Strategically Important: West Point

Today’s post comes from Adam Berenbak, archivist in the Center for Legislative Archives in Washington, DC. The Continental Army and Gen. Samuel Parsons first occupied the land at West Point, New York, owned by Steven Moore, in the winter of 1778. The fort was crucial in defending New York, the Hudson River, and the lines … Continue reading Strategically Important: West Point

The burning of Washington

August 24, 2014, marks the 200th anniversary of the British burning of Washington during the War of 1812. In August 1814, British forces occupying the Chesapeake Bay began to sail up the Patuxent River in Maryland. Fearing an attack on the capital, Secretary of State James Monroe offered to scout the British position and report … Continue reading The burning of Washington

“A Signal Victory”: The Battle of Lake Erie

Our new Featured Document--Oliver Perry's letter to the Secretary of the Navy--will be on display from September 10 to 19, 2014, at the National Archives in Washington, DC.  Today's blog post was written by former student employee Meghan O'Connor. Early in the War of 1812, the Americans lost control of Detroit and Lake Erie to … Continue reading “A Signal Victory”: The Battle of Lake Erie

Tornado saves capital, scares British

Today's post comes from National Archives Office of Strategy and Communications staff writer Rob Crotty. One hundred and ninety-six years ago today, the British sacked the District of Columbia. They were, in turn, sacked by a tornado. In 1814, the British wanted revenge. U.S. troops had burned the legislative building,  government structures, and private warehouses … Continue reading Tornado saves capital, scares British