19th-Century "Time Capsule" Warship Emerging Near D.C.
Coins, dental gear already found at well-preserved underwater wreck.
The war started because the British, who had been fighting with France since 1803, imposed restrictions on U.S. trade with the French, infuriating Americans. Relations worsened when British ships began intercepting U.S. vessels on the high seas, removing any British-born sailors, and forcing them to serve in the British navy.
The U.S. Congress declared war on the British—including their Canadian colonists—in June 1812.
Scientists have known about the unidentified wartime shipwreck, which lies in the Patuxent River about 20 miles (32 kilometers) from the nation's capital, since the early 1970s. (Related: "Blackbeard's Ship Confirmed off North Carolina.")
In the 1980s archaeologists removed a few artifacts from the site that suggested the wreck might be the remains of the U.S.S. Scorpion, the flagship