Benedict Arnold was an American military officer who served as a general during the American Revolutionary War, fighting for the American Continental Army before defecting to the British in 1780. George Washington had given him his fullest trust and placed him in command of the fortifications at West Point, New York. Arnold planned to surrender the fort to British forces, but the plot was discovered in September 1780 and he fled to the British, his name became a byword in the United States for treason and betrayal because he led the British army in battle against the men whom he had once commanded. Arnold was born in the Connecticut Colony and was a merchant operating ships on the Atlantic Ocean when the war began in 1775, he joined the growing army outside Boston and distinguished himself through acts of intelligence and bravery. His actions included the Capture of Fort Ticonderoga in 1775, defensive and delaying tactics at the Battle of Valcour Island on Lake Champlain in 1776 which allowed American forces time to prepare New York's defenses, the Battle of Ridgefield, operations in relief of the Siege of Fort Stanwix, key actions during the pivotal Battles of Saratoga in 1777, in which he suffered leg injuries that halted his combat career for several years.
Arnold claimed that he was passed over for promotion by the Continental Congress, while other officers obtained credit for some of his accomplishments. Others in his military and political circles brought charges against him of corruption or other malfeasance, but most he was acquitted in formal inquiries. Congress investigated his accounts and concluded that he was indebted to Congress, he borrowed to maintain a lavish lifestyle. Arnold mingled with Loyalist sympathizers in Philadelphia and married into one such family by marrying Peggy Shippen, she was a close friend of British Major John André and kept in contact with him when he became head of the British espionage system in New York. Many historians point to her as facilitating Arnold's plans to switch sides; the British promised £ 20,000 for the capture of a major American stronghold. His scheme was to surrender the fort to the British, but it was exposed in September 1780 when Patriot militia captured André carrying papers which revealed the plot.
Arnold escaped and André was hanged. Arnold received a commission as a brigadier general in the British Army, an annual pension of £360, a lump sum of over £6,000, he led British forces on raids in Virginia, they burned much of New London, Connecticut to the ground and slaughtered surrendering forces after the Battle of Groton Heights—just a few miles downriver from the town where he had grown up. In the winter of 1782, he and Peggy moved to England, he was well received by King George III and the Tories but frowned upon by the Whigs and most Army officers. In 1787, he moved to Canada to a merchant business with his sons Henry, he was unpopular there and returned to London permanently in 1791. Benedict Arnold was born a British subject, the second of six children of Benedict Arnold and Hannah Waterman King in Norwich, Connecticut Colony on January 14, 1741, he was named after his great-grandfather Benedict Arnold, an early governor of the Colony of Rhode Island, as were his father and grandfather and an older brother who died in infancy.
Only he and his sister Hannah survived to adulthood. His siblings were, in order of birth: Benedict, Mary and Elizabeth. Arnold was a descendant of John Lothropp through his maternal grandmother, an ancestor of six presidents. Arnold's father was a successful businessman, the family moved in the upper levels of Norwich society, he was enrolled in a private school in nearby Canterbury, Connecticut when he was 10, with the expectation that he would attend Yale University. However, the deaths of his siblings two years may have contributed to a decline in the family fortunes, since his father took up drinking. By the time that he was 14, there was no money for private education, his father's alcoholism and ill health kept him from training Arnold in the family mercantile business, but his mother's family connections secured an apprenticeship for him with her cousins Daniel and Joshua Lathrop, who operated a successful apothecary and general merchandise trade in Norwich. His apprenticeship with the Lathrops lasted seven years.
Arnold was close to his mother, who died in 1759. His father's alcoholism worsened after her death, the youth took on the responsibility of supporting his father and younger sister, his father was arrested on several occasions for public drunkenness, was refused communion by his church, died in 1761. In 1755, Arnold was attracted by the sound of a drummer and attempted to enlist in the provincial militia for service in the French and Indian War, but his mother refused permission. In 1757 when he was 16, he did enlist in the Connecticut militia, which marched off toward Albany, New York and Lake George; the French had besieged Fort William Henry in northeastern New York, their Indian allies had committed atrocities after their victory. Word of the siege's disastrous outcome led the company to turn around, Arnold served for only 13 days. A accepted story that he deserted from militia service in
Robert Stack was an American actor and television host. In addition to acting in more than 40 feature films, he starred in the landmark ABC-TV television series The Untouchables, for which he won the 1960 Emmy Award for Best Actor in a Dramatic Series, hosted/narrated true crime series Unsolved Mysteries, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the film Written on the Wind. He was born Charles Langford Modini Stack in Los Angeles, but his first name, selected by his mother, was changed to Robert by his father, he spent his early childhood in Europe. He became fluent in French and Italian at an early age, did not learn English until returning to Los Angeles, his parents divorced when he was a year old, he was raised by his mother, Mary Elizabeth. His father, James Langford Stack, a wealthy advertising agency owner remarried his mother, but died when Stack was 10, he had always spoken of his mother with love. When he collaborated with Mark Evans on his autobiography, Straight Shooting, he included a picture of himself and his mother.
He captioned it, "Me and my best girl." His maternal grandfather, the opera singer Charles Wood, studied voice in Italy and performed there under the name "Carlo Modini." On the paternal side of his family, Stack had another opera-singer relative: the American baritone Richard Bonelli, his uncle. By the time he was 20, Stack had achieved minor fame as a sportsman, he was shooter. His brother and he won the International Outboard Motor Championships, in Italy, he became National Champion. In 1971, he was inducted into the National Skeet Shooting Hall of Fame, he was a Republican. Stack took drama courses at Bridgewater State College, his deep voice and good looks attracted producers in Hollywood. When Stack visited the lot of Universal Studios at age 20, producer Joe Pasternak offered him an opportunity to enter the business. Recalled Stack, "He said,'How'd you like to be in pictures? We'll make a test with Helen Parrish, a little love scene.' Helen Parrish was a beautiful girl.'Gee, that sounds keen,' I told him.
I got the part."Stack's first film, which teamed him with Deanna Durbin, was First Love, produced by Pasternak. This film was considered controversial at the time, he was the first actor to give Durbin an on-screen kiss. Stack won critical acclaim for his next role, The Mortal Storm starring Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart, directed by Frank Borzage at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, he played a young man. Back at Universal, Stack was in Pasternak's A Little Bit of Heaven, starring Gloria Jean, that studio's back-up for Deanna Durbin. Stack was reunited with Durbin in Pasternak's Nice Girl?. Stack starred in a Western, Badlands of Dakota, co-starring Richard Dix and Frances Farmer, he was borrowed by United Artists to play a Polish Air Force pilot in To Be or Not To Be, alongside Jack Benny and Carole Lombard. Stack admitted he was terrified going into this role, but he credited Lombard—who he'd known for several years—with giving him many tips on acting and with being his mentor. Lombard was killed in a plane crash.
Stack played another pilot in a huge hit. He made a Western, Men of Texas. During World War II, Stack served as an Aerial Gunnery Officer and gunnery instructor in the United States Navy. Stack resumed his career after the war with roles in such films as Fighter Squadron at Warners with Edmond O'Brien, playing a pilot. Stack was in two films at Paramount: Mr. Music, he had an excellent role in Bullfighter and the Lady, a passion project of Budd Boetticher for John Wayne's company. Stack supported Mickey Rooney in My Outlaw Brother and had the lead in the adventure epic Bwana Devil, considered the first color, American 3-D feature film, it was released by United Artists who put Stack in a Western, War Paint. He continued making similar low budget action fare: Conquest of Cochise for Sam Katzman. Stack was back in "A" pictures when he appeared opposite John Wayne in The High and the Mighty, playing the pilot of an airliner who comes apart under stress after the airliner encounters engine trouble.
The film was a hit and Stack received good reviews. Sam Fuller cast him in the lead of House of Bamboo, shot in Japan for 20th Century Fox, he supported Jennifer Jones in Good Morning, Miss Dove at Fox, starred in Great Day in the Morning at RKO. Stack was given an excellent part in Written on the Wind, directed by Douglas Sirk and produced by Albert Zugsmith. Stack played another pilot, the son of a rich man who marries Lauren Bacall who falls for his best friend, played by Rock Hudson; the movie was a massive success and Stack was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Malone won. Stack felt that the primary reason he lost to Quinn was that 20th Century Fox, who had loaned him to Universal-International, organized block voting against him to prevent one of their contract pl
Martha Washington was the wife of George Washington, the first President of the United States. Although the title was not coined until after her death, Martha Washington served as the inaugural First Lady of the United States. During her lifetime she was referred to as "Lady Washington", she had first married Daniel Parke Custis, with whom she had four children, was widowed by the age of 25. Two of her children by Custis survived to young adulthood, she brought her vast wealth to her marriage to Washington, which enabled him to buy land to add to his personal estate. She brought nearly 100 dower slaves for her use during her lifetime, they and their descendants reverted to her first husband's estate at her death and were inherited by his heirs. She and Washington did not have children together but they did rear her two children by Daniel Parke Custis, including son John "Jacky" Parke Custis, they helped both of their extended families. Martha Dandridge was born on June 2, 1731 on her parents' plantation Chestnut Grove in the British colony, Province of Virginia.
She was the oldest daughter of John Dandridge, a Virginia planter and immigrant from England, by his wife Frances Jones, of American birth and English and French descent. Martha had three brothers and four sisters: John, Bartholomew, Anna Maria "Fanny" Bassett, Frances Dandridge, Elizabeth Aylett Henley and Mary Dandridge. Martha may have had an illegitimate half-sister, Ann Dandridge Costin, born into slavery. Costin's enslaved mother was of African and Cherokee descent, her father was believed to be John Dandridge. Martha's father may have fathered an out-of-wedlock half-brother to Martha named Ralph Dandridge, white. On May 15, 1750, at age 18, Martha married Daniel Parke Custis, a rich planter two decades her senior, moved to his residence, White House Plantation, located on the south shore of the Pamunkey River, a few miles upriver from Chestnut Grove, they had four children together: Daniel, Frances and Martha. Daniel and Frances died in childhood; the other two children, John Parke Custis and Martha Parke Custis, survived to young adulthood.
Her husband's death in 1757 left Martha a rich young widow at age 25, with independent control over a dower inheritance for her lifetime, trustee control over the inheritance of her minor children. In all, she was left in custody of some 17,500 acres of land and 300 slaves, apart from other investments and cash. According to her biographer, "she capably ran the five plantations left to her when her first husband died, bargaining with London merchants for the best tobacco prices." Martha Custis, age 27, George Washington, age 27, married on January 6, 1759, at the White House plantation. As a man who lived and owned property in the area, Washington knew both Martha and Daniel Parke Custis for some time before Daniel's death. During March 1758 he visited her twice at the White House. At the time, she was being courted by the planter Charles Carter, wealthier than Washington; the wedding was grand. Washington's suit was of silver cloth with red trimming and gold knee buckles; the bride wore purple silk shoes with spangled buckles.
The couple honeymooned at the White House for several weeks before setting up house at Washington's Mount Vernon estate. They appeared to have had a solid marriage. Martha and George Washington had no children together, but they raised Martha's two surviving children, her daughter, nicknamed Patsy, died as a teenager during an epileptic seizure. John Parke "Jacky" Custis returned from college to comfort his mother. Custis married and had children, he died of "camp fever". After his death, the Washingtons raised the youngest two of John's four children, Eleanor Parke Custis, George Washington Parke Custis; the two older girls remained with their mother. The Washingtons provided personal and financial support to nieces and other family members in both the Dandridge and Washington families. Content to live a private life at Mount Vernon and her homes from the Custis estate, Martha Washington followed Washington to his winter encampments for each of eight years, she helped keep up morale among the officers.
By tradition, Washington was described as spending her days at the Revolutionary War winter encampments visiting with the common soldiers in their huts. But Nancy Loane, author of Following the Drum: Women at the Valley Forge Encampment, says there is no evidence that Washington visited with the common soldiers, noting that Martha Washington was fashionably dressed, a woman of great wealth and independent means. Mrs. Washington joined her husband during the Revolution for all the Continental Army's winter encampments. Before the revolution began, she had kept close to home. General Lafayette observed that she loved "her husband madly"; the Continental Army settled in Valley Forge, the third of the eight winter encampments of the Revolution, on December 19, 1777. Martha W
Patrick Henry was an American attorney and orator best known for his declaration to the Second Virginia Convention: "Give me liberty, or give me death!" A Founding Father, he served as the first and sixth post-colonial Governor of Virginia, from 1776 to 1779 and from 1784 to 1786. Henry was born in Hanover County and was for the most part educated at home. After an unsuccessful venture running a store, assisting his father-in-law at Hanover Tavern, Henry became a lawyer through self-study. Beginning his practice in 1760, he soon became prominent through his victory in the Parson's Cause against the Anglican clergy. Henry was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses, where he became notable for his inflammatory rhetoric against the Stamp Act of 1765. In 1774 and 1775, Henry served as a delegate to the First and Second Continental Congresses, but did not prove influential, he gained further popularity among the people of Virginia, both through his oratory at the convention and by marching troops towards the colonial capital of Williamsburg after the Gunpowder Incident until the munitions seized by the royal government were paid for.
Henry urged independence, when the Fifth Virginia Convention endorsed this in 1776, served on the committee charged with drafting the Virginia Declaration of Rights and the original Virginia Constitution. Henry was promptly elected governor under the new charter, served a total of five one-year terms. After leaving the governorship in 1779, Henry served in the Virginia House of Delegates until he began his last two terms as governor in 1784; the actions of the national government under the Articles of Confederation made Henry fear a strong federal government and he declined appointment as a delegate to the 1787 Constitutional Convention. He opposed the ratification of the Constitution, a fight which has marred his historical image, he returned to the practice of law in his final years, declining several offices under the federal government. A slaveholder throughout his adult life, he hoped to see the institution end, but had no plan for that beyond ending the importation of slaves. Henry is remembered for his oratory, as an enthusiastic promoter of the fight for independence.
Henry was born on the family farm, Studley, in Hanover County in the Colony of Virginia, on May 29, 1736. His father was John Henry, an immigrant from Aberdeenshire, who had attended King's College, University of Aberdeen, there before emigrating to Virginia in the 1720s. Settling in Hanover County in about 1732, John Henry married Sarah Winston Syme, a wealthy widow from a prominent local family of English ancestry. Patrick Henry shared his name with his uncle, an Anglican minister, until the elder Patrick's death in 1777 went as Patrick Henry Jr. Henry attended a local school until about the age of 10. There was no academy in Hanover County, he was tutored at home by his father; the young Henry engaged in the typical recreations of the times, such as music and dancing, was fond of hunting. Since the family's lands and slaves would for the most part pass to his older half-brother John Syme Jr. Henry needed to make his own way in the world. At the age of 15, he became a clerk for a local merchant, a year opened a store with his older brother William.
The store was not successful. The religious revival known as the Great Awakening reached Virginia, his father was staunchly Anglican, but his mother took him to hear Presbyterian preachers. Although Henry remained a lifelong Anglican communicant, ministers such as Samuel Davies taught him that it is not enough to save one's own soul, but one should help to save society, he learned that oratory should reach the heart, not just persuade based on reason. His oratorical technique would follow that of these preachers, seeking to reach the people by speaking to them in their own language. Religion would play a key part in Henry's life, he was uncomfortable with the role of the Anglican Church as the established religion in Virginia, fought for religious liberty throughout his career. Henry wrote to a group of Baptists who had sent a letter of congratulations following Henry's 1776 election as governor, "My earnest wish is, that Christian charity and love may unite all different persuasions as brethren."
He criticized his state of Virginia, feeling that slavery and lack of religious toleration had retarded its development. He told the Virginia Ratifying Convention in 1788, "That religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator, the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence, therefore all men have an equal and unalienable right to the free exercise of religion according to the dictates of conscience, that no particular religious sect or society ought to be favored or established by law in preference to others." In 1754, Henry married Sarah Shelton in the parlor of her family house, Rural Plains. As a wedding gift, her father gave the couple six slaves and the 300-acre Pine Slash Farm near Mechanicsville. Pine Slash was exhausted from earlier cultivations, Henry worked with the slaves to clear fresh fields; the latter half of the 1750s were years of drought in Virginia, after the main house burned down, Henry gave up and moved to the Hanover Tavern, owned by Sarah's father.
Henry served as host at Hanover Tavern as part of his duties, entertained the guests by playing the fiddle. Among those who stayed there during this time was the young Thomas Jefferson, aged 17, en route to his studie
Barry Knapp Bostwick is an American stage and screen actor and singer. He is best known for portraying Brad Majors in the musical comedy horror The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Mayor Randall Winston in the sitcom Spin City. Bostwick has had considerable success in musical theatre, winning a Tony Award for his role in the musical The Robber Bridegroom. Bostwick was born in California, he is the son of Elizabeth "Betty", a housewife, Henry "Bud" Bostwick, a city planner and actor. His only sibling, Henry "Pete" Bostwick, was killed in a car accident on July 20, 1973. Bostwick attended San Diego's United States International University in 1967, majoring in acting, got his start on the Hillbarn Theatre stage now located in Foster City, worked for a time as a circus performer, he attended NYU's Graduate Acting Program, graduating in 1968. In 1970, Bostwick was a member of a pop group called The Klowns and promoted by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, whose members performed wearing stylized clown makeup and costumes.
Their sole album, released in 1970, was produced by Jeff Barry, generated a minor Billboard hit single, "Lady Love". Bostwick replaced C. C. Courtney in the musical Salvation, his next stage appearance was in the 1971 rock opera Soon. In 1972, Bostwick originated the role of bad boy Danny Zuko in the stage production of Grease, earning a Tony Award nomination for his performance; this was followed by a voice role as Terr in the English-dubbed version of Fantastic Planet in 1973. He starred with Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon in The Rocky Horror Picture Show portraying the character of Brad Majors, he won a Tony Award for his performance in the 1977 musical The Robber Bridegroom. In 1981, Bostwick starred in the TV series adaptation of the 1978 movie Foul Play, with his role modeled after Chevy Chase's and co-star Deborah Raffin in Goldie Hawn's part; the following year, he starred in Megaforce. Bostwick starred, along with Carl Weintraub, as Rick Armstrong in the short-lived ABC sitcom Dads during the 1986-87 season.
From 1996 to 2002, Bostwick portrayed Randall Winston, the mayor of New York City in the sitcom Spin City opposite Michael J. Fox and his successor, Charlie Sheen. In 2006, Bostwick replaced Peter Scolari as Mr. Tyler, the father of Amanda Bynes' and Jennie Garth's lead characters, on What I Like About You. Bostwick had a recurring role between 2007 on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, he has had leading roles in various miniseries, including George Washington, its sequel George Washington II: The Forging of a Nation, Scruples, A Woman of Substance and Remembrance, Till We Meet Again. Bostwick served as host of the nationally televised annual Capitol Fourth celebration on the National Mall in Washington, D. C. for eight years. Bostwick was seen in a Pepsi Twist commercial. In the Cold Case episode "Creatures of the Night", in which he is the main suspect, the theme of the episode revolves around The Rocky Horror Picture Show, among his best-known performances to date. In 2003, Bostwick appeared on Scrubs as a patient diagnosed with prostate cancer, a disease Bostwick had in real life.
In 2008, he appeared in an episode of TV series Ugly Betty as an attorney to the Meade family. In 2007, Bostwick gained a recurring role, as Grandpa Clyde Flynn on the animated television series and Ferb. Bostwick is the spokesperson for Optimum Voice. In June 2009 he played Father Jimmy, the ineffective exorcist in the independent horror comedy The Selling, written by Gabriel Diani and directed by Emily Lou. Other television credits include guest appearances in Charlie's Angels, Hawaii Five-O, The Golden Palace, Grace Under Fire, Las Vegas. Bostwick was supposed to appear on season 3 of Private Practice as "the Captain", a father of the Addison Montgomery character, but had to resign due to a scheduling conflict. In 2011, Bostwick portrayed a small town sheriff in the John Landis-produced thriller Some Guy Who Kills People! In October 2010, Bostwick appeared in the Rocky Horror-themed Glee episode. Since 2009, Bostwick has had a recurring role as Roger Frank on the sitcom Cougar Town which stars Courteney Cox.
In season 3 of the show we learn that Bostwick's character has become mayor of the town the comedy is set in, Gulf Haven. In 2015, he starred in Darren Lynn Bousman's segment of the anthology film Tales of Halloween, his second time acting under Bousman after The Devil's Carnival, appeared in the comedy horror film Helen Keller vs. Nightwolves. In 2015 he portrayed Collin Winthrop, father of the Gig Harbor Killer, in the season-ending CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode "The End Game", he has had a return to cult musical horror films in the form of Terrance Zdunich's Alleluia! The Devil's Carnival, a sequel to the 2012 short film The Devil's Carnival, which he was not a cast member of, being a newcomer to the franchise. Bostwick married Stacey Nelkin in 1987, they were divorced in 1991. Bostwick married his second wife Sherri Ellen Jensen in 1993. In 1997, Bostwick was diagnosed with prostate cancer, had his prostate removed in July 1997. In 2004, he won the Gilda Radner Courage Award from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
Evans and Scott Michaels. Rocky Horror: Concept to Cult. London: Sanctuary, 2002. Lipton, Michael A. and Nancy Matsumoto. “Serial Dad: Michael J. Fox Looks Up to 6’4” Actor”. People March 10, 1997: 99. Uhry, Alfred. "The Trail of the Robber B". The Robber Bridegroom CD Liner Notes 1998: 2. Hunt, Paula. "Bostwick Tells Story of Survival". Express-News, March 6, 2006. Barry Bostwick at the Internet Broadway Database Barry Bostwick at
Washington, D. C. formally the District of Columbia and referred to as Washington or D. C. is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, first President of the United States and Founding Father; as the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city is one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually; the signing of the Residence Act on July 16, 1790, approved the creation of a capital district located along the Potomac River on the country's East Coast. The U. S. Constitution provided for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of the U. S. Congress, the District is therefore not a part of any state; the states of Maryland and Virginia each donated land to form the federal district, which included the pre-existing settlements of Georgetown and Alexandria.
The City of Washington was founded in 1791 to serve as the new national capital. In 1846, Congress returned the land ceded by Virginia. Washington had an estimated population of 702,455 as of July 2018, making it the 20th most populous city in the United States. Commuters from the surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs raise the city's daytime population to more than one million during the workweek. Washington's metropolitan area, the country's sixth largest, had a 2017 estimated population of 6.2 million residents. All three branches of the U. S. federal government are centered in the District: Congress and the U. S. Supreme Court. Washington is home to many national monuments, museums situated on or around the National Mall; the city hosts 177 foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of many international organizations, trade unions, non-profit, lobbying groups, professional associations, including the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization of American States, AARP, the National Geographic Society, the Human Rights Campaign, the International Finance Corporation, the American Red Cross.
A locally elected mayor and a 13‑member council have governed the District since 1973. However, Congress may overturn local laws. D. C. residents elect a non-voting, at-large congressional delegate to the House of Representatives, but the District has no representation in the Senate. The District receives three electoral votes in presidential elections as permitted by the Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1961. Various tribes of the Algonquian-speaking Piscataway people inhabited the lands around the Potomac River when Europeans first visited the area in the early 17th century. One group known as the Nacotchtank maintained settlements around the Anacostia River within the present-day District of Columbia. Conflicts with European colonists and neighboring tribes forced the relocation of the Piscataway people, some of whom established a new settlement in 1699 near Point of Rocks, Maryland. In his Federalist No. 43, published January 23, 1788, James Madison argued that the new federal government would need authority over a national capital to provide for its own maintenance and safety.
Five years earlier, a band of unpaid soldiers besieged Congress while its members were meeting in Philadelphia. Known as the Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783, the event emphasized the need for the national government not to rely on any state for its own security. Article One, Section Eight, of the Constitution permits the establishment of a "District as may, by cession of particular states, the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States". However, the Constitution does not specify a location for the capital. In what is now known as the Compromise of 1790, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson came to an agreement that the federal government would pay each state's remaining Revolutionary War debts in exchange for establishing the new national capital in the southern United States. On July 9, 1790, Congress passed the Residence Act, which approved the creation of a national capital on the Potomac River; the exact location was to be selected by President George Washington, who signed the bill into law on July 16.
Formed from land donated by the states of Maryland and Virginia, the initial shape of the federal district was a square measuring 10 miles on each side, totaling 100 square miles. Two pre-existing settlements were included in the territory: the port of Georgetown, founded in 1751, the city of Alexandria, founded in 1749. During 1791–92, Andrew Ellicott and several assistants, including a free African American astronomer named Benjamin Banneker, surveyed the borders of the federal district and placed boundary stones at every mile point. Many of the stones are still standing. A new federal city was constructed on the north bank of the Potomac, to the east of Georgetown. On September 9, 1791, the three commissioners overseeing the capital's construction named the city in honor of President Washington; the federal district was named Columbia, a poetic name for the United States in use at that time. Congress held its first session in Washington on November 17, 1800. Congress passed the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801 that organized the District and placed the entire territory under the exclusive control of the federal