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Bill Thayer

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The War of 1812
by
Francis F. Beirne

Maps by
Dorothy de Fontaine

11

"Free Trade and Sailors' Rights"

15

"Great Bunglers, Indeed"

24

American Blood Is Spilled

31

A Noble Experiment Fails

41

President Madison Inherits Trouble

47

Tecumseh and Tippecanoe

56

The War Hawks Swoop Down

64

Two Clever Rogues and Other Intrigues

77

As Britain Yields, We Declare War

87

General Hull's Martyrdom

96

Disaster on the Niagara Front

109

Our Frigates Make History

124

Harrison Has His Problems

138

We, Too, Burn a Capital

154

Marauders on the Chesapeake

168

"Don't Give Up the Ship"

183

Perry on Lake Erie

200

A Victory in Canada at Last!

213

Wilkinson in Quest of Laurels

221

Jackson Justifies a Nickname

232

Glory, But Nothing More

250

Washington Burned, the Government in Flight

264

Plattsburg Stands Fast

289

"The Flag Was Still There"

304

The Die-hards Play Their Hand

322

The Final Chapter at Sea

335

Old Hickory Avenges His Scar

353

Ghent, City of Peace

374
387
393

Technical Details

Edition Used

The edition followed in this transcription was that of my own copy of the First Edition, © E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 1949. That copyright was not renewed in 1976 or 1977 as was required by the then law in order to be maintained. The work is thus in the public domain; details here on the copyright law involved.

Illustrations (Maps)

The eleven illustrations in the book are all maps, and very fine maps at that. My practice almost everywhere else onsite is to colorize maps for clarity; here I haven't done so, because no improvement is possible: a fact which was acknowledged by the publisher with the rather unusual separate map credit on the title page. My only changes were to restore most of the solid blacks and whites lost in the mass printing of the book, then to translate the maps from the black-and‑white of the printed edition to a dark blue matching the text in my transcription.

(p9) List of Maps

I

Northwest Front 97

II

Niagara Front 110

III

Northern Front 156

IV

Battle of Craney Island 175

V

Creek Campaign 233

VI

Washington Campaign 267

VII

Battle of Plattsburg (Land) 294

VIII

Battle of Plattsburg (Land) 295

IX

Battle of Baltimore 310

X

New Orleans Campaign 348

XI

New Orleans, January 8 360

For citation and indexing purposes, the pagination is shown in the right margin of the text at the page turns (like at the end of this line);p57 these are also local anchors. Sticklers for total accuracy will of course find the anchor at its exact place in the sourcecode.

In addition, I've inserted a number of other local anchors: whatever links might be required to accommodate the author's own cross-references, as well as a few others for my own purposes. If in turn you have a website and would like to target a link to some specific passage of the text, please let me know: I'll be glad to insert a local anchor there as well.

Proofreading

As almost always, I retyped the text by hand rather than scanning it — not only to minimize errors prior to proofreading, but as an opportunity for me to become intimately familiar with the work, an exercise which I heartily recommend: Qui scribit, bis legit. (Well-meaning attempts to get me to scan text, if successful, would merely turn me into some kind of machine: gambit declined.)

My transcription has been minutely proofread. In the table of contents above, the sections are shown on blue backgrounds, indicating that I believe the text of them to be completely errorfree. As elsewhere on this site, the header bar at the top of each chapter's webpage will remind you with the same color scheme.

The printed book was remarkably well proofread; the inevitable typographical errors are few and all trivial, and therefore marked by dotted underscores like this: as elsewhere on my site, glide your cursor over the bullet or the underscored words to read the variant. Similarly, bullets before measurements provide conversions to metric, e.g., 10 miles.

A number of odd spellings, curious turns of phrase, etc. have been marked <!‑‑ sic ‑‑> in the sourcecode, just to confirm that they were checked.

Any other mistakes, please drop me a line, of course: especially if you have a copy of the printed book in front of you.



[image ALT: A highly stylized blocky silhouette of an eagle, its wings spread and pointing down, clutching in his right talon an olive branch, and in his left two arrows. It is a modified and stylized version of the eagle in the Great Seal of the United States found as a decorative vignette on the title page of Francis Beirne's book 'The War of 1812', and serves as the icon for it on this site.]

The icon I use to indicate this subsite is my colorization of a decorative vignette on the title page, which in turn is a modified and stylized version of the eagle in the Great Seal of the United States.


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Site updated: 31 Aug 13