BEAUFORT – In a free daylong conference marking its bicentennial, “America’s Forgotten War,” the War of 1812, will be remembered at the N.C. Maritime Museum-Beaufort on June 29. Speakers will examine the conflict that resolved issues remaining from the American Revolution. The symposium will focus upon the naval war, one that strengthened the young United States and firmly established its position in the world.
A proclamation issued by Governor Bev Perdue explains, “Whereas the sacrifices of the nation’s soldiers and citizens during the War of 1812 strengthened the position of the United States as a burgeoning world power, in addition to establishing the need for a national system of defense and a professional military;” and the proclamation further references contributions of Dolley Madison, Andrew Jackson and other early patriots, then concludes.
“Now, therefore, I, Beverly Eaves Perdue, Governor of the State of North Carolina, do hereby proclaim June 18, 2012, in recognition of the “Bicentennial of the War of 1812″ in North Carolina, and commend its observance to all citizens through participation in commemorative events presented by the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, and other appropriate events.”
On June 1, 1812, President James Madison sent Congress a message outlining grievances against Great Britain. Two weeks later the lawmakers declared war, and on June 18 the president signed the measure into law. The British made forays, landing briefly at Ocracoke and Portsmouth Islands. North Carolinians Otway Burns and Johnston Blakeley were prominent in the naval war. Dolley Madison, wife of President James Madison, was a North Carolina native. In the long view of history, the war helped to set the fledgling new republic on the road to greatness.
Keynote speaker will be Stephen Budiansky, author of “Perilous Fight: America’s Intrepid War with Britain on the High Seas, 1812-1815.” Other speakers are Lindley Butler, author of “Pirates, Privateers,and Rebel Raiders of the North Carolina Coast;” Christopher Magra, University of Tennessee historian; William Thiesen, U.S. Coast Guard historian; Tommy Sheppard, UNC-Chapel Hill graduate student; and Wade Dudley and Lawrence Babits, history professors at East Carolina University.
The full program, continental breakfast, and afternoon reception are free and open to the public. An optional cruise will follow and costs $36. This project is made possible in part by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional funding has been provided by the North Carolina Daughters of 1812.