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Jan 12

The Battle of the White House in 1814

Thursday 07:00 PM - 08:30 PM
The Arlington Historical Society, in conjunction with Marymount University's Department of History & Politics, will host historian and author Patrick L. O'Neill, who will discuss "The Battle of the White House in 1814 and America's First Response to the Burning of Washington."

This event is free and open to all. For further information, contact Dr. Mark Benbow at

Location: Main Campus, Rowley G 127

This battle was not fought at the White House; it was fought at the white house that was the customs house of William Fairfax on Belvoir Neck just south of Mount Vernon on the Virginia bank of the Potomac River. O’Neill will describe the intense five-day attack on seven British warships as they sailed down the Potomac after burning Washington and capturing Alexandria, where they looted warehouses and captured 21 sailing craft that were either moored or sunk at the city docks.

After the devastation British inflicted on Washington, several hundred American Navy personnel commanded by Commodore John Rodgers, Captain David Porter, and Captain Oliver Hazard Perry, assisted by local militias, were directed to “annoy or destroy” the British squadron. Both British and American forces fought valiantly. O’Neill will show why these five days are important both locally and nationally.

Patrick L. O’Neill has 30 years of experience as an independent historian and archaeologist. He has been conducting research on the War of 1812 for more than a decade. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology from Kansas State University and a Masters in History from West Texas A&M.