1830-1859 Items (59 total)

This landscape painting of Washington, DC, looks out from the area that is Union Station today onto the early US Capitol building. George Washington built two row houses to the right of the Capitol. Although this is a highly romanticized view of the…

In 1848, 77 enslaved African Americans, including the Edmonson sisters, attempted to escape their bondage in Washington, DC, by fleeing north to freedom via the ship the Pearl. Unfortunately, unfavorable winds slowed their escape, the ship was…

This original, lavish design of the Washington Monument was created by Robert Mills, who won a national design competition in 1836 sponsored by the Washington National Monument Society. The Society relied on public funds for construction. Shortly…

Mary and Emily Edmonson were among the 77 enslaved African Americans who boarded the schooner, Pearl, in 1848 intending to sail down the Potomac, then north to freedom. Captured when the Pearl becalmed, the Edmonson sisters were jailed. They awaited…

Slave trading establishments in Washington, DC are superimposed on this 1855 Atlas of Washington, DC to show the locations of a few of the many slave trading establishments in the city. Businesses flourished on the Mall's borders including slave…

Henry Latrobe, an architect of the US Capitol, was also the chief engineer of the Washington City Canal. He prepared drawings of the canal locks in 1810, before construction began. The Canal was about one mile long and passed in front of the Capitol.…

The lockkeeper's house at 17th Street and Constitution Avenue is a reminder that canals once flowed through Washington, DC. Between 1835 and 1855, a lockkeeper served the lock that connected the Washington branch of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal to…

This map shows a plan for the National Mall which featured gardens, parks, winding paths, and the existing canal. Before the McMillan Commission's proposed redesign of the Mall in 1902, the space was much more pastoral in look and feel.

This bird's-eye view of Washington, DC faces west with the US Capitol in the foreground. Canals and other waterways intersecting the National Mall are visible to the left of tree-lined Pennsylvania Avenue, then the capital's ceremonial thoroughfare,…

Solomon Northrup, a free African American from New York, arrived in Washington in 1841 in the company of two white men who had promised him a job as a fiddler. After a day touring the Capitol and White House Grounds, the men drugged him and handed…
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