Bermuda Still Has American Loot From 1814

August 30, 2014

A visit to Bermuda by the Royal Navy in 1814 brought with it unique loot resulting from the burning of Washington, including paintings of King George III and Queen Charlotte, and even American President James Madison’s personal government receipt book.

200 years later, the spoils remain in Bermuda, owned by both government and private entities.

A BBC report says, “It’s been 200 years since the British burned Washington, but objects looted in 1814 will probably never be returned, writes Tammy Thueringer.

“Other than an off-colour tweet and subsequent apology by the British Embassy, the bicentennial of the punitive mission of 1814 that left the US capital in flames has received little attention this week.

“The burning was one of the final events of the often-forgotten War of 1812, a conflict which saw the US try and fail to grab bits of Canada and Britain try and fail to blockade the US.

“British troops torched the White House, Treasury and parts of the Capitol Building in a punitive mission near the end of the war. They also looted what they could, effectively collecting “souvenirs”.

“After the attack, the Royal Navy sailed to Bermuda with their spoils, included four paintings of King George III and Queen Charlotte, a grandfather clock and President James Madison’s personal government receipt book.

“Today, the artworks hang in two Bermuda government buildings and the clock is in private hands.

“The “trophies” in Bermuda and Maryland will probably stay there, at least in part because of the American Civil War-era ‘Lieber Code.’ The US declared that items captured from an enemy in time of war can be kept.

“The laws only applied to American forces, but other states adopted similar regulations.”

Read More About

Category: All, History

Comments (4)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Ringmaster says:

    What a positive gesture if the Government were to offer to return these paintings despite what the Lieber Code says. These days Bermuda needs to consolidate all its friendships and this would cost nothing.

  2. Oh…and….bythe way….

  3. Certain arts are worth millions and some priceless… Now, is it possible a few billion dollars can be scraped up by the U.S.A. Government to wipe Bermudas debts clean for these, (their) historical pieces of art?
    Okay, wishful thinking. Yet in reality they hadn’t cost Bermuda a red cent to possess and remember, these pieces are considered by many as “priceless pieces of arts”
    Bottom-line, sell them and replace them with a copy to hang on the walls for tourist to view, just like the Teddy Tucker priceless piece of jewelry stolen from the aquarium