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U.S. Census Bureau History: The Battle of Baltimore, September 1814

Andrew Jackson on horseback
President Andrew Jackson earned
the nickname "Old Hickory" for
his toughness and hard fighting
on the battlefield during the
War of 1812. His 1820-1840
census records are available from
the National Archives.

During the War of 1812, the British military conducted a sea and land campaign against the port city of Baltimore, MD, between September 12-15, 1814. The "Battle of Baltimore" saw British and American forces clash at North Point [1.52 MB PDF], Hampstead Hill, and Fort McHenry.

Francis Scott Key witnessed the 25-hour bombardment of Fort McHenry and was inspired to write the poem, "Defence of Fort McHenry." Better known as the "Star Spangled Banner," Key's poem became the U.S. national anthem on March 3, 1931.

Today, census statistics help tell the story of the War of 1812 and its impact on the United States. Learn more about the nation and the War of 1812 from the following links:

  • Washington, DC, had a population of 15,471 in 1810. Following the war, buildings burned by the British on August 24, 1814, were rebuilt and the population grew to 23,336 by 1820.
  • The 1810 Census listed Baltimore, MD, as the third largest city in the United States with a population of 46,555. It grew to 62,738 by 1820.
  • American Indian tribes allied themselves with the United States and Great Britain during the War of 1812. For example, Black Hawk Link to a non-federal Web site, leader of the Sauk tribe, forced American troops to abandon Fort Madison along the banks of the Mississippi River in Iowa. Cherokee warriors assisted General Andrew Jackson claim victory in the
    March 27, 1814, Battle of Horseshoe Bend, near present day Dadeville, AL.
  • During the war, approximately 500,000 served in the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines, and militias and 2,260 American soldiers and sailors were killed. In 1840, data were collected from veterans of the American Revolution and War of 1812 in a Census of Pensioners [16.3 MB PDF].
  • The December 24, 1814, Treaty of Ghent ended the War of 1812. When American Indians lost their British allies in the Northwest Territory, Americans were encouraged to settle land that makes up present day Ohio [17KB PDF], Indiana [17KB PDF], Illinois [17KB PDF], Michigan [17KB PDF], Wisconsin [17KB PDF], and Minnesota [17KB PDF].
  • General Andrew Jackson forced the British-allied Creek Indians out of Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. The Creek allied with Florida's Seminole Tribe precipiating the "Seminole Wars" lasting from 1817 to 1858.

Battle of 

North Point
British troops advancing on Baltimore met unexpected resistance from Americans in the Battle of North Point, September 12, 1814.
Lithograph by Thomas Ruckle, courtesy of the National Park Service.

War of 1812 Lesson Planning

Are you interested in ideas for teaching about the War of 1812 in your classroom? The Maryland State Archives has a wealth of primary documents and lesson plan suggestions highlighting the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Baltimore and the War of 1812!

Did You Know?

Many 1790-1810 census records were destroyed when the British burned Washington, DC, on August 24, 1814. When researching members of the U.S. military who served in the War of 1812, genealogists may be able to find information using the 1840 Census of Pensioners [PDF 16.3MB] and military records at the National Archives. To learn more about these records, read Genealogical Records of the War of 1812.

Contact Us

Questions or comments? E-mail the History Staff.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Census History Staff | Last Revised: September 09, 2014