Center for Women's History
Women’s history is American history. Bring it into your classroom with our new curriculum!
Major support for the Center for Women's History curriculum was provided by
Lead support for Saving Washington was provided by Joyce B. Cowin and the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation. Additional support provided by Susan Klein.
Exhibitions at New-York Historical are made possible by Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar Tang, the Saunders Trust for American History, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
West Smithfield, Published by G. Thompson, The Taking of the City of Washington in America, 1814. Wood engraving. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C., 96510111.
Resource 8: Washington Burns
During the War of 1812, the British marched into Washington as the sun set on August 24, 1814. After setting fire to the Capitol building, they proceeded to the White House and torched it as well. Taking the British perspective of the seizure of Washington, this engraving shows the city in defeat and flames. At the conclusion of the war that December, Washington was in ruins. Should the government relocate to a different city? Would abandoning Washington send the wrong message about American strength and determination? Should the city be rebuilt?