All Weekend, Every Weekend. On C-SPAN3.

African Americans & the War of 1812

War of 1812 Battle of Lake Erie Depicting African American Sailor

War of 1812 Battle of Lake Erie Depicting African American Sailor

Richmond, Virginia
Saturday, October 26, 2013

Author and historian Gene Allen Smith discusses the experiences of African Americans during the War of 1812. He focuses especially on the choice many slaves faced between helping the United States or helping the invading British, who offered to free any slave that joined their cause. Professor Smith also details the experiences of African Americans who sided with the United States at the Battle of New Orleans. The Virginia Historical Society in Richmond, Virginia hosted this event.

Updated: Monday, October 28, 2013 at 10:19am (ET)

Related Events

Virginia & the War of 1812
Saturday, September 14, 2013     

Author and archivist Stuart Butler looks at events that unfolded in Virginia during the War of 1812, and examines how the state’s militia organized and defended Virginia against British attack. He highlights various assaults along the Virginia side of the Chesapeake Bay and discusses how slaves fought on behalf of the British military. The National Archives in Washington DC hosted this program.

War of 1812: Two Perspectives
Saturday, August 3, 2013     

Two historians offer different perspectives on the War of 1812. Canadian Donald Graves rejects the established reasoning for the British burning of Washington, DC, arguing that the burning of Canadian towns by American forces played no significant part in the matter. Author Alan Taylor asserts that in order to grasp the true ramifications of the conflict it’s necessary to stretch the time period of study. This program was hosted by the United States Naval Academy.   

War of 1812 Bicentennial Symposium
Saturday, March 16, 2013     

Six historians with a variety of viewpoints engage in a discussion about the causes and consequences of the War of 1812. The panel was part of a War of 1812 Bicentennial Symposium hosted by the Citadel and the Old Exchange Building in Charleston, South Carolina.

Charleston During the War of 1812
Saturday, March 16, 2013     

Archivist and musicologist Nicholas Butler describes the military and social history of Charleston, South Carolina beginning in 1776 when it was first attacked by the British. Though no War of 1812 battles were fought in Charleston, Mr. Butler argues that events leading up to the war and expenses for fortifications during the war led to economic collapse in the city, a strong distrust of the federal government, and eventual secession from the union. The Citadel and the Old Exchange Building in Charleston, South Carolina hosted this event as part of a War of 1812 Bicentennial Symposium.

Native Americans in the War of 1812
Saturday, March 16, 2013     

Many Native Americans were drawn into the War of 1812, which began between the newly formed United States and the British. Tribes fought on both sides and seldom benefited from their participation. Alan Taylor, Pulitzer prize-winning historian and author of "The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, and Indian Allies,” discusses the many ways in which Native Americans suffered from the War of 1812. He spoke at a War of 1812 Bicentennial Symposium in Charleston, South Carolina hosted by the Citadel and the Old Exchange Building.

Main Poc & the War of 1812
Saturday, March 16, 2013     

History professor R. David Edmunds talks about the biography and legacy of Main Poc, a Native American Potawatomi leader who spent much of his life fighting against American expansion. He also worked closely with Tecumseh during the War of 1812 fighting American settlers near Ohio. The Citadel and Old Exchange Building in Charleston, South Carolina co-hosted this War of 1812 Bicentennial Symposium.

American Artifacts: War of 1812 in Art & Memory
Sunday, January 13, 2013     

American History TV visited the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery for a look at an unprecedented gathering of portraits and objects representing the major personalities of this little-known war. Curators Sidney Hart and Rachael Penman take us on a guided tour through the collection assembled from the United States, Canada and Great Britain. The War of 1812 technically ended in a draw, but it buoyed American nationalism, birthed the national anthem and Uncle Sam, and anointed a future president in General Andrew Jackson. The exhibit, “1812: A Nation Emerges,” is open at the National Portrait Gallery until January 27, 2013.

Roots of the War of 1812
Sunday, December 2, 2012     

Bard College History Professor Christian Ayne Crouch looks at the roots of the War of 1812, which she traces back to the Seven Years' War in the 1750s and 1760s. The New York Public Library hosted this event. 

American Artifacts: War of 1812 Shipwreck
Saturday, September 1, 2012     

In 1812, Joshua Barney, a retired naval hero of the Revolutionary War proposed a plan for a fleet of American barges to defend the Chesapeake Bay area against the British. In August, 1814, Barney was forced to destroy & sink his fleet of 15 vessels in Maryland's Patuxent River to prevent their capture. The suspected flagship "Scorpion" was discovered under the river mud in 1979 and partially excavated. Now, underwater archaeologist Robert Neyland of the Navy History and Heritage Command is leading a team to further study the wreck. American History TV visited the river with Mr. Neyland to learn about the project, and visited the Navy's Underwater Archaeology lab in the Washington Navy yard where the artifacts are studied.

Recorded History of the U.S. Congress
Sunday     

2014 marks the 225th anniversary of the first meeting of the U.S. Congress at Federal Hall in New York City. As part of the annual meeting of the Society for History in the Federal Government, past and present House and Senate historians came together to discuss the state of congressional history. They explored current projects to retrieve old records from individual members of Congress as well as the many differences between the first Congress and Congress today. 

Share This Event Via Social Media

Related Resources

Book TV (late 2012)
Questions? Comments? Email us at AmericanHistoryTV@c-span.org