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On This Day: December 4, 1815

On This Day: December 4, 1815
Image of Brick Capitol

When the Senate convened the 14th Congress on December 4, 1815, senators met in a brick structure hastily erected on the current site of the Supreme Court. In the midst of the War of 1812, British troops had marched on Washington on August 24, 1814, and burned the Capitol, the White House, and many other government buildings. When the Senate convened in an extraordinary session a few weeks later, on September 19, President James Madison arranged for Congress to meet temporarily at the city's only available building, Blodgett's Hotel, on Eighth and E Streets, Northwest. Members debated whether or not to stay in Washington, D.C., and ultimately decided to rebuild the Capitol. In the meantime, from 1815 to 1819, the Senate met in its temporary quarters, later known as the Old Brick Capitol, until restoration of the Capitol was completed in December of 1819.

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