The U.S. Capitol after burning by the British, by George Munger, ca. 1814
On August 24, 1814, British troops defeated a small American force at Bladensburg, Maryland, and proceeded into Washington intent on destroying the public buildings; the unfinished Capitol came first. After the troops left and the fires died out, the local citizenry came to Capitol Hill to inspect the destruction first hand.
Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress