Morris County Honors War of 1812 Veterans with "Accumulating Wrongs" Online Compendium


Newest Chapter in Morris County's Veterans Archive Seeks to Commemorate Local Heroes from One of America's Defining Conflicts

Morristown, NJ – On the 209th anniversary of the "Burning of Washington," the Morris County Office of Planning and Preservation has announced a new initiative to remember local veterans of the War of 1812. The project, entitled "Accumulating Wrongs: The War of 1812," joins the existing online Morris County Veterans Compendium and pays tribute to Morris County's military history.

John Archibald Woodside, 1814. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian. In his painting, Mr. Woodside reflected on one of the issues leading up to the war by illustrating freedom from tyranny on the seas, known as “Impressment”. Note the crushed crown under the sailor’s foot near a broken chain. Columbia is shown with the maritime red flag signaling an intention to give battle with no quarter, in other words, fight to the death. She holds aloft a laurel wreath, the traditional emblem of victory.

A Glimpse into the Past

On August 24, 1814, British troops set fire to an undefended Washington D.C., marking the first and only occupation of an American capital by a foreign power since the American Revolution. As the United States grappled with its nascent national identity, the War of 1812 played a critical role in unifying its people.

A newspaper clipping from August 27, 1814, denoting the fire set to the Capitol in Washington.

Why Morris County and Why Now?

The project serves as a vital educational tool for current and future generations, offering insights into the social and economic challenges America faced post-Revolution. "Accumulating Wrongs: The War of 1812" not only lists the names and service records of local veterans but also provides a historical context for their sacrifices.

Morris County's Military Legacy

Morris County has a rich military tradition. Isaac Pierson, who served as a Private in Suffolk County during the American Revolution, passed down the mantle of service to his son Maltby Sr., of Morris Township, who fought in the War of 1812. Maltby Sr.'s own son, Maltby Jr., later served in the Civil War. Another Morris County local, "Uncle Byram" Pruden - also a War of 1812 veteran - went on to become the first captain on the Morris Canal, at the helm of a boat named "The Dover."

President James Madison. The first American president to ask Congress for a declaration of war.

Civic Spirit Then and Now

A September 10, 1814 article from the New York Gazette, titled "Exalted and Distinguished Patriotism," praised Morris County citizens who actively contributed to war efforts. Nearly 500 men from the county participated in the fortifications of Harlem, guided by their pastors.

"We have the satisfaction again to notice the distinguished and practical patriotism of our sister State New Jersey. Between four and five hundred men from Morris County, some from a distance of nearly fifty miles, headed by their revered pastors, were at work yesterday on the fortifications of Harlem.

Such exalted and distinguished patriotism deserves to be and will be held in grateful remembrance by the citizens of New York, and recorded in the pages of history, to the immortal honor of the people of that State.”

Burn marks on the White House from the War of 1812 uncovered during restorations in 1992.

A Continuing Endeavor

The "Accumulating Wrongs: The War of 1812" compendium is part of an ongoing initiative led by the Morris County Office of Planning and Preservation to document the county’s extensive military history. Earlier this year, the office launched an interactive StoryMap detailing Morris County's role in the American Revolution.

For More Information

The Morris County Veterans Compendium remains a work in progress, and contributions to this important historical archive are encouraged. For any corrections or additions, please contact Jan Williams at

By chronicling the bravery and sacrifices of Morris County’s citizens during the War of 1812, this project serves as an essential addition to the local historical record, as well as a testament to the county's enduring spirit.

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