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Public Domain Picture: The Fire of 1814 at the U.S. Capitol

Courtesy: Architect of the Capitol
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The Fire of 1814 at the U.S. Capitol
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The Fire of 1814 at the U.S. Capitol
America's second war with Great Britain was declared in 1812. The following year American forces invaded Upper Canada and burned the governor's house and legislative hall in York (now Toronto). In retaliation, a British military expedition sailed up the Patuxent River aiming to destroy the public buildings in Washington. After a brief battle British troops entered the deserted city on the evening of August 24, 1814. At the U.S. Capitol, troops came armed with gun powder and torches. Damage was heaviest in the section of the north wing occupied by the Library of Congress. The Senate and House chambers were both destroyed, yet all of the south wing's first floor rooms survived. Many of the great neo-classical designs built under President Jefferson's supervision were lost; the nation had suffered a humiliating blow to its honor. This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (not advertising or any other commercial use). When any of these images is used the photographic credit line should read “Architect of the Capitol.” These images may not be used in any way that would imply endorsement by the Architect of the Capitol or the United States Congress of a product, service or point of view. For more information visit
Date Added:
March 29, 2014
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Public Domain

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Produced by United States Government
The file available on this page is a work of the United States government. A work of the United States government, as defined by United States copyright law, is "a work prepared by an officer or employee of the U.S. government as part of that person's official duties." In general, under section 105 of the Copyright Act, such works are not entitled to domestic copyright protection under U.S. law.
Architect of the Capitol

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Architect of the Capitol (Flickr Photostream)
External Site: Architect of the Capitol
The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) is the builder and steward of America's Capitol, serving Congress and the Supreme Court, creating a home for American democracy. The AOC traces its beginnings to 1791. Today, the AOC is comprised of 2,600 employees who serve Congress and the Supreme Court in a vari
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