course to a point midway between 11th and the prolonga-
tion of 10th St. W. and north of W st. K. ; thence it runs
S. till it joins the W. line of the northern end of 9th st. W.,
about Y St. ]Sr. ; and following 9th st. W. to U st. N., it pur-
sues the latter street a few feet ; thence in a due SW. line
to the angle formed by the intersection of H st. IST., 15th st.
E., and the JSTE. limit of Maryland avenue, where the Bal-
timore Turnpike and Benning's Bridge road diverge ; thence
by the line of 15th st. E. to a few feet S. of the eastern ex-
tremitj'- of C st. N". ; thence by a due E. and W. line till it
strikes the Anacostia ; thence by the right bank of the Ana-
costia and the left bank of the Potomac to the place of be-
ginning. The city lies .4 m. along the Potomac and about 3^
m. along the Anacostia.
G-ovemment. — The old municipal form was abolished by
the act of Congress, 1871, and the jurisdiction of the city
was vested in the Governor and Legislature of the Territory,
incorporated for municipal purposes and empowered to exer-
cise the powers of a municipal corporation, not inconsistent
with the Constitution and laws of the United States.
Finances. — (See District of Columbia.)
Population, — The population of the citv, by decades, since
its foundation, was as follows: 1810, 8V208; 1820, 13,247;
1830,18,826; 1840,23,364; 1850,40,001; 1860, 61,122 ; 1870,
109,199. The population, when occupied by Congress, in 1800,
is not separately given ; but that it was very small may be
judged from the fact that the total for Washington and
Georgetown and the County was but 8,144. The population
in 1S'70 M^as, white, 73,731 ; colored, 35,455 ; Indian, 13.
Born in the District of Columbia, 42,694 ; and in other States,
52,748 ; in foreign countries, 13,757, viz : Ireland, 6,948 ;
Germany, 4,133; England, 1,235; Scotland, 299; British
GEOGRAPHICAL SITUATION. 5
America, 239 ; Ital}^ 175 ; Switzerland, 14G ; all other foreign
Miscellaneous Statistics. — Size, 12 in population ; families,
21,343; persons to a familj', 5.12; dwelling-s, No., 19,545;
persons to each, 5.59. Persons in each class of occupations,
41,188 : agriculture, 284; personal and professional services,
26,109 : male, 15,596 ; female, 10,513 ; trade and transport-
ation, 5,296 ; manufactm-es, mechanical, and mining indus-
roreign Capitals.— The Capital of the United States is sitn-
ated farther south than that of any of the greater States of
Europe, as will be seen by the following:
Washington.— Lat. 3*8° 52^ 20'^ X. On Potomac Eiver,
106J m. from its mouth. Area 6,111 a., and 14 m. in cir-
cuit. Population, 1870, 109,199.
London.— Lat. (St. Paul's) 51° 30' 48'^ X. On Thames
River, 50 m. fi-oni its mouth. Area of old city 1 sq. m. Witli
citj'and liberty of Westminster and 5 boroughs 31,353 sq. m.
Population, 1870, 3,215,000.
Pakis.— Lat. 48° 50' 12'^ X. On the Seine Ptiver, 110 m.
from its mouth. Area 14 sq. m. Population, 1871, 1,950,000.
Berlin.— Lat. 52° 30^16'' :N'. On tlie Spree Eiver. Area
6^800 a., and 10 m. in circuit. Population 820,000.
St. Petersburg. — Lat. 59° 56' N. On the iSTeva Eiver,
near its mouth. Area 6 m. in length and 5 m. in width.
Vienna. — Lat. 48° 12' IST. On the Wein Eiver, near the
Danube. Circuit 15 m. Population, 1872, 640,000.
EOME.— Lat. 41° 54' 06" N. On tlie Tiber Eiver, 17 m.
from its mouth. Circuit 12 m. Population, 1872, 247,497.
ILestory. — The permanent Seat of Government Avas estab-
lished at Washington under provisions of the Constitution of
the United States and an act of Congress approved Jul}'- 16,
1790. For a succinct history of its growth, from its founda-
tion down to the present time, '^qq History of Washington^ at
the end of this Hand-book.
DISTEICT OF COLU:\IBIA.
Geographical Situation.— The Federal Territory, or Dis-
trict of Columbia, is situated on tlie left or E. bank of the
Potomac Eiver, at the conlluence of the Anacostia. Its
present limits lie entirely within the borders of the State of
6 GEOGRAPHICAL SITUATION.
Maryland, and bounded on the NW., N., and partly on the
NE. by Montgomery County, and partly on the NE. and
on the E. and SE. by Prince George's County, m that State.
Its entire western boundary is formed by the Potomac
River. The lat. of the centre of the District, as first laid out,
varies but a few feet from that of the Capitol, and the long,
is one minute or geographical mile and a fraction W.
Boundaries. — The Federal District, as originally located
and x^roclaimed, Mar. 30, 1791, was a square of 10 m., and
consequently comprised 100 sq. m. The lines of boundary
began at Jones' Point, or the upper cape, wliich projects into
the Potomac on the Virginia side or right bank, at the con-
fluence of Hunting Creeli and the Potomac, and but a short
distance SE. of the present town of Alexandria, Va. At
this initial point the corner-stone of the Territory was plant-
ed, with api^ropriate ceremonies, and formed the starting-
point of a first line, which was run at an angle of 45=^ W. of
N. or KW., a distance of 10 m., in the State of Virginia. The
second line also started at the initial point, and ran at a right
angle witli the first, or KE., across the Potomac, 10 m., into
tlie State of Maryland. The remaining two lines were run
from the termini of the first two and at right angles with
them, respectively, ISTE. and KW., the one crossing the Po-
tomac and the other the Anacostia, and meeting each other
in a point. The original Territory, it will be seen, stood
diagonall}', each angle facing one of the cardinal points of
the compass. The N. point of the District, as originally laid
out, is I of a m. due W. of Silver Spring, Md. ; the E. point
2f m. S. of E. of Benning's Bridge, on the Anacostia; the S.
ar initial point at the IST, cape of Hunting Creek, called Jones'
Point, 1 m. E. of S. of tlie centre of Alexandria, Va. ; and
the W. point near the som^ce of Four-mile Run, in Va. The
Potomac River now forms the W. boundary : all that portion
formerly belonging to the State of Virginia having been ret-
The four sides of the District, instead of facing N^., S., E.,
and W., lie NE., SE., SW., and NW. The centre of the
original Territory, by a right line drawn from the JST. to the
S. point of the square, is marked by a gray freestone, about
100 yds. W. of the Washington Monument, and on a line
almost due S. from the President's House, at a distance of
about 1 m. The stone was planted to mark the centre of
The lines, as run by Mr. Ellicott, "Geographer General," .
were marked by square mile-stones, with deeply-cut inscrip-
tions, as follows : On the side facing the Territory, ".Juris-
diction OF THE United States." On the opposite " Vir-
ginia" or "Maryland," according to the State on whose
possessions the line faced. On the third side was the year,
IfO^. And on the foiu'th the position of the magnetic
needle at the time and place. Some of these stones are still
standing ; and more, probably, might be brought to light if
the accumulations of decayed vegetable growth were re-
moved. It has been wisely suggested that the Grovernment
should define the lines of the Federal Territory of this now
mighty Republic by tablets, columns, and other marlvs, wor-
thy and commemorative of its greatness.
Shortly after the District was laid out this was seriously
considered. It was proposed to build a great Fort at Jones'
Point, on the site of the initial corner-stone of the Federal
Territorj'-. TMs fort, at the same time, was to constitute one
of the defenses of the river approach to the capital from the
Sea, and was to be called Fort Columbia. It was actually
commenced, but soon afterwards abandoned.
In 1846 all that portion of the District, consisting of about
36 sq. m., which lay on the W. bank of the Potomac, in Vir-
ginia, was retroceded to that State, which reduced the area
to 64 sq. m., its present extent. The length of the Potomac
boundary is 12^ m. Since the retrocession, particularly dur-
ing the rebellion of 1861-'65, the short-sighted policy of that
act was sadly apparent in the inconvenience experienced
in having the banks of the Potomac opposite the National
Capital under the jurisdiction of an inimical local govern-
ment. The question of restoring the Territory to its first
limits, by securing a new cession from Virginia, is being agi-
tated. In the absence of absolute jurisdiction on both sides
of the river, it is manifest that there must be interminable
conflicts of interest and authority: the more so as the Capi-
tal increases in population, wealth, and magnificence. The
schemes of improvement of the Potomac in front of Wash-
ington and Georgetown also demand the possession of the
Political Divisions. — The District is divided into the cities
of Wasliington and Georgetown and the County of Wash-
Governmeiit. — The Congress of the United States, in Nov.,
1800, assembled for the first time in the City of Washing-
ton. The jurisdiction of the United States over the Dis-
trict vested on the first Monday of Dec, 1800. It was not,
however, till Feb. 27, 1801, that Congress assumed direct and
exclusive jurisdiction — all affairs of the District being first
referred to a Committee for the District of Columbia for con-
sideration and report.
The act of Congress approved February 21, 1871, created
all that part of the Territory of the United States included
within the limits of the District of Columbia into a govern-
ment, by the name of the District of Columbia ; the execu-
tive power to be vested in a Governor^ to be nominated by
the President and confirmed by the Senate, and to hold office
for four years ; and the legislative power in a Legislative As-
sembly^ composed of a Council of 11 members, nominated by
the President and confirmed by the Senate, to hold office
two years ; and a House of Delegates of 22 members, elected
by the people annually. Two members of the Council must
be residents of Georgetown and two of the County outside of
the cities of Washington and Georgetown, leaving seven for
Washington. That portion of the District not included in the
corporate limits of Washington and Georgetown is divided
into three townships. Tlie Territory is divided into 22 legis-
lative districts, viz : of Washington 18 ; Georgetown 2 ; and
County of Washington 2.
The annual elections are held on the 2d Tuesday in October,
and the annual sessions of the Legislative Assembly on the
4th Monday of AprU of each j'-ear. The sanitary care of the
District is under the supervision of a Board of Health. All
streets, avenues,alleys, and sewers are under a Board of Pub-
lic Works. The Board is required to report annually to the
President of the United States, Congress, and the Legislative
Assembly. The organic act also defines certain limitations
and restrictions in the exercise of governmental functions,
particularly with reference to finances, assessments, and taxes.
All acts of the Legislative Assembly of the District are sub-
ject to revision by Congress, and that body retains the power
of legislation over the District, the same as if the organic law
had not been passed. The Legislative Assembly is required
to maintain a system of free schools, is empowered to create
corporations for the District, and has power to provide by law
for the election or appointment of ministerial officers.
The organic act of Feb. 21, 1871, repealed tlie charters of
the cities of Washington and Georgetown and all legislation
respecting the Levy Court and County of Washington incon-
sistent with that act : the powers hitherto exercised in those
connections being vested in the Territorial Government.
A Delegate to the House of Representatives of the United
States, to serve for 2 years, is also elected by the voters quali-
fied to elect members of the Legislative Assembly, and has
the same rights and privileges as are exercised and enjoj^ed
by the Delegates from the several Territories of the United
States to the House of Representatives : he is also a member
of the Committee for the District of Columbia.
The jiicdcial courts of the District are subject to the legisla-
tive action of Congress onl}'.
•The salaries of all officers appointed bj'' the President are
paid by tire U. S. ; all others by the District. The new District
government went into operation June 1, 1871.
Finances, estimated upon the tax levy for the fiscal j^ear
ending June 30, 1874 :
Assessed valuation of real estate in the District of Colum-
bia, 896.433,072, viz : Washington, $80,539,782 ; Georgetown,
$6,272,010 ; County of Washington, $9,621,280. Total actual
valuation, $200,000,000. Kevenue : Taxes, $1,888,252 06;
other sources, $200,000; total, $2,088,252 06. Rate of tax on
$100 : Washington, $2 00 ; Georgetown, $2 00 ; County, $1 58.
Appropriations by the 3d Legislative Assembly, payable from
above, to June 30, 1874: General District fund, $471,130;
School fund, teachers and building, $318,360 26; Metropoli-
tan Police, $137,445, or | total amount, f paid by U. S. ; Gas
fund, $129,975; Interest on bonds D. C, $304,000; on water
stock, $31,500; on bonds of late corporation, $289,417 24;
Sinking funds bonds D. C, $250,000. Total, $1,931,827 50.
Excess of revenues over appropriations, $156,424 56. Con-
gress annually appropriates $25,000 towards the expenses of
the Fire Department.
The bonded debt existing ISTov. 1, 1873, was as follows :
District of Columbia, $5,522,350; late Corporation of Wash-
ington, $4,127,584 22 ; late Corporation of Georgetown, $252,-
316 96 : total, $9,902,251 18. Congress limits the amount of
debt that maybe incurred by the District to $10,000,000.
The financial operations of the Board of Public Works are
not embraced in the above.
It appears from the report of the Treasurer that from July
1, 1871, to November, 1873, the total receipts liave been $14,
789,692.85. The expenditures for the same period have
been $13,386,455.67, leaving a balance of $1,403,237.18.
The contracts entered into by the Board number 951, and,
deducting the amount estimated for water services, and
chargeable directly to property, aggregate $13,501,162.49.
Of this simi there remain to be expended, for the completion
of the work under contract, $1,636,037.54.
Population. — The population of the District, inclusive of
the County of Alexandria up to 1840, and exclusive after,
dmnng each decade since its occupation by the Government,
was, 1800, 14,093 ; 1810, 24,023 ; 1820, 33,039 ; 1830, 39,834 ;
1840, 43,712; 1850, 51,687; 1860, 75,080; 1870, 131,700.
Classified, 1870 : ^Ylfite, 88,278 ; colored, 43,404 ; Chinese,
3 ; Indian, 15 ; male, 62,192 ; female, 69,508 ; native, 115,446 ;
10 INDUSTRY AND WEALTH.
foreign born, 16,254 ; native of District of Columbia, 52,340 ;
of other States, 63,106. Of foreign countries, 16,254, viz :
Ireland, 8,218 ; Germany, 4,920 ; England, 1,422 ; Scotland,
352; British America, 290; France, 231; Italy, 182; all
otlier foreign countries, 639.
By civil divisions, 1870 : Washington, 109,199 ; George-
town, 11,384; count5^ 11,117.
Slave population : 1800, 3,244 ; 1810, 5,395 ; 1820, 6,377 ;
1830, 6,119; 1840, 4,694; 1850, 3,687; 1860, 3,185; 1870,
Total, exclusive of Alexandria Comity : 1800, 8,144 ; 1810,
15,471 ; 1820, 23,336 ; 1830, 30,261 ; and 1840, 33,745 ; subse-
quently, as above.
The increase to 131,700 during the decade ending in 1870
indicates an unusually rapid growth. This will be further
promoted, as the disposition already manifested by citizens of
means in all parts of the country to make the I^ational Capi-
tal a place of winter resort increases.
Miscellaneons Statistics, 1870. — Area, 64 sq. m. ; persons to
a sq. m., 2,057.81. Families, 25,276; persons to a family,
5.21. Dwellings, 23,308 ; persons to a dwelling 5.65. Per-
sons in each class of occupations : Agriculture, 1,365 ; male,
1,350 ; female, 15. Professional and personal services, 29,845 ;
male, 17,927; female, 11,918. Trade and transportation,
6,126 ; male, 5,852 ; female, 274. Manufacture, mechanical,
and mining, 11,705; male, 10,071; female, 1,634. Other
statistical information will be found under appropriate heads.
Vital Statistics.-The District is situated in one of the health-
iest regions in the country. Notwithstanding the large num-
ber of strangers constantly arriving in the city and the
irregular habits of a large proportion, the average death-rate
compares favorably with other sections. The census of 1870
shows the following results : Oregon, 1 death to 146 popula-
tion, the most favorable ; Minnesota, 1 to 124 ; IS'ew Hamp-
shire, 1 to 74 ; Pennsylvania, 1 to 66 ; District of Columbia, 1
to 65 ; California, 1 to 62 ; Missouri, 1 to 61 ; Massachusetts, 1
to 56 ; Louisiana, 1 to 50. The percentage of deaths to pop-
ulation in the District is 1.53. The aggregate number of
deaths in 1870 was 2,015: males, 1,065; females, 950; ag-
gregate population, 131,700. Of the deaths, 929 died under
the age of 5 years. The principal diseases are pulmonary
and fevers, in particular localities. The fevers are generally
intermitting and bUious.
Industry and Wealth, 1870.— Valuation of Property, 874,-
271,693; assessed real, $71,437,468; personal, $2,834,225.
True value, real and personal, $126,873,618. This is exclu-
sive of the property of the General Government. Taxation,
not national, total $1,581,569 ; countv, $49,975 ; city, $1,531,-
594 ; 1860, total $260,218 ; 1870, public debt, not national,
$2,596,545. Agriculture: Acres improved, 8,266 ; woodland,
2,428; other unimproved, 983; value of farms, $3,800,230;
implements, &c. $39,450 ; value of productions, Ijetterments,
and additions to stock, $319,517. In 1860 there were 17,474
acres improved and 16,789 unimproved, with a value of but
$2,989,267. Manufactures : Establishments, 952 ; capital,
$5,021,925; products, $9,292,173. In 1860 there were but
429 establishments, with capital $2,905,865, and products
$5,412,102. No mining or established fisheries.
Agriculture. — The cereals and other crops of the N". belt
of the N. temperate zone are cultivated with success in the
District of Columbia. Fruits and vegetables in great variety
are also grown. The markets of the capital are abundantly
supplied from the vicinity, and rank witli, if they do not ex-
cel, the finest in other parts of the United States.
Topography. — The District of Columbia presents a pleasing
variety of landscape. On the shores of the Potomac, towards
the NW., the outlying spurs of the Blue Ridge range of the
Appalachian chain approach the city, and form the wild and
romantic scenery of rugged rocky hills and deep valleys along
the Potomac at the Little>and Great Falls. The remainder
of the District consists of sweeping and graceful undulations.
The Potomac, from the KW., and the Anacostia, from the
NE., unite their cm-rents about the centre of the original
bounds of the District, from which point the main river flows
in a southerly direction, until it passes the line. A number
of smaller streams, including Eock and Tiber Creeks, which
water all parts of the District, find their outlets into the Po-
tomac or Anacostia.
Geology. — The soil of the District bordering the Potomac
is alluvial, formed by the rich deposits of the river, brought
down from the mountains. The elevated lands consist almost
exclusively of yellow clay, interspersed with sand and gravel.
Occasionallj'- a mixture of loam and clay is met with. Eock
Creek divides the primitive from the alluvial soil. Above
Eock Creek the shores of the Potomac are fined with primi-
tive rocte. Shortly after leaving the District the red sand-
stone appears. In some parts the stone frequently contains
leaves of trees and figneous fragments. A species of gneiss,
composed of feldspar, quartz, and mica, is also abundant, and
constitutes the miderlying rock of the entire District.
Mineralogy.— The mineralogy of the District is thus stated
by Mr. Eobinson, in his Catalogue :
Flint, on the shores of the Eastern Branch of the Poto-
mac, near the Navy Yard, in small nodules.
HoRNESTONE, containing organic remains.
Agatized Wood, woodstone, three miles north from Wash-
ington, sometimes invested with minute crystals of quartz,
fine specimens, and abundant.
Schorl, in Georgetown, in gneiss.
Lignite and Pyritical Fossil Wood, found abund^
antly in digging wells.
Iron Ore, in the vicinity of the woodstone locality, in de-
tached masses, on the surface. Organic remains in sandstone
Botany, — A list of the plants indigenous to the District of
Columbia, prepared by J. A. Brereton, in 1822, from the ma-
terial collected under the auspices of the Washington Botan-
ical Society, and entitled Flormla Columhiana^ presents 22
classes and 288 varieties, following the Linnssan classification.
Of the more familiar varieties found are the oak, (several va-
rieties,) button-wood, red maple, sassafras, alder, mountain
ash, linden, catalpa, locust, chestnut, tulip, horehound, pen-
nyroyal, dogwood, blue-eyed grass, violet, wild honeysuckle,
fox grape, Indian tobacco, mullien, wild sweet potato, night-
shade,~chickweed, touch-me-not, do^'sbane, spiderwort, elder,
sumac, calamus, superb lily, hellebore, free primrose, ground
laurel, laurel, whortleberry, \vild indigo, wild pink, cockle,
poke, strawberry, dewberry, blackberry, sweet brier. May
apple, columbine, ground ivy, motherwort, catnip, trumpet
creeper, water-cress, wild pepper-grass, passion flower, crow-
foot geranium, snakeroot, pea vine, wild potato vine, dande-
lion, thistle, wild lettuce, sunflower, ladies' slipper, sedge,
nettle, burdock, hog weed, Indian turnip, cucumber.
Zoology. — The animals native to the region embraced within
and contiguous to the District of Columbia in primitive times
resorted to this vicinity in large numbers to feed upon the rich
pastures found upon the allmial banks of the Potomac.
Among these were several varieties of deer. There were also
panther, black bear, wild cat, wolves, red and gray foxes,
rabbits, beaver, raccoon, opossum, squirrels, (several varieties,)
field mice. Tlie larger species are exterminated. The num-
ber of species of all kinds is stated at 42.
Ornithology. — The feathered kingdom is well represent-
ed. Jefferson, in his ISTotes on Virginia, speaks of 100 vari-
eties of birds, most of which doubtless were found in the
District. The wild turkey was foiuid in great numbers.
The canvas-back duck, which in early days resorted to the
vicinity of Analostan Island, is j^et met with in the estu-
aries of the streams below the city; also the wild goose,
swan, mallard, blue-winged teal, widgeon, and otlier spe-
cies. In the swamps are found snipe, rail, blackbirds,
and reed-birds. The country generally abounds in quail.
The hunting of feathered game is restricted by law. The
autumn months generally constitute the season. The car-
dinal grosbeak, mocking-bird, sparrow, linnet, yellow-bird,
thrush, sand-piper, king'-fisher, and heron are also met with.
The number of species of all kinds is stated at 236.
Ichtliyology — The Potomac, within the District, is stocked
with fish in great numbers, some of which are of the finest
varieties. Those best known are the sturgeon, (weight from
40 to 150 lbs.,) rock fish, (from 1 to 7u lbs.,) shad, bass, gar,
eel, (three varieties,) carp, herring, pike, perch, (four varie-
ties,) catfish, mullet, (three varieti'es,) and smelt. The shad
of the Potomac are of excellent quality. In the season they
are very abundant, and may be seen caught on the Virginia
shore opposite the city; also large quantities of herring are
caught below the city. The laws of Maryland, as early as
1768, provided for the protection of tlie fish. Subsequent
acts placed a hea"\^ penalty upon the destruction of young
fish by weirs and dams, and to prevent beating with cords or
poles at certain seasons of the year. A species of shark also
ascends to the city.
Herpetology, — There are about 50 species of reptiles. Of
turtles and lizards there are several varieties. There are
about 20 species of serpents, including the rattle, copperhead,
black, garter, water, green snakes, and vipers.
Climate. — The following meteorological summary, pre-
pared at the office of the Chief Signal Officer, shows the con-
ditions of the climate at the Washington, D. C, station for