War of 1812 (detail of painting 'A View of The Bombardment of Fort Mchenry' by John Bower)

Burning of Washington

Seeking to humiliate the United States, Britain attacked its capital in August 1814. With little resistance, the British seized Washington, D.C., and began to systematically burn the public buildings. Heroic actions by citizens, including First Lady Dolley Madison, saved many national treasures, including the Declaration of Independence.


British Burn the Capitol, 1814 by Allyn Cox