Two hundred years ago

Posted by Helen Sunday, August 24, 2014 ,

On August 24, 1814 Washington burned.

Soldiers and marines under Major-General Robert Ross and Rear Admiral Sir George Cockburn put Washington’s public buildings, including the Senate, the House of Representatives, the Library of Congress, the Treasury building, the State and War Departments, the historic Navy Yard and the President’s House (as the White House was then known), to the torch.
Mr Madison's war seemed of little importance to the British who were fighting Napoleon and many Americans have preferred to forget what was a serious national humiliation created by a series of misjudgements on the part of the President and the Secretary of War.

An interesting account and analysis in History Today, as ever.


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