1860s

Incredible 1863 Photo of Downtown Washington – “Views of War”

Here is a great old photo from 1863 showing Alexander Gardner‘s photo gallery at 7th and D. Click the image for a detailed version. Source: Library of Congress
1864 map of the Washington Aqueduct

Civil War Map of Washington Aqueduct

This is a terrific old map from the Civil War, showing the Washington Aqueduct and Chesapeake & Ohio Canal.   Source: LIbrary of Congress
Department of Treasury - November 11th, 1862

Treasury Department Under Construction in the 1860s

Here’s a great series of images showing the Treasury Building under construction in the 1860s.
Department of Treasury in 1863

Civil War Photo of the Treasury Department

What an incredible photo of the Treasury Department. Source: Library of Congress
View of the Smithsonian Institution Building looking east up B Street (Independence Ave) towards the U.S. Capitol. Grounds are landscaped following a plan laid out by Andrew Jackson Downing, with the Castle nestled among trees. Visible amidst the trees is the Magnetic Observatory, built in 1853. People stand along the fence installed along the sidewalk on B Street In this image, the central roof of the Castle is intact and the small towers have the caps on them. In January of 1865, a fire destroyed the central roof and the caps on the towers, so this photograph had to have been taken prior to January 1865 and is most likely April 1863. The Capitol dome, seen in the distance, is not yet completed

Look at the Smithsonian and Capitol in 1865

What an awesome photo from the Civil War era. You’re looking up what is Independence Ave. today. Source: Smithsonian Archives
Maine Ave. SW 1865

Incredible 1865 Photo of the Capitol

This photograph was taken in April 1865, which would have been right around the time of President Lincoln’s assassination. You can see the unpaved roads of Maine Ave, SW. There are buildings in the foreground with...
The assassination of President Lincoln: at Ford's Theatre, Washington, D.C., April 14th, 1865

Playbill from Ford’s Theatre on the Night of Abraham Lincoln’s Assassination

April 14, 1865 at Ford’s Theater began with a showing of Our American Cousin, and ended with an assassinated President Lincoln. The Library of Congress has the program from that evening. Pretty incredible to think that...

Sketches of Abraham Lincoln’s Assassination

The Library of Congress has a large collection of graphic arts created over the course of two centuries. They depict famous locations and subjects. There are a large number dedicated to capturing the assassination and aftermath...

D.C. Emancipation Act: April 16th, 1862

This week celebrates the 152nd anniversary of the D.C. Emancipation Act, which ended slavery in the District of Columbia and came eight months before President Abraham Lincoln wrote and delivered the Emancipation Proclamation. It ultimately freed...
Early photographic view of Washington, D.C. from Capitol Hill, looking northwest

Amazing 1860s View from Capitol Hill

We can’t remember if we’ve posted this photo in the past, but it’s such a good one, that it doesn’t really matter. Source: Library of Congress
District of Columbia and the seat of war on the Potomac (1861)

District of Columbia and the Seat of War on the Potomac (1861)

This is an old Civil War map of the D.C. area from 1861. Source: Library of Congress
Ulysses S. Grant, full-length portrait, facing left, standing alongside his war horse, "Cincinnati"

Which President Got a Speeding Ticket on a Horse?

Ulysses Grant was arrested for directing by William West, an African-American metropolitan policeman. This is a great historical story.
1864 photo of Arlington House

Great Civil War Photo of Arlington House and Soldiers

Check out this great photo shared by GoDCer Matthew. Thanks for sharing!  
Lincoln's second inauguration

Extremely Rare 1865 Photo of Lincoln’s Second Inauguration

This photo was taken on March 4th, 1865 on the day Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated for a second time. A little over a month later, President Lincoln would be assassinated in Ford’s Theatre by John Wilkes...
Exterior of Old National Hotel II

Lost National Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue

In keeping with the hotel theme this week, we wanted to share a little bit about the National Hotel, formerly situated at 6th and Pennsylvania Ave., across from where the Indian Queen was. The location is...

GoDCer Writes About Relative Who Was Bodyguard to President Lincoln

We woke up this morning to a great email from a GoDCer. It’s a rather interesting story, so we’d like to share it with the community. Since today is Abraham Lincoln‘s birthday, I would like to...
door frame within mill

Visit the Ruins of Seneca Quarry (Yes, Real Ruins!)

If you’ve read GoDCer Garrett Peck’s book, then you’re familiar with Seneca Quarry and the important role it played in the building growth of our area. I knew it was a pretty cool spot to visit, but...

No Ordinary Soldier: Sarah Rosetta Wakeman

Many women at the outbreak of the Civil War did not know how to support their favored side. The roles of woman at the time were limited and none of them were direct involvement in the...
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