“Hail to the Governor!”

Carroll County Times article for 11 December 1994

by Jay A. Graybeal

The 1891 gubernatorial election will always hold a special place in local history. The inauguration of Frank Brown of near Sykesville on January 13, 1892 marked the only time a Carroll Countian attained the state’s highest political office. As related below, a chance visit between the Governor’s wife and a songwriter resulted in a musical tribute to the governor:

There is an interesting bit of history connected with the [below] composition, which renders its dedication to Mrs. Governor Brown particularly appropriate, as it was owing to her entirely – although the suggestion was playfully made – that Professor Sanders undertook its production. On the Fourth of July last, Professor Sanders, who is well know as the author of “God Bless the President,” which will be sung at the opening of the World’s Fair, at Chicago, was invited to conduct the singing that of hymn at the Pen-Mar celebration. Mrs. Brown was then a guest at the Blue Mountain House, and was present at the celebration by special invitation of the committee in charge. While riding over from the Blue Mountain House to Pen-Mar in one of the large open phaetons, Professor Sanders was introduced to Mrs. Brown as the author of “God Bless the President.” Said Mrs. Brown, smilingly, “Why don’t you write something about the governor, Mr. Sanders?” Whereupon Professor Sanders replied: “I shall surely have to do so, Mrs. Brown, after such a suggestion.”Mrs. Brown perhaps had not thought her suggestion or the promise would bear such speedy fruit when the matter was vividly recalled to her recollection a few days since by the reception, at Narragansett, of a copy of the very patriotic production herewith given to the public through the columns of The American.

And that the Governor’s wife was appreciative of the fact that Professor Sanders had so faithfully fulfilled his promise, the following letter will show:

NARRAGANSETT, August 28, 1892.

My Dear Mr. Sanders, – No doubt, I should commence my letter by saying your remembrance of me was a surprise, but, having heard of you before, knew that you keep your promise and that the hymn of Maryland’s Governor would be all that one could desire. Accept my thinks, however, for dedicating it to me. You could not have paid me a higher compliment as you have expressed my feelings so well, which I could not have done myself in print.

Hoping to thank you in person as soon as I reach Baltimore.

Very sincerely yours,
M. Ridgely Brown
Professor Sanders dedicated “Hail to the Governor” to Mrs. Gov. Frank Brown:

Hail to the Ruler of our grand old State, Maryland!
Hail from her valleys and her mountains great, Maryland!
Honor be given to the People’s Choice, Give him full tribute with
heart and voice, Hail to the Governor of “My Maryland!” Hail, all hail!


Hail him, O hail him, from old Chesapeake’s wave, Maryland!
Hail him, O hail him, all ye free men brave, Maryland!
Hail him, ye fathers and mothers true, Hail him, ye lads, and ye
lasses too, Hail to the Governor of “My Maryland!” Hail, all hail!


Hail him Potomac – with your rolling tides, Maryland!
Hail Him Patapsco – where the storm-king rides, Maryland!
Hail him, ye fields of bright waving grain,
Flash out of your welcome with a glad refrain,
Hail to the Governor of “My Maryland!” Hail, all hail!


Hail Susquehanna, with your water blue, Maryland!
Hail him, bright flowers of every hue, Maryland!
Hail him, ye forests of living green,
Hail him, ye waters in silvery sheen,
Hail to the Governor of “My Maryland!” Hail, all hail!
“Hail to the Governor!” was circulated by Sanders & Stayman, music dealers with a store at 13 N. Charles St. in Baltimore. The Historical Society’s copy was donated by Mr. Edward G. Little.
Photo caption: Gov. Frank Brown, the only Carroll Countian who has served as a governor of Maryland. Historical Society of Carroll County Collection, gift of Mr. Francis H. Benton, 1990.