Washington DC, 1800
Photo shows a black-and-white engraving published in 1834 to portray Washington, D.C. and the west front of the U.S.
Capitol grounds as they were in 1800. Includes the west end of the west grounds and Pennsylvania Avenue, with poplar
trees planted in 1803. Architect of the Capitol Collection, Library of Congress,.
Oliver Wolcott Description, DC, 1835
I have made every exertion to secure good lodgings near the office, but shall be
compelled to take them at the distance of more than half a mile. There are, in
fact, but a few houses at any one place, and most of them small miserable huts,
which present an awful contrast to the public buildings.–The people are poor, and,
as far as I can judge, they live like fishes, by eating each other. All the ground for
several miles around the city being, in the opinion of the people, too valuable to
be cultivated, remains unfenced. There are but few enclosures, even for gardens,
and those are in bad order. You may look in almost any direction, over an extent of
ground nearly as large as the city of New York, without seeing a fence or any
object except brick-kilns and temporary huts for laborers.
Greenleaf’s Point presents the appearance of a considerable town which had been
destroyed by some unusual calamity. There are (at Greenleaf’s Point) fifty or sixty
spacious houses, five or six of which are occupied by negroes and vagrants, and a
few more by decent working people; but there are no fences, gardens, nor the
least appearance of business. This place is about a mile and a half south of the
Excerpt, Wolcott, Oliver. “The City of Washington.” Baltimore Sun, December 1853.p. 1 Located via Proquest Historical Newspapers
Pennsylvania Avenue, 1839
Cityscape drawing shows two men standing lower center near Pennsylvania Avenue and 7th Street in the northwest quadrant of Washington, DC
while a cow lies on the ground nearby. A man on horseback rides toward the First Unitarian Church, designed by Bulfinch. Augustus Kollner, artist.
Library of Congress. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2004662007/
Ben’s Chili Bowl: a Cultural Landmark
Ben’s Chili Bowl, circa 1960 (l), 1970 (r) From
“History of Ben’s Chili Bowl.”
From Washington History, Fall/Winter
Don’t miss this article full of primary sources: “The Art of DC Politics: Broadsides,
Banners, and Bumper Stickers,” by Faye Haskins.
Topics and Sources
• Alexander Robey Shepherd
• Marion Barry
• Neighborhoods and neighborhood associations: http://www.hnet.org/~dclist/neighborhoods.html [courtesy H-Net ~dclist]
• TO BE CONTINUED…