When American nationalists celebrated the end of the War of 1812 at the Battle of New Orleans, they claimed that virtuous US soldiers had saved the city from a licentious British soldiery bent on winning “booty” and “beauty.” In February of 1815, as news arrived in Washington, DC, of General Andrew Jackson’s victory over the British at New Orleans, the newspaper publisher and unoffi cial Republican Congressional mouthpiece Hezekiah Niles declared in the pages of his Weekly Register: “‘BEAUTY AND BOOTY’—These words. Or, in other terms, RAPE AND ROBBERY, were the British watch-word and countersign on their attack of the defenses of Orleans on the ever-to-be-remembered 8th of January.” For contemporaries, such defi nitions helped to fi x the meaning of the war itself. In a contest to claim the mantle of liberty, American soldiers fought for romantic love of women and patriotic love of country, whereas British forces sought only sexual debauchery. With his report, Niles trumpeted a motto that would sound far and wide-not on the lips of British soldiers and offi cers, who unequivocally denied ever having uttered them at all, but from the mouths of triumphant American Republicans.1