Earlier this month PBS debuted its new documentary about the War of 1812 entitled, appropriately, The War of 1812. As with many earlier documentaries, PBS has also created a companion website. Like other sites the network has created, the War of 1812 website contains additional historical information about the War.
Among the experts consulted during the creation of this documentary are the following historians of Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay area:
- Scott S. Sheads, a ranger, historian and historic weapons officer at Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Maryland, and co-author of The War of 1812 in the Chesapeake.
- Vince Leggett, the founder and president of the Blacks of the Chesapeake Foundation. He is an expert on African-American history in the Chesapeake.
- Anthony Pitch, a lecturer, tour guide, and the author of The Burning of Washington. He is a prominent expert on the British campaign in the Chesapeake.
Visitors to the War of 1812 website can view the entire documentary online, including several bonus features, including "The Making of the Documentary," "Military Realities," "The Canadian Perspective," "Black Soldiers and Sailors in The War of 1812," "Military Medicine," "The Treaty of Ghent," and "Legacies of the War," which details the impact of the War on the Native North Americans.
The website also contains several historical essays written by leading historians. These essays include:
- "An American Perspective on the War of 1812," by Donald Hickey;
- "A Canadian Perspective on the War of 1812," by Victor Suthren;
- "A Native Nations Perspective on the War of 1812," by Donald Fixico;
- "Black Sailors and Soldiers in the War of 1812";
- "Prisoners of War in 1812";
- "Personal Journals from the War of 1812";
- and others.
The essay "Personal Journals from the War of 1812" recounts part of the journal of Baltimore soldier John Pendleton Kennedy. Kennedy's full journal can be found on Google Books.
Another interesting aspect of the website for Maryland researchers is the list of Historic Sites in the Chesapeake Theater. For each "key site," PBS provides current contact information, a brief description, a link to the official website, and a Google "Street View" of the site. The page also holds a Google map with the location of each site clearly marked. Similar sites for other theaters of the War--Northwest Theater, Niagara Theater, Lake Ontario Theater, St. Lawrence/Champlain Theater, Northeast Theater, and Souther Theater--also appear on the website. Many of these sites have special programs and events planned for the next few years in commemoration of the War's Bicentennial.
PBS has long been recognized as a producer of high-quality educational programming. The War of 1812 is no exception. Since the network began producing companion websites, it has become recognized as a producer of high-quality educational web content. Again, The War of 1812 is no exception.
To view the site, visit http://www.pbs.org/wned/war-of-1812/home/.