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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Downtown in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

White House Ablaze

Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail

 

National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior

 
White House Ablaze Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Jones, February 26, 2019
1. White House Ablaze Marker
Inscription.  For Americans, August 24, 1814, was one of the darkest days of the War of 1812. After a victory at nearby Bladensburg, Maryland, British soldiers marched on Washington, destroying the U.S. Capitol and many other public buildings.

President James Madison sent word to his wife, Dolley, to flee the President's House. As the British approached the city, the first lady, with the help of her aides and enslaved workers, escaped with as many treasures as they could.

The British arrived at the White House about 11 p.m. After nearly an hour of eating and taking souvenirs, they torched the structure, leaving only a roofless stone shell.

"In the [President's House] not an inch, but its crack'd and blacken'd walls remain'd. That scene...which when I last visited it was so splendid...was now nothing but ashes..."
—Margaret Bayard Smith letter, August 30, 1814

(Captions)
The iconic portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart was among the treasures saved from the British attack on the White House.

Scorch marks from the White House fire are still visible
War in the Chesapeake sign image. Click for full size.
By Devry Jones, February 26, 2019
2. War in the Chesapeake sign
Part of the display
at two locations.

Nearby places to learn more about the War of 1812:

✶ Lafayette Park — Get an optimal view of the White House and see the equestrian statue of Andrew Jackson, American War hero of the War of 1812.

✶ U.S. Capitol Visitor Center — See artifacts from the war and a model representing the Capitol in 1814.

✶ Smithsonian National Museum of American History — View the original Star-Spangled Banner flag on display in its special gallery.

✶ Dumbarton House — Visit a museum at the site where Dolley Madison fled when she left the White House.
 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Location. 38° 53.653′ N, 77° 2.059′ W. Marker is in Downtown, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on 15th Street Northwest north of Constitution Avenue Northwest (U.S. 50), on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 610 15th Street Northwest, Washington DC 20230, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Boy Scout Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Original Patentees Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); South Side
<i>"O! say can you see..."</i> image. Click for full size.
By Devry Jones, February 26, 2019
3. "O! say can you see..."
Third segment of the marker
(about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The National Christmas Tree (about 600 feet away); a different marker also named The National Christmas Tree (was about 600 feet away but has been reported permanently removed. ); William Tecumseh Sherman (about 600 feet away); Bulfinch Gate House (about 700 feet away); Zero Milestone (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Downtown.
 
Categories. War of 1812Women
 
White House Ablaze Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Jones, February 26, 2019
4. White House Ablaze Marker
 

More. Search the internet for White House Ablaze.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 28, 2019. This page originally submitted on February 26, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 64 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 26, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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