Profs and Pints DC presents: “When Washington Burned,” a detailed look at the devastating 1814 British attack on the Capitol, with Denver Brunsman, associate professor of history at George Washington University, lecturer at Mount Vernon, and scholar of the American revolution and early American republic.
You’ve probably toured several of Washington’s landmarks, but have you considered those that went up in smoke more than 200 years ago?
Learn about one of our nation’s greatest scares from historian Denver Brunsman, a favorite of Profs and Pints audiences and expert on the War of 1812, which led to the infamous 1814 attack. He’ll tell the riveting tale of how British troops torched the Capitol and White House and burned down nearly all of Washington’s public buildings.
He’ll frame his talk of such mayhem by discussing the origins and significance of the conflict that caused it, the War of 1812. In addition to helping to cement America’s independence, the War of 1812 helped give rise to a sense of nationalism among the people of Canada. It rallied boosters of the city of Washington—among them, First Lady Dolley Madison—to advocate for keeping it as the nation’s capital. With the war’s end, American was free to embark on two centuries of growth.
You’ll leave with a much greater appreciation of how our nation has withstood tests in the past and how much of Washington D.C. has been built upon the ruins of previous losses. (Advance tickets: $13.50 plus sales tax and processing fees. Doors: $17, or $15 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later.)
Ilustration from the 1816 book The History of England, from the Earliest Periods, Volume 1 by Paul M. Rapin de Thoyras.