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Encyclopedia > Burning of Washington
Burning of Washington
Part of the War of 1812

"The Taking of the City of Washington in America," 1814 engraving
Date August 24, 1814
Location Washington, D.C.
Result British razing of Washington, D.C.
Combatants
Great Britain United States
Commanders
Robert Ross
George Cockburn
Unknown
Strength
4,250 Unknown

The Burning of Washington is the name given to the burning of Washington, D.C., by British forces in 1814, during the War of 1812. Strict discipline and the British commander's orders to burn only public buildings are credited with preserving most residences, and as a result the facilities of the U.S. government, including the White House, were largely destroyed. The attack was in retaliation for the U.S. invasion of York, Upper Canada (now Toronto, Ontario, Canada), at the Battle of York in 1813, in which U.S. forces looted and burned the city, including the Parliament Buildings of Upper Canada. This article is about the U.S. – U.K. war. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 751 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1170 × 934 pixel, file size: 584 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Date Published 1814 Oct. ... is the 236th day of the year (237th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1814 (MDCCCXIV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar). ... For other uses, see Washington, D.C. (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Washington, D.C. (disambiguation). ... Robert Ross (1766 - September 12, 1814) was a British military officer who participated in the Napoleonic War and the War of 1812. ... Sir George Cockburn was born in 1772 and went to sea at the age of 14. ... Battle of Craney Island - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Combatants Britain United States Commanders George Cockburn Derry Benson Strength Casualties 29 None {{{notes}}} The Battle of St. ... The Battle of Bladensburg was a battle fought during the War of 1812. ... Combatants Great Britain United States Commanders James Alexander Gordon John Rodgers Strength 6 warships unknown Casualties 7 killed 35 wounded unknown The Raid on Alexandria was a British victory during the War of 1812, which gained much plunder at little cost but may have contributed to the later British repulse... Combatants Britain United States Commanders Sir Peter Parker Philip Reed Casualties 29 None The Battle of Caulk’s Field occurred during the War of 1812. ... Combatants Britain United States Commanders Robert Ross† Arthur Brooke Samuel Smith John Stricker Strength 4,500 3,000 Casualties 46 killed 273 wounded 163 killed and wounded over 200 captured The Battle of North Point was fought on September 12, 1814. ... Combatants Great Britain United States of America Commanders Robert Ross† Alexander Cochrane Arthur Brooke Samuel Smith John Stricker George Armistead Strength 5,000 2,000 (Baltimore defenses) 1,000 (Fort McHenry garrison) Casualties 46 dead, 300 wounded 310 killed or wounded In the Battle of Baltimore, one of the turning... For other uses, see Washington, D.C. (disambiguation). ... Year 1814 (MDCCCXIV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar). ... This article is about the U.S. – U.K. war. ... The government of the United States, established by the United States Constitution, is a federal republic of 50 states, a few territories and some protectorates. ... For other uses, see White House (disambiguation). ... York was the original name of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. ... Template:Hide = Motto: Template:Unhide = Diversity Our Strength Image:Toronto, Ontario Location. ... The Battle of York was a battle of the War of 1812 on April 27, 1813, at York, Upper Canada, which was later to become Toronto, Ontario. ... Year 1813 (MDCCCXIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar). ... An Ontario historical plaque marking the site of Upper Canadas first Parliament Buildings. ...


The White House was burned. Only the exterior walls remained, and they had to be torn down and mostly reconstructed due to weakening from the fire and subsequent exposure to the elements, except for portions of the south wall. A legend emerged that during the rebuilding of the structure white paint was applied to mask the burn damage it had suffered, giving the building its namesake hue. This is unfounded as the building had been painted white since its construction in 1798. Of the numerous spoils taken from the White House when it was ransacked by British troops, only two have been recovered — a painting of George Washington, rescued by then-first lady Dolley Madison, and a jewelry box returned to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1939 by a Canadian man who said his grandfather had taken it from Washington. Most of the spoils were lost when a convoy of British ships led by HMS Fantome sank en route to Halifax off Prospect during a storm on the night of November 24, 1814.

Contents

Events

On August 24, 1814, the advance guard of British troops marched to Capitol Hill; they were too few in number to occupy the city, so Ross intended to destroy as much of it as possible. He sent a party under a flag of truce to agree to terms, but they were attacked by partisans from a house at the corner of Maryland Avenue, Constitution Avenue, and Second Street NE. This was to be the only resistance the soldiers met. The house was burned, and the Union Flag was raised above Washington. is the 236th day of the year (237th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Capitol Hill, aside from being the common nickname for the United States Congress, is the largest historic residential neighborhood in Washington, DC, stretching easterly behind the U.S. Capitol along wide avenues. ... “Union Jack” redirects here. ...


The buildings housing the Senate and House of Representatives — construction on the trademark central rotunda of the Capitol had not yet begun — were set ablaze not long after. The interiors of both buildings, including the Library of Congress, were destroyed, although the thick walls and a torrential rainfall preserved their exteriors. (Thomas Jefferson later sold his library to the government to restock the Library of Congress. British Prime Minister Tony Blair officially apologized for the burning of the Library of Congress 189 years later on July 17, 2003.[1]) The next day Admiral Cockburn entered the building of the D.C newspaper, National Intelligencer, intending to burn it down; however, a group of neighborhood women persuaded him not to because they were afraid the fire would spread to their neighboring houses. Cockburn wanted to destroy the newspaper because they had written so many negative items about him, branding him as "The Ruffian." Instead he ordered his troops to tear the building down brick by brick making sure that they destroyed all the "C" type so that no more pieces mentioning his name could be printed. Type Upper House President of the Senate Richard B. Cheney, R since January 20, 2001 President pro tempore Robert C. Byrd, D since January 4, 2007 Members 100 Political groups Democratic Party Republican Party Last elections November 7, 2006 Meeting place Senate Chamber United States Capitol Washington, DC United States... Type Bicameral Speaker of the House of Representatives House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, (D) since January 4, 2007 Steny Hoyer, (D) since January 4, 2007 House Minority Leader John Boehner, (R) since January 4, 2007 Members 435 plus 4 Delegates and 1 Resident Commissioner Political groups Democratic Party Republican Party... The United States Capitol is the capitol building that serves as the location for the United States Congress, the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. ... Construction of the Thomas Jefferson Building, from July 8, 1888 to May 15, 1894. ... Thomas Jefferson (13 April 1743 N.S.–4 July 1826) was the third President of the United States (1801–09), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and one of the most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of the ideals of Republicanism in the United States. ... Construction of the Thomas Jefferson Building, from July 8, 1888 to May 15, 1894. ... The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is, in practice, the political leader of the United Kingdom. ... For other people of the same name, see Tony Blair (disambiguation) Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (born May 6, 1953)[1] is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, Leader of the Labour Party, and Member of Parliament for the constituency... Construction of the Thomas Jefferson Building, from July 8, 1888 to May 15, 1894. ... is the 198th day of the year (199th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

The troops then turned north down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the White House. First Lady Dolley Madison remained there after many of the government officials — and her own bodyguard — had already fled, gathering valuables, documents and other items of importance, notably the Lansdowne Portrait, a full-length painting of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart. She was finally persuaded to leave moments before British soldiers entered the building. Once inside, the soldiers found the dining hall set for a dinner for 40 people. After eating all the food they took souvenirs then set the building on fire. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (381x621, 47 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: George Washington Father of the Nation Lansdowne portrait Washington Administration ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (381x621, 47 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: George Washington Father of the Nation Lansdowne portrait Washington Administration ... Self portrait, 1778 Gilbert Charles Stuart (né Stewart) (December 3, 1755 - July 9, 1828) was an American painter. ... For other uses, see White House (disambiguation). ... George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799)[1] led Americas Continental Army to victory over Britain in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), and in 1789 was elected the first President of the United States of America. ... First Lady Laura Bush and former first ladies (from left to right) Rosalynn Carter, Sen. ... This article is about a U.S. First Lady (the wife of James Madison). ... The Lansdowne portrait. ... George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799)[1] led Americas Continental Army to victory over Britain in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), and in 1789 was elected the first President of the United States of America. ... Self portrait, 1778 Gilbert Charles Stuart (né Stewart) (December 3, 1755 - July 9, 1828) was an American painter. ...


Fuel was added to the fires that night to ensure they would continue burning into the next day; the flames were reportedly visible as far away as Baltimore and the Patuxent River. The Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. ...


The British also burned the United States Treasury building and other public buildings. The historic Washington Navy Yard, founded by Thomas Jefferson and the first federal installation in the United States, was burned by the Americans to prevent capture of stores and ammunition, as well as the 44-gun frigate Columbia which was then being built. The United States Patent Office building was saved by the efforts of William Thornton—architect of the Capitol and then superintendent of patents—who convinced the British of the importance of its preservation. The United States Department of the Treasury is a Cabinet department, a treasury, of the United States government established by an Act of U.S. Congress in 1789 to manage the revenue of the United States government. ... The Washington Navy Yard is the former shipyard and ordnance plant of the United States Navy in Washington, D.C.. The yard currently is a ceremonial and administrative center for the navy, home to the Chief of Naval Operations and is headquarters for the Naval Historical Center, the Marine Corps... For the bird, see Frigatebird. ... Seven United States Navy ships have been named USS Columbia, after the personification of the United States, also after the city of Columbia, South Carolina. ... The United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO or USPTO) is an agency in the United States Department of Commerce that provides patent and trademark protection to inventors and businesses for their inventions and corporate and product identification. ... William Thornton (May 20, 1759 - 28 March 1828) was the original architect of the United States Capitol. ...


Less than a day after the attack began, a hurricane which included a tornado passed through, damaging the invaders and putting out the fires.[2] This forced the British troops to return to their ships, many of which were badly damaged by the storm, and so the actual occupation of Washington lasted about 26 hours. President Madison and the rest of the government quickly returned to the city. Cyclone Catarina, a rare South Atlantic tropical cyclone viewed from the International Space Station on March 26, 2004 Hurricane and Typhoon redirect here. ... This article is about the weather phenomenon. ...


Aftermath

The Burning of Washington forms the background to this portrait of the Rear Admiral George Cockburn
The Burning of Washington forms the background to this portrait of the Rear Admiral George Cockburn

The thick sandstone walls of the White House survived, although scarred with smoke and scorch marks. Reconstruction of the Capitol did not begin until 1815, and it was completed in 1864. Of Britain's four objectives in its retaliatory invasion of the United States—Lake Champlain, New Orleans, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.—this was the only successful attack. The British had successfully diverted the attention of Washington away from the war and prevented further American incursions into Canada, and had landed a humiliating blow to the Americans. The attack was not as demoralizing as Cockburn intended, but it did contribute to the signing of the Treaty of Ghent next year. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (444x699, 40 KB)George Cockburn. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (444x699, 40 KB)George Cockburn. ... Sir George Cockburn was born in 1772 and went to sea at the age of 14. ... Red sandstone interior of Lower Antelope Canyon, Arizona, worn smooth due to erosion by flash flooding over millions of years Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-size mineral or rock grains. ... Landsat photo Lake Champlain (French: lac Champlain) is a large lake in North America, mostly within the borders of the United States (states of Vermont and New York) but partially situated across the US-Canada border in the province of Quebec. ... Signing of the Treaty of Ghent. ...


References

  1. ^ CNN
  2. ^ The Short History of Defense of Maryland During the War of 1812

The rebuilt white house got its name from the burning in 1814. Since the walls were black from the fire. the government repainted them white and called the building the "white house"


Further reading

  • Pack, A. James.The Man Who Burned The White House, Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1987. ISBN 0-87021-420-9
  • Pitch, Anthony S.The Burning of Washington, Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2000. ISBN 1-55750-425-3
  • Phelan, Mary KayThe Burning of Washington: August 1814, Ty Crowell Co, 1975. ISBN 0-690-00486-9

  Results from FactBites:
 
Burning of Washington - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1020 words)
The Burning of Washington is the name given to the razing of Washington, D.C., by British forces during the War of 1812.
The historic Washington Navy Yard, founded by Thomas Jefferson and the first federal installation in the United States, was burned by the Americans to prevent capture of stores and ammunition, as well as the 44-gun frigate Columbia which was then being built.
The occupation of Washington lasted about 26 hours, and within a week the British troops were dispatched to their next target, Baltimore.
Washington: Weather and Much More From Answers.com (4995 words)
The District of Columbia and the city of Washington are coextensive and are governed by a single municipal government, so for most practical purposes they are considered to be the same entity (this was not always the case, though, as Georgetown was a separate city within the District until 1871).
Washington is surrounded by the states of Virginia (on its western side) and Maryland (on its southeast, northeast, and northwest sides); it interrupts those states' common border, which is the Potomac River's southern shore both upstream and downstream from the District.
Washington is home to numerous national landmarks and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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