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Resolved, That a Committee be appointed to enquire into the causes of the successes of the Enemy, September 23, 1814

Congress reconvened on September 19, 1814, called into an early session by President James Madison. With the Capitol destroyed, the senators and representatives crowded into the Post and Patent Office, the only government building not burned by the British. The House promptly passed a resolution appointing a committee to report on the causes and results of Britain’s successful attack.

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

Resolved, That a Committee be appointed to enquire into the causes of the successes of the Enemy, September 23, 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 and the Capitol, including the Library of Congress. 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.