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Building AmericaThe Life of Benjamin Henry Latrobe$
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Jean H. Baker

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190696450

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190696450.001.0001

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Breaking Points

Breaking Points

Chapter:
(p.145) 5 Breaking Points
Source:
Building America
Author(s):

Jean H. Baker

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190696450.003.0006

Chapter 5 covers Latrobe’s efforts to make money after he lost his job as surveyor of public buildings in Washington. In order to do so, he moved to Pittsburgh and, financed by Robert Fulton, he intended to build a commercial boat powered by steam. But this relationship ended when Fulton cut off his credit. After his return to Washington, Latrobe began rebuilding the Capitol, which had been largely destroyed by the British during the War of 1812. Soon, however, with his expenditures for the building receiving harsh criticism, Latrobe quarrelled with the commissioner of public buildings, resigned, and without any salary was forced to declare bankruptcy.

Keywords:   Pittsburgh, War of 1812, steamboats, Robert Fulton, Henry’s death, Presidents Madison and Monroe, US Capitol, bankruptcy

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