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Treaty of Ghent

Peace. In an allegory of the Treaty of Ghent, signed on Dec. 24, 1814, Britannia and America hold olive branches before an altar.
John Rubens Smith. [ca. 1814(?)]
1 painting: ink and watercolor.
Prints & Photographs Division.
Reproduction Number:

The Treaty of Ghent ended the War of 1812 between the United States and Great Britain. Peace negotiations began in Ghent, Belgium, starting in August of 1814. After four months of talks, the treaty was signed on December 24, 1814. The Senate unanimously ratified the Treaty of Ghent on February 16, 1815.

Library of Congress Web Site | External Web Sites | Selected Bibliography

Digital Collections

A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation

The American State Papers contains another copy of the Treaty of Ghent, as well as additional Congressional documents from this time period related to foreign relations and Great Britain. For example, in February of 1815, President James Madison submitted to Congress a series of messages and communications on the successful conclusion of the peace negotiations with Great Britain.

The appendix of the Annals of Congress from the 13th Congress, 3rd Session, contains additional Congressional documents from 1814 and 1815 concerning the War of 1812 and peace negotiations with Great Britain, including another copy of the Treaty of Ghent.

The First American West: The Ohio River Valley, 1750-1820

William Henry Harrison issued military orders for an attack upon the British and Native Americans forces around Lake Erie in October, 1813.

Search this collection to find additional documents related to the War of 1812, including the plan of the attack on New Orleans on the January 8, 1815.

The James Madison Papers

President James Madison discussed the Treaty of Ghent and other international news in a letter to Thomas Jefferson dated March 12, 1815.

Search this collection to find additional documents related to the War of 1812, including Madison's observations from August 24, 1814, on the capture of Washington, D.C. by British troops.

The Thomas Jefferson Papers at the Library of Congress

Thomas Jefferson wrote about the War of 1812 and the Treaty of Ghent in a letter to William H. Crawford. The main body of the letter was written on February 14, 1815, a day before he was notified by James Monroe that a peace treaty with Great Britain had been signed. Jefferson then added a postscript to his letter announcing the news of the treaty.


American Treasures at the Library of Congress: The Burning of the City of Washington

Online exhibition on the burning of Washington, D.C. by the British troops on August 24, 1814.

John Bull & Uncle Sam: From Enemy to Ally

Exhibition that examines U.S. and British relations from the early 19th Century to the end of World War II. Includes documents, cartoons and pictures from the War of 1812.

Today in History

June 18, 1812

On June 18, 1812, President James Madison signed a declaration of war against Great Britain, marking the beginning of the War of 1812.

August 19, 1814

British troops landed at Benedict, Maryland on the shores of the Patuxent River on August 19, 1814. A few days later, the British set fire to the White House, the Capitol, and many of the other public buildings in Washington.

September 13, 1814

The British bombardment of Fort McHenry inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words to "The Star-Spangled Banner" on September 13, 1814.

January 8, 1815

The Battle of New Orleans was fought on January 8, 1815.

Link disclaimerExternal Web Sites

American Military History, Chapter 6: The War of 1812, U. S. Army Center of Military History

Our Documents, Treaty of Ghent, National Archives and Records Administration

The Senate Approves the Treaty of Ghent for Ratification, February 16, 1815, U.S. Senate

Treaty of Ghent and Associated Documents, The Avalon Project at Yale Law School

Selected Bibliography

"Letters Relating to the Negotiations at Ghent, 1812-1814." American Historical Review 20, no. 1: 108-129. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

State Papers, on the Negotiation and Peace with America, 1814. London: Sherwood, Neely and Jones, 1815. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

Benn, Carl. The War of 1812. New York: Routledge, 2003. [Catalog Record]

Engelman, Fred L. 1960. "The Peace of Christmas Eve." American Heritage 12, no. 1: 28-88. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

-----. The Peace of Christmas Eve. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1962. [Catalog Record]

Hickey, Donald R. The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1989. [Catalog Record]

Langguth, A.J. Union 1812: The Americans Who Fought the Second War of Independence. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006. [Catalog Record]

Mahan, A. T. 1905. "The Negotiations at Ghent in 1814." American Historical Review 11, no. 1: 68-87. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

Updyke, Frank Arthur. The Diplomacy of the War of 1812. Gloucester, Mass.: P. Smith, 1965. [Catalog Record]

Zuehlke, Mark. For Honour’s Sake: The War of 1812 and the Brokering of an Uneasy Peace. Toronto: Alfred A. Knopf Canada, 2006. [Catalog Record]

Younger Readers

Greenblatt, Miriam. War of 1812. New York: Facts On File, 2003. [Catalog Record]

Haberle, Susan E. The War of 1812. Mankato, Minn.: Bridgestone Books, 2003. [Catalog Record]

Marquette, Scott. War of 1812. Vero Beach, Fla.: Rourke Pub., 2003. [Catalog Record]

Nardo, Don. The War of 1812. San Diego, Calif.: Lucent Books, 2000. [Catalog Record]

Stefoff, Rebecca. The War of 1812. New York: Benchmark Books, 2001. [Catalog Record]

Warrick, Karen Clemens. The War of 1812: We Have Met the Enemy and They Are Ours. Berkeley Heights, N.J.: Enslow Publishers, 2002. [Catalog Record]

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  March 17, 2015
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