WHO EX­ACTLY BURNED DOWN THE WHITE HOUSE?

StarMetro Toronto - - CANADA - HA­LEY RYAN

A plaque com­mem­o­rat­ing Bri­tish Maj.-gen. Robert Ross by the front gates of the Old Bury­ing Ground in Hal­i­fax, where Ross is buried. Ross is cred­ited with set­ting fire to what is now the White House dur­ing the War of 1812. Bri­tish Army Maj.-gen. Robert Ross, orig­i­nally from North­ern Ire­land, is most fa­mous for his role in the Burn­ing of Wash­ing­ton dur­ing the War of 1812.

Ross’ group of about 4,400 marched on Wash­ing­ton in mid-au­gust 1814, fac­ing 9,000 Amer­i­cans.

Ross in­structed the troops not to burn pub­lic prop­erty. In­stead, they burned the Li­brary of Congress, Capi­tol build­ing and trea­sury. Then the troops went to the pres­i­dent’s man­sion, where a vic­tory din­ner had been laid out. They ate be­fore set­ting fire to the build­ing. The story goes that to cover up the scorch marks, the Amer­i­cans painted the man­sion with white­wash. Ever since it’s been known as the White House.

ZANE WOOD­FORD/STARMETRO HAL­I­FAX

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