An Interactive Map of Washington DC… In 1851

Our nation’s capital has an interesting past. When America won its independence from Britain, the city didn’t even exist. In fact the nation’s capital changed 13 different times between 1776 and 1800 moving between 9 separate cities. Why then did the country decide to create a brand new national capital on the Potomac River in 1800? Politics. In exchange for the federal government assuming the massive war debts racked up by the northern states in the Revolutionary War, they agreed to move the national capital south to a small piece of land between Maryland and Virginia.

Since officially becoming the official seat of America’s federal government it has gone through many trials and tribulations. The entire city was torched to the ground by British soldiers in the War of 1812 and the city was under martial law and constantly threatened during the Civil War. But through it all it rose up to become an awe-inspiring city with the majestic monuments and museums of the National Mall bringing in millions of people every year.

But what if I told you that when Abraham Lincoln was president the location where his memorial would eventually be built was underwater? That is one of the many cool things that you can find out with this interactive map of Washington DC. This map combines a satellite image of the city today with a map of the capital from 1851. It reveals some really cool things that I never knew about the city before. The Potomac River was much wider than it is today and about half of today’s National Mall used to be submerged. The place where RFK Stadium now stands was also similarly underwater. The street grid that the city followed then is almost completely unchanged from 1851. But perhaps my favorite thing that I found out from this map was that it called what we call the White House the “President’s House” which when you think about it seems like a much more sensible name for that building. It is definitely a cool little tool worth checking out.

national mall 1851

The Washington Monument used to be the end of the mall.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available throughout Washington D.C. and Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 for more information.

0 Responses to “An Interactive Map of Washington DC… In 1851”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s





%d bloggers like this: