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Cary-McHenry family photograph collection

Identifier: PP 0249


The photographs in the Cary-McHenry Family Collection spans over 140 years. The materials consist of tin types, cartes de visite, portraits, group photographs, fashion photographs, and snapshots of members of the family, friends, and residences.


  • 1850-1990

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

The reproduction of materials in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine and satisfy copyright clearances or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information visit the MCHC’s Rights and Permissions page.

Biographical / Historical

Members of the Cary-McHenry-Howard Families have played prominent roles in Maryland from Colonial times to the mid-twentieth century. Members of the Cary family are descended from Pocahontas (1595-1617). James McHenry (1753-1816), (for whom Fort McHenry was named), was a physician who studied under Dr. Benjamin Rush, served in the Continental Army, State Senate of Maryland, Constitutional Convention, and was Secretary of War under George Washington and John Adams. James Howard McHenry (1820-1888), grandson of James McHenry, was a prominent Baltimore lawyer educated at Princeton and Harvard Law, grandson of Revolutionary War hero John Eager Howard. His cousin James McHenry Boyd served as a diplomat to the Court of St. James. Col. Miles Wilson Cary (1806-1877) was the great-great nephew of Thomas Jefferson and was proud of the resemblance between the shape of his head and Jefferson’s. Cary served in the army of the Confederate States of America and his sister Hetty (1836-1892) and cousins Jennie and Constance (known as the Cary Invincibles) designed the confederate flag known as the Southern Cross. Jennie Cary put the words of the poem ‘Maryland, my Maryland’ to the German folk song ‘Lauriger Hortius’ creating the state song. Miles Wilson Cary’s wife, Jane Margaret Cary (1809-1893) founded the Southern Home School for girls. James Howard McHenry (b. 1892) served in both WWI and WWII in France, India, and China. Pauline Potter de Rothschild (daughter of Gwendolyn Cary) was great-great granddaughter of Francis Scott Key. She had a flamboyant life after her divorce from Charles Carrol Fulton Leser being romantically linked to a number of prominent people including Paul-Henri Spaak (prime minister of Belgium), movie director John Huston, Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovitch Romanov of Russia (one of the murderers of Rasputin), and Isabelle Kemp, heiress to a New York drug-store and real-estate fortune. She became a fashion icon as director of the custom-fashion division of Hattie Carnegie. In 1954 she married Philippe de Rothschild becoming a Baronne. Members of the Cary-McHenry Family have served this country in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, the Civil War, World Wars I and II.


2.0 Linear Feet (2 flat boxes)

Language of Materials



The photographs are arranged into series:

Series I: Tintypes (no date)

Series II: Group photographs (1860-1965)

Series III: Location Pictures (1886-1994)

Series IV: Cartes de visite (1877-1895)

Series V. Portraits

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Julia Clark Watts, October 13, 2007.

Related Materials

MS 3085, Cary-McHenry family collection, 1770-1990

Scope and Contents

The photographs in the Cary-McHenry collection span over 140 years and consist of tintypes, cartes de visite, portraits, group photographs, and snapshots of family members, friends, and various properties. Also included are fashion photographs of Pauline Potter de Rothschild, daughter of Gwendolyn Cary. A number of the photographs were taken at Sudbrook, the estate of James Howard McHenry which burned in 1904. Photographs from the 1920s were taken at Dieppe, France. Snapshots of the dedication of the James McHenry Elementary School from 1965 and snapshots of Marigold Cottage, Bar Harbor, Maine taken in the 1994 are also included.

Guide to the Cary-McHenry family photograph collection
Under Revision
Judith Hallfrisch
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2020-02-27: Manually entered into ArchivesSpace by Mallory Herberger.
  • 2020-07-18: Container list manually added to ArchivesSpace by Emily Somach.

Repository Details

Part of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library
Maryland Center for History and Culture
610 Park Avenue
Baltimore MD 21201 United States