John Crumby. Autograph letter to Eliza [Crumby], 14 October 1814. John W. Claghorn Papers. Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, Newark, Delaware.

'War of 1812'

Library sets exhibition 'The War of 1812: America's Forgotten War'

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11:24 a.m., April 27, 2012--The University of Delaware Library has announced a forthcoming exhibition “The War of 1812: America’s Forgotten War,” in the Information Room on the first floor of the Morris Library, which will be on display from Tuesday, May 1, through Thursday, May 31.

The year 2012 marks the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, which was fought between the United States and the British Empire from 1812-15. 

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War erupted in 1812 as a consequence of tensions between the two nations over international trade and American expansionism. The war, which saw the burning of the nation’s capitol, quickly became a struggle for survival on the part of the United States. 

The war’s cessation essentially allowed for a return to the status quo, but it also bolstered a sense of national identity, prompted increased American expansionism, and marked the last time that the two nations engaged in open warfare. 

Although sometimes regarded as American’s second war for independence, the conflict has largely faded from public memory, becoming one of America’s forgotten wars. 

On display are a selection of manuscripts from the War of 1812, featuring letters written by civilians who were firsthand witnesses to the war and a newspaper simply titled The War, which was entirely devoted to reporting on the conflict. 

“The War of 1812: America’s Forgotten War” is curated by Alexander C. Johnston, assistant librarian, with exhibition preparation by Anita Wellner, library assistant, and design and installation of the physical and virtual exhibition by Laurie Rizzo, assistant librarian, all of the Special Collections Department.

The exhibition will be available online.

Holdings of the Special Collections Department of the University of Delaware Library include books, manuscripts, maps, prints, photographs, broadsides, periodicals, pamphlets, ephemera and realia from the 15th to the 21st century. The collections complement the Library's general collections with particular strengths in the subject areas of the arts; English, Irish and American literature; history and Delawareana; horticulture; and history of science and technology.

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