On June 18, 1812, the United States formally declared war for the first time, a controversial decision to cross swords with Great Britain that provoked outpourings of patriotic fervor and vigorous—some said treasonous—domestic opposition. Over the next three years, the War of 1812 would prove as divisive as it was rich in national myth-making. Now, for the bicentennial, the leading expert on the war presents a fascinating collection of eyewitness accounts by Americans, Britons, Canadians, and Indians. Here, in 140 letters, speeches, diary entries, newspaper and magazine articles, memoir excerpts, poems, sermons, songs, and military reports by more than 100 participants, are the famous—Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Tecumseh, Dolley Madison, and the Duke of Wellington, among others—and the less well-known, such as Laura Secord, called the “Canadian Paul Revere,” and William B. Northcutt, whose remarkable diary provides a common soldier’s view. With an introduction, headnotes, a chronology of events, biographical and explanatory endnotes, and endpaper maps.