What is this?
Message from the President of the United States Transmitting the Treaty of Peace and Amity Between the United States and his Britannic Majesty. Printed by Roger C. Weightman, 1815.
When is it from?
February 20, 1815
Why is it Important?
According to President James Madison, the War of 1812 was necessary to “assert the rights and independence of the nation.” The war continued for more than two years, with victories and losses of men, ships, and money on both sides, all while Britain was also fighting a seemingly unending war with Napoleon in Europe.
This pamphlet contains the message that President Madison delivered to Congress on February 18, 1815, proclaiming the Treaty of Ghent to be in effect. Following his speech is the text of the treaty, signed on December 24, 1814. Interestingly, no mention is made of the issues that caused the war, making the treaty and indeed the entire war seem somewhat unsatisfactory, although Madison claimed it to be a “most brilliant success.”
The Senate ratified the treaty on February 16, 1815. It was then signed by Madison and exchanged a day later, officially ending the War of 1812 on February 17, 1815. The United States and Great Britain have not gone to war against each other since.
Text © 2010 USS Constitution Museum
16-page pamphlet, measuring 9 by 6 inches. Heavy foxing and yellowing, with some evidence of water staining and tattered edges throughout. The front cover has writing in pencil in the left corners.
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