This is a great print from 1848, showing the view looking south and west from the White House.
Source: Library of Congress
Update: Oops, the comment below is correct. This is east, not west. I should have said south and left.
Tom founded Ghosts of DC on January 4th, 2012 as a blog to uncover the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C. He has lived in the city for over a decade and loves exploring every corner of the District. He lives in Columbia Heights with Mrs. Ghost and Ghost Dog. On September 3rd, 2013, the second site launched as Ghosts of Baltimore.