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City of Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria, VA
Historic Alexandria
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Page updated Apr 17, 2014 10:42 AM
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War of 1812 Bicentennial Lecture

The Internal Enemy with author Alan Taylor, Tuesday May 6 7:30 to 8:30 PM

War_of_1812_logoPulitzer Prize winner Alan Taylor presents The Internal Enemy on Tuesday, May 6 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at The Lyceum, 201 S. Washington Street.

In 1813 British warships coming to punish the Americans for declaring war on the empire appeared on the Chesapeake. Over many nights, hundreds of slaves paddled out to the warships seeking protection for their families from the ravages of slavery. The runaways pressured the British admirals into becoming liberators. As guides, pilots, sailors, and marines, the former slaves used their intimate knowledge of the countryside to transform the war. They enabled the British to escalate their onshore attacks and to capture and burn Washington, D.C. Tidewater masters had long dreaded their slaves as "an internal enemy." By mobilizing that enemy, the war ignited the deepest fears of Chesapeake slaveholders.

Alan Taylor is the Distinguished Professor in History at the University of California, Davis, and the author of The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832.

This lecture is co-sponsored by the Alexandria Historical Society and the Lyceum, Alexandria’s History Museum. The final lecture in the War of 1812 lecture series will be held on Wednesday, May 28 and features Steve Vogel and his book Through the Perilous Fight. This lecture series is part of the City of Alexandria’s commemoration of the War of 1812. Flag Day, June 14, 2014, kicks off the final Star-Spangled Summer for the region, featuring free specialty tours, concerts, and a film series. The summer culminates in a free Signature Event in Waterfront Park on Sunday, August 31, 2014 from noon—5 p.m.

Cost is $5 per person; free for Alexandria Historical Society members. To purchase tickets, visit the online shop or call 703.746.4994.

For more information and a complete listing of Bicentennial events, visit visitalexandriava.com/1812.

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Office of Historic Alexandria 

Administration Offices

Lloyd House
220 North Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
703.746.4554
Fax: 703.838.6451
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