The War of 1812 is one of the least known wars in American memory, despite the fact that it was fought on United States territory. Yet the War of 1812 deserves closer attention. A generation of political leaders was forged in the war. It brought us the song that became the national anthem and delivered a death blow to Native American resistance to American expansion.
The exhibition provides an overview of these significant developments, as well as a glimpse of moments of high drama. Pro-war Baltimoreans tar-and-feather an anti-war newspaper publisher. Generals surrender and face court martial. Battles are fought on land and sea and lake. Washington burns!
Items on display range from the official declaration of war to a receipt for the sewing of signal flags, and include such resources as anti-war pamphlets, a letter describing the burning of Washington, D.C., and a satirical print of James Madison boxing King George III. The exhibition will be on view September 18 – December 15, 2012.
The reception will feature an historical miniature war game recreating the Battle of New Orleans, in which American forces led by Andrew Jackson defeated the British army on January 8, 1815.
Visitors can participate in the game again on Saturday, September 29, at 9:30 a.m. in the Lilly Library Slocum Room. The games are organized by the IU Conflict Simulations Club. Both the reception and the games are open to the public.
All the historic materials on display, and more, are also available in the online project of the same name: http://collections.libraries.iub.edu/warof1812/. Hundreds of manuscripts, books, maps, and prints are included online, digitized in full. Viewers of the exhibition can find a interesting book on display, and then have access to the entire volume online.