Capitol Hill in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
—Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail —
As the British marched along B Street (today's Constitution Avenue) on August 24, 1814, to burn the U.S. Capitol, they passed this house, owned by Robert Sewall. Suddenly shots rang out. Two British soldiers were dead, several were wounded, and Major General Ross's horse was shot out from under him. the British rushed into Sewall's house but found no snipers. In retaliation, they set fire to the house, one of the city's finest. When the invasion ended, Sewall's was one of the few private structures destroyed by the British. The family rebuilt here after peace returned.
Torching the Capitol
After burning Sewall's house, the British resumed their march to the Capitol. There they planted the Union Jack and set fire to the not-yet-complete structure.
In the summer of 1814 the United States had been at war with Great Britain for two years. Battlefronts 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.
Erected by Cultural Tourism D.C.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail marker series.
Location. 38° 53.534′ N, 77° 0.217′ W. Marker is in Capitol Hill, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of 2nd Street, NE and Constitution Avenue, NE, on the right when traveling south on 2nd Street, NE. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 144 Constitution Avenue, NE, Washington DC 20002, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Alva Belmont House (a few steps from this marker); Residence of Albert Gallatin (a few steps from this marker); The Sewall-Belmont House & Museum (within shouting distance of this marker); From June to December, 1917 (within shouting distance of this marker); Cortelyou House (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Old Brick Capitol (about 800 feet away); Frederick Douglass (approx. 0.2 miles away); United States Capitol (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Capitol Hill.
Also see . . . 144 Constitution Avenue. (Submitted on February 15, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.)
Categories. • African Americans • Notable Events • War of 1812 •
Credits. This page was last revised on March 4, 2017. This page originally submitted on February 15, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 385 times since then and 58 times this year. Last updated on August 29, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on February 15, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.