The Burning of Washington DC and the White House by British Forces – 24 August 1814

Posted on August 24th, 2012 by The British Newspaper Archive

On 24 August 1814, a British force led by Major General Robert Ross defeated the Americans at the Battle of Bladensburg, and then marched on Washington DC.

Once Ross and his soldiers reached the capital, they set fire to many public buildings, including the White House and the US Capitol. The soldiers were under strict orders not to burn any private buildings.

This episode was part of the War of 1812 between Britain and the USA, which lasted until the Treaty of Ghent came into force in February 1815. No side actually won the war; a stalemate situation had effectively been reached, and both Britain and the USA wished to end the costly war.

So, to mark the day, we’ve posted two stories that report on this historic episode.

The Archive contains 1000s of interesting stories about the oft-forgotten Anglo-American War of 1812 to 1815.

newspaper report report about the destruction of Washington DC in 1814

Washington Destroyed by British Forces on 24 August 1814

Norfolk Chronicle – Saturday 22 October 1814

Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000244/18141022/001/0001

newspaper report report about the destruction of Washington DC in 1814

Morning Post – Wednesday 12 October 1814

Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000174/18141012/004/0002?browse=false

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