War of 1812

Warof1812RGBThe War of 1812—Prince George’s County was directly affected during the War of 1812 by the British invasion of Washington. As the British marched north and west through the County, their impact was felt at several important sites: The Battle of Bladensburg, Bellefields, Bostwick, The Woodyard Site, George Washington House, Market Master’s House, Mount Calvert, Oxon Hill Farm, Riversdale, Hilleary-Magruder House, Magruder Spring, Fort Washington (Warburton Manor), and Fort Lincoln.

Special activities, programs, and events are held at our Historic sites throughout the year.

Battle of Bladensburg

The Battle of Bladensburg Task Force is committed to tell the story of the military history, and history of the arts and culture that was prominent in the area in 1814. More importantly, through events, programs, tours, signage and other features, the Task Force is working with partners across the area – including the state and federal governments – to ensure that everyone understands that without the Battle of Bladensburg, the Star Spangled Banner and the US eventual victory against the British in the War of 1812, would not have occurred. To learn more about The Battle of Bladensburg please click here.

Photos are courtesy of their respective websites.

 star spangled banner national historic trail

Anacostia Trails Heritage Area (ATHA)
c/o City of Hyattsville
4310 Gallatin Street
Hyattsville MD 20781
Additional Resource
Founded in 1997, ATHA (Anacostia Trails Heritage Area) is dedicated to preserving, renovating, enhancing and publicizing the rich history, unmatched cultural facilities/offerings and recreational sites filled with nature’s beauty within Prince George’s County. The 84 square miles of historic, cultural, recreational, and environmental siltes in our portion of Prince George’s County offer something for everyone.

The Battle of Bladensburg/Historic Bladensburg Waterfront ParkBattle of Bladensburg
Annapolis Road & 46th Street
Bladensburg MD 20710
Additional Resource
The Battle of Bladensburg took place on August 24th, 1814. British forces broke camp at Melwood Park and moved northwest to Bladensburg. The Baltimore militia, under the command of General Tobias Sansburg, was positioned west of the Anacostia River along the Bladensburg-Washington Road in the area of the present day Colmar Manor, and Fort Lincoln Cemetery. Marching in the intense heat along the river road paralleling today’s Kenilworth Avenue, the British arrived in Bladensburg about noon and attacked the American defenders shortly thereafter. Read more about this historic battle.

Bellefields and Cemetery
13104 Duley Station Road
Upper Marlboro MD 20772
1720s, 20th-century wings two-story brick Georgian plantation house (Flemish bond) with exterior chimneys and flanking wings. Home of Sim family, including Colonel Joseph Sim, Revolutionary leader; from this site, American leaders observed the approach of British troops in August 1814.

3901 48th Street
Bladensburg MD 20710
Additional Resource
Built in 1746 Bostwick is a 2-1/2-story, Georgian brick house, with a flared gable roof and bracketed cornice, a high buttress at the south gable end, and a kitchen wing to the north. It was built for Christopher Lowndes, merchant and Town Commissioner, and was later the home of Lowndes’ son-in-law, Benjamin Stoddert, first Secretary of the Navy. Probably the earliest surviving building in Bladensburg, Bostwick stands high on a terraced lawn, and is a prominent landmark in the town.

Darnall’s Chance House MuseumDarnalls Chance
14800 Governor Oden Bowie Drive
Upper Marlboro MD 20722
Additional Resource
On August 27, 1814, following the burning of Washington, D.C., the British Army retreated through the town of Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Several townspeople, including Dr. William Beanes and John Hodges, arrested and jailed some British stragglers. When the British learned of the incident, they returned to Upper Marlboro and took Dr. Beanes and two others hostage, and threatened to destroy the town if their soldiers were not returned. John Hodges’ neighbors pleaded with him to seek the soldiers’ release and save the town. Hodges convinced the general of the local militia that the soldiers should be freed and was put in charge of the prisoner exchange. For this act, he was charged with high treason. The jury found Hodges not guilty because the “circumstances under which he acted formed a good and sufficient excuse.” Hodges is the only known person to be tried for treason during the War of 1812.

Dueling GroundsDueling Grounds
37th Avenue
Colmar Manor MD 20722
Additional Resource
“Grassy park area located on part of Chillum Castle Manor, patented to William Digges in 1763. Scene of at least 26 recorded duels during first half of 19th century; most famous was the 1820 meeting between Commodores James Barron and Stephen Decatur, in which the latter was fatally wounded.”

Fort Lincoln CemeteryFort Lincoln Cemetary
3401 Bladensburg Road
Brentwood MD
Additional Resource
The historic marker for the Battle of Bladensburg can be found behind the mausoleum of this cemetery. Fort Lincoln Cemetery was chartered in 1912 by an act of the Maryland General Assembly and presently contains 178 acres. Fort Lincoln Cemetery was named after Fort Lincoln which strategically protected the nation’s capitol during the Civil War. Fort Lincoln became the headquarters for the Second Pennsylvania Veteran Heavy Artillery. Men from this unit staffed Battery Jameson.

Fort Washington National ParkFort Washington National Park
13551 Fort Washington Road
Fort Washington MD 20744
Additional Resource
Fort Washington has stood as a silent sentry defending the Nation’s Capital, for over 180 years. As technologies advanced so did Fort Washington. Fort Washington is one of the few remaining Seacoast Forts in its original designs. The first Fort Washington was completed in 1809 and guarded the Nation’s Capital until it was destroyed by its own garrison in 1814. Twelve days later Major Pierre L’Enfant was sent to construct new defenses but worked on the Fort for only a brief period before Lieutenant Colonel Walker K. Armistead replaced him. The Fort was completed on October 2, 1824. Extensive remodeling was performed in the 1840s and the first guns were mounted in 1846. Except for a few guns at the Washington Arsenal, Fort Washington was the only defense for the Nation’s Capital until the Civil War when a circle of temporary forts was built around the city.

George Washington HouseGeorge Washington House
4302 Baltimore Ave
Bladensburg MD 20710
Additional Resource
c. 1760, 2 1/2 story side-gabled brick structure with two-story porch, and rear wing of frame construction. Built originally as a store, part of commercial complex including tavern and blacksmith shop; served as tavern from mid-19th to mid-20th century. This old building, dating back to 1732, was once an inn along a major north-south route in the town of Bladensburg, Maryland. It was reported to be a stopover for George Washington when travelling between his Mount Vernon home and Philadelphia or New York.

Hilleary Magruder House/William Hilleary HouseHilleary House
4703 Annapolis Road
Bladensburg MD 20710
Additional Resource
Mid-18th century 1 1/2 story stucco-covered stone gambrel-roof house, restored as offices in the 1980s. Built for William Hilleary and visited by George Washington in 1787; one of four surviving pre-Revolutionary buildings in Bladensburg; owned or rented by a series of five doctors, including Dr. Archibald Magruder.

Magruder Spring
Cheverly Avenue
Cheverly MD 20785
Additional Resource
The sole water source for the Mount Hope tobacco plantation; functioned in the 1920s as water source. According to tradition, British soldiers stopped here on August 24, 1814.

Market Master’s HouseMarket Master's House
4006 48th Street
Bladensburg MD 20710
Additional Resource
c. 1765, 1 1/2 story side-gabled house built of non local stone. Built by Christopher Lowndes of Bostwick on lot overlooking adjoining market space; unique example of its type, one of four surviving pre-Revolutionary buildings in Bladensburg.

Mount Calvert Historical & Archaeological ParkMount Calvert
16302 Mount Calvert Road
Upper Marlboro MD 20772
Additional Resource
Mount Calvert is one of the most significant historical and archaeological sites in Prince George’s County. Ten interpretative wayside signs and the exhibit “The Confluence of Three Cultures” describe the archaeology of 8,000 years of American Indian presence, the development of colonial Charles-Town (the county’s first seat of government from 1696-1721), and an early American tobacco plantation.

Oxon Hill Farm at Oxon Cove Parkoxon hill farm exhibit building
6411 Oxon Hill Road
Oxon Hill MD 20745
Additional Resource
Oxon Hill Farm is an historical farm with buildings dating back to the early 1800s when the property was a wheat plantation. A variety of daily farm activities and programs is held throughout the park’s 512 acres. Explore how the park evolved from a plantation home during the War of 1812, to a hospital farm to the park you can visit today.

Riversdale House Museum
4811 Riverdale Road
Riverdale MD 20737
Additional Resource
Riversdale, a National Historic Landmark, is a restored, five-part, stucco-covered brick plantation home built between 1801 and 1807. Construction of this elegant manor house was begun for Henri Stier, a Flemish aristocrat, and was completed by his daughter Rosalie and her husband, George Calvert, grandson of the fifth Lord Baltimore. The mansion blends both Flemish and American architectural styles and has particularly fine interior plaster detail. The site is also home to a gift shop.

Woodyard Site
Woodyard Circle
Upper Marlboro MD 20772
Location of Henry Darnall’s early 18th-century mansion and merchant Stephen West’s Revolutionary War supply factory; temporary headquarters of American troops during British invasion in 1814 ; important historical archeological site.

Special activities, programs, and events are held at our Historic sites throughout the year.