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Map of the Week Vol. 7 – View of the City of Washington in 1792

by Prince Of Petworth March 19, 2013 at 11:00 am 18 Comments

Click to enlarge. Source: Library of Congress

Map of the Week is written by David A., a systems librarian and map geek living in Mt. Pleasant.

This week’s map, published in the 1860s, depicts the area’s pre-district plantations as they might have existed in 1792. A few parcels of land bore names that carry on today: Mount Pleasant, Isherwood (Road in NE DC), but most of the place names shown here were lost to time. Most curious are the little towns of Hamburgh and Carrollsburg along the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers, respectively. Carrollsburg occupied the land around present-day Nationals Park. Hamburgh looks like it was located in present-day Foggy Bottom (the water’s edge was much further north at that time). Since the origins of this map are unknown, and it was hand-drawn many years after the time it depicts, we might not accept it as an authority on the geography of the future capital in 1792.

My favorite parcel of land is “Mexico” just west of Hamburgh where the Kennedy Center stands today. Widow’s Mite, which appears to include today’s Dupont Circle, is a close second. “


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