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The Town of Baltimore, Jonestown, and Fells Point were incorporated as the City of Baltimore in 1796–1797.The city remained a part of surrounding Baltimore County and continued to serve as its county seat from 1768–1851, after which it became an independent city.
By the beginning of the 1970s, Baltimore's downtown area known as the Inner Harbor had been neglected and was occupied by a collection of abandoned warehouses.
Soon after the city created the world's first dental college, the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, in 1840, and shared in the world's first telegraph line, between Baltimore and Washington DC in 1844.
Maryland, a slave state with abundant popular support for secession in some areas, remained part of the Union during the American Civil War, due in part to the Union's strategic occupation of the city in 1861.
With hundreds of identified districts, Baltimore has been dubbed a "city of neighborhoods." Famous residents have included writers Edgar Allan Poe, Edith Hamilton, Frederick Douglass, and H. Mencken; jazz musician James "Eubie" Blake; singer Billie Holiday; actor and filmmaker John Waters; and baseball player Babe Ruth.
In the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key wrote The Star-Spangled Banner, which later became the American national anthem, in Baltimore.and is an independent city that is not part of any county.