Andrew Ellicott was a U. S. surveyor who helped map many of the territories west of the Appalachians, surveyed the boundaries of the District of Columbia and completed Pierre Charles L'Enfant's work on the plan for Washington, D. C. and served as a teacher in survey methods for Meriwether Lewis. Andrew Ellicott was born in Buckingham Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania as the first of nine children of Joseph Ellicott and his wife Judith; the Quaker family lived in modest conditions. Young Andrew was educated at the local Quaker school, where Robert Patterson, who became a professor and vice provost at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, was his teacher for some time. Andrew showed some mathematical talent, too. In 1770, his father, together with his uncles Andrew and John, purchased land on the falls of the Patapsco River and west of Baltimore and the Chesapeake Bay. There they set up a new milling business, founding the town of Ellicott's Mills in 1772. Three years Andrew married Sarah Brown of Newtown, with whom he would have ten children, one of which died as a child.
When the Revolutionary War broke out in 1775, Andrew enlisted as a commissioned officer in the Elk Ridge Battalion of the newly organized Maryland state militia despite his Quaker upbringing. During the course of the war, he rose to the rank of major, a title he would keep as an honorific throughout his life. After the war, Ellicott returned home to Ellicott's Mills until he was appointed, in 1784, a member of the survey group tasked with extending the survey of the Mason-Dixon line for the borders between Pennsylvania / Delaware with Maryland, abandoned in 1767 and been stalled during the war. In this survey, he worked alongside David Rittenhouse and Bishop James Madison, making first connections with the scientific society of Philadelphia. Following the death of their second son, the Ellicotts moved to Baltimore in 1785, where Andrew taught mathematics at the Baltimore Academy and was elected to the General Assembly of Maryland in 1786; the same year, he was called upon for a survey to define the western border of Pennsylvania with the Ohio Country.
This "Ellicott Line" became the principal meridian for the surveys of the future Northwest Territory of the United States. His work in Pennsylvania intensified his ties with Rittenhouse and other members of the American Philosophical Society and led to encounters with Benjamin Franklin and Simeon De Witt; when he was subsequently appointed to lead other surveys in Pennsylvania, the family moved again in 1789 to Philadelphia. By recommendation of Franklin, Ellicott got a position with the newly established government under the Constitution and was tasked by first President George Washington to survey the lands between Lake Erie and Pennsylvania to determine the border between Western New York and U. S. federal territory, resulting in the Erie Triangle. This survey, during which he made the first topographical study of the Niagara River including the Niagara Falls, gained Ellicott a reputation for superb accuracy in surveys. From 1791 to 1792, at the request of Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, Ellicott worked under the direction of the three commissioners that President George Washington had appointed, surveying the boundaries of the federal Territory of Columbia, which would become the District of Columbia in 1801, containing the Federal City then becoming known as "Washington City".
He was assisted in this survey first by the free African-American astronomer Benjamin Banneker and by Ellicott's brothers, Joseph Ellicott and Benjamin Ellicott. Ellicott's team put into place forty boundary stones 1 mile apart from each other that marked the borders of the Territory of Columbia of 100 square miles. Most of these stones remain in their original positions; as engravings on many of the stones still show, Ellicott's team placed those that marked the southwestern /southeastern border with Virginia in 1791, those that marked the northwestern / northeastern border with Maryland in 1792. On January 1, 1793, Ellicott submitted to the three commissioners "a report of his first map of the four lines of experiment, showing a half mile on each side, including the district of territory, with a survey of the different waters within the territory"; the Library of Congress has attributed to 1793 Ellicott's earliest map of the Territory of Columbia that the Library holds within its collections.
During 1791–1792, Ellicott surveyed the future city of Washington, located within a small area at the center of the Territory of Columbia along the northern bank of the Potomac River at the confluence with its Eastern Branch. Ellicott served under the Commissioners' supervision in this effort, he first worked with Pierre Charles L'Enfant, who had prepared the initial plans for the future capital city during the early months of 1791 and had presented one of these early plans to President Washington in August of that year. During a contentious period in February 1792, Ellicott informed the Commissioners that L'Enfant had not been able to have the city plan engraved and printed as a map on paper and had refused to provide him with an original plan that L'Enfant was holding. Ellicott, with the aid of his brother, Benjamin Ellicott revised the plan, despite L'Enfant's protests. Ellicott stated in his let
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a 2-acre U. S. national memorial in Washington D. C, it honors service members of the U. S. armed forces who fought in the Vietnam War, service members who died in service in Vietnam/South East Asia, those service members who were unaccounted for during the war. Its construction and related issues have been the source of controversies, some of which have resulted in additions to the memorial complex; the memorial consists of three parts: the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, completed first and the best-known part of the memorial. The main part of the memorial, completed in 1982, is in Constitution Gardens adjacent to the National Mall, just northeast of the Lincoln Memorial; the memorial is maintained by the U. S. National Park Service, receives around 3 million visitors each year; the Memorial Wall was designed by American architect Maya Lin. In 2007, it was ranked tenth on the "List of America's Favorite Architecture" by the American Institute of Architects; as a National Memorial, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Memorial Wall is made up of two 246-foot-9-inch long black granite walls, polished to a high finish making them appear to have a mirror effect. The walls are sunken with the earth behind them. At the highest tip, they are 10.1 feet high, they taper to a height of 8 inches at their extremities. Symbolically, this is described as a "wound, closed and healing"; the stone for the 144 panels was quarried in India. When a visitor looks upon the wall, his or her reflection can be seen with the engraved names, meant to symbolically bring the past and present together. One wall points toward the Washington Monument, the other in the direction of the Lincoln Memorial, meeting at an angle of 125° 12′; each wall has 72 panels, 70 listing names and two small blank panels at the extremities. There is a pathway along the base of the Wall; the wall listed 57,939 names when it was dedicated in 1982. The number of names on the wall is different than the official number of U. S. Vietnam War deaths, 58,220 as of May 2018.
The names inscribed are not a complete list of those who are eligible for inclusion as some names were omitted at the request of families. Directories containing all of the names are located on nearby podiums at both ends of the monument where visitors may locate specific names; the memorial has had some unforeseen maintenance issues. In 1984, cracks were detected in the granite and, as a result, two of the panels were temporarily removed in 1986 for study. More cracks were discovered in 2010. There are a number of hypotheses about the cause of the cracks, with one forwarded being due to thermal cycling. In 1990, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund purchased several blank panels to use in case any were destroyed, which were placed into storage at Quantico Marine Base. Two of the blank panels were shattered by the 2011 Virginia earthquake. Inscribed in the memorial are the names of service members classified as "declared dead". Included are the names of those whose status is unknown, which means "missing in action".
The names are inscribed in Optima typeface. Information about rank and decorations is not given; those who are declared dead are denoted by a diamond, those who are status unknown are denoted with a cross. When the death of one, missing is confirmed, a diamond is superimposed over the cross. If the missing were to return alive, which has never occurred to date, the cross is to be circumscribed by a circle; the earliest date of eligibility for a name to be included on the memorial is November 1, 1955, which corresponds to President Eisenhower deploying the Military Assistance Advisory Group to train the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. The last date of eligibility is May 15, 1975, which corresponds to the final day of the Mayaguez incident. There are circumstances that allow for a name to be added to the memorial, but the death must be directly attributed to a wound received within the combat zone while on active duty. In such cases, the determination is made by the Department of Defense. In these cases, the name is added according to the date of injury—not the date of death.
The names are listed in chronological order, starting at the apex on panel 1E in July 8, 1959, moving day by day to the end of the eastern wall at panel 70E, which ended on May 25, 1968, starting again at panel 70W at the end of the western wall which completes the list for May 25, 1968, returning to the apex at panel 1W in 1975. There are some deaths that predate July 8, 1959 including the death of Richard B. Fitzgibbon Jr. in 1956. The names of 32 men were erroneously included in the memorial, while those names remain on the wall, they have been removed from the databases and printed directories; the extra names resulted from a deliberate decision to err on the side of inclusiveness, with 38 questionable names being included. One person, whose name was added as late as 1992, had gone AWOL upon his return to the United States after his second completed tour of duty, his survival only came to the attenti
National Park Service
The National Park Service is an agency of the United States federal government that manages all national parks, many national monuments, other conservation and historical properties with various title designations. It was created on August 25, 1916, by Congress through the National Park Service Organic Act and is an agency of the United States Department of the Interior; the NPS is charged with a dual role of preserving the ecological and historical integrity of the places entrusted to its management, while making them available and accessible for public use and enjoyment. As of 2018, the NPS employs 27,000 employees who oversee 419 units, of which 61 are designated national parks. National parks and national monuments in the United States were individually managed under the auspices of the Department of the Interior; the movement for an independent agency to oversee these federal lands was spearheaded by business magnate and conservationist Stephen Mather, as well as J. Horace McFarland. With the help of journalist Robert Sterling Yard, Mather ran a publicity campaign for the Department of the Interior.
They wrote numerous articles that praised the scenic and historic qualities of the parks and their possibilities for educational and recreational benefits. This campaign resulted in the creation of a National Park Service. On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill that mandated the agency "to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife therein, to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." Mather became the first director of the newly formed NPS. On March 3, 1933, President Herbert Hoover signed the Reorganization Act of 1933; the act would allow the President to reorganize the executive branch of the United States government. It wasn't until that summer when the new President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, made use of this power. Deputy Director Horace M. Albright had suggested to President Roosevelt that the historic sites from the American Civil War should be managed by the National Park Service, rather than the War Department.
President Roosevelt issued two Executive orders to make it happen. These two executive orders not only transferred to the National Park Service all the War Department historic sites, but the national monuments managed by the Department of Agriculture and the parks in and around the capital, run by an independent office. In 1951, Conrad Wirth became director of the National Park Service and went to work on bringing park facilities up to the standards that the public expected; the demand for parks after the end of the World War II had left the parks overburdened with demands that could not be met. In 1952, with the support of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, he began Mission 66, a ten-year effort to upgrade and expand park facilities for the 50th anniversary of the Park Service. New parks were added to preserve unique resources and existing park facilities were upgraded and expanded. In 1966, as the Park Service turned 50 years old, emphasis began to turn from just saving great and wonderful scenery and unique natural features to making parks accessible to the public.
Director George Hartzog began the process with the creation of the National Lakeshores and National Recreation Areas. Since its inception in 1916, the National Park Service has managed each of the United States' national parks, which have grown in number over the years to 60. Yellowstone National Park was the first national park in the United States. In 1872, there was no state government to manage it, so the federal government assumed direct control. Yosemite National Park began as a state park. Yosemite was returned to federal ownership. At first, each national park was managed independently, with varying degrees of success. In Yellowstone, the civilian staff was replaced by the U. S. Army in 1886. Due to the irregularities in managing these national treasures, Stephen Mather petitioned the federal government to improve the situation. In response, Secretary of the Interior Franklin K. Lane challenged him to lobby for creating a new agency, the National Park Service, to manage all national parks and some national monuments.
Mather was successful with the ratification of the National Park Service Organic Act in 1916. The agency was given authority over other protected areas, many with varying designations as Congress created them; the National Park System includes. The title or designation of a unit need not include the term park; the System as a whole is considered to be a national treasure of the United States, some of the more famous national parks and monuments are sometimes referred to metaphorically as "crown jewels". The system encompasses 84.4 million acres, of which more than 4.3 million acres remain in private ownership. The largest unit is Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. At 13,200,000 acres, it is over 16 percent of the entire system; the smallest unit in the system is Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial, Pennsylvania, at 0.02 acre. In addition to administering its units and other properties, the National Park Service provides technical and financial assistance to several "affiliated areas" authorized by Congress.
The largest affiliated area is New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve at 1,164,025 acres. The smallest is Benjamin Franklin National Memorial at less than 0.01 acres. Although all units of the Nat
The Baltimore–Washington Parkway is a highway in the U. S. state of Maryland, running southwest from Baltimore to Washington, D. C; the road begins at an interchange with U. S. Route 50 near Cheverly in Prince George's County at the D. C. border, continues northeast as a parkway maintained by the National Park Service to MD 175 near Fort Meade, serving many federal institutions. This portion of the parkway is dedicated to Gladys Noon Spellman, a representative of Maryland's 5th congressional district, has the unsigned Maryland Route 295 designation. Commercial vehicles, including trucks, are prohibited within this stretch; this section is administered by the NPS' Greenbelt Park unit. After leaving park service boundaries the highway is maintained by the state and signed with the MD 295 designation; this section of the parkway passes near Baltimore–Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Upon entering Baltimore, the Baltimore Department of Transportation takes over maintenance of the road and it continues north to an interchange with Interstate 95.
Here, the Baltimore–Washington Parkway ends and MD 295 continues north unsigned on Russell Street, which carries the route north into downtown Baltimore. In downtown Baltimore, MD 295 follows Paca Street northbound and Greene Street southbound before ending at US 40. Plans for a parkway linking Baltimore and Washington date back to Pierre Charles L'Enfant's original layout for Washington D. C. in the 18th century but did not develop until the 1920s. Major reasons surrounding the need for a parkway included high accident rates on adjacent US 1 and defense purposes before World War II. In the mid-1940s, plans for the design of the parkway were finalized and construction began in 1947 for the state-maintained portion and in 1950 for the NPS-maintained segment; the entire parkway opened to traffic in stages between 1950 and 1954. Following the completion of the B–W Parkway, suburban growth took place in both Washington and Baltimore. In the 1960s and the 1970s, there were plans to give the segment of the parkway owned by the NPS to the state and make it a part of I-295 and I-95.
Between the 1980s and the 2000s, the NPS portion of the road was modernized. MD 295 is in the process of being widened from four to six lanes, with more widening and a new interchange along this segment planned for the future; the parkway begins at a large hybrid cloverleaf just outside the Washington, D. C. boundary at Tuxedo, Maryland, maintained by the Maryland State Highway Administration. Two routes converge at the southern and western ends of the interchange: US 50, which heads west into Washington, D. C. to become New York Avenue. C. line along the northernmost tip of the Kenilworth Avenue Freeway. US 50 continues east from this interchange as the John Hanson Highway, a freeway, MD 201 continues north on Kenilworth Avenue, a surface road that parallels the B–W Parkway to the east past the interchange; the portion of the B–W Parkway between the southern terminus and MD 175 is maintained by the National Park Service. From its southern terminus, the road continues north as a six-lane limited-access parkway with the unsigned MD 295 designation, containing brown signs featuring the Clarendon typeface.
Along this section of the parkway, commercial vehicles such as trucks are prohibited. The parkway heads through wooded surroundings near industrial areas and passes over the Alexandria Branch of CSX's Capital Subdivision railroad line and MD 201, where there is a ramp from southbound MD 201 to the southbound B–W Parkway, it continues northeast, passing near Prince George's Hospital Center, to interchanges with MD 202 in Cheverly and with MD 450 in Bladensburg and Landover Hills and the former Capital Plaza Mall. Bladensburg itself is a historical waterfront town that consists of houses dating back to the mid-18th century, it continues north as a four-lane road with a wide, tree-filled median, passes through woodland, skirting residential neighborhoods hidden by the trees. The road has a junction with MD 410 west of New Carrollton; this route provides access to the towns of Riverdale Park, which features an 1801 mansion named Riversdale surrounded by suburban development, Hyattsville, which has buildings dating back to the railroad days of the 1870s and the streetcar and automobile days of the early 20th century.
North of here, the route runs near more residences before entering Greenbelt, a suburban garden community built as a model "green town" during the New Deal program in the 1930s, Greenbelt Park, a park under the jurisdiction of the NPS that has the nearest public camping area to Washington, D. C. In the northeastern corner of the park, the Baltimore–Washington Parkway comes to an interchange with I-95 and I-495; this interchange is the only place where the park service has used green signs compliant with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Just past the Capital Beltway, the route heads into the heart of the city of Greenbelt, having an interchange with MD 193; the headquarters of the U. S. Park Police, which patrol this portion of the parkway, is located off this exit along MD 193. MD 193 provides access to College Park, home to the College Park Airport, a 1909 airport where the Wright Brothers taught the U. S. Army how to fly an airplane, the University of Maryland, College Park, a public educational institution established in 1862.
At the norther
Rock Creek Park
Rock Creek Park is a large urban park that bisects the Northwest quadrant of Washington, D. C; the park was created by an Act of Congress in 1890, today is administered by the National Park Service. In addition to the park proper, the Rock Creek administrative unit of the National Park Service administers various other federally owned properties in the District of Columbia located to the north and west of the National Mall, including Meridian Hill Park on 16th Street, N. W. the Old Stone House in Georgetown, certain of the Fort Circle Parks, a series of batteries and forts encircling the District of Columbia for its defense during the U. S. Civil War. Rock Creek Park was established by an act of Congress signed into law by President Benjamin Harrison on September 27, 1890, following active advocacy by Charles C. Glover and other civic leaders and in the wake of the creation of the National Zoo the preceding year, it was only the third national park established by the U. S. following Yellowstone in 1872 and Mackinac National Park in 1875.
Sequoia was created at the same time, Yosemite shortly thereafter. In 1933, Rock Creek Park became part of the newly formed National Capital Parks unit of the National Park Service; the Rock Creek Park Act authorized the purchase of no more than 2,000 acres of land, extending north from Klingle Ford Bridge in the District of Columbia, to be "perpetually dedicated and set apart as a public park or pleasure ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people of the United States". The Act called for regulations to "provide for the preservation from injury or spoliation of all timber, animals, or curiosities within said park, their retention in their natural condition, as nearly as possible". Rock Creek Park is the oldest natural urban park in the National Park System. Park construction began in 1897. In 1913, Congress authorized creation of the Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway and extended the park along a narrow corridor from the zoo to the mouth of Rock Creek at the Potomac River; the parkway is a major traffic thoroughfare along the portion south of the zoo.
The park is patrolled by the United States Park Police. The main section of the park comprises 1754 acres, along the Rock Creek Valley. Including the other green areas the park administers, it encompasses more than 2000 acres; the parklands follow the course of Rock Creek across the D. C.-Maryland border to connect with Rock Creek Stream Valley Park and Rock Creek Regional Park in Montgomery County. The Maryland parks are operated by the Maryland-National Capital Planning Commission; the Rock Creek Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 23, 1991. Recreation facilities include a golf course. Rock Creek Park maintains cultural exhibits, including the Peirce Mill. Rock Creek is a popular venue for jogging and inline skating on the long, winding Beach Drive, portions of which are closed to vehicles on weekends. A number of the city's outstanding bridges, such as the Lauzun's Legion, Dumbarton and the Duke Ellington bridges, span the creek and ravine. Among the park's few monuments is a pink granite bench on Beach Drive south of the Peirce Mill, dedicated on November 7, 1936 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in memory of former French ambassador Jean Jules Jusserand.
In 2014, it was named "best obscure memorial" by Washington City Paper. Rock Creek Park Horse Center, founded in 1972, is located in the middle of the park near the Nature Center; the barn, run by Guest Services Inc, has 57 stalls, two outdoor rings, one indoor ring, three bluestone turnout paddocks. The stable provides trail rides, pony rides, lessons for the public, along with boarding for private horses; the stable teaches English riding, with an emphasis on lower-level jumping and dressage. The barn is home to Rock Creek Riders, a therapeutic riding program for adults and children with special needs in the DC area. Past participants in the program include brain injured veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and people with autism, cerebral palsy, or attention deficit disorder; the program relies on donations and contributions for funding. Rock Creek Riders has worked with the United States Mounted Police, National Park Service, Wounded Warrior Project, the Caisson Platoon Equine Assisted Programs to provide these therapeutic riding services.
The horse center's summer camps are popular with DC residents. The stable offers summer camp from 9-3 for children over eight, a two-hour afternoon camp for children between five and eight years old; the stable recently implemented a summer CIT training program for teenagers. Peirce Mill is a water-powered grist mill in Rock Creek Park. There were at least eight mills along Rock Creek within what is now Washington, D. C. and many more farther upstream in Maryland. Of those eight, only Peirce Mill is still standing, it was built in the 1820s by Isaac Peirce, along with a house and other buildings. It was owned by a son, Joshua Peirce, a nephew Peirce Shoemaker, it became part of Rock Creek Park in 1892. The mill was listed on the National Register in 1969 as Peirce Mill, it was repaired and re-opened October 15, 2011. The Peirce Carriage Barn, adjacent to the mill is open every day; the barn is the National Park Se
Pierre Charles L'Enfant
Pierre Charles L'Enfant, self-identified as Peter Charles L'Enfant while living in the United States, was a French-American military engineer who designed the basic plan for Washington, D. C. known today as the L'Enfant Plan. L'Enfant was born in Paris, France on August 2, 1754, the third child and second son of Pierre L'Enfant, a painter with a good reputation in the service of King Louis XV of France, Marie L'Enfant, the daughter of a minor official at court. In 1758, his brother Pierre Joseph died at the age of six, Pierre Charles became the eldest son, he studied art at the Royal Academy in the Louvre, as well as with his father at the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. He left school in France to enlist in the American Revolutionary War on the side of the rebelling colonials. L'Enfant was recruited by Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais to serve in the American Revolutionary War in the United States, he arrived in 1777 at the age of 23, served as a military engineer in the Continental Army with Major General Lafayette.
He was commissioned as a captain in the Corps of Engineers on April 3, 1779 to rank from February 18, 1778. Despite his aristocratic origins, L'Enfant identified with the United States, changing his first name from Pierre to Peter when he first came to the rebelling colonies in 1777. L'Enfant served on General George Washington's staff at Valley Forge. While there, the Marquis de Lafayette commissioned L'Enfant to paint a portrait of Washington. During the war, L'Enfant made a number of pencil portraits of George Washington and other Continental Army officers, he made at least two paintings of Continental Army encampments. L'Enfant was wounded at the Siege of Savannah on October 9, 1779, he recovered and became a prisoner of war at the surrender of Charleston, South Carolina on May 12, 1780. He was exchanged in November 1780 and served on General Washington's staff for the remainder of the American Revolution. L'Enfant was promoted by brevet to Major in the Corps of Engineers on May 2, 1783, in recognition of his service to the cause of American liberty.
He was discharged when the Continental Army was disbanded in December 1783. Following the American Revolutionary War, L'Enfant established a successful and profitable civil engineering firm in New York City, he achieved some fame as an architect by redesigning the City Hall in New York for the First Congress of the United States. L'Enfant designed furniture and houses for the wealthy, as well as coins and medals. Among the medals was the eagle-shaped badge of the Society of the Cincinnati, an organization of former officers of the Continental Army of which he was a founder. At the request of George Washington, the first President of the Society, L'Enfant had the insignias made in France during a 1783-1784 visit to his father and helped to organize a chapter of the Society there. L'Enfant was a friend of Alexander Hamilton; some of their correspondences from 1793 to 1801 now reside in the Library of Congress. While L'Enfant was in New York City, he was initiated into Freemasonry, his initiation took place on April 1789, at Holland Lodge No.
8, F & A M, which the Grand Lodge of New York F & A M had chartered in 1787. L'Enfant took only the first of three degrees offered by the Lodge and did not progress further in Freemasonry; the new Constitution of the United States, which took effect in March and April 1789, gave the newly organized Congress of the United States authority to establish a federal district up to ten miles square in size. L'Enfant had written first to President George Washington, asking to be commissioned to plan the city, but a decision on the capital was put on hold until July 1790 when the First Congress passed the "Residence Act", setting the site of the new federal district and national capital to be on the shores of the Potomac River; the Residence Act was the result of an important early political compromise between northern and southern congressional delegations, brokered by new cabinet members, Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton of New York and political opponent, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, of Virginia.
It specified the new capital would be situated on the northern and southern banks of the Potomac River, at some location, to be determined by the president, between the Eastern Branch near Washington's estate of Mount Vernon and the confluence with the Conococheague Creek, further upstream near Hagerstown, Maryland. The Residence Act gave authority to President Washington to appoint three commissioners to oversee the survey of the ten mile square federal district and "according to such Plans, as the President shall approve," provide public buildings to accommodate the Federal government in 1800. President Washington appointed L'Enfant in 1791 to plan the new "Federal City" under the supervision of the three Commissioners, whom Washington had appointed to oversee the planning and development of the federal territory that would become designated the "District of Columbia". Included in the new district were the river port towns of Georgetown and Alexandria. Thomas Jefferson, who worked alongside President Washington in overseeing the plans for the capital, sent L'Enfant a letter outlining his task, to provide a drawing of suitable sites for the federal city and the public buildings.
Though Jefferson had modest ideas for the Capital, L'Enfant saw the task as far more grandiose, believing he was not only locating the capital, but devising the city plan and designin
Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
The Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, administered by the National Park Service, is located at 1411 W Street, SE, in Anacostia, a neighborhood east of the Anacostia River in Southeast Washington, D. C.. Established in 1988 as a National Historic Site, the site preserves the home and estate of Frederick Douglass, one of the most prominent African Americans of the 19th century. Douglass lived in this house, which he named Cedar Hill, from 1877 until his death in 1895. Perched high on a hilltop, the site offers a sweeping view of the U. S. Capitol and the Washington, D. C. skyline. The site of the Frederick Douglass home was purchased by John Van Hook in about 1855. Van Hook built the main portion of the present house soon after taking possession of the property. For a portion of 1877 the house was owned by the Freedom Savings and Trust Company; that year Douglass purchased the home and expanded its 14 rooms to 21, including two-story library and kitchen wings. The house has an "L" shape and its plan is reminiscent of the design of Andrew Jackson Downing.
With the election of President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876, Douglass hoped for a political appointment postmaster for Rochester, New York or ambassador to Haiti. Instead, he was appointed marshal for the District of a role which he accepted, his appointment to this visible position marked the first time a black man received a federal appointment requiring Senate approval. Douglass, was not asked to fill many of the roles expected of a marshal; the marshal would attend formal White House gatherings and directly introduce guests to the President. Douglass, excused from this role complained that he should have resigned because of the slight. Still, the job brought him financial stability and, in 1878, he purchased the 20-room Victorian home on nine acres which they named Cedar Hill, he bought an additional 15 acres around the property the next year. In the home, Douglass became a cultivated member of high society, he and his grandson Joseph played the music of Franz Schubert in the west parlor which served as music room.
Here he worked on what would be his last autobiographical book and Times of Frederick Douglass, first published in 1881 and reissued 10 years later. His wife Anna had a stroke in 1882 which left her paralyzed. "The main pillar of my house has fallen", he wrote to a friend. In January 1884, Douglass applied for a marriage license at District of Columbia City Hall before heading to the home of Reverend Francis James Grimké and Charlotte Forten Grimké, where he married a white woman named Helen Pitts; the marriage, held January 2, was not approved by most members of either family. Helen's father, an abolitionist, proud to know Douglass never offered his blessing and refused to visit Washington unless he knew his daughter and her husband were out of town. Douglass had hired Pitts as a clerk in 1882, she was a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and had been a teacher of freed blacks in Virginia and Indiana. Interviewed about her marriage, she responded, "Love came to me and I was not afraid to marry the man I loved because of his color."
One newspaper article noted, "black blood in that family. We have no further use for him, his picture hangs in our parlor, we will hang it in the stables." On February 20, 1895, Douglass attended a women's rights rally in Washington and was escorted to the platform by Anna Howard Shaw and Susan B. Anthony, he intended to attend a neighborhood black church. As he was telling his second wife Helen about one of the day's speakers, he collapsed. After Douglass's death, his widow, Helen Pitts Douglass, founded the Frederick Douglass Memorial and Historical Association in 1900. In 1916, the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs joined with the association; these groups owned the house until 1962, when the federal government took the deed to the house through the National Park Service, with the intent of restoring and preserving it. On site are an interpretive visitor center and a reconstruction of Douglass's "Growlery", a small stone building in which he secluded himself while writing and studying.
The Frederick Douglass National Historic Site is located about a 10-minute walk from the Anacostia Metro station. In 2017, the site is scheduled to be depicted on the 37th quarter in the America the Beautiful Quarters series. List of museums focused on African Americans Frederick Douglass National Historic Site official web site Frederick Douglass.org "Writings of Frederick Douglass", broadcast from the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, C-SPAN, American Writers, May 28, 2001