The year 1812 is remembered in America as the first year in a long, but forgotten war. That, and the “1812 Overture.” Many of the famous events of that war happened in subsequent years, but some other things happened in 1812, as well. In Europe the curtain was up on the closing act of the Napoleonic adventures, the Prime Minister of Great Britain was assassinated, for the only time in history, and the famous Luddite attacks on modernity were defended by Lord Byron.
In the United States, James Madison was in the last year of his first term as president. His Vice President, George Clinton, died on April 20. Madison was nominated for a second term, and was opposed by his late Vice President’s nephew, DeWitt Clinton.
Madison won and his wife went on to save Washington’s picture when the British burned the White house in 1814. You may not know that James Maddison became the only President to physically, and personally lead troops into battle. It was a debacle.
The USS Constitution gained the nickname “Old Ironsides,” in a battle off Novia Scotia.
The term “Gerrymander” came into the American language
courtesy of the Boston Gazette. The New England Journal of Medicine began
The state of Louisiana was admitted as the 18th state, and the remainder of the Louisiana Territory was renamed, the Missouri Territory.City Bank of New York, now Citibank, was founded in 1812. Alexander Stephens, future Vice President of the Confederate States of America was born. James “Grizzly” Adams was born. Martha Ballard, the inspiration for 1991 Pulitzer Prize winning, “A Midwife’s Tale,” died. Also leaving the scene that year were Sacagawea, the artist of a prominent painting at Mount Vernon, and the namesake of Barlow, Ohio.
The Richmond Theater Fire on December 26, 1811, was the subject of extensive journalism and opinion, and continues to captivate.
The story of the fire has many moral lessons and they have all been told and retold.
At the time, and in subsequent decades, the story of the fire remained popular, and educational.
Gilbert Hunt, an African slave operating a blacksmith shop near the burning theater, became a national, and historic hero by saving numerous lives. His story remains fresh.
Be patient. It starts slowly, but gets more exciting than you expect. Somewhat like the war itself.
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