Robert E. Lee, in 1802. After General Lee left to join the Confederate Army, the estate was used by the Federal Government for a camp, hospital ground, and later as a National Cemetery. In one grave are 2,111 unknown soldiers who fell in the great civil conflict.
The Fort Myer Reservation, adjoining Arlington Cemetery, contains much of interest.
The Soldiers' Home, a beautiful stretch of rolling country, comprising 512 acres, consists of five dormitories with every modern convenience, a hospital, chapel, library, and various other buildings. Soldiers who have been honorably discharged after twenty years' service, or have become disabled, are eligible to the Home.
The immense granite State, War and Navy building covers four and one-half acres and contains 500 rooms with two miles of marble corridors. It was completed in 1893 at a cost of $11,000,000. A beautiful new building on New York Avenue for the Navy and several others for the War Department are also occupied.
The Department of State guards the original Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States in its fire-proof vaults. The sword of Washington, a staff belonging to Franklin, the original Great Seal of the United States, and many other relics are on exhibit.
The War Department contains models of the Army uniforms at various periods of the service.
At the several entrances to the Navy Department are numerous cannon and mortars captured in our several wars. The corridors contain many models of battleships and cruisers. At the Navy Yard on the Eastern Branch, a tributary of the Potomac river, is located the Barracks, the home of the famous United States Marine Band.
The origin of the Smithsonian Institution was as strange as it has been beneficial. The donor, an Englishman with the assumed name of Smithson, bequeathed his fortune of over $500,000 “for the establishment of an institution in Washington for the diffusion of knowledge among men.” Congress granted fifty acres in 1846 on which the buildings were to be erected. Under the skillful direction of its first secretary, Joseph Henry, the institution was established on a very wise and solid basis. The new and old National Museums and the Zoölogical Park come under its jurisdiction.
The Zoölogical Park, located in Rock Creek Valley, comprises 167 acres of picturesque country. It contains about 1,400 animals from all parts of the world. It is open until 6 p. m. every day.
The new National Museum, located on the Smithsonian grounds, is one of the leading attractions of the Capital. Its many million specimens of curios, relics, minerals, mounted animals and birds would take years to study carefully.
The greatest business organization of the United States is the Post Office Department. Now more business is transacted each day than was handled in a year a century ago. Since this building was completed in 1899 until 1914, when removed to its new location, the Washington City Post Office occupied the first floor. The advent of the Parcel Post now taxes this immense nine story building to its capacity. The Dead Letter Office at the National Museum offers much of interest.
There were in 1919 14 National banks, with a capital of $7,427,000; an outstanding circulation of $5,715,000; a surplus of $5,368,000; and United States bonds valued at $20,415,000. The total exchanges at the clearing house for the year ending Sept. 30, 1919, amounted to $791,804,000, an increase of $120,858,000 over the preceding year. The assessed property value of real estate in 1919 was $414,610,691, and of personal property $37,092,897. The tax rate was $15 per thousand. The net public debt of the city was $3,823,869. There were enrolled in the public schols 60,284 pupils, with 1,831 teachers. The annual cost of maintaining public schools is about $3,000,000 annually. There were in 1919 638 miles of street, of which 515 are paved. The total miles of sewer were 730. There were in 1914 268 manufacturing establishments owned by individuals and 153 by corporations. The total value of the manufactured product was about $30,000,000.
History.—In 1663, Francis Pope, an Englishman, purchased the original site of Washington from the Indians, and named it Rome. The hill on which the Capitol now stands he called Capitoline Hill, and the Anacostia or East Branch river the Tiber. In 1789-1790, several States made efforts to secure the seat of government. A tract of land, 10 miles square was offered by Maryland and Virginia, and was accepted as a compromise in 1790, with the understanding that Philadelphia should be made the capital till 1800, when it was expected the new city would be ready for occupation. The site was first named the Territory of Columbia, but was afterward changed to the Federal District of Co-