District of Columbia

Area was ceded to the United States by Maryland and Virginia, in 1790 and became the seat of the national government in 1800.  It was originally ten miles square, lying on both sides of the Potomac, thirty-six square miles having been taken from Virginia, which constituted the city and county of Alexandria, and sixty-four square miles from Maryland, embracing the county of Washington.  By an Act of Congress, in 1846, which was subsequently accepted by the people of Alexandria, that county was retrocede to the state of Virginia, and the District of Columbia was now restricted to the Maryland side of the Potomac, embracing the cities of Washington and Georgetown.  This district was the theatre of disgraceful scenes, in our last war with England, in 1814.  IN August of that year Washington was left in a defenseless condition, when invaded by the British, and was deserted by the President, the heads of the departments, and by most of the citizens.  The enemy entered the city, burned the capitol, including the library of Congress, the mansion of the president, the navy-yard, with its contents, and most of the public offices, except the patent office.  The whole world regarded this act as a violation of the rules of modern warfare.

 The surface of this territory is gently undulating, with some low marshes, but there are several eminences which afford fine seats for the cities within its limits.  The soil, with little exception, is sterile in its natural state, but has of late been rendered productive by superior cultivation,  The climate is similar to that of the contiguous states.

The population: in 1800 was 14,093; in 1810 was 24,023; in 1820 was 33,039; in 1830 was 39,834; in 1840 was was 43,712; and in 1850 was 51,687.

Number of slaves in 1800 was 3,244; in 1810 was 5,395; in 1820 was 6,377; in 1830 was 6,119; in 1840 was 4,694 and in 1850 was 3,687.

The civil government of this district is under the immediate authority of the United States, and the municipal power is exercised by a mayor and corporation.  It has never been represented in Congress.