Bladensburg- WAR OF 1812-1815 Bicentennial Commemoration

War of 1812- America's Second War of Independence
Bicentennial 2012-2015

WAR OF 1812 (Classroom Module)
(Each presentation offers a living history character, an exhibit of period artifacts, demonstrations. All presented in a museum quality exposition.
  Sessions run approx 45 min to double periods.)

Crafts exhibit offers demos and hands-on activities

  • Shipwright, Caulker
  • Wax Candle Making
  • Net Making
  • Gunsmithing- lead ball manufacturing
  • Butter Churn
  • Apple Press
  • Cannoneer
  • Block Printing
  • Colonial Games

SAT AUG 25th, 12pm-5pm
Celebration of the story of America’s “Second War of Independence” also known as the War of 1812. Tour a new Visitor Center and learning about the dramatic events that took place in Prince George’s County as the British marched to Washington, D. C. and burned the U. S. Capitol, the Library of Congress, The White House, and other government buildings.. 

The County's War of 1812 Bicentennial Commemoration brrought
 an amazing Outdoors family fun event at
 Bladensburg Waterfront Park, War of 1812 Bicentennial Commemoration .

This family-friendly event featured: The New Battle of Bladensburg Visitor Center ♦ Interactive Shipwright ♦ Camp Surgeon ♦ Impressment Station ♦ Exhibits ♦ Costumed Interpreters ♦ Period Music ♦ Musket and Cannon Demonstrations ♦ Encampments ♦ Food Vendors ♦ Guided Boat Tours of the Anacostia River ♦ And More!-


Meet Jenny and Grace Wisher.... Who Were They?

 We are circle within a circle with no beginning and never ending. Looking forward to seeing you there.

Field Contact for CHE Nautical & Enviro Edutainment-  347-224-5828

Here are a few highlights of the many fantastic time travel journeys offered by a few institutions in living history, cultural enrichment and environmental learning.

* Highlights *
Grace Wisher, the forgotten African little girl in history who sew The Star Spangle Banner. She was one of 7 women who took part of this endeavor. A 14-year-old apprentice in the house of Mary Pickersgill. Mary was contracted by the US Government, to sew the great flag.
 Very little is known about Wisher, who for six years
lived as an apprentice with Pickersgill,  the Baltimore entrepreneur who
made the American flag in 1813 that inspired Francis Scott Key to
write "The Star-Spangled Banner" the next year. Wisher lived in the
house with Pickersgill's daughter and mother and a boarder.
As an apprentice, Wisher learned housekeeping and sewing while living
with the Pickersgills.

Wisher was of a free black family bound into an apprenticeship by her mother,
Jenny Wisher, in December 1809.
Historically, parents who were unable to financially support their
children were required by law in Maryland to put them into an
apprenticeship so that they could learn a skill.
What was atypical about the arrangement was that her mother handled
the contract, a responsibility that was normally carried out by the
man in a family.

The Congreve Rocket was a British military weapon designed and developed by Sir William Congreve in 1804. The rocket was developed by the Royal Arsenal following the experiences of the Second, Third and Fourth Mysore Wars. The wars fought between the British East India Company and the kingdom of Mysore in India made use of rockets as a weapon. After the wars, several Mysore rockets were sent to England, and from 1801, William Congreve set on a research and development programme at the Arsenal's laboratory. The Royal Arsenal's first demonstration of solid fuel rockets was in 1805. The rockets were used effectively during the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812 at the Battle of Bladensburg-

The use of these rockets, earlier known as The Mysorian Rockets, was perfected by India’s army. A military tactic developed by Tipu Sultan and his father, Hyder Ali, was the use of mass attacks with rocket artillery brigades on infantry formations. Tipu Sultan wrote a military manual called Fathul Mujahidin in which 200 rocket men were prescribed to each Mysorean rocket artillery brigade known as Cushoon. Mysore had 16 to 24 cushoons of infantry. The areas of town where rockets and fireworks were manufactured were known as Taramandal Pet ("Galaxy Market").

Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan organized Rocket artillery brigades, or Cushoons, against the British East India Company during the Anglo-Mysore Wars. The rocket men were trained to launch their rockets at an angle calculated from the diameter of the cylinder and the distance of the target. In addition, wheeled rocket launchers capable of launching five to ten rockets almost simultaneously were used in war. Rockets could be of various sizes, but usually consisted of a tube of soft hammered iron about 8 inches (200 mm) long and 1.5 to 3 inches (38 to 76 mm) diameter, closed at one end and strapped to a shaft of bamboo about 4 ft long. The iron tube acted as a combustion chamber and contained well packed black powder propellant. A rocket carrying about one pound of powder could travel almost 1,000 yards (910 m). In contrast, rockets in Europe, not being iron cased, could not take large chamber pressures and as a consequence were not capable of reaching distances anywhere near as great.

In the Battle of Bladensburg, the main weakness in the American position was the lack of regular troops. When the British attacked over the bridge the militia only stood their ground for a short time, before abandoning the field. Part of the panic was apparently caused by Congreve Rockets fired into their ranks. Only Barney’s sailors stood and fought, until they were outflanked by the British, at which point Barney ordered them to retreat. Barney himself was badly wounded in the fighting.

This exhibit offered a perspective on the medical practices and medicine on the Battle Field
during the War of 1812


Watch Blacks in the War on PBS. See more from The War of 1812.