*Party division totals are based on election day results.
The War of 1812 ruined the country’s finances and forced the 13th Congress (1813–1815) to authorize new loans to keep fighting. The U.S. military struggled on the battlefield and British forces burned Washington in August 1814, retaliating for the burning of York, Canada. Congress met near the smoldering Capitol, voting to remain in Washington and to rebuild the Library of Congress by purchasing former President Thomas Jefferson’s library. Henry Clay temporarily left the speakership to help negotiate the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the war and squelched a growing secession movement in New England.
See more Historical Highlights.
To view complete lists of individuals who have served in these leadership and official positions since the 1st Congress, visit the People section
1Resigned from the House of Representatives, January 19, 1814.