The Burning of the White House: James and Dolley Madison and the War of 1812

The Burning of the White House: James and Dolley Madison and the War of 1812

by Jane Hampton Cook

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The Burning of the White House: James and Dolley Madison and the War of 1812 by Jane Hampton Cook

A book to challenge the status quo, spark a debate, and get people talking about the issues and questions we face as a country!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781621575498
Publisher: Regnery History
Publication date: 08/16/2016
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

The list of Regnery authors reads like a "who's who" of conservative thought, action, and history.

Read an Excerpt

From Chapter 22

Wonder what little Jemmy thinks of his war now? Such was the contemptuous attitude of George Cockburn as he beheld his pearly white treasure the night of August 24. Though disappointed to find the Madisons weren’t at home, he was still as happy as he could possibly be. Here was the opportunity to bring glory to England.

Cockburn and Ross gave orders. Some of their men invaded the President’s House, while others stayed outside and prepared to launch their rockets or fiery poles.
Many, especially the officers, strode the steps and boldly placed their boots onto the floor of the entry hall. They quickly scattered throughout the rooms. Cockburn couldn’t have been more delighted to tour this mansion and see the beautiful rooms decorated by Mrs. Madison.

Soon his nose overtook his bulging eyes. While noting small engraved drawings of Dolley and the president hanging on the walls, Madison’s fine dress sword, her gowns, and other valuables, what attracted the most attention that night was the dining room. Why? Because it was full of something that Cockburn and his men hadn’t had seen much of all day long—food and wine. Though abandoned, the White House was set and ready to entertain the admiral as if he’d received an invitation.

Lt. Scott described the feast that awaited them: “A large store of super excellent Madeira and other costly wines stood cooling in ice in one corner of the spacious dining-room.”

While she was as absent as could be, Dolley’s hospitable presence was very much felt. The optimistic effort she’d made to prepare a victory celebration for her husband and his officers took the form of a table set for a party of forty, complete with silver bowls covering the plates. To Cockburn and Scott’s delight, the $500 china set along with silver knives, forks, and spoons glistened while fully-cooked food rested on the hearth.

“We found the cloth laid for the expected victorious generals, and all the appliances and meals to form a feast worthy the resolute champions of republican freedom.”

Cockburn did what any leader would do. He put the primal needs of his officers ahead of their mission. They could wait to finish the job. Hence he ordered them to partake of the providential feast. After all, they’d had a very long day, from marching from camp at daybreak to marching again at sunset. Setting fire to buildings was hard work.

Scott was very pleased by his boss’s decision to enjoy the moment. “Never was nectar more grateful to the palates of the gods, than the crystal goblet of Madeira and water I quaffed off at Mr. Madison’s expense.”

A feast like this wouldn’t be complete without one key thing: a toast. And Cockburn knew exactly who should join him: an American who owed his paycheck to the happenings of Capitol Hill.

Table of Contents

Author's Note xi

Part 1

1 The Pirate 3

2 Mighty Little Madison 11

3 Hello, Dolley 23

4 Dueling Strategies 33

5 Knickerbockers 45

6 Torpedo 59

7 Chesapeake Fever 67

8 Snubbed By Dolley 73

9 Washed Up at Craney 91

10 Atrocious Hampton 99

11 Dear Dolley 107

Part 2

12 The White House 123

13 Hospitality and Hostility 131

14 Noses For News 141

15 Not Your Average News Day 151

16 Superabundant Force 161

17 Twenty Thousand Reinforcements 173

18 Hanging Madison 183

19 Invasion 189

20 The British are Coming 201

21 Spyglasses 213

22 Bladensburg Races 225

23 Capitol Conflagration 235

24 White House Inferno 246

25 Displaced Or Conquered? 255

Part 3

26 Phoenix Spices 265

27 Phoenix Multitude 275

28 White House Phoenix 287

29 Dawn's Early Light 299

30 Relocating The Capital City 309

31 Poor Mrs. Madison 323

32 Presidents' Club 333

33 Uplifting News 341

34 Rise of the First Lady 353

Epilogue 361

Acknowledgments 369

Bibliography 371

Notes 381

Index 421

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The Burning of the White House: James and Dolley Madison and the War of 1812 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
JCoburn 3 months ago
This well-written book introduces the reader to the characters and events that preceded the burning of the White House and the attack on Fort McHenry that led to the writing of the star-spangled banner. It's somewhat comforting to know that the party politics that seem to plague our nation today were commonplace in the early 19th century as well. Yet we survive. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting more information on the early history of the United States. A great read!