Mary Ryan

By A&S Magazine

Mary Ryan in front of Washington Monument

“I believe in teaching-in-place, that is, exploring the actual sites where history has been made. Baltimore is a great place to do this. It was ‘erected into a city,’ as its charter phrased it, in 1796 and was built from the ground up after the American Revolution. Baltimore represents a city that was made along with the nation.”

Mary Ryan, the John Martin Vincent Professor of History, is writing a book about the making of two major American cities: San Francisco and Baltimore. A 19th-century urban historian, Ryan recently published an article in the Journal of Urban History called “Democracy Rising: The Monuments of Baltimore, 1809- 1842.” She says Baltimore is home to many extraordinary monuments that document critical periods in American political development. Here, she stands in front of the Washington Monument.