Exhibit Theme

The Burning of the Capitol, 1814

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The U.S. Capitol After Burning by...
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The U.S. Capitol After Burning by the British, by George Munger, ca. 1814

In 1812, the United States went to war with Great Britain. On the evening of August 24, 1814, British troops entered a largely abandoned Washington and set fire to many government buildings, including the Capitol. The following month, Congress returned to the city and ordered an investigation “. . . into the causes of the success of the Enemy.”

Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress