Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

rounds it, commanding a view of the Potomac, on whose banks it is situated, of the bridge which spans the waters, Analostan Island, the Capitol, and the city of Washington. The prospect in the rear is perfectly rural, varied with hill and dale, and deeply set with every species of forest trees, embowering a serpentine walk which forms a delightful promenade, reminding the contemplative student of the vale of Tempe, while the gurgling stream which meanders through its shades recalls in fancy the waters of Peneus,

Ab imo Effusus Pindo spumosis volvitur undis. The library comprises about twenty-five thousand volumes of rare and well-selected works, among which are many of very ancient date, as well as manuscripts and illuminated missals of the middle ages. There is a fine museum attached to the college, and also an astronomical observatory. A vineyard is cultivated on the premises, which supplies the chapel with wine for the altar, and the table of the clergy. The medical department of the institution was organized in May, 1851, under the act of Congress passed in March, 1815, granting the college the rights and privileges of a University. The academic year is from the 15th of September to the 31st of July.

THE

CONVENT

OF THE

VISITATION.

The convent, in Fayette street, is of the order of the Visitation, founded, in 1610, by Saint Francis de Sales, and first superintended by Saint Jane Frances Fremiot de Chantal. The objects of the order are female instruction and the practice of charity. This convent was established, under the diocese of Baltimore, in 1799; and

the sisters conduct a female seminary, called the Academy of the Visitation, which is an excellent institution of its kind, and accommodates about two hundred pupils, of all religious denominations, and the course of instruction is very complete, and judiciously chosen.

A public exhibition is given at the close of each academic year, when premiums are awarded to the successful competitors for honors. The annual vacation commences with the exhibition, on the last Thursday of July. The terms for board and tuition are $200 for the annual term. Visitors are admitted to the convent and academy on week-days, between the hours of eleven and two o'clock.

[blocks in formation]

THE

CHESAPEAKE

The States of Maryland and Virginia, in the year 1784, incorporated a company for the improvement of the river Potomac, the great object of which was to open to the commerce of the seat of government the mineral riches of the Alleghany mountains.

In November, 1823, a convention of delegates from Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and the District of Columbia, met in Washington, for the purpose of calling the attention of government to this important project. On the 28th of May, 1828, Congress passed an act appropriating $1,000,000, but specifying that the canal should be sixty feet wide and six feet deep. The City of Washington subscribed $1,000,000, and Alexandria and Georgetown $250,000 each; Virginia, $250,000; and Maryland, $5,000,000.

The ground was broken, for the commencement of the work, on the 4th of July, 1828, on which occasion John Quincy Adams, then President of the United States, officated in the performance of the ceremony. The canal extends to Cumberland, a distance of one hundred and eighty-four miles, and is supplied with water from the Potomac, by means of dams.

The entire cost of the work was about $12,000,000.

OAK-HILL CEMETERY.

This beautiful place was laid out, and presented to the shareholders of the District of Columbia, by W. W. Corcoran, Esq., the beneficent banker. It is situated on the heights of Georgetown, upon the western slope of the banks of Rock Creek, and is beautifully laid out in terraces and walks, overshadowed by tall oak trees. The ground is varied by hill and dale, and commands most charming views of the exquisite scenery of the valley of the stream, broken into vistas and secluded nooks by the undulating and varied nature of the ground. There are, already, many grand monuments erected here, and numerous vaults prepared for the wealthier families of the District. The vault belonging to the donor, Mr. Corcoran, stands upon

the brow of the hill, in a very conspicuous and beautiful location, and is surmounted by a primitive Grecian temple of the Doric order, octagonal in form, and built of white marble, at a cost of over $25,000. The granite monument to Bodisco, the late Russian Minister, is worthy of notice. The shaft was sent from St. Petersburgh, by the Russian government. The entrance is graced by a tasteful Gothic lodge, of sandstone. The stone chapel, overgrown with ivy, is an attractive and beautiful feature of the cemetery.

CHAPTER X.

PLACES OF INTEREST NEAR THE SEAT OF GOVERN.

MENT.

The vicinity of the seat of government is full of interest, but our limits will only permit us to mention those points of attraction which, from historic, as well as common reputation, cannot be passed over in silence.

BLADENSBURGH.

This village is situated on the eastern branch of the Potomac, in Prince George's County, Maryland, on the line of the Baltimore and Washington railroad, six miles northeast of the Capitol, and contains about five hundred inhabitants. It has many interesting associations with the seat of government, on account of the battle which was fought here, in defence of the city of Washington against the British; in 1814; and also from the painful reminiscences of the numerous duels fought in its vicinity since the location of the government in the District. The old battle-ground is still pointed out to strangers, above the bridge which crosses the branch, and it is often the case of pique to the inhabitants of the village when some bantering wag inquires the way to the “ race course.” Soon after the sack of Washington, the following verses

BIBM. CHIV.

GEN

were written upon the four-mile stone, near the site of the defeat:

* Here fought Commodore Barney,

So nobly and so gallantly,
Against Britain's sons and slavery;

For a fighting man was he!
There did General Winder flee,

His infantry and cavalry;
Disgracing the cause of liberty ;

For a writing man was he!

The Duelling-Ground.This scene of so many deadly encounters is situated upon the road from Washington to Bladensburgh, about four miles frořn the city, in an opening of the trees, which shelter the lawn from observation. This sequestered spot was at first chosen for its natural seclusion, and has since been used as a duellingground, from custom, and the necessity of evading the act of Congress, passed July 20, 1839, which makes duelling, in the District of Columbia, a penal offence, punishable by ten years' hard labor in the penitentiary.

The first duel of which this ground was the theatre, appears to be that in which Edward Hopkins was killed, in 1814.

In 1819, A. T. Mason, a United States Senator from Virginia, fought, upon this celebrated ground, with his sister's husband, John McCarty. McCarty was averse to fighting, and thought there was no necessity for it;

but Mason would fight. McCarty named muskets, loaded with grape-shot, and so near together that they would hit heads if they fell on their faces. Thisavas changed by the seconds to loading with bullets, and taking twelve feet as the distace. Mason was killed instantly, and McCarty

« PředchozíPokračovat »