Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Spring 2020

Department 1



When the British burned Washington D.C. during the War of 1812, the city’s civilians and officials fled to the surrounding countryside to escape the carnage. Fearful that the attack on the Capital could eventually spell defeat and worried for their city, these refugees took shelter in the homes and fields of Brookeville, Maryland, a small, Quaker mill town on the outskirts of Washington. These pacifist residents of Brookeville hosted what could have been thousands of Washingtonians in the days following the attack, ensuring the safety of not only the people of Washington, but of President Madison himself. As hosts to the President, the home of a prominent couple stood in for the President’s House, and as the effective center of command for the government, the town was crowned Capital of the United States for a day. This paper hopes to expound upon the history of this event, focusing on the Quaker community that rose so charitably to the challenge. Through an examination of primary sources, digitized archival materials, and previous research, this is a history of Brookeville as it was in August 1814, a tribute to its people and an acknowledgement of its importance.


Written for HIST 343: The Early Republic.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.