South East Section District of Columbia

Ancestry US

Anacostia – Appears on oldest map of Captain John Smith in 1612. Indian name, “Nacotchtank.” Henry Fleet, captured by Indians, called it Nacostine – “Great Town for Traders.”

Anacostia – Barry Farm, now Hillsdale -Owned by James Barry, who held much property both sides of the Eastern Branch. He was first president of the City Council Chamber. Died in 1807. In 1868 farm purchased by Freedmen’s Bureau for freed slaves.

Anacostia – John Howard Payne, author of “Home Sweet Home” lived here. Also Frederick Douglas (colored) Minister to Haiti.

Eastern Branch – Now called Anacostia River. Quoting Winchester’s “Early Wash-ington:” – “The Eastern Branch is one of the safest and most commodious harbors in America, being sufficiently deep for the largest ships for about four miles above its mouth; while the channel lies close along its side adjoining the city and affords a large and most convenient harbor.”

Eastern Branch, south bank, Bladensburg to Potomac – A line of Indian village sites has been traced here. Also at intersection of N. J. Ave. and Virginia Ave., S. E.

14th St. and Virginia Ave., S. E. – Old Eastern Branch ferry once located here.

Eastern Branch – John Travers’ Hotel built July 1793. Earliest hotel in the city limits Stood here.

Area bounded by N St., south, to L St., north, 3rd St. and Indiana Ave., N. W., to 3rd St., N. E. – “Duddington Manor and Pastures,” noted for its springs of clear water. Duddington Manor house on square E and F Sts., 2 and N. J. Ave., S. E., was erected by Daniel Carroll of Duddington in 1791. The first house Started was found to be in middle of Street according to L’Enfant’s plans. It was torn down by order of Major L’Enfant but compensated for by the Commissioners of city and house rebuilt in accordance with survey.

G St., between 6th and 7th Sts, S. E. – Christ Church, organized in 1795. Congregation first met in tobacco barn, near what is now N. J. Ave and D St. Church building erected in 1809, sometimes called Marine Corps Church. Presidents Madison and Jefferson attended here. Also Alexander Hamil-ton and Lafayette.

18th and E Sts., S. E. – Congressional Cemetery – Includes site of old mansion of William Young, an “original proprietor.” One of the doners of this land to Christ Church in 1812 was Henry Ingle of the Guard of Honor to George Washington’s body as it lay in State at Mt. Vernon. First called Washington Parish Burial Ground. Name changed to Congressional Cemetery when Church gave 400 burial sites to Congress for deceased members. Here lies Tobias Lear, private sec. to Washington; Secty of State John Forsyth; Commodore Tingey; Elbridge Gerry, signer of Declaration of Independence and Gen. Alexander Macomb, Com. in Chief, U. S. Army.

4th St., S. E., bet. So. Carolina Ave. and G Sts. – Site of first church built by Methodists in Washington. Called “Ebenezer Church” (torn down 1857). Congregation worshipped in tobacco barn on N. J. Ave. south of D St., S. E. for 4 years after Christ Church parish vacated the same building.

Penna. Ave. Bridge, foot of Kentucky Ave., S. E. – Piles of old toll bridge seen from this point. Old bridge built in 1795, partially burned in 1814 by Americans to prevent advance of British across Eastern Branch at this point.

Penna. Ave, bet. 8th and 9th Sts., south side, S. E. – Here William Tunnicliffe, an Englishman, opened in 1796, the old Eastern Branch Hotel, or the first Tunnicliffe Tavern. Washington Dancing Assembly, Dec. 1796, held here its first ball in the city of which there is any record. In 1800 home of Capt. W. Easby, a prominent ship-builder. Now used as garage. In 1798 Tunnicliffe opened second hotel on Capitol Hill.

New Jersey Ave., N. W., corner, C St., S. E. – Varnum Hotel, now Hotel Potomac. Thomas Law who married Elizabeth Parke Custis, built in 1796, a row of houses here, residing in the corner one a short time. Here Gen. and Mrs. Washington were frequent guests, and Louis Phillipe, and his two brothers were entertained here in 1797. In 1800, one of these houses was Conrad and McMunn’s Hotel, and here Thomas Jefferson Stopped from Nov. 1800 to March 1801. Albert Gallatin was also a guest. It then became one of the hotels owned by Pontius D. Stelle. Samuel H. Smith once lived in the row. After 1830 these buildings were leased by the Government and connected for Coast Survey work. Then remodeled for a hotel and Styled at first “Law Houses,” then the “New Varnum.”

New Jersey Ave. and C St., S. E. – East side, Thomas Law moved from west side of N. J. Avenue and lived in a house he built here in 1800, entertaining extensively. Here visited Walcott, Sec. of Treasury under Adams, and Gallatin, Sec. of Treasury under Jefferson and Madison. In 1818 home of Dr. Frederick May and in 1857, Joseph Holt, Judge Advocate Gen. in Civil War lived here. Site.

New Jersey Ave., south end, S. E. – Thomas Law sugar refinery, first manufactory in city, stood here.

630 South Carolina Ave., D and E Sts., 6th and 7th Sts., S. E. – Original house known as the “Maples'” built by Capt. Wm. Mayne Duncanson (1796), who early invested heavily in Washington property, losing all and dying in penury. Eastern wing of house added by Sen. J. M. Clayton of Delaware. Western wing also addition. Now home of Mrs. J. Edson Briggs, daughter-in-law of Mrs. Emily Edson Briggs (author), known as “Olivia.”

11th and G Sts., N. W. corner, S. E.- Here lived Capt. Thomas Tingey in 1800, near the Marine Corps Barracks. He set on fire the Navy Yard buildings in defense on Aug. 24, 1814.

8th and M Sts., S. E. – Navy Yard – Built on William Prout’s farm, includes site of his house which Stood near 8th Street entrance. Location of Yard chosen by President John Adams, and established 1804. Many famous vessels of War of 1812 built here. Commandant’s house occupied by John G. Dahlgren, L. M. Goldsborough, Hiram Paulding, Isaac Hull and Thomas Tingey.

New Jersey Ave., N. W. corner D St., S. E. – First office of National Intelligencer, one of the first Washington papers, 1800. Moved in 1801 to south side of Penna. Ave. bet. 6th and 7th Sts., Samuel Harrison Smith was first editor and publisher. Mrs. Smith was author of “What is Gentility?” early Washington society novel.

224 B St., S. E. – Here was located farmhouse of Elias Boudinot Caldwell, first clerk of Supreme Court in 1800. When British burned Capitol in 1814, he saved the Court Records by bringing them to this home.

East Capitol St., bet 1St and 2nd Sts., S. E. – Eastern School, called Eastern Academy, first semi-public school in this section, was here.

South Capitol and 3rd Sts., bet. E and H Sts, S. E. – Garfield Park, built on one of the early reservations of city, known as “Town House Square.”

2nd and D Sts., S. E. – First colored school in District, formerly occupied site of Providence Hospital. Founded in 1807 by three slaves.

New Jersey Ave. and B St., S. E. – Old Stone Yard, which extended to Maryland Ave. Much of the Stone used in Capitol extension was cut here. Gen. Benj. F. Butler built a house near this site.

New Jersey Ave. and B St., S. W. corner, S. E. Marine Hospital Service – Site of home of Daniel Rapine, first elected and second Mayor of Washington. He kept one of first book Stores in city. Mayor 1812-13.

2nd and N Sts, S. E. – Here lived Samuel N. Smallwood, 5th Mayor of Washington, 1819-1822.

B St., two doors from 2nd St., S. E. – Site, now occupied by Library of Congress, of house in which lived and died Ann Royall, editor of the “Huntress.” She was an early advocate of “National righteousness,” but made many enemies.

224 2nd St., S. E. – George Watterston lived here. First Librarian of Congress.

206 Penna. Ave., S. E. – Building in which U. S. Supreme Court met after burning of Capitol in 1814. Now occupied by Inter-national Reform Bureau. Has beautiful wisteria vine.

New Jersey Ave, East side, bet B and C Sts., S. E. – Bank of Washington established here in 1810. First local bank in city. Site now occupied by House office building. Now at seventh and C Sts., N. W.

324-26 Virginia Ave., S. E. – Friendship House – Formerly “324” was home of Thomas Carbery, one of the first Mayors of Washington. Big square wing of house built, it is said, for the purpose of entertaining Lafayette on his visit to city in 1824.

3 B St., S. E. – House built by Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, once occupied by Pres. Arthur, September 17, 1881- January 1, 1882.

131 B St., S. E. – William J. Bryan, while a member of Congress, lived here.

Notes About Book:

Book Source: Historical Directory of the District of Columbia, District Of Columbia, D. A. R.

Notes about Online Publication: This manuscript has been ocr’d and edited. These records have been reproduced as clearly as online publication will allow us, but not all are exactly the way they were in the original work. The structure of this manuscript has been changed to allow better online presentation. No Spelling changes have been made to names.


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