Here are 35 interesting War of 1812 facts.

1-5 War of 1812 Facts


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1. According to the memoir of a former slave, First Lady Dolley Madison did not save the Lansdowne portrait of George Washington from the British burning it during the War of 1812. Rather, a Frenchman and a gardener saved it, while Dolley just ran off with silver. – Source

2. Stephen Girard, one of the wealthiest men in American history, personally saved the U.S. government from financial collapse during the War of 1812. – Source

3. During the war of 1812, the patent office clerk threw himself in front of soldiers and successfully convinced them to spare the office, for knowledge benefits the entire world. – Source

4. In the War of 1812, the 93rd Highlanders regiment were halted within the range of the enemy. The commanding officer was killed and with no orders to advance or retreat, the column held fast and took concentrated American fire. This continued until another general ordered their withdrawal. – Source

5. Uncle Sam was a real person who got his name correlated to the U.S. during the war of 1812. – Source

6-10 War of 1812 Facts


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6. In the war of 1812, the British built an 112-gun first-rate battleship on Lake Ontario. It was one of the largest ships in the British fleet and it operated entirely in a freshwater lake. – Source

7. A Muslim slave in Georgia helped defend his owner’s plantation during the War of 1812. – Source

8. The War of 1812 is only seen as a war in its own right by Canada and the United States, in Europe it is seen as a theater of the Napoleonic wars. – Source

9. During the War of 1812, the city of Detroit surrendered to invading forces from Canada very soon after they invaded despite the American forces in Detroit outnumbering the British, Native American, and Canadian troops that invaded. – Source

10. Sixty-nine years ago, June 4, 1944, the U.S. Navy captured German Submarine U-505 in the Atlantic near Africa. It was the first warship to be captured by the U.S. since the war of 1812. Capture of U-505 also yielded valuable information in decrypting the German Enigma code. – Source

11-15 War of 1812 Facts

portrait said to be of Jea Lafitte

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11. Pirates helped Andrew Jackson defeat the British during the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812. – Source

12. In 1971, The Weather Underground terror group bombed the United States capitol. It was described as the worst attack on the capitol since the War of 1812. – Source

13. During the War of 1812, the American ship Nanina rescued shipwrecked British sailors who didn’t know they were at war. While the rescuers resupplied onshore, the British commandeered the ship and marooned their rescuers. The British rescued the marooned Americans 18 months later. – Source

14. After the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812, 500 British soldiers that were pretending to be dead rose up and surrendered themselves to the victorious Americans. – Source

15. The University of Guelph has a cannon used in the war of 1812 that has a long standing tradition of being painted by students almost daily. – Source

16-20 War of 1812 Facts


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16. James Wilkinson, the “General who never won a battle or lost a court-martial,” was such a military bumbler that during an invasion of Canada, in the War of 1812, his force of 4,000 was repulsed by a mere 180 Canadians. – Source

17. The first Mace for the Parliament of Upper Canada was stolen in the War of 1812 by the Americans, only to be returned in 1934 as a goodwill gesture from President F.D. Roosevelt. – Source

18. Blackhawk helicopters are named for Black Hawk, a Native American leader who fought for the British in the War of 1812. – Source

19. New Brunswick and Maine were still on such good terms during the war of 1812 that one New Brunswick town lent gunpowder to a Maine town for fourth of July celebrations. – Source

20. In 1814 Federalists in New England almost seceded from the United States due to dissatisfaction with Madison’s policies, particularly the War of 1812. – Source

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Fact List, History,

Last Update: March 20, 2017