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History of District of Columbia
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Thomas Circle, Washington DC ca 1940
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Local History Notes:
Suffrage in the District of Columbia
The right to vote in the District of Columbia for President of the
United States and other national officers, which was extant at the
time the territory embraced in the District was ceded to Congress, was
exercised by the qualified voters in the District in the Presidential
election of November, 1800. It remained in force until the first
Monday in December, 1800, when, as announced in the opinion of Justice
Cranch, the exclusive jurisdiction of Congress over the District took effect.
All free men above 21 years of age having a freehold of 50 acres of land in the county in which they offer to vote, and residing therein, and all free men having property in this State above the value of 30 current money, and having resided in the county in which they offer to vote one whole year next preceding the election, shall have a right of suffrage, etc. (Constitution of Maryland.)When the District ceased to be a part of Maryland, its residents, no longer being residents of any county of Maryland, consequently lost the right to vote in the elections of that State.
The qualification of voters in the portion of the District derived from Virginia at the time of the cession was the possession of a certain amount of real property in the county in which the vote was cast. (Vol. 8, p. 306, Hening's Statutes at Large of Virginia.) When that part of the District ceased to be under the jurisdiction of any county of Virginia, that right of suffrage in the District accordingly expired.
Although the citizens of the District of Columbia ceased to vote for national officers after the first Monday in December, 1800, they were subsequently vested with the right of suffrage in municipal matters, in the cities of Washington and Georgetown, and the form of municipal government created by the act of Congress of February 21, 1871, but that right has not existed in the District since June 20, 1874, when the latter form of government was abolished.
From: Origin and government of the District of Columbia by William Tindall, 1903
The 1854 Gazetteer of the United States by Thomas Baldwin shows:
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, a small tract of territory set apart as the site of the capital of the United States, was ceded to the general Government by the State of Maryland, by which it is bounded on all sides except the S. W., which is washed by the Potomac river. The capitol in Washington is in lat. 38° 53´ N., lon. 77° and 2´ W. from Greenwich. American geographers, however, often compute longitude from this place. Originally, the District of Columbia was 10 miles square, or 100 square miles; but, by the retrocession of Alexandria county to Virginia in 1846, it was reduced to 60 square miles, or 38,400 acres, 16,267 of which are improved.
A Biography of Thomas Scott Fillebrown
Thomas Scott Fillebrown, naval officer, was born in the District of Columbia, Aug. 13, 1834. He entered the U.S. navy as midshipman, Oct. 19, 1841, and served through the war with Mexico. He was promoted passed midshipman, Aug. 10, 1847; lieutenant, Sept. 15, 1855; and lieutenant-commander, July 16, 1862. He was in active service during the civil war, commanding the steamboat Chenango in 1863; the ironclad Passaic in the assault on Fort Sumter in May, 1864; the iron-clad Montauk, operating against Battery Pringle, S.C., in July, 1864; and the steamer Sonoma of the South Atlantic blockading squadron, 1864-65. He was promoted commander, July 25, 1866; captain, Jan. 6, 1874; commodore, May 7, 1883, and was on special duty in the navy department at Washington, D.C., 1866-83. He died in New York city, Sept. 26, 1884.
Francis Munroe Ramsay - A Biography
Francis Munroe Ramsay, naval officer, was born in the District of Columbia, April 5. 1835; son of Gen. George Douglas and Frances Whet-croft (Munroe) Ramsay. He entered the navy as a midshipman, Oct. 5, 1850, served on board the Preble, 1851, and the St. Lawrence, Pacific station, 1851?55; was graduated from the U.S. Naval academy, June 20, 1856; served on the Falmouth, Brazil squadron, 1857, and the Merrimac, Pacific squadron, 1857?60. He was promoted acting master, June 24, 1857; master, Jan. 22, 1858; lieutenant. Jan. 23, 1858; lieutenant-commander, July 16, 1862. He served on the Saratoga, 1860?62; commanded the ironclad Choctaw of the Mississippi squadron, 1863?64; and took part in the engagements on the Yazoo river in 1863, including Haines's Bluff, April 30?May 1; Liverpool's Landing in May, and Milliken's Bend, June 7. He was in charge of a battery at Vicksburg, June 19?July 4, 1863; commanded the 3d division of the Mississippi fleet, 1863?64; served at Trinity and Harrisonburg, La., March, 1864; took part in expeditions up the Black, Ouachita, Red and Atchafalaya rivers in the spring of 1864; was engaged at Simmsport, La., June 8, 1864; commanded the gunboat Unadilla of the North Atlantic squadron, 1864?65; was present at the storming of Fort Fisher, and of several Cape Fear river forts, including Fort Anderson, and was in the James river flotilla in the capture of Richmond, Va., in 1865. He had charge of the department of gunnery at the Naval academy, 1865?66; was promoted commander, July 25, 1866, and served on navigation duty at the navy yard, Washington, D.C., 1866?67; as fleet-captain and chief of staffer the South Atlantic squadron on the flag-ship Guerri?re, 1867?69, and as commander of the Guerri?re, June and July, 1869. He was married, June 9, 1869, to Anna, daughter of Patrick and Mary (Powers) McMahon of Ireland. He served on ordnance duty at the navy yard, Washington, D.C., 1869?72; in the bureau of ordnance in 1872, and as naval attach? in Europe, 1872?73. He commanded the Ossipee on the North Atlantic station, 1873?74; was at the Philadelphia naval asylum, 1875?76, inspector of ordnance in New York, 1876?78; promoted captain, Dec. 1, 1877; commanded the torpedo station, Newport, R.I., 1878?81; the Trenton, European station, 1881; was superintendent, Naval academy, 1881?86; a member of the board of examiners, 1886?87, and commanded the Boston on special service, 1887?89. He commanded the New York navy yard and stations, 1889; was promoted commodore, March 26, 1889; chief of the bureau of navigations, 1889?97; was promoted rear-admiral, April 11, 1894, and having reached the age of sixty-two was placed on the retired list, April 5, 1897, making his home in Washington, D.C., where in March, 1903, He was still residing.
Aaron Ward Weaver - A Biography
Aaron Ward Weaver, naval officer, was born in the District of Columbia. July 1, 1832; son of Lieut. William Augustus (1797-1846) and Jane (Van Wyck) Weaver; grandson of William and Rachel Van Wyck of Columbia county, N.Y. The Van Wycks came from Holland to Dutchess county early in the eighteenth century. His father was midshipman on the frigate Chesapeake when she was captured by the Shannon, June 1, 1813; was discharged from the naval service, Nov. 27, 1824, and was employed in the state department, Washington, D.C. Aaron Ward Weaver was appointed midshipman in the U.S. navy, May 10, 1848; served on the St. Louis and on the Congress, Coast of Brazil, 1848-50; was graduated from the U.S. Naval academy in 1854; promoted passed midshipman, June 15. 1854; commissioned master, Sept. 15. 1855; lieutenant, Sept. 16. 1855, and served on the steamer Fulton, West Indies; steamer Walker, Mississippi Sounds; steamer Arctic, Newfoundland, surveying for the first Atlantic cable: sloop Mario, off the west coast of Africa, 1858-59, and Susquehanna, on the Mediterranean, 1859-61. In 1861 he was assigned on blockade duty on board the Susquehanna the first war vessel to arrive home after the attack on Fort Sumter; took part in the bombardment of Forts Hatteras and Clark; in the battle of Port Royal and the capture of Forts Beaureguard and Walker. He took part in the engagement with the batteries on Sewells Point, Va.; was commissioned lieutenant-commander, July 16, 1865, and commanded the steam gun-boat Winona in the Western Gulf blockading squadron. He took part in the engagements below Port Hudson before and after its surrender: commanded the gunboat Chippewa in the North Atlantic blockading squadron, and took part in the first attack on Fort Fisher. He commanded the monitor Mahopac in the final attack on Fort Fisher, in January; 1865, and in the fall of Richmond. He was married, February, 1864, to Ida, daughter of Alpheus and Harriet Hyatt of Baltimore, Md. He was stationed at the Boston navy yard after the war: was promoted commander, July 25, 1866, and was senior officer of the double-turreted monitor Terror in Havana harbor, 1870-71, during the excitement following the execution of the Spanish students. When war was threatened with Spain, owing to the Virginius affair in 1873, he was in command of the iron-clad Dictator. He was commissioned captain, Aug. 8, 1876; was equipment officer at Norfolk navy yard, 1879-80, and captain of the navy yard, 1880-81. He commanded the steam sloop Brooklyn on the South Atlantic station, 1881-84; was a member of the naval and retiring board, 1885-86, and president of the board, and commandant of the Norfolk naval station, 1890-93. He was promoted commodore, Oct. 7, 1886, and rear-admiral, June 27, 1893, and was retired on his own request, after forty years of service, Sept. 26, 1893.
A Biography of Alexander Hugh McCormick
Alexander Hugh McCormick, naval officer, was born in the District of Columbia, May 9, 1842; son of Alexander and Eliza (Van Horn) McCormick; grandson of Alexander and ??? (Quirk) McCormick and of William and Alethea (Beall) Van Horn. He was appointed to the U.S. Naval academy from Texas in 1859, and was ordered into active service in April, 1861. He was attached to the Quaker City and served in the Chesapeake bay blockade, June to September, 1861; on the receiving-ship North Carolina, October to December, 1861, and on the steamer Norwich of the South Atlantic blockading squadron from January, 1862, to April, 1863. He was appointed a volunteer acting master in April, 1862; participated in the bombardment of Fort Pulaski and of the fort in Winyaw Bay, S.C., in 1862, and was promoted ensign, Dec. 22, 1862. He took part in the second occupation of Jacksonville. Fla., in 1863; served on the Housatonic off Charleston, S.C., April to July, 1863; on the Wabash, July to September, 1863, and was promoted lieutenant, Feb. 22, 1864. He served on the steam sloop Iroquois on special service from March, 1864, to October, 1865; on the Chattanooga, February to August, 1866, and was promoted lieutenant-commander, July 25, 1866. He was instructor in mathematics at the U.S. Naval academy, 1866-69; attached to the Macedonian, June to September, 1867; to the flagship Lancaster on the east coast of South America, 1869-72, and to the Portsmouth, July to September, 1872. He was an instructor in astronomy and navigation at the U.S. Naval academy, 1872-75; cruised on the steamer Fortune, July to September, 1773, and was attached to the Pensacola, flagship of the Pacific station, 1875-76. He was promoted commander, Sept. 30, 1876; served on duty in the bureau of ordnance at Washington, D.C., 1877-81; commanded the Essex in a cruise around the world, 1881-85; was inspector of ordnance at the navy yard, Washington, D.C., 1885-88, and on duty in the bureau of ordnance at Washington, 1888-89. He was inspector of ordnance at the navy yard, Brooklyn, N.Y., 1889-92; was promoted captain, April 3, 1892; commanded the Lancaster on the Asiatic station, 1892-94; was captain of the Norfolk navy yard, 1894-97; commanded the battle-ship Oregon in the winter of 1898, and commanded the navy yard at Washington, D.C., from Oct. 17, 1863, to March 26, 1900. He was promoted rear-admiral Sept. 9, 1899, and was retired after forty years' service, March 26, 1900.
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