As the sun set on August 26, 1814, a weary James Madison rode into the town of Brookeville, Maryland. The President of the United States had been on the move for nearly three days since he left Washington ahead of the British troops marching to capture the city.
In Brookeville, the President found a small but prosperous industrial town overflowing with other refugees from Washington. After a night spent at the home of leading residents Caleb and Henrietta Bentley, Madison and his attendants returned to Washington the next morning. His stay made the town "U.S. Capital for a Day," a title the town still proudly claims today.
the people and community that welcomed the
President and the
town's place in American history.
Interactive Map of Brookeville in
Brookeville in 1814 had about 15 houses, a tannery, blacksmith, store, and several mills.
Click on a lot below to learn more about the people who lived and worked there.
- Megan O'Hern: Staff Researcher
- Kyle Bacon: DAR Research Fellow
- Jackson Gilman-Forlini: DAR Research Fellow
- Owen Lourie: Project Manager
- Funding for this project
has been provided by a Special Projects Grant from the National Society
of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and by the State of
thanks to Sandra Heiler, Senator Karen S. Montgomery, the Janet Montgomery Chapter of the
Daughters of the
American Revolution, and the
Friends of the Maryland State Archives.
Image Source: "The taking of the city of Washington in America." G. Thompson, 1814. Library of Congress.