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The Papers of James Madison
July 1814-18 February 1815
James Madison. Edited by Angela Kreider, J. C. A. Stagg, Anne Mandeville Colony, Katharine E. Harbury, and Mary Parke Johnson
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Volume 8 of the Presidential Series covers the suspense-filled final months of the War of 1812, as Madison awaited the outcome of peace negotiations at Ghent while defending the country against British invasion, warding off government bankruptcy, and preparing to meet armed resistance in New England. The British burned the Capitol, the President's House, and other buildings in Washington and occupied eastern Maine in the following months, but American forces thwarted attacks on Baltimore, Plattsburgh, and New Orleans. Along with Alexander J. Dallas, Madison's new secretary of the Treasury, Madison crafted a defense of the American position designed to promote U.S. alliances and fundraising in Europe and to rally support at home. The volume closes with Madison receiving a copy of the Treaty of Ghent on 14 February 1815 and delivering the peace proclamation to an astounded and joyous nation. Access to people, places, and events of the period is facilitated by detailed annotation and a comprehensive index.

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