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cated and included within the four lines following, that is

to say,

Beginning at Jones' Point, being the upper cape of Hunting Creek, in Virginia, and at an angle in the outset of 45 degrees west of north, and running in a direct line ten miles, for the first line; then beginning again at the same Jones' Point, and running another direct line at a right angle with the first, across the Potomac, ten miles, for the second line; then, from the terminations of the said first and second lines, running two other direct lines, of ten miles each, the one crossing the Eastern Branch aforesaid, and the other the Potomac, and meeting each other in a point.

And I do accordingly direct the Commissioners named under the authority of the said first-mentioned act of Congress to proceed forthwith to have the said four lines run, and by proper metes and bounds defined and limited, and thereof to make due report under their hands and seals; and the territory so to be located, defined, and limited, shall be the whole territory accepted by the said act of Congress as the District for the permanent seat of the government of the United States.

In testimony whereof, I have caused the seal of the United States to be affixed to these presents, and signed the same with my hand. Done at Georgetown aforesaid, the 30th day of March, in the year of our Lord, 1791, and of the Independence of the United States, the fifteenth.


In pursuance of the act of Congress, three Commissioners—Thomas Johnson, David Stuart, and Daniel Carroll—were appointed in January, 1791, to survey the District; and, on the 15th of April, they superintended the laying of the corner-stone of the District defined by the proclamation, at Jones' Point, near Alexandria, with all the usual Masonic ceremonies of the day. The Com

missioners informed Major L'Enfant, the engineer, in a letter dated at Georgetown, September 9, 1791, that they had agreed that the federal District shall be called the Territory of Columbia, and the federal city the City of Washington, and directed him to entitle his



Congress assumed jurisdiction over the District of Columbia by an act approved February 27, 1801.


In compliance with the act establishing the seat of government, the Commissioners proceeded to lay out a city. The boundaries are thus defined in the act of cession by the Legislature of Maryland, Dec. 19, 1791

The President of the United States directed a city to be laid out, comprehending all the lands beginning on the east side of Rock Creek, at a stone standing in the middle of the road leading from Georgetown to Bladensburgh; thence along the middle of said road to a stone standing on the east side of the reedy branch of Goose Creek; thence southeasterly, making an angle of sixty-one degrees and twenty minutes with the meridian, to a stone standing in the road leading from Bladensburgh to the Eastern Branch Ferry; then south to a stone eighty poles north of the east and west line, already drawn from the mouth of Goose Creek to the Eastern Branch ; then east, parallel to the said east and west line, to the Eastern Branch; then with the waters of the Eastern Branch, Potomac River, and Rock Creek, to the beginning, -which has since been called the City of Washington.

The original proprietors, Daniel Carroll, Notley Young, David Burns, and Samuel Davidson, deeded their lands in trust to Thomas Beall and John Mackall Gantt, trustees, who conveyed the same to the Commissioners, and

their successors in office, for the United States, forever. The terms of sale are expressed in a letter of March 31, 1791, from the President to the Secretary of State :

The terms entered into by me, on the part of the United States, with the landholders of Georgetown and Carrollsburgh, are, that all the land from Rock Creek, along the river to the Eastern Branch, and so upwards to or above the Ferry, including a breadth of about a mile and a half, the whole containing from three to five thousand acres, is ceded to the public, on condition that, when the whole shall be surveyed and laid off as a city (which Major L'Enfant is now directed to do), the present proprietors shall retain every other lot; and for such part of the land as may be taken for public use, for squares, walks, &c., they shall be allowed at the rate of $25 per acre,—the public having the right to reserve such parts of the wood on the land as may be thought necessary to be preserved for ornament. The landholders to have the use and profits of the grounds until the city is laid off into lots, and sale is made of those lots, which, by this agreement, become public property. Nothing is to be allowed for the ground which may be occupied for streets and alleys.

Washington's attention was arrested, by the advantages which this location presents for a city, when he was a youthful surveyor of the country around, and he encamped with Braddock's forces on the hill now occupied by the Observatory, which was long known as Camp Hill, from this circumstance. His earnest desire, that the seat of government should be located here, is said also to have had great influence in the decision of Congress. Washington directed Major L'Enfant in planning the city; and, finding him somewhat arbitrary and refractory, he appointed Andrew Ellicott in his place.

In laying out the plan of the city, Mr. Ellicott drew a

meridional line, by astronomical observation, through the area intended for the Capitol, and upon this basis laid off two sets of streets, intersecting each other at right angles, and distinguished by letters and numbers. The streets running north and south are numbered, and those running east and west are lettered, taking the Capitol as a starting point. Avenues were then projected, cutting the streets at various angles, and connecting the most prominent and favorable points of the city,—the avenues intersecting each other and forming open spaces at certain points previously determined upon.

These avenues are named after and located to correspond with the position of the different States in the Union, and are from 130 to 160 feet wide; the streets vary from 90 to 110 feet. In the original plan, submitted to Congress in January, 1790, the following improvements were suggested :

1. An equestrian statue of Washington to occupy the present site of the Washington Monument.

2. An historic and itinerary column to be erected at the intersection of Massachusetts, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Tennessee avenues.

3. A naval column.

4. Squares were to be given to the States for each to impæove, and designed for statues, obelisks, etc.

5. A church, for national purposes, to be located where the Patent Office now stands.

6. Five grand fountains, on reservation 17, intersection of F street and Maryland avenue, H street and New York avenue, H street north and Pennsylvania avenue, and

Market space.

7. A grand avenue, four hundred feet in breadth, running from the Capitol to the Washington Monument, and

connecting with the President's park, forming a beautiful drive, bordered with gardens and shade trees. In designing this, Major L'Enfant is presumed to have had in mind the garden between the Chamber of Deputies and the Tuileries, at Paris. It was expected that public buildings or residences for the heads of departments and foreign ministers would be erected on this avenue.

8. The water of Tiber Creek was to be conducted to the Capitol, and from thence through the grounds to the canal. In lieu of this supply, a spring of water was conducted to the Capitol from the eastern part of the city.

The city is four miles and a half in length, from northwest to southeast, and two miles and a half in breadth. When the plan was completed, copies were sent to all parts of the country, and to Europe,—an act having been passed allowing aliens to hold lots,—and extensive investments were made. The first speculations in lots proved ruinous, having been engaged in under the supposition that the squares east and south of the Capitol would be taken up immediately ; whereas, the location of the public buildings near the President's mansion turned improvement in that direction.

The act of Congress authorizing the removal of the seat of government, required the completion of the public buildings before the first Monday in December, 1800. Washington found the greatest difficulty in procuring sufficient means. The fund donated by Maryland and Virginia was exhausted, and Congress, by act of May 6, 1796, authorized the taking of loans for this purpose. Washington made a personal application to Maryland for a loan of $150,000. The Legislature of Maryland, by resolution of December 22, 1796, granted a loan of

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