Sunday, January 17, 2016

John Randolph of Roanoke

John Randolph of Roanoke opposed the War of 1812 and dueled with Henry Clay

On June 18, 1812, Congressman John Randolph told a group of Congressional war-hawks after their overwhelming vote to declare war on Britain, "Gentlemen, you have made war -- you have finished the ruin of our country -- and before you conquer Canada, your idol [Napoleon] will cease to distract the world, and the capitol will be in ruin." Although the war did not ruin the United States, Britain did burn the Capitol two years later in 1814 after Napoleon's exile freed British troops for duty in America. In fact, it was John Randolph who dubbed the pro-war congressmen "war hawks" in the first place.