman from Virginia and close friend of Frank Key, other issues of slavery are explored and discussed. We also explore 19th century medicine through Frank Key’s experience with Dr. Philip Syng Physick of Philadelphia who operates on Frank’s kidney stones.
The death of one of Frank’s young son’s becomes a major turning point for him and he begins to change, notably demonstrated by his joining of a literary men’s club where he writes an erotic poem. Part one ends with stories of Andrew Jackson’s first run for the presidency, the dirtiest campaign in American history, that resulted in Jackson losing to John Quincy Adams and partisan politics ruling Washington.