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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.

WAR OF 1812

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WAR OF 1812. At the beginning of the 19th century, the United States was a developing nation not yet achieving economic independence. The French Empire, ruled by Napoleon Bonaparte, controlled most of mainland Europe. Great Britain was among the few nations free from French domination. With trade suspended between the warring countries, neutral America had a commercial advantage: her merchants could supply both sides. (1)

Linked with questions about the rights of neutrals to trade with European belligerents, the British practice of stopping American ships and forcibly removing (impressing) American merchant sailors to serve aboard British warships became a major cause leading to the War of 1812. By 1811, the British Royal Navy had impressed at least 6,000 mariners who claimed to be citizens of the United States. Americans were also alarmed by British agitation of the Native Americans on the western frontier. Congress declared war on June 18, 1812. (2)

The War of 1812 ended in a stalemate. The treaty of Ghent signed on December 24, 1814 returned all territorial conquests made by the two sides. It did not settle the issue of impressment. However with the downfall of Napoleon and peace in Europe, the Royal Navy no longer needed so many sailors. (3)

With the advent of peace came decades of stability, improved diplomatic relations and economic growth, the so-called “Era of Good Feelings.” A sense of self-confidence swept the nation and inspired western expansionism. The War of 1812 established new nation as a major power. As British diplomat Augustus J. Foster acknowledged at war’s end, “The Americans . . . have brought us to speak of them with respect.” (4)

in 1894 research of those buried in LINWOOD CEMETERY revealed four veterans of the war. These included Preston Eyre, father of Caleb H. BOOTH, Colonel Moses Eggleston, Peter LORIMIER and Zephinia Wlliams. (5)

By 2016 additional research included the following: Sawtell F. Henry, George Wallace JONES (MOUNT OLIVET CEMETERY), Stephen LANGWORTHY, William Murphy (THIRD STREET CEMETERY, and James Phelan (MOUNT OLIVET CEMETERY. (6)



1. "A Short History of the War of 1812," USS Constitution Museum, Online: https://ussconstitutionmuseum.org/about-us/bicentennial/short-history-1812/

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. Ibid.

5. "Veterans of 1812," Dubuque Daily Herald, June 1, 1894, p. 4

6. "Veterans of the "WAR OF 1812" Who Lived in Iowa" Online: http://www.iowavalor.com/e107_files/downloads/1812_veteran_county_670.pdf