August 25, 1814

I was walking through town today just coming from a busy day at the tailor shop when I overhead a conversation. The two women were saying that the Executive Mansion was burned yesterday by the British troops. They had also defeated the American militia at Bladensburg, Maryland. This was no surprise to me because they were inexperienced, but yet still, they declared war on Great Britain.

It was said that the burning flames could be seen 40 miles away in Baltimore. President Madison, his wife, Dolley, and his Cabinet had to flee to a safer location. The Capitol was gone, along with the Executive Mansion.

Thank goodness there was a thunderstorm that night because that should have kept the fires from spreading. The next day, more buildings were burned and again the thunderstorm dampened the fires.

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Last modified: September 19, 2005 1999 Marjorie Duby - Inquiry Unlimited