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

Fleeing the Executive Mansion

Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail

 
 
Fleeing the Executive Mansion Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 22, 2015
1. Fleeing the Executive Mansion Marker
Inscription. On August 24, 1814, President James Madison rode out to Bladensburg, Maryland, to observe the state of the American troops defending the nation's capital. U.S. General William Winder, now sure of the direction of the British approach, marched his troops to confront them at Bladensburg. Meanwhile at the White House, the First Lady ordered dinner for 3 pm, when she expected the president's return. But instead of the president, a messenger arrived who ordered everyone to flee. The British had easily won the Battle of Bladensburg and were on their way to claim their prize: Washington, DC.

Saving Washington's Portrait

Before leaving, Dolley Madison ordered servants to save the large Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington. This iconic portrait is displayed today in the White House as one of America's most cherished paintings. Many of Gilbert Stuart's portraits of presidents and eminent Washingtonians can be viewed at the National Portrait Gallery.

“And now, dear sister, I must leave this house, or the retreating army will make me a prisoner in it … When I shall again write you, or where I shall be tomorrow, I cannot tell!” — Dolley Madison to her sister.

In the summer of 1814 the United States had been at war with Great Britain for two years. Battlefronts
Fleeing the Executive Mansion Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 22, 2015
2. Fleeing the Executive Mansion Marker
had erupted from the Great lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. On August 24, following their victory over the Americans at the Battle of Bladensburg. Maryland. British troops marched on Washington with devastating results.

The Star-Spangled Banner National History Trail reveals sites of the War of 1812 in Washington. DC. Virginia. and Maryland. Visit ChesapeakeExplore,App.com or download the Chesapeake Explorer app.

 
Location. 38° 54.004′ N, 77° 2.102′ W. Marker is in Downtown, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker can be reached from the intersection of H Street Northwest and Madison Place, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. At the Northeast corner of Lafayette Square. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1520 H Street Northwest, Washington DC 20005, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Dolly Madison House (a few steps from this marker); Kosciuszko (within shouting distance of this marker); The Cosmos Club (within shouting distance of this marker); Ashburton House (within shouting distance of this marker); The Tayloe House (within shouting distance of this marker); Wormley's Hotel Site
Fleeing the Executive Mansion Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 22, 2015
3. Fleeing the Executive Mansion Marker
(about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); St. John's Church (about 400 feet away); Freedman’s Savings And Trust (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Downtown.
 
Categories. War of 1812
 
George Washington's Portrait image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 22, 2015
4. George Washington's Portrait
The 1796 Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington saved by Dolley Madison.
Close-up of image on marker
James Madison image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 22, 2015
5. James Madison
by Gilbert Stuart
Close-up of image on marker
Dolley Madison image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 22, 2015
6. Dolley Madison
by Gilbert Stuart
Close-up of image on marker
Cutts-Madison House image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 22, 2015
7. Cutts-Madison House
Richard Cutts image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 2, 2015
8. Richard Cutts
This c. 1804-5 portrait of Richard Cutts (June 28, 1771 – April 7, 1845) by Gilbert Stuart Hangs in the Virginia Historical Society Museum in Richmond, Virginia.

Richard Cutts lost his seat in Congress after he reluctantly voted for war with Britain in 1812. In 1820 when he was serving as the Comptroller of the Treasury, he built this house on the northwest corner of Lafayette Square and lived in it with is wife Anna Payne Cutts, Dolley Madison's sister. Later when the Cutts fell into financial difficulty the house came to be the property of the Cutts' brother- and sister-in-law James and Dolley Madison.
Anna Payne Cutts image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 12, 2016
9. Anna Payne Cutts
This 1812 - 1845 portrait of Anna Payne Cutts by Charles Bird King (after Gilbert Stuart) hangs in the National Portrait Gallery, in Washington, DC.

Dolley Madison's sister Anna married Richard Cutts in 1804. Anna and Richard Cutts and their three children accompanied the first lady on her flight from Washington in 1814. The Madison's re-met on their return to Washington in the Cutts' house on F Street.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 27, 2017. This page originally submitted on August 23, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 296 times since then and 53 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on August 23, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   8, 9. submitted on August 21, 2016, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
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