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Report from the Superintendent of the Public Buildings relative to the value of property destroyed, October 29, 1814

At the request of a Senate committee, the superintendent of public buildings had architects and builders examine the Capitol, the President’s House, and other federal structures burned by the British. Though the walls of the Capitol’s wings and the President’s House were deemed safe for rebuilding, the average estimated cost for all the repairs was $460,000.

 

Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, National Archives and Records Administration

Report from the Superintendent of the Public Buildings relative to the value of property destroyed, October 29, 1814 Report from the Superintendent of the Public Buildings relative to the value of property destroyed, October 29, 1814

War of 1812: Congress Investigates

On August 24, 1814, under the command of General Robert Ross and Rear-Admiral Sir George Cockburn, British troops took control of the capital and proceeded to burn the President’s House, the Capitol (including the Library of Congress), the Navy Yard, and American warships. Embarrassed and furious over the circumstances, Congress began an investigation to determine how the British were able to capture the city. On November 29, 1814, the House of Representatives issued its report, which was inconclusive. There was no further investigation.