CHAPTER XX. THE STRUGGLE FOR COMMERCIAL INDEPENDENCE
FIGHTING ON THE FRONTIER, 1814. - Better officers were now put in command on the New York frontier, and during 1814 our troops under Jacob Brown and Winfield Scott captured Fort Erie and won the battles of Chippewa and Lundys Lane. But in the end the British drove our army out of Canada.
Further eastward the British gathered a fleet on Lake Champlain and sent an army to attack Plattsburg, but Thomas Macdonough utterly destroyed the fleet in Plattsburg Bay, and the army was repulsed.
FIGHTING ALONG THE SEABOARD. - During 1812 and 1813 the British did little more than blockade our coast from Rhode Island to New Orleans, leaving all the east coast of New England unmolested.  But in 1814 the entire coast was blockaded, the eastern part of Maine was seized and occupied, and Stonington in Connecticut was bombarded.
WASHINGTON AND BALTIMORE ATTACKED. - A fleet entered Chesapeake Bay and landed an army which marched to Washington, burned the Capitol, the President's house, the Treasury Building, and other public buildings,  and with the aid of the fleet made a vain attack on Baltimore.
It was during the bombardment of a fort near Baltimore that Francis Scott Key, temporarily a prisoner with the British, wrote The Star-spangled Banner.
FIGHTING ALONG THE GULF COAST. - After the repulse at Baltimore the British army was carried to the island of Jamaica to join a great expedition fitting out for an attack on New Orleans. It was November before the fleet bearing the army set sail, and December when the troops landed on the southeast coast of Louisiana and started for the Mississippi. On the banks of that river, a few miles below New Orleans, they met our forces under General Andrew Jackson drawn up behind a line of rude intrenchments, attacked them on the 8th of January, 1815, and were badly beaten.
THE SEA FIGHTS. - The victories won by the army were indeed important, but those by the navy were more glorious still. In years before the war British captains laughed at our little navy and called our ships "fir- built things with a bit of striped bunting at their mastheads." These fir- built things now inflicted on the British navy a series of defeats such as it had never before suffered from any nation.
Before the end of 1812 the frigate Constitution, "Old Ironsides" as she is still popularly called,  beat the Guerrière (gar-e-ar') so badly that she could not be brought to port; the little sloop Wasp almost shot to pieces the British sloop Frolic ;  the frigate United States brought the Macedonian in triumph to Newport (R.I.);  and the Constitution made a wreck of the Java.
In 1813 the Hornet, Commander James Lawrence, so riddled the British sloop Peacock that after surrendering she went down carrying with her nine of her own crew and three of the Hornet's. The brigEnterprise, William Burrows in command, fought the British brig Boxer, Captain Blythe, off Portland harbor, Maine. Both commanders were killed, but the Boxer was taken and carried into Portland, where Burrows and Blythe, wrapped in the flags they had so well defended, were buried in the Eastern Cemetery which overlooks the bay.
THE CHESAPEAKE CAPTURED. - But we too met with defeats. When Lawrence returned home with the Hornet, he was given command of the Chesapeake, then fitting out in Boston harbor, and while so engaged was challenged by the commander of the British frigate Shannon to come out and fight. He went, was mortally wounded, and a second time the Chesapeake struck to the British. As Lawrence was carried below he cried out, "Don't give up the ship - keep her guns going - fight her till she sinks"; but the British carried her by boarding.
The brig Argus, while destroying merchantmen off the English coast, was taken by the British brig Pelican. 
PEACE. - Quite early in the war Russia tendered her services as mediator and they were accepted by us. Great Britain declined, but offered to treat directly if commissioners were sent to some neutral port. John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, Albert Gallatin, James A. Bayard, and Jonathan Russell were duly appointed, and late in December, 1814, signed a treaty of peace at Ghent. Nothing was said in it about impressment, search, or orders in council, nor indeed about any of the causes of the war.