- Sun, Jun 25, 2006
Gazette & Courier - Monday, February 15, 1875
Washington City during the Rebellion
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington,_D.C. Washington City during the Rebellion - Not one street was paved for any great consecutive distance; there was not a street car in the city, the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Capitol Capitol was without a dome, and the new wings were filled with workmen. No Fire Department worthy of the name was to be seen, and a mere constabulary comprised the police, which had to call on the http://www.dcmilitar...hall/hh_history.html United States Marines , as in 1857,when the latter fired upon a mob, and killed and wounded a large no. of people. The water supply was wholly afforded by pumps and springs. Gas had been in partial use for several years, but little else was lighted except Pennsylvania Avenue and the public buildings. Not one of the departments was half finished. The President's house was beleaguered with stables, wooden fences, and patches of bare earth. Nearly one half of the city was cut off from the rest by a ditch, and called the Island, while an intervening strip of mall and park was patrolled by outlaws and outcasts, with only a bridge here and there for outlet. The river side was a mass of earthen bluffs pierced by two streets, and scarcely obtainable for mire and obstructions. Georgetown communicated with the capital by an omnibus line, and there was no ferry to Alexandria to be remembered as such, except in the sensitive traditions of the oldest residents. There was a show of hotel accommodation, on which we need not linger in memory of a http://history.furma...ocs/papgsu56611a.htm Congressman shooting a white waiter dead in the dining room at Willard's, of a President welcomed to his inauguration with the http://en.wikipedia....tional_Hotel_disease National Hotel disease . Slavery seemed to take delight in pressing its exposures upon the notice of Northern men and foreigners. There was a http://query.nytimes...3BA2575BC0A9629C8B63 slave pen under the eaves of the Smithsonian Institution. Manacled men were marched down the avenue handcuffed together. To take a Northern paper was a stigma; and for an abolitionist to lecture would have been to revive the riots around the http://www.washingto...izon/aug98/pearl.htm National Era office. There were good and bad elements in the place, but society had its depths and heights. To bear arms was common and they were used on quick occasion. In short, the city was relatively in embryo as much as when Moore, Weld, Janson and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basil_Hall Basil Hall described it early in the century. A comparative description of the cities of Washington and Richmond during the Civil War would epitomize the relative vigor, constructiveness and confidence of the embattled sections. Nothing was built in Richmond which commemorates the Confederate government at this day except earth works and the State Capitol, designed by Jefferson, which was finished the year the National Capitol was commenced, fell in only a few years after the close of the war, burying court, legislature and spectators in a charnel of smoke and wailing. But the civic portion of the national capital never grew with the rapidity which it showed when menaced by the public enemy. At an expense of $1,5000,000, 68 ports in a circuit of 37 miles were thrown up, connected by 32 miles of good roadway, all of which is still available to the tourist and the teamster. The long bridge, which had been opened in 1835, was rebuilt, the railroad bridge beside it constructed; the railroad from New York doubled in truck, the aqueduct, which has cost about $3,000,000 was steadily carried on within fire of the enemy; the dome was raised on the capital, and saluted by the guns of all the forts as the statue of Freedom took its place on the summit; the Treasury was all completed except one wing, and has cost almost $6,000,000; the Post Office was almost all built during the war, and the Patent Office, which cost $2,200,000 was completed in 1867. The first street railroad was opened in 1862. The fortune of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was made by the war, and its $13,000,000 of debt had become a vast surplus by the time it distributed the Federal armies to their homes. Common schools followed emancipation. Every facility of modern comfort had been either supplied or suggested, and the private property which had been deserted in hundreds of cases by the owners, and offered for sale at little more than the expense of [?] in 1861, more than recovered its value a year before the surrender of Lee (Collier's Magazine).
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