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Washington is connected with the North and West by railroad and canal, and the beautiful Potomac bears the traveler to Alexandria.or Acquia creek, where another railroad connection conveys him southward. Between Washington and Alexandria there is an hourly communication by omnibus, and a railroad commencing on the Virginia side of the Long bridge, which spans the Potomac. Besides these principal channels of locomotion, there are the usual stage-coach accommodations for reaching the surrounding country, while two lines of omnibuses convey passengers from Georgetown to the Capitol, or from any part of Seventh street to the Navy Yard. A city railroad is so greatly needed, that the strife for the pecuniary profits to accrue from it cannot much longer prevent its construction.
The city of Georgetown is situated on the Potomac, three miles west of the Capitol, and only separated from the city of Washington by Rock Creek, which is spanned by a beautiful iron bridge, constructed on a novel plan. The city is located upon high ground, and commands a beautiful prospect of the Capital and the valley of the Potomac. It was laid out by an act of the colonial government of Maryland, passed June 8th, 1751, and was incorporated by act of the general assembly of Maryland, passed December 25, 1789. It is a port of entry, and carries on a considerable foreign and coasting trade; and is, also, the greatest shad and herring market in the United States, large quantities of these fish being caught in the Potomac and brought here for barreling. The flouring business is extensively carried on, and keeps about fifty mills in constant operation. Manufacturing has also been introduced, and has lately become an important branch of industry. The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal is carried over the Potomac at this place, upon an aqueduct 1,446 feet long and 36 feet high, costing, in its construction, two million dollars. There are eight churches in the city, two banks, a college, a nunnery, and several hotels. A line of two steamers has lately been established between this port and New York, for carrying freight and passengers. There is one newspaper in the place, the Georgetown Advocate, published tri-weekly and weekly. The population is about eight thousand. A line of stages runs every three minutes between this city and the Capitol, making it convenient for persons doing business in Washington, and members of Congress, to reside here and enjoy the salubrious air and quiet retirement of the place.
This institution of learning was established in 1791, by the Roman Catholics, under the auspices, and at the suggestion, of the Rev. John Carroll.
The buildings were commenced in 1788, and completed in 1795, but the terms opened before the buildings were finished, in 1791. Professors were selected from the Jesuits who sought an asylum in this country from European persecution. The system of education adopted is one long tried and fully approved, being the ratio dicendi et discendi of Père Jouvency, and keeps pace with the spirit of development and genius of our age and country,-embracing all literature and modern inventions, and cherishing the principles of liberty and republicanism. The morality of the college is preserved with the most vigilant solicitude ; the nature of the system precluding almost the possibility of the pupils contracting any vicious habits. The seclusion of the site, vigilance of the prefects, and attendance of the professors in their walks within the college grounds, keep the students under a decorous restraint.
The local advantages yield to none in any country ; elevated and sequestered, though within the limits of the town, it lifts its turrets high above the forest that surrounds 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, 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.
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