1860-1889 Items (102 total)

Solomon Brown was likely the first African American employee at the Smithsonian Institution. He began work there in 1852 as a maintenance worker, building exhibit cabinets, cleaning, and moving specimens. He advanced to serve as clerk to Secretary…

John Philip Sousa wrote this march in 1883 for the unveiling of the statue of Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, on April 19, 1883. At that event, the piece was played by the Marine Band, directed by Sousa. The sheet music…

This detail of the bird's eye view of the city, "The national capital, Washington, D.C. Sketched from nature by Adolph Sachse, 1883-1884" shows the National Mall before the Army Corps of Engineers began to dredge the Potomac River to fill in the…

In 1863, the Commissioner of Public Buildings offered the Department of Agriculture the land between 12th and 14th streets and North and South B Streets (today's Constitution and Independence Avenues) for use as an experimental garden for…

Some baseball clubs in the 1860s exchanged ribbons printed with their team names just before a game. Some players collected the ribbons on their uniforms, displaying all the teams they had faced. These ribbons are from the Washington Nationals and…

This photograph was taken from the roof of the Smithsonian Castle around 1886. The small building on the left between the Smithsonian and the Washington Monument is the old Department of Agriculture Building, with its formal garden to the right…

The Philadelphia Athletics Baseball Club played the Washington Nationals Baseball Club on the Ellipse, just south of the White House, in a special game on August 28, 1865. Thousands of locals, including President Andrew Johnson and his family, paid…

In August 1865 the Washington Nationals Baseball Club invited the Philadelphia Athletics and the Brooklyn Atlantics to come and play in what was billed as a tournament. The Nationals constructed stands for spectators on their home turf just south of…

Walt Whitman regularly visited wounded soldiers recovering in hospitals during the Civil War in the Washington area. While consoling patients, Whitman also wrote down many observations during his hospital visits. This article publishes excerpts from…

Union soldiers monopolized the spaces of the National Mall during the Civil War. At the outset of the war the US Capitol was a work-in-progress. Despite the war Congress pushed for its completion as a symbol that the ideal of a United States would…
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