THE BURNING OF WASHINGTON: August 1814 by Mary Kay Phelan

THE BURNING OF WASHINGTON: August 1814

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KIRKUS REVIEW

One of the more inglorious episodes in American military history, the burning of Washington in 1814 turns out to be a worthy if difficult subject for Phelan's you-are-there reportage. In the midst of indecision and confusion, Dolley Madison and her servant French Jim, who are determined to save a valuable portrait of Washington and other White House treasures, seem to be the only resolute characters on our side. With the President himself in flight to avoid capture and little purposeful opposition to the advancing Redcoats, events are rather diffuse. However, Phelan gives us a rare picture of Washington and its residents in more makeshift days and a reminder of how small and vulnerable the nation once was.

Pub Date: May 23rd, 1975
Page count: 180pp
Publisher: T. Y. Crowell