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The Burning of Washington: August 24, 1814

This August 24 and 25 mark the 200th anniversary of the British burning of Washington DC during the War of 1812.

Prior to the burning, 4,500 British soldiers went up against 5,000 Americans (mostly militiamen) in a battle at Bladensburg, Maryland, just 4 miles northeast of Washington. Though the Americans had the advantage of numbers and artillery, the untried and poorly led militiamen didn’t stand much of a chance against the better trained and disciplined British soldiers. Three hours of battle had the Americans fleeing as fast as they could, while the British commanding officers, General Ross and Admiral Cockburn, led a portion of their men into Washington, which was now undefended.

Leaving private homes and property alone for the most part, the British began burning government buildings, starting with Capitol building, which at the time also housed the Supreme Court and Library of Congress. They then proceeded to the White House, which had been abandoned by President Madison and his wife shortly before. (Dolley Madison is famous for staying at the White House as long as possible and directing the rescue of a portrait of George Washington, among other valuables.)

The following day, Cockburn and Ross organized the burning of other buildings, like the State and War departments and the Treasury, which had started to burn the night before but had been doused by a rainstorm. Cockburn ordered the destruction of the printing presses of a newspaper that had been particularly critical of him, but the U.S. Patent Office was saved from destruction by the pleas of its superintendent. The British went to the Navy Yard, but it had already been burned the previous day by the Americans to keep it from falling into British hands. A contingent of soldiers also went to Greenleaf Point Federal Arsenal to destroy the gunpowder and cannons there but ended up causing an explosion that killed or maimed many of them.

Later that day, a huge storm blew in that wreaked havoc on the city, downing trees and ripping roofs off buildings. After the storm had died down somewhat, the British officers ordered a retreat of their men during the night, before the American forces could regroup.

Discover more about the burning of Washington DC, and other events and people of the war, in Fold3′s War of 1812 collection.

66 Comments

  1. As Washing was burning, Pres. James Madison called “Little Jamie”, all 5’4″ 130lbs. showed he was a true leader. He stayed in the saddle, literally, for over 72 hrs. straight. He road amongst the troops, encouraging them and telling them, that can win, the Nation needs them to win. Never did he berate soldiers of militia. Seeing him, they held. This was the lead in to the battle on land and sea to keep the British out of Baltimore. The determination of the troops to hold at all cost carried over to those in Fort McHenry who held off a constant bombardment by the British for over 24 hrs . The fort held. As the dawn’s early light of sunrise started to sine, the British war ships were in retreat and “The flag, that Star Spangled Banner, was still there!”

    What a difference from then to now. A tremendous example of how to be a true leader and the response of Just Plane Folks to that leader.

    Dr. Robert Massey
    Phoenix, Arizona

    • I never really understood why the British came all the way over here to kill off dreams of a land that had freedom from the throne. Selfishness still shows today by the way they rule. Their are people who can’t even afford heat in the cold snowy winters, but they spend millions on a nursery.

      America is much more than England, and let them try something like what they did in the war of 1812. It would be a different outcome. In fact, we would stop them before they ever got here, and we would invade them taking over the many castles that are housing the selfish ones.

      They need to disband the royal family status and have a democratic society and not a socialistic one.

    • Right you are, Doc, What a difference from then to now.

      One of our recent Democrat Presidents went out to brace the Troops and was booed. The first time I ever heard an American President disrespected like that by anybody, let alone Soldiers.

      Ever since the Mutiny of the Officer Corps (1 per Centers) who left their (unpaid) Men, up to their kiesters in mud and blood and snow, to ride up to Newburgh to demand Pensions from the new government and got away with it, the Military believes that they will decide who and when and how we fight. Furthermore, they formed the nucleus of what was to become a Kabal that controls every significant lever of power in our society.

      Nearly every Democrat and, at least, one moderate Republican President was conspired against by the Military in dragging us into conflicts that served no purpose other than to diminish our stature in a World desperate for Justice and Peace after the Horrors of WWII.

      Monte Haun mchaun@hotmail.com

    • Dr. Massey,

      President Madison did his best to inspire the troops before and after the Burning of Washington, but the war was more controversial than most Americans are aware of. For the most part it was mostly the New England states that were interested in going to war with Great Britain as it was their ships and trade being impeded by the Royal Navy and British restrictions. The southern states had much more to loose by being cut off from their key cotton customer and very nearly seceded from the Union because of it 50 years before the Civil War.

      Since “Monte Haun” didn’t leave a reply option to his (her?) message, forgive me if I use this space to point out the glaring irresponsibility of his statement. The ‘Newburgh Conspiracy’ happened at the end of the Revolution in March 1783, so no one was ‘up to their keisters in snow.’ It also wasn’t only officers as the traditionally befuddled Congress was actively backpedaling on all of its promises to the entire American Army in terms of pensions and salary, the same army that had bled, starved and been left mostly in rags for eight years by the same Congress. General Washington personally intervened and appealed to his officer corp to not march on Philadelphia for posterity’s sake…and they obeyed. Congress finally perceived the injustice of its actions and authorized HALF pensions.

      “Monte’s” disrespect to generations of American military is particularly disgusting, blaming us for ‘conspiring to drag us into every major conflict.” Odd that the ‘military cabal (“Kabal” being the capital of Afghanistan) always managed to ‘drag the country into war’ completely under equipped and under manned (thanks again to our friends in Congress) resulting initially in massive casualties. The US military isn’t making billions of dollars (not that there aren’t those who are…particularly from recent Republican administrations), just trying to defend this country, its way of life, as well as Western Europe, most of the Far East, Middle East and Africa with as small a body count and as few wrecked young men and women as possible.

      I was sitting in the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) Headquarters command center (MacDill AFB, Tampa, FL) the week when the Syrians murdered thousands of their own citizens with chemical weapons. We had been ordered by the White House to prepare a retaliatory strike by US Navy destroyers positioned off Syria’s Mediterranean coast. This had been CENTCOM’s recommendation as a well balanced response to this outrage, and to demonstrate to other world tyrants that the United States would not tolerate the use of chemical weapons. Day after day, standing 24 hour watches, we waited for the order from the White House to fire. But the order never came. Most of us were stunned and personally I thought it was a huge miscalculation. But, we followed orders, stood down and the ships sailed home. Because that is how the US Military rolls…under the direct control of our civilian government, for good or for bad.

      W/R,
      CAPT(sel) MJ Singleton, US Navy Reserve

    • Looks like you never had to learn to spell to be able to become a doctor of something. I also question your statement that Pres. Madison was in the saddle for 72 hours straight.

    • Dr. Massey,

      Thank you for your added information about our President James Madison. I never knew this about him and find this information very inspiring. Indeed it is true; when a leader puts his confidence in those under him, they will do their best to live up to that leader’s true expectations of them. I have a new found respect for President Madison and his wife.
      I am a retired school teacher, and I have found from experience that showing that you have confidence in a child’s ability to accomplish a task, encouraging them along the way, produces much better results than put downs and lectures. I wish I had known about James Madison then. I would have read your words to my classes to show them what determination with purpose can do, and what honor is all about. Thanks.

    • As well as misspellings, you have misuse of words–”road” should be “rode”, “plane” should be “plain” folks.

    • Please check your spelling before hitting send. It should have been “rode” – not road.

    • Hi Rebecca, You need to remember something about a democratic society and that is that you tend to go with what the majority of the people say. Unlike the 1776 war were less than half favoured for war, but it still went ahead. So when americans go on about a democratic society and that we are big on it, remember your first time to do something as a democratic was not really that democratic. Oh and I bet you don’t know where your flag came from do you? No thought not, it was G Washingtons Family coat of arms, sorry English coat of arms, as George was English and was in the british army. Bye

  2. The War of 1812 is being remembered in Frederick Maryland on Sept. 13, 2014 at Mount Olivet Cemetery, where a ceremony is being held to honor the 108 known Veterans who left Frederick the day after the defeat of Bladensburg to help defend Baltimore. These 108 veterans will receive a bronze plaque listing their names, dates and the length of their service on their graves at Mount Olivet. Through private funding and grants this has been made possible and the work is nearly complete with the last markers being installed the first week of August.

    • Would you please email, off line, as I would like to visit with you regarding this celebration and the veterans. Thank you. Colleen

  3. I’ve always wondered why (Napoleon) gets such bad press in American History.
    He sold the Louisiana Purchase to the U.S., increasing the area of the country almost three fold.
    Even though we make a big deal of the Battle of New Orlenes, (you know, where they used an alligator as a cannon): the fact is, Boston and New York had been captured as well as Charleston, and Washington had been burned. Then Napoleon confronted the Brits in Europe, and the fact is, they really just withdrew to fight on the Continent.
    A forgotten fact is, the War of 1812 when compared to the population, was more costly than WW I & WWII in military lives lost for the British.

    Thank You for bringing up an interesting subject

  4. Near my house is a stone house on Georgia Ave. in Brookville, Maryland known as “White House for a Day”.
    This is where James and Dolly Madison went when they left the Whitehouse during the burning of Washington.

  5. The burning of Washington was in retaliation for the burning and plunder of York (Toronto), including the Legislative Assembly, by American troops during the invasion and attempted annexation of Canada.

  6. A few of the older responses are quite humorous. (Intended?_ Who can tell).
    Spelling errors by someone using a Doctorate degree with his signature, followed by a hilarious comment about the ‘Battle of (misspelled) New Orleans having used an Alligator as a cannon. ( from a song lyric, not a history book).
    I enjoyed a couple of good laughs anyhow.
    Keep up the good work!!

    • Agreed. Would add that Rebecca Henderson appears to be unaware that the War of 1812 was the result of the US declaring war on the British, not the other way around. Granted the US had grievances connected to the press-ganging of American merchant seamen, but the fact is that we were the ones who declared war.

    • Glad someone else took the time to point out the humor of the spelling miscues by the holder of a doctorate.

    • Yes, I was going to comment also on the person getting her history from the Johnny Horton lyrics.

    • Mr./Ms. Green,

      I humbly ask your forgiveness for not proof reading this little “blog” before sending it on. You are exactly right. I did misspell some simple words and wrote so fast that I left some words out. Just be glad that we now have spell check. It could be much worse. I am a Dr., and a history professor, and a writer, and …. sometimes I don’t proof read my own work on simple things like this. I have come to rely to heavily on my editor to catch such things. My face is red and I stand corrected. [I missed the reference to the old Johnny Horton
      classic. I remember when the song came out. Alas, he died too young]

      Bob (no Dr. this time)
      Phoenix, AZ

  7. In the recent newsletter, you spoke of the war of 1812 and called it the second war of independence. As a Canadian, this made me laugh out loud. Talk about revisionist history! It was nothing less than a war of aggression. The American president felt that more land was ripe for the taking as England was fighting another war in Europe against Napoleon. He was so confident of victory that he thought the war would only last weeks! Until the defeat of Napolean, Canada was forced to defend herself with mostly small groups of militia along with a tiny contingent of British soldiers and aboriginal allies. Please remember that Americans burned the Canadian capital first.
    Many Americans have been taught that they won that war. No one won! No boundaries changed. The losers were the many dead and their families on both sides. All caused by an American president’s greed. If the American side won, I would now be American teaching my children and grandchildren about the second war of independence.
    If you have time, view CANADA, A PEOPLE’S HISTORY. I believe you can find it on YouTube.

    Respectfully yours,
    Cathy Smith

    Sent from my iPad

    • You are correct 90%. Thank you

    • The poor alligator & its family were also victims! hehe

    • Cathy Smith may be correct about most of her claims; but she conveniently ignores many crucial aspects of the situation in North America and on the high seas which led to the Democratic-Republicans in Congress’ declaring war on England. Her use of “aboriginal allies” may be linguistically correct, but glosses over the active support & incitement of Native American “Indians” in the U.S. Midwest/Great Lakes areas by British commanders in Canada (as a buffer, despite England’s ceding all claims to the area in 1983). Further, the extensive conscription of sailors from U.S. ships and the efforts to block American trade with France & others were among THE acts of ongoing aggression by the British.

      While the U.S. President and Congress surely considered England’s distraction by Napoleon when declaring war, representing it as something like an opportunity for land grap truly stretches the truth. Yes, there were some lands on the Canadian side of the borders agreed in 1983 which many in the U.S. still wanted. But, the apparent (& more likely) strategy was to capture Canadian cities & lands as ransom to be exchanged for the English agreeing to HONOR U.S. independence as a sovereign nation.

      Yes, nobody “won” the American War of 1812. The great relief felt when the British attack on Baltimore failed likely, IMO, led to the great appreciation for what became the National Anthem. On the other hand, do not discount the relative importance of the HUNDREDS of British ships captured by the U.S. Navy and privateers. Everybody likes to ignore or even forget inconvenient details – in lectures, dissertations, and election campaigns. I suspect that’s why so many in the U.S. wave the flag over Jackson’s defeating the British at New Orleans – even though the U.S. & G.B. had already signed a treaty ending the hostilities!

    • Thanks, Ms. Smith. I’ve long been embarrassed by how our actions in 1812 aided that despicable tyrant, Napoleon. The Brits put up a long and courageous fight in defeating him. I wish we had butted out.

    • Cathy, et al
      The US did declare war and attack British North America, but not for the pure desire of grasping more land. Don’t get me wrong, there were some politicians and others that desired Upper and Lower Canada as well as Texas and East and West Florida, but you must remember that Britain had caused great pains for the young American nation from 1792-1812. In that time period as many as 8,000 men were taken off of US ships. Yes, some of them were deserters from the British Navy, but others were common sailors and many were American Citizens. Also, the British selectively enforced commercial laws that severely damaged US trade, which was a massive part of the economy of the nation. Also, Britain, though not inciting Native Americans to attack American settlements in the Northwest Territory, they sure freely traded weapons and ammunition and spoke often about their spport for a Native American territory that would create a buffer between the expanding Americans and the British provinces in Canada. That all being said, it has been well documented that Madison, and his top lieutenants did not want to conquer and annex Canada. The envisioned a quick conquest of the territories for the purpose of then turning to Britain and offering them back if the British stopped the practices I previously cited. This is all well written about in “Mr. Madison’s War” by J. C. A. Stagg. That all being said, who knows if the US would have given back territory they won with blood and treasure.

      I do not like the war being called the Second War of Independence as Britain, for the most part by 1812, had no desire to be quarreling with the US. They were busy with the French. Some do use the 2nd War name because of the idea that following the War of 1812 the US’ standing in the wider world was more solidified and was, slightly more recognized as a player on the world stage….at least in the commerce aspect.

  8. In response to Rebecca Henderson’s comment, I would like to clarify a few factors that are misunderstood. Firstly, although Britain is a monarchy, it rules democratically. The monarch no longer holds total authority. Secondly, The Royal Family is a symbol of our heritage so no, it will not be disbanded. Last but not least, America is a former colony of Britain. Therefore, its status is only what it is due to the foundations laid down by the British. Oh, and I am not sure if you are aware but you have British ancestry. Your name indicates so.

    • Thank you for the clarification Dean. I’d also like to add that she should review her political philosophy. With all due respect, we are probably more socialist right now than the Brits, thanks to this leftist president and his policies.

    • Wow Laura, you really are a nutjob. Having lived in Britain for seven years and being a frequent visitor even today on business, I can assure you that the most conservative politicians in Britain are still somewhere to the left of most Democrats in the US, and if you’ve even paid the slightest attention to what the current President has actually done you’d be aware that he’s one of the most centrist chief executives we’ve had in decades. Get off your Tea Party pony and use the brain the Good Lord gave you.

  9. I am in no way offending. I am just shedding light.

    • Michael Hogan’s contention that President Obama is “one of the most centrist chief executives we’ve had in decades” is LAUGHABLE beyond measure. There should be no doubt that, if asked, even HE would claim to be THE most LEFT of ALL U.S. presidents – ever. But, he’s also a master politician. Otherwise, he and Michelle would be torn in choosing between the Socialist Party and the Communists.

      Mr. Obama is obsessed with the tenants of Liberation Theology, especially the Black Liberation Theology of Rev. Wright (& Elijah Muhammad!). He’s driven to pursue “Social Justice” as a condition of “Collective Salvation.” How would I know? Because I was a lifelong member of a much less radical congregation of the UCC – probably the most liberal of mainstream denominations. Plus Obama has proudly said so in interviews. When the UCC national leaders supported Rev. Wright instead of rejecting his statements, I joined the mass exodus. [Please use any good resource to check on what these terms mean, as well as the information at the UCC website.

  10. Interesting follow up letters. Sorry we invaded Canada; one of the few countries I love. If I had my way, I would place them north and south of our borders!
    I will never forget how they arranged to sneak our embassy folks out of Iran!

    Viva la Canada; long you and your citizens live!
    Jim Davenport

  11. I think Rebeca Henderson should read her own history about the rich and poor the class system and equality for all as well as the persicution of various religous groups.
    We stoped building Castles in the 15 Century, and in the 20ct a lot of your rich young ladies came here to marrie into a title, infact one of the first lady to become a member of parliment was a American.
    It is very unlikley that we would be coming over there to repeat the burning of Washington as we have been very good friends since your civil war, and there is another story.

  12. Now children. Be nice, don’t fight.

  13. Lets leave the politics at home and remember all our fine relatives that came to escape Religious Persecution. Remember “The French Huguenots ” that were slaughtered by the King Lois’s well before anyone thought of leaving France. They fled to all parts of the world for freedom of religion in the 16 hundreds. These French family’s were finally able to believe what they chose too and not what the crown thought was the right way. Many of the fine folks that fought in the war of 1812 were relatives of the first family’s that landed on our soil. French and English among others. We are as much a part of them today as they were all those years ago. This became the land of the free for many reasons. This is one of those reasons rather you believe in religion or not. The wars we have fought in has always been about FREEDOM. As we lose more and more of those rights that our fore fathers left behind as a guild for us to learn from, vote responsibly and pray bringing Politics and Religion together as one. Freedom!

    • Bring politics and religion together as one??? Have you ever READ anything about the Founding Fathers that you didn’t get straight from Pat Roberts? Have you read anything at all about life in everyday 18th century America? We have freedoms our forefathers could only dream of – and did. Be thankful for the amazing country we live in and for the unprecedented level of freedom we enjoy, in large part because of the vision of our forefathers, who were for the most part God-fearing men who nonetheless saw no place for religion, or at least any given religious creed, in politics or government. Get a clue.

  14. Excellent comments by all. The 19th Century was definitely NOT America’s finest hour. Slavery, The Indian Wars, The Civil War, The Invasion of Canada, I could go on and on. Were they “men of their day” ? Yes indeed they were however I would submit that ALL nations have their own examples. I’m certainly no scholar or historian but I have long said that America’s actions in the 20th Century in large measure atoned for their actions in the 19th Century. Keep the discussion going …….

  15. Boy, did I learn something today !

  16. I have definitely learned some things from these posts.
    Besides the history, which I do enjoy reading about, I have learned that many people who are supposedly educated people, still do not know how to spell.
    And to that issue, I will address my comments.
    Ladies and Gentlemen, if you are going to post a comment regarding the original post, please make certain that you have spelled your words correctly. With most computers you have “Spell Check”.
    Even if you are posting or commenting from a mobile device, you can still make sure you have spelled your words correctly.
    Yes, it does make a difference.
    When you use the word “plane” instead of the word “plain”, then you have created a sentence that does not make sense.
    No, I am not a school teacher, but yes, I suppose you could refer to me as the “spelling and grammar police”
    It is quite frustrating to read something and find so many words mispelled or is it misspelled?
    The correct spelling and usage of grammar makes a big difference in the meaning of the written post or comments.

    P.S. I mean no disrespect to anyone on here.

    • Bravo. And while I also mean no disrespect, it goes almost without saying (“almost” because I’m going to say it) that when one makes a statement in which the simplest of terms are misspelled or grammar or syntax are mauled almost beyond recognition, that one’s credibility is unavoidably degraded. And that’s a shame, because one’s use of the English language should not get in the way of a well-stated point of view.

    • I hope we can grow up and forget all about picky spelling errors. The dictionaries need a big revision to be more phonic. I am dyslexic (as 1 in 5 are) and use three spelling checks on occasion and now take a superior view that the reader if at all intelligent can figure it out or Boooo on them.

      Joe

  17. Every time I considered posting a comment, Michael Hogan, concisely and eloquently, beat me to the punch! Thank you, MR. Hogan, for providing a bit of hope and light!!

    • Speaking of spell checking, etc., my finger decided to stay on the caps button a bit too long…Mr. Hogan!!

  18. It’s a pity that the article on the burning of Washington, DC, by the British in 1814 elicited comments from people who seem more interested in furthering their wingnut views than in honoring the courage and sacrifices of the poorly trained and equipped defenders of our new national capital. It’s funny, really, how many of these ideologues repeat the talking points heard on right-wing radio – and employ bad grammar and poor spelling in doing so. Is their a correlation between marginal education, poor understanding of history, and slavish devotion to an increasingly hateful ideology? Just wondering…

    • The Left Wing-nuts enjoy re-interpreting history based on re-selecting & re-weighting points to support their political opinions and world view — probably MORE OFTEN than the Right Wing-nuts… After all, it’s the Left that controls virtually all of the History & Political Science chairs in U.S. universities.

      EVERYBODY “knows” something that just isn’t so. And my many years of observation leads me to conclude that the more one THINKS he/she knows, the more errors of either fact or interpretation. Unfortunately, along with credentials comes the reduced likelihood that someone else will bother to challenge them.

    • And your misuse of “their” rather than there doesn’t help matters any (last sentence).

  19. Oops! Make that “Is there a correlation…” But still wondering!

  20. The 2012 Canadian documentary from CBC “The War of 1812: Been There, Won That” hosted by Peter Kelaghan is accurate without bias.

  21. If it wasn’t for our Fore Fathers with the Bill of Rights and the Constitution thinking ahead for Our Country even though they lived the opposite of what they based This Country On.

    TMO

  22. No discussion of history is complete without arguing politics. And no comments on current era politics is complete without playing the “R” CARD – religion.

    Those who argue for “freedom from religion” seem to repeatedly make false representations about the inter-relationship of “government” and “religion” during the Revolution and the founding of the U.S.A.

    Note that 7 of the 13 original colonies had selected “STATE CHURCHES” and continued this arrangement for decades. Then, why pass the 1st Amendment? Because different faiths were the “state church” in different states – and selecting an official “national church” would have resulted in scuttling the “union” due to massive popular discontent!

  23. Next time it’ll probably American veterans that burn it.

  24. God be merciful to the spelling nazis. May they experience in abundance the takeover of autocorrect.

  25. Lets get a few things straight here, especially for those who think that we can heat our homes, I am a pensioner and I can heat my home, feed myself and if I get sick I have as all British people do a NATIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM, regardless of what you read about in the American media, everybody can free health treatment, so the poor don’t have to have a bill of thousands of pounds/dollars hanging around their necks. We are not even as many think socialists or even communists as again I have heard on our news when Americans are interviewed about our NHS. We have a right wing government, the Conservatives (like your Republicans) who are sharing power with the Liberal Party (can’t say they are like your Democrats, they are more like weak wishy washy versions of that party)

    We have a long history, going back centuries, we have a Queen (whom it seems the Americans love) our Royal Family are also liked in the USA particularly Prince William his wife Kate and thier baby George, Prince Harry is liked by American girls who would love to marry him (your media as well as my countries media say this all the time – getting a little boring because most of these girls are air-head!)

    Actually when we go to war we very rarely shoot out Allies, unlike the Americans who have killed our men in Iraq (when you and they were there) and in Afghanistan (still there but out soon,) You did not come in to both world wars until your had a liner sunk in the period of the first World War and the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour, You would have let us rot in both, but to tell the truth we were doing fine in the First World War, read up on it get some truth in your lives.
    Sure the Second World War you did help us win it, but from Hollywood films you would think that was not the case.

    Oh and by the way your War of Independence, you only won that with help from the French, who did try to stay and occupy you! Luckily you had John Adams who figured that one out and gave the French the push.

    I don’t want you to get the wrong idea here, I love you Americans, my sister lives there and I have been many times. I have ancestors who settled in the States, Pennsylvania and Virginia, fighting in the Civil War on both sides! And I also have ancestors who fought in the War of Independance and being recognised for their courage by George Washington, who I admire but not as much as John Adams.

    Love you all but some need to get their facts right.

    Ken

  26. The reason why the British torched DC, was in retaliation of American troops torching the Canadian parliament a short time before.

  27. My family is from Prussia grmney.trying to find whatever i can on Mike kloss and mary kloss.in the year of 1888

  28. Not checking one’s own work; shows arrogance and the presumption of infallibility. Your stories might enthrall the immature and your laurels the adolescent. Intelligence with the faculty to cut through myth and the imagination of some “Nom de plume” is rare today. Not checking a story for accuracy, authenticity and/or truthfulness is not the type of educator – writer we need in our schools, People like you; Bob, are taking advantage of the vulnerable and your own apathetic excuse shows your conceit. When speaking of President James Madison heroic performance a reference was made to a time spent in a saddle. 72 continuous hours in a saddle or horseback is physically impossible for the horse as well a man. Bob you need to get your information from research, not Hollywood! You act like a product of Affirmative Action.

  29. Rebecca Henderson (1st August) you should get your facts straight about Great Britain. Not one comment in your rant had any basis in fact.

  30. My grandmother gave me a large envelope of government papers and documents that were picked up in the streets after the British burned the Capital in 1814. I believe they were collected by her grandfather. (I am 72) Their family lived in Maryland and worked in Washington DC. Some of the documents have the signature of several high ranking persons in the government. The Secretary of War, for instance.

    My question is I wonder if these slightly singed papers would be wanted by some library or museum somewhere? How would I find out?

  31. To Larry Test Jr.;
    The Smithsonian Institute was founded in Washington DC around1846 from money left to the United States government by James Smithson. The sole purpose of the Smithsonian Institution is the preservation of American history. ["The good,the bad and the ugly".] This I was taught in grammar school. They most likely will be delighted to authenticate and except a find like this.

  32. Eli, thank you for your comment, history needed to be straight. Here is a little more…….

    The Invasion of Canada in 1775 was the first major military initiative by the newly formed Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. The objective of the campaign was to gain military control of the British Province of Quebec, and convince the French-speaking Canadians to join the revolution on the side of the Thirteen Colonies. One expedition left Fort Ticonderoga under Richard Montgomery, besieged and captured Fort St. Johns, and very nearly captured British General Guy Carleton when taking Montreal. The other expedition left Cambridge, Massachusetts under Benedict Arnold, and travelled with great difficulty through the wilderness of Maine to Quebec City. The two forces joined there, but were defeated at the Battle of Quebec in December 1775.
    Montgomery’s expedition set out from Fort Ticonderoga in late August, and began besieging Fort St. Johns, the main defensive point south of Montreal, in mid-September. After the fort was captured in November, Carleton abandoned Montreal, fleeing to Quebec City, and Montgomery took control of the city before heading for Quebec with an army much reduced in size by expiring enlistments. There he joined Arnold, who had left Cambridge in early September on an arduous trek through the wilderness that left his surviving troops starving and lacking in many supplies and equipment.
    These forces joined before Quebec City in December, where they assaulted the city in a snowstorm on the last day of the year. The battle was a disastrous defeat for the Americans; Montgomery was killed and Arnold wounded, and the city’s defenders suffered few casualties. Arnold then conducted an ineffectual siege on the city, during which Loyalist sentiments were boosted by successful propaganda campaigns, and General David Wooster’s blunt administration of Montreal served to annoy both supporters and detractors of the Americans.
    The British sent several thousand troops, including General John Burgoyne and Hessian mercenaries, to reinforce those in the province in May 1776. General Carleton then launched a counter-offensive, ultimately driving the smallpox-weakened and disorganized American forces back to Fort Ticonderoga. The Americans, under Arnold’s command, were able to hinder the British advance sufficiently that an attack could not be mounted on Fort Ticonderoga in 1776. The end of the campaign set the stage for Burgoyne’s campaign of 1777 to gain control of the Hudson River valley.

    Kathy Gano, yes the Huguenots fled persecution from the French Catholics, I number them on my mothers side. The British really are welcoming lot, the list is endless, as mentioned the Huguenots, the Jews (admitted back thanks largely to Oliver Cromwell) Asian’s fleeing Idi Amin, we have the Kinder Transport which enabled thousands of Jewish children to flee the Nazis, this was organised by Nicolas Winton, now a Sir, being recognised for his work organising the Kinder Transport, there is a memorial in Liverpool Street Station in London to the Kinder Transport. Unlike the Americans who turned away the S.S St Louis in 1939, the 937 Jews on board could see the comming tragedy and were fleeing, but American coastguards and and planes ensured that the ship would not make landfall, at least the Cubans gave them some assistance when the ship called at Havana. Yes, you did take in Europes “huddled masses” but you did not turn the away to face death in concentration camps. The number of refugees from conflicts etc that we have taken is too many to list here.

    I would also like to talk to you about the Declaration of Independence, this said all men are created equal, except that is the black man and the Native Americans,

    Yes, Mr Hogan is the one who sheds light into the dark on this site, thank you Mr Hogan.

    I may ramble but I am a senior citizen (and in my previous input I said “especially for those who think that we can heat our homes,” I meant cannot, oooops again its the senior thing!

    Love to you all.

    Ken

  33. Historians have embellished history since the beginning of time. A big percentage of people will read words on a page and not totally comprehend the subject they are reading about. Reading the United States Declaration of Independence and making adolescent inference to a quote is asinine. The excerpt in question is ” all men are created equal” That use to mean they came into this world the same way; until the test tube baby The operative word created and not are. “They are endowed by their creator” The operative words here is their creator and not the US government. This passage was in reference to the King and the sovereign authority of royalty to rule by right of birth. Yes we like William and love Kate and hope she is not mistreated like Lady Diana was. The black-man has to volunteers for welfare as it isn’t forced upon them. Native American have more casino’s than the royal family have secrets.

  34. Many interesting comments to be found here, people, on the War of 1812, and the remaining different views of history in the US, the UK, and Canada. As someone whose family lines in the New World goes back to Pre-Revolutionary War days(1692), and who has had ancestors serve, and sometimes die, in almost every major conflict, well, feel my opinion should be heard.

    First, I’m unsure who made this comment about the English Royals, but I can assure everyone they are not universally beloved in the States. I think it more correct to state the US MEDIA loves them, actually. Most of us could well do w/o William, Kate, and all the rest, as they are holdovers from a time long past, really.

    On the invasions of Canada, it should be recalled that as part of the Kingdom of Great Britain, these regions were legitimate military targets.
    Canada did not become a Dominion until the 1860s, after all.

    In the War/1812, the US Navy and Marine Corps both came of age,
    the Navy winning virtually every major engagement at sea, to say nothing of the privateers’ many victories against English shipping. English Admiral Sir David Milne wrote in 1817 that the Empire would almost certainly lose Canada to the US in any third conflict between the nations.

    In any case, Britain needs to fully realize that the days of Empire are, indeed gone, and settle the handful of remaining disputed territories like the
    Falkland islands, and a few others. Why England wishes to hang on to some of these areas is a considerable mystery in its own right. Perhaps there’s a shortage of sheep-razing space we Americans haven’t heard of as-yet?

    Yes, the USA made its share of mistakes in the 19th century, nobody disputes this. All the same, given the blood shed by US forces on behalf of both England and France in the World Wars more than made up, I think, for the great majority of them. That, and the many shattered lives which resulted from-same. My own father was a WW II veteran, as were his 3 brothers, all serving at the same time. Other relatives served with honor in WW I.

    As far as if the Allies would have defeated Germany & the Central Powers in WW I if we had not intervened, perhaps, perhaps not. Since the US did so, one will never know. One can make a strong argument that had not the UK and French empires made out like bandits in the wake of the victory, the Nazis might well have never been able to come to power in Germany. One can, again, only imagine how different history might well have been, then, for all concerned

    I will grant that the Universal Health Coverage is one English example the USA SHOULD fully imitate, but given, the power of the special interests, that may be a ways off til yet despite very modest gains made in that direction..

    • Jeff. you say we should settle the handful of remaining disputed territories like the
      Falkland islands. Okay then why don’t you give the Americans, I mean the TRUE AMERICANS, you know the ones with feathers, their land back. Same thing.

  35. From the hand written chronicles of George Washington: We are a christian nation derived from the inhabitants of Europe. All Brit’s are European; but all European’s aren’t British. To understand why people do what they do is knowledge. Education is learning about when it happened. Prime Example: Benedict Arnold was a great general with heroic characteristics. Benedict Arnold is only remember for “Turncoat!” What makes an intelligent patriot lose his patriotism. Why didn’t the firing squad put him against a wall with a blindfold and cigarette. George Washington exiled him to Britain. Benedict Arnold saw the increasing dependance on Napoleon’s army and the decline in the Continental army. Benedict Arnold believed that the American people would be better off under British rule than under the French dictator; Napoleon Bonaparte! For this lack of resolve Benedict Arnold paid a big price. He died in 1801 a broken man.

  36. I just wanted to point out to those “people” that blogged their negativity on the Dr and anyone else that was judged. First off, this is a research, informative site. People are here trying to find facts. So I’m assuming since you don’t have any REAL evidence against the Dr and others you resort to their spelling and grammar! How inappropriate you are. Instead of just appreciating the added notes, facts, and stories you attack them. This is why it’s so different from then. Neighbors hate each other, instead of looking out for each other, teachers aren’t for education, because education isn’t what it used to be (T.Y to state gov), kids don’t have music art n physical ed….Instead they can sign up for band, computer (if they are lucky), and get to play dodgeball! I The parents are liars, kids see them lie n do it. We have reality TV shows on instead of teenagers going out to experience life on their own. When did every law making adult forget “kids learn by making their own mistakes”? STOP THE HATEFUL UNEDUCATED AMERICAN GENERATIONS TO COME AND GIVE US OUR NEW EINSTEIN, STEVE JOBS, BILL GATES, ROBIN WILLIAMS, BILL COSBY, MEL GIBSON, ALI, NASA WORKERS…ETC! The way we are headed…..isn’t a bright future for America, because a lot of these 20s yr olds n even younger, they do not care! It’s all of our faults! Thank you Dr and Cent command guy for your facts and inputs. It helped me and the teacher learn something new….idk about everyone else.(After reading the first few attacks, I stopped reading other posts. I will not respond nor read any posts made in response to this so if you are planning on attacking me, don’t. I won’t read it and you will just be proving me more right.)