Delaware Public Archives commemorates War of 1812 in new exhibit

Cape Gazette - Lewes - Rehoboth Beach - Milton - Dewey - Delaware

Source: Submitted Lt. Gov. Matthew Denn, left, listens as Delaware Public Archives Director Stephen Marz opens the new War of 1812 exhibit.

Lt. Gov. Matthew Denn recognized Delaware’s contributions and sacrifices in the War of 1812 with an official proclamation he read at an event held June 28 at the Delaware Public Archives.

The event also served as the official opening of a new exhibit on the conflict often referred to as the Second American Revolution. The exhibit focuses on Delaware’s heroes from the war, such as Thomas Macdonough, Jacob Jones, Samuel Boyer Davis and James A. Bayard.

Also speaking at the event were Chief Deputy Secretary of State Richard Geisenberger, DPA Director and State Archivist Stephen Marz and Richard H. Bayard, a direct descendant of James A. Bayard.

The display features facsimiles of documents related to these Delaware heroes, as well as maps from the era that add geographical context to the First State’s war effort.  Portraits of the heroes and lithographs of battles involving these men provide a colorful counterpoint to the documents. In addition, a continuously playing slideshow offers images of Archives holdings from the period and photographs of War of 1812-era artifacts from the collections of Delaware’s Historical and Cultural Affairs.

With this year marking the bicentennial of the War of 1812, the Delaware Public Archives has introduced several interesting opportunities for individuals to explore the conflict. With more than a thousand original documents from the DPA’s War of 1812 collection – including military records, personal papers, legislative papers, executive papers, maps, lithographs, and portraits – now online at, e-users can easily examine Delaware’s role in the war. The materials document the First State’s military and civil participation in the conflict on both the personal level and as a government entity.

Another DPA online feature is the e-publication of several important historical Delaware sources about the War of 1812. These include the Delaware Heritage Commission book “Captain Thomas Macdonough: Delaware Born Hero of the Battle of Lake Champlain” by Virginia Mason Burdick; and the series Delaware Archives, Military Records, Volumes IV and V, which contains valuable information about the officers and men with associated military details who represented Delaware in the War of 1812.

Marz said, “Many Delawareans may not be aware of the contributions made by our state’s citizens during this conflict, but I hope our War of 1812 exhibit and our extensive online collection related to the war will give people a better understanding of the First State’s role in defending the nation.”

The first 300 patrons to visit the Delaware Public Archives to see the War of 1812 exhibit will receive a free commemorative lapel pin honoring Delaware hero Capt. Thomas Macdonough, posted on a presentation card with a lithograph of the Battle of Lake Champlain.

For more information about the Delaware Public Archives, go to The Delaware Public Archives is at 121 Duke of York St. in Dover. The Mabel Lloyd Ridgely Research Room is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., Monday to Friday. On the second Saturday of every month the research room is open from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

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