Watching the Flames, a War Memorial

Watching the Flames, a War Memorial (HM1T59)

Location: Washington, DC 20007
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 54.7', W 77° 3.758'

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Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail-War of 1812

—Tudor Place —

On August 24, 1814, as word spread that the British were coming, Dr. William Thornton and his wife Anna Marie fled their downtown F Street home and took refuge here at Tudor Place, home of their friend Martha Parke Custis Peter. That night, Mrs. Thornton wrote, they looked out a window and "witnessed the conflagration of our poor undefended and devoted city." Although only approximately 20 non-military structures were in flames, the scene must have been especially painful for Dr. Thornton, who had designed the U.S. Capitol as well as Tudor Place.

Saving Georgtown
Georgetown was not harmed during the invasion because Mayor John Peter, Martha Custis Peter's nephew, promised British officers that Georgetowners would not resist if they left in peace.

In the summer of 1814, the United States had been at war with Great Britain for two years. Battlefronts had erupted from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. On August 24, following their victory over the Americans at the Battle of Bladensburg, Maryland, British troops marched on Washington with devastating results.

(Inscription by the images on the left) Dr. William Thornton and Anna Marie Thornton-Oils by Gilbert Stuart National Gallery of Art.
HM NumberHM1T59
Series This marker is part of the Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail series
Placed ByNational Park Service US Department of Interior
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, July 20th, 2016 at 9:01am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 321162 N 4308996
Decimal Degrees38.91166667, -77.06263333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 54.7', W 77° 3.758'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 54' 42" N, 77° 3' 45.48" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)202
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1644 31st St NW, Washington DC 20007, US
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