U.S. Capitol After Burning by the British by George Munger. Image: Library of Congress

The Burning of Washington: The British Invasion of 1814

September 16, 2003
The 2003-04 season of of Overbeck History Lectures got began on Tuesday evening, September 16, when author Anthony S. Pitch told the story of the British capture of Washington, D.C.in the summer of 1814, with a special focus on events on Capitol Hill.

The burning of the Capitol, the White House and other government buildings in Washington, D.C., were devastating blows to the city, and brought the new nation precariously close to extinction.

The lecture was held, as usual, in the visually striking Egyptian Revival style meeting hall of the Naval Lodge building at 330 Pennsylvania Avenue S.E.

Anthony Pitch is the author of The Burning of Washington : The British Invasion of 1814, along with numerous other books and publications, and is noted for his excellent anecdotal history tours for the Smithsonian Resident Associates and other organizations. He has worked as a journalist in England, Africa and Israel, served as senior writer in the books division of U.S. News & World Report, and has written a new history of the Lincoln assassination.

Past Lectures