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(WAR OF 1812.) Issue of the National Intelligencer describing the British invasion of Washington and its aftermath. 4 pages, 11 3/4 x 10 inches, on one folding sheet; stitch holes, small puncture in upper margin; uncut. Washington, 1 September 1814
The British invaded Washington on the evening of 24 August 1814, and burned the White House and most of the other government buildings. Most private residences and businesses were spared, with one prominent exception. The city's leading newspaper, the National Intelligencer, had angered the British officers with its outspoken coverage of the war. Rear Admiral George Cockburn ordered the paper's building destroyed, and specifically that every "C" in its type cases would be destroyed to prevent them from printing his name. The British left on the 26th, and the National Intelligencer began printing again on 30 August--in a smaller format using borrowed type and presses.
This third issue after the occupation is largely devoted to the late invasion. It includes two long eyewitness reports on the 24 August Battle of Bladensburg which led to the fall of Washington; a description of the private property destroyed in Washington (taking special aim at the "mountebank" Admiral Cockburn); a description of the "Destructive Hurricane" which helped drive the British out; and the articles of capitulation dictated to the citizens of nearby Alexandria, VA.
The newspaper's own travails are also noted: "Having purchased from one of our brother printers one small fount of type, we have issued the paper a day or two in its present shape, which it must retain until we are enabled to replace the type so meanly and malignantly destroyed by the enemy." The publishers also printed their own advertisement, thanking "those citizens who politely endeavored to save any portion of our books from the flames to which the enemy consigned them." Also included are the latest reports from the ongoing Siege of Fort Erie.
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