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red walls and black, clevated roofs, form a striking contrast to the former, which is not only much larger, but perfectly white, and flat on the top. From the point just mentioned, it has the appearance of a quadrangular; it displays its gorgeous columns at all points, looking down upon the neighboring buildings in silent and stately grandeur. The War Oflice, Navy Office, the Treasury department, the Department of State, the General Post Office, and the City Hall are all enormous edifices. These edifices, the elevated site of the city; its undulating surface, partially covered with very handsome buildings; the majestic Potomac, with its pondcrous bridge, and gliding sails; the eastern branch with its lordly ships; swelling hills which surround the city; the spacious squares and streets, and avenues adorned with rows of flourishing trees, and all this visible at once; it is not in the power of imagination to conceive a scene so replete with every species of beauty.
History.-The following is from Watterton's history of the District of Columbia :-"The District of Columbia was originally inhabited by a tribe of Indians called the Manahoaes, who, according to Smith, were at constant war with the Pohatans, of Virginia. Their history is but imperfectly known. The war, the small pox, and the introduction of spiritous liquors thinned the population rapidly. In 1669 a census was taken, and it was found that in sixty-two, one third of their numbers were wanting. They are said to have migrated westwardly, and to have become blended with the Tuskaroras.* This District was ceded by Virginia and Maryland 1791, and became the permanent seat of the general government in 1800.
At the time of its cession, the principal proprietors on the eastern side of the Potomac, were D. Carrol, N. Young, and D. Burns, who cultivated corn, tobacco,
* Warden, in his description of the District of Columbia, says "L the origin of Washington, like that of several ancient cities, is already wrapped in fable. The story is that a few families in it had lived there in rural solitude, for nearly a century, of which one was established on the borders of the Columbia Creek, from whom it received the name of Tiber, and the place of residence was called Rome. History may hereafter record the belief that this simple farmer, endowed with prophetic powers, foretold the destinies of the Columbian Territory.
and wheat, where the city of Washington now stands." It is hardly necessary to mention what every one has heard, viz. that.the District of Columbia is ten miles square, and includes within its limits, Georgetown and Alexandria, and is under the immediate government of Congress. The city of Washington is situated on the Potomac, on the Maryland side, at the confluence of the eastern branch with this river. The eastern branch was formerly known by the nume of Annacusta ;—it stands in lat. 38° 55' N., and in long. 76° 33' from Greenwich. Washington is distant from
It is three miles in length from north to south, viz. from Greenleaf's point south, to Rock creek north, which separates it from Georgetown. Its breadth is about two miles. The city is laid out into regular squares-all the streets crossing each other at right angles, north and south, cast and west. At present (1824) it may be said to be built out the whole length-the buildings extending up to Rock creek, although it might contain tripple the number of houses. Besides the streets already mentioned, there are several avenues which lead to the different public offices. These avenues are very wide, and run in arbitrary directions.
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The city is distinguished by whimsical names by the citizens, such as the Navy yard, Greenleaf's Point, (or the Fort,) Capitol Hill, Pennsylvania Avenue, F. Street, the the Twenty Buildings, the Ten Buildings, the Seven the Buildings, the Six Buildings, Howardstown, Frogtown with and the Wharf. Besides these, the capitol, the presi by dent's house, and the different bulky public offices. the form each a town within themselves. The greatest number of houses in all those groups, is on the Pennsylvania Avenue, between the capitol and the presi dent's house. The Six Buildings are very near George town, then we have the Seven Buildings, between the Six Buildings and the President's house. Proceeding on
ja the same direction, (south,) we have the President's' house, the War Office, the Navy Office, Treasury Departiment, and Department of State, on the right, while F Street, the Post-Office, the City Hall, the Poor-house, and the Prison, are on the left. Proceeding on in the same direction, viz. down the Pennsylvania Avenue, with the Potomac about a mile on our right, we come to the Capitol. Leaving the Capitol, same direction, we come to the Ten Buildings; further on, the Twenty Buildings, and finally Greenleaf's Point, which is on the point of land formed by the Potomac and the eastern branch. The Navy yard, which is a considerable town, and the Marine Barracks, are on the eastern branch, a mile distant from the point, and the same from the capitol. Capitol Hill lies east of the capitol, and comprises no inconsiderable part of the city: Howardstown is nothing more than a continuation of Capitol Hill, eastwardly in the direction of Bladensburg. Frogtown lies on the Potomac, where the steam-boats stop, below the bridge. Pennsylvania Avenue alone, is denominated "the city," by those living in the other parts just mentioned; when they would visit that part of the city, they say "we are going to the city."".
The Capitol.-I am almost deterred from attempting
East projection and steps,
Height of wings to top of balustrade
Representatives' Hall, greatest length,
Great central rotunda, 96 feet in diameter and 96 feet high.
The basement story
The centre of the building from the east to the west portico is in depth 240
The east front will (for it is not yet finished,) present a colonade of one hundred and sixty feet, consisting of twenty-five Corinthian columns, twenty-five feet in height. The ceiling is vaulted, and the whole edifice is of solid masonry, of hewn free stone, of the Corinthian order. Both the inside and out is painted white, and reflects a lustre dazzling to the eyes. All the steps, stairs and floors are stone, with the exception only of the Senate chamber and Congress hall. No wood is found in any part of the building but the doors, sash, and railing, which last is mahogany. The covering is of copper; the domes are also of copper. The great centre dome in shape resembles an inverted wash-bowl; only magnify a wash-bowl to the size of ninety-six feet in diameter, and you will have correct idea of its figure. What would be the rim of the top, is of solid stone. The rim of the bottom which is a balustrade is of wood; this encircles the sky-lights; the great body of the dome is copper, with steps leading from the bottom to the top, from which you have one of the grandest views in nature. The two wings are likewise ornamented with domes and sky-lights; they are low compared to that of the centre. The sky-lights of these last are finished in a style of inimitable taste and beauty; their snowy graces charm and attract the eye of every behol der.
It is not in the power of language, to express any thing to equal the interior of those domes, for richness
and beauty; flowers and wreaths, in profusion, decorate their inside as white as alabaster. The marble columns, the richness and splendor of the drapery, carpeting and mahogany furniture, which adorn and almost fill Congress Hall and Senate Chamber, are likewise objects of admiration. The seat of the Speaker, I should fall short of the truth, were I to attempt to describe it. I had no idea of its figure or furniture.
The Representative Hall is in the form of a semi-circle; upon the middle of the segment stands the chair of the Speaker, considerably elevated. Over the chair is a canopy of the richest crimson silk, trimmed with fringe equally rich; the canopy is supported by four upright posts, higher than the tallest man's head. From the top of these, the canopy drops to the bottom in copious folds of the same brilliant material. This would completely conceal the Speaker from view, were it not gracefully festooned on each side, and even then, he can only be seen in front. Precisely in front of the chair, stands the Clerk's table, also elevated above the floor of the Hall, but much lower than the chair, so as not to intercept the view between it and the members. At this table sits the Clerk and his assistants, with their backs to the chair, and so near to it, that the Speaker by looking over can read the documents.
On the right and left of the chair sit the members, (a goodly number,) in semi-circular rows, one behind another, extending from the chair to the door of entrance, leaving a straight line open from one to the other. The members are encompassed by the bar of the house; behind the bar is a lobby quite round the hall. The sergeant-at-arms stands outside the bar, and the doorkeepers outside of the door of Congress Hall. In ascending to the gallery you do not enter Congress Hall, but proceed through the lobby fronting the door up a stair case, (no ordinary height,) which lands you at the gallery. The galleries are conveniently adapted to the purpose intended, consisting of different rows of seats, one above another, resembling an amphitheatre. From these seats you look down upon the members,
*The top of the canopy resembles an umbrella spread.