Madison on TV: August 1814

White House burning

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the slick trailer just posted for a new TV documentary on Madison’s flight from Washington in August 1814, one jump ahead of British troops victorious from the Battle of Bladensburg.  After fleeing across the Potomac and spending the night in Virginia, Madison made his way to Brookeville, Maryland to try to reassemble the shattered American government after the British had burned Washington’s public buildings, including the White House (above).

The documentary, directed by Mark Hildebrand, is titled Brookeville: Capital for a Day, and tells the story of this true crisis during the War of 1812.  Though Madison was by no means a great war leader, his calm leadership ultimately brought the nation through a terrible testing.  Check out the trailer and if you receive Maryland Public Television, mark your calendars for August 26.  The hourlong film will air that evening at 10 p.m.

Oh, yeah.  I’m one of the onscreen commentators for the film.  But you probably suspected that.

Trailer for Brookeville_ Capital for a Day on Vimeo


  1. keith on July 13, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    Any channels on Dish Network in State of Washington to watch the Madison documentary?

    • David Stewart on July 13, 2015 at 3:06 pm

      Only on Maryland Public TV so far — keep an eye on your local PBS stations. They might pick it up!

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