Free Document Display To Commemorate War of 1812

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

June 18 marks the 200th anniversary of the start of the War of 1812, a three-year battle between the United States and Great Britain. On this anniversary, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) will host a free, one-day display of documents that present the story of the war as told by the soldiers, politicians, and citizens on the homefront.

Labeled “Mr. Madison’s War,” the War of 1812 ultimately helped to form policy and promote national self confidence, as Americans proved to the world they could stand against a major power such as the British Empire. The conflict also established important American policies that led to westward expansion, a better-equipped, organized, and trained military, and the Monroe Doctrine that set foreign policy for the ensuing decades. During the document display, visitors can view letters, maps, diaries, and prints from both the American and British sides of the war, including:

·         A copy of the "Star-Spangled Banner" handwritten by Francis Scott Key

·         A lithograph showing the bombardment of Fort McHenry in 1814

·         A copy of the Declaration of War issued by President James Madison

·         Letters and accounts of the Hartford Convention, secret meetings to discuss opposition to the War of 1812

·         An account of Joseph Hall, an American sailor who was impressed into service with the British during the war

During this special display, visitors are invited to view and read these extraordinary materials from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania at 1300 Locust Street in Philadelphia. Reservations are not necessary and there is no admission fee. The documents will also be posted online at hsp.org.

Media are welcome to attend. For high-quality images suitable for publication or for more information about the War of 1812 document display, please contact Lauri Cielo, Director of Communications, at 215-732-6200 ext. 233 or lcielo@hsp.org.

About the Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Founded in 1824 in Philadelphia, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania inspires people to create a better future through historical understanding. It is home to some 600,000 printed items and more than 21 million manuscript and graphic items. Its unparalleled collections encompass more than 350 years of America’s history—from its 17th-century origins to the contributions of its most recent immigrants. The Society’s remarkable holdings together with its educational programming make it one of the nation’s most important special collections libraries: a center of historical documentation and study, education, and engagement.

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