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length, and has an object-glass with a clear aperture of 26 inches.
The Columbian University, on the corner of H and Fifteenth Streets, is the leading educational institution of the city. It is the outcome of the plan of a great national university so strenuously advocated by Washington, Jefferson, Joel Barlow, Fulton, and other fathers of the Republic; it was incorporated by Act of Congress of February 9, 1821, as Columbian College, but in 1873 was re-incorporated as a university. It has regular collegiate, law, and medical departments, and is in a flourishing condition.
Howard University, located on a commanding site, near the northern boundary, is devoted to the higher education of the colored race. It has a large, well arranged building, extensive grounds, and schools of theology, law, and medicine, as well as collegiate departments, and an average attendance of three hundred students. It was founded in 1867, and named after its first president, General Oliver 0. Howard.
Beyond it, adjoining the National Military Cemetery, is the Soldiers' Home, a beautiful place, with its seven miles of drives and five hundred acres, attractively laid out in lawns, meadows, gardens, and lakes. The Home was founded through the efforts of General Scott as a military asylum, but when, after the civil war, the national homes for indigent soldiers were established, it was transformed into one of these excellent institutions. It was the favorite summer home of Presidents Lincoln and Grant, and is now a favorite resort for citizens of Washington.
If one drives out over the northeastern boundary line of the city a short distance, he comes to Kendall Green, a ct of some one hundred acres, beautifully laid out. In the midst of this park stands another worthy government beneficiary—the Columbia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and National Deaf-Mute College. This institution was founded by Congress in 1857 for the primary instruction of deaf-mutes in the District of Columbia, but in 1864 its scope was greatly enlarged by the establishment of a National Deaf-Mute College, to which students from all parts of the country were be admitted. This institution had its origin in a small school for deaf-mutes established on the green by Amos Kendall, who from 1835 to 1840 was Postmaster-General. He employed as teacher Edward M. Gallaudet, a son of the Dr. Gallaudet of Hartford, so well known for his efforts in behalf of deafmutes, and in 1859 erected a brick building for the use of the school and also set apart ten acres of his estate as a play-ground and gardens. His work attracted public attention, and several scholarships were founded and other aid extended. In 1872, three years after Mr. Kendall's death, Congress was induced to purchase the entire Kendall Green, and has since assumed charge of the schools. No similar institution in the country is said to bear so high a character. Its college is the only one in the world where deaf
mutes may obtain a collegiate education. Many of its graduates have attained distinguished success in the professions. There is a primary department in which pupils are taught sign-language, articulation, and lip-reading. The college curriculum embraces Latin, French, and German, the higher mathematics, the natural sciences, ancient and modern history, etc. The French method-sign language—is generally followed, although the German methods-articulation and lip-reading-are used to some extent. The very efficient President is Dr. Edward Gallaudet, who has had the care of the institution from the beginning.
Another very important government institution is the Hospital for the Insane, which occupies an elevated site on the eastern bank of the Anacostia, about a mile from the city limits. It has grounds of about five hundred acres in extent, attractively laid out. Its hospital buildings, erected in 1855, will accommodate about one thousand patients. It is devoted to the care of the insane of the army and navy and of the District of Columbia.
Of institutions of private origin the most important and interesting is the Corcoran Gallery of Art on Pennsylvania Avenue and Seventeenth Street, opposite the War department. This institution with its noble building, its endowment fund of $900,000, its collection of paintings, statues, and other works of art, is the free gift to the public of a citizen of Washington, the late Mr. William W. Corcoran.
In his deed to the trustees dated May 10, 1869, the generous donor defined the object of the institution to be “the perpetual establishment and encouragement of Painting, Sculpture, and the Fine Arts generally," and appended the condition that it should be open to visitors without charge two days in the week, and on other days at moderate and reasonable charges, to be applied to the current expenses of procuring and keeping in order the building and its contents.” The building is of the Renaissance style; it was designed by Mr. James Renwick of New York, and was completed in 1871.
The institution was chartered by Congress in May, 1870, and the initiatory "private view” was given on the 19th of January, 1874. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are “pay days.” On other days the admission is free. The entrance from the avenue is into a wide vestibule, from which a broad staircase ascends to the picture galleries, which occupy the second story. On either side the stairway are corridors leading to the vestibule of the main hall of sculpture, which communicates with the latter by means of three arched entrances. In the various galleries are some mediocre works, and many of rare interest and value. Most of the leading artists of the world are represented. The Gallery has also a complete collection of portraits of Presidents of the United States and of many other distinguished Americans, many fine bronzes, and large collections of ceramic ware. The cost of the building and ground was $250,000. The endowment fund is $900,000. The gift of Mr. Corcoran in pictures and statuary was estimated at $50,000; so that the total benefaction amounted to $1,200,000.
Mr. Corcoran was born in Georgetown, within the present city limits, on December 27, 1798, and resided during his active and honorable career as a banker in the city of his birth. His benefactions
. were not limited to the Gallery of Art. In 1871 he founded the Louise Home for reduced gentlewomen, bestowing upon it an elegant and spacious building on Massachusetts Avenue near Fifteenth Street, and an endowment of $250,000. His payment of a debt of gratitude,-a debt properly due from the nation,by restoring the dust of John Howard Payne to its kindred dust, is still fresh in the public mind; and many other benefactions might be recorded. Mr. Corcoran died in Washington on February 24, 1888.
The Masonic fraternity has been strong and influential in the city since the day it aided General Washington to lay the corner-stone of the Capitol,