History : When the British burnt down the Whitehouse.

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In 1812, the United States army under president Madison invaded upper Canada attacked the port of Dover, set a blaze the port, looted and captured the local militia over there, the battle is famously called, the battle of York.

In retaliation the British forces engaged the US in a battle at Baldensburg in 1814 and defeated the Americans , the British forces led by Major General Robert Ross then proceeded to Washington and set ablaze every government building including the 12 year old Whitehouse and the US capitol building.

President Madison and his army Generals escaped the from the capital after their forces lost the battle at Baldensburg. The president and his entourage got temporary refuge in Brookville town, Montgomery County in Virginia. President Madison spent the night in the house of a man called Caleb Bentley, a Quaker who worked and lived in Brookville. Bentley house still stands in Brookville and is known as Madison house.

Brookville famously referred to as the “United States capital for a day” for hosting the president on the day of invasion.

26 hours after the invasion and occupation of the US capital by the British forces, a devastating wind /tornado swept through Washington, putting off the fires, destroying British vessels and killing several British troops and American civilians in the process. The British forces retreated to their damaged ships and sailed away.

The US government moved back to Washington and began reconstruction thereafter. That was the first time that the since the United States revolutionary wars that the US capital was captured by a foreign power.

John Otieno

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