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for four long years, are seeking their desolated homes. For the former, the glory of conquest; for the latter, the bitterness of defeat,-a bitterness which fortunately alike for the nation and for themselves is not enduring.
SINCE the war three events have for the time being fixed the attention of the whole country upon the Capitol—the impeachment trial of President Johnson in March, 1868, the assassination of President Garfield in July, 1881, and the inauguration of President Cleveland in March, 1885. For a description of the impeachment trial the reader is referred to the chapter on the Capitol in Part II.
No event in their history, save perhaps the assassination of President Lincoln, so shocked the American people as the shooting, by a wretched lunatic, of James A. Garfield, the twentieth President of the United States. Garfield had risen from the ranks of the people; he had done good service in the army, rising to the rank of major-general, and as representative in Congress had given evidence of possessing rare powers of oratory and statesmanship. He was but forty-nine years of age-apparently still on the threshold of a great public career,--and had been but four months in possession of his high office. On the morning of Saturday, July 2, 1881, he left the White House to attend the commencement exercises of Williams College, his Alma Mater. Accompanied by James G. Blaine, his Secretary of State, he entered the depot of the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad to take his train, when suddenly several shots were heard behind the group, and Garfield fell to the ground helpless. He was removed to the White House. Mrs. Garfield, who was absent at Long Branch, was summoned, and hastened to the bedside of her stricken husband. The weary weeks of pain that followed, the removal to Elberon in the hope of benefit from the sea air, the death of the illustrious sufferer there on September 19, 1881, are events within the men
ry of the youngest reader. The body was taken in state to Washington and placed in the rotunda of the Capitol, on the spot where, sixteen years before, the casket of President Lincoln had rested. For two days citizens of all conditions and nationalities filed past and reverently looked on the face of the dead. Then after impressive funeral ceremonies the remains, escorted by the military with arms reversed and bands playing funeral marches, were removed to the station where the murder was committed, and conveyed to Cleveland, Ohio, and were there laid to rest in beautiful Forest Grove Cemetery of that city. Guiteau, the cowardly murderer, being subsequently tried, convicted, and sentenced, met on the gallows the fate that his crime richly deserved.
The inauguration of Grover Cleveland on March 4, 1885, as twenty-second President of the United States, was a noteworthy event in the history of the city. Like the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln, it denoted a change in the reign of parties. At the Presidential election of 1884 the Republican party had been defeated, and the Democratic party had won. Hundreds of thousands of people poured into Washington to witness the affair. No such military display had been seen in the capital since the grand reviews of 1865; and the procession along Pennsylvania Avenue was the largest that had ever escorted an incoming President to the Capitol. The inauguration ceremonies in the Senate chamber, and in the central portico of the east front, were such as have been before described. A fine display of fireworks from the White House grounds in the evening, and a brilliant inauguration ball at the new Pension building, concluded the festivities of the day.
These important events, however, were not nearly so far reaching in their effect upon the city as the era of municipal improvement which began in the spring of 1871, during the Presidency of General Grant. Modern visitors to Washington can have no conception of the dirty, straggling, unkempt, provincial-like appearance of the city in 1861, when the defenders of the Union began pouring in for its protection. The citizens, dependent upon Congress, had very little public spirit or civic pride. Most of the real estate was held by old and conservative owners, who deprecated public improvements because of the excessive taxation they would involve. Congress itself did nothing for the city except when spurred by the force of public opinion, and then its appropriations were only aimed to meet the present emergency. In 1860 the entire water supply came from pumps and springs. Not a street was lighted except Pennsylvania Avenue. There was no Fire Department worthy of the name, and the police force was a mere constabulary. There was not a street car in the city, nor a street that was paved for any consecutive distance. Southeastern Washington was cut off from the remaining portion by a wide shallow canal—the ancient Tiber,—which extended from the Potomac nearly to Capitol Hill, and was a receptacle for the city's filth and refuse. There was not a sewer in the city; the parks and commons were given up to weeds. A mass of earthen bluffs, pierced by two streets, and scarcely accessible for mire and refuse, lined the river bank. The White House was surrounded by stables, wooden fences, and patches of bare earth. The present Departments were not half finished. The Capitol was without a dome, and the wings still unfinished were filled with workmen. An omnibus line was the only means of communication with Georgetown, and only an alleged ferry to Alexandria existed. Scarcely a common school worthy of the name was in operation. There was a refined and cultivated social element in the city, but its influence was not exerted in the direction of civic improvement and good government.
Something was done during the civil war to remedy these evils. The dome was raised on the Capitol, and the Treasury, Post-Office, and Patent Office nearly completed. The first street-car line was opened in 1862. The Long Bridge, which had been built in 1835, was rebuilt, and the railroad bridge beside it constructed. After the war came the era of adjustment, and as Washington had been