This relief map showing Georgetown and the City of Washington area was published in 1865 by J.H. Colton & Co.
Washington, the seat of government of the United States, is situated along the Potomac River, at the head of tide water and navigation, at the confluence of the Anacostia River. It was founded in 1790 and known as the City of Washington until 1871 when Congress merged the city with the Territory of Columbia, thus forming Washington DC.
Most of the City’s riverfront area was originally wetlands. A Potomac River tributary, Tiber Creek, once flowed through the National Mall. It was secreted underground in the 1870's. The creek formed a portion of the Washington City Canal, which was a water conveyance for travel through the City to the Anacostia River and navigable waters until the 1850's.
President Grant issued the Organic Act of 1871 repealing the individual charters of Georgetown and Washington and creating the District of Columbia. The national seal and motto “Justitia Omnibus” were determined at that time and the Capital City began a major improvement program. The growing city was noted as being behind the times in its civic improvements, in that it still had dirt streets and no sewer system. Municipal improvements were carried out on a large scale to modernize the City at that point.
This beautifully detailed map displays wards, major buildings, block numbers, waterways, and streetcar lines. Included are illustrations of Washington Monument, Smithsonian Institution, and the Capitol.