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after provided for to be deemed and taken as officers of such corporation. These commissioners were to be three in number: two to be appointed from among the citizens of the District by the President and confirmed by the Senate ; the third to be an officer of the Corps of Engineers of the United States Army, whose lineal rank should be above that of captain, and to be detailed by the President. These three commissioners virtually constitute the District and city government, performing both legislative and executive functions. Their duties, as defined by the act, are: to apply revenues; to take charge of District records and moneys; to annually investigate and report upon charitable institutions; to make police, building, and coal regulations; to report number of inspectors and overseers; to locate and change hack stands; to abolish and consolidate offices; appoint to, and remove from office; prescribe time for payment of taxes, etc., and settlement and adjustment of accounts; sign all contracts; approve bonds of contractors; and to perform the duties of the Board of Police, Board of Health, and of school trustees; to cause water, gas, and sewer services to be adjusted before street improvements are made; to exact just and reasonable rates for gas; to report drafts of additional necessary laws; and to annually report an account of their proceedings to Congress.
One of their number is, by virtue of his office, trustee of the Columbia Hospital and of the Reform School. All revenues collected by them are turned into the Treasury of the United States; and their accounts, after being approved by their own auditor, are passed upon by the auditor of the United States Treasury. The fire, police, school, street-cleaning, building, and sanitary regulations, departments of the ordinary municipality, are merged in this one responsible head. As a consequence, the citizen of Washington enjoys cleaner, better regulated streets, greater immunity from crime, better schools (so far as the power of the commissioners extends), more and better kept parks and public gardens, than the citizen of any city of equal size in the country. His taxes are comparatively low—one and one half per cent. ; he escapes the extortions of gas companies; he buys wholesome provisions in five large, clean, airy markets; he can ride from one end of the city to the other on different lines by the payment of a four cent fare ; and he is certain that the taxes he pays are devoted to the public good. Then he is not subjected to the worry and turmoil of annual elections. That pleasant land heretofore deemed in Utopia, where local politics and politicians never trouble the citizen, is to be found only at the capital. The municipality is divided into eight school districts—six white and two colored. *
There are three departments: A police depart* The first, second, third, fourth, and fifth school districts embrace the white schools of Washington and Georgetown ; the sixth district the white and colored schools of the District outside of the limits of the cities mentioned ; the seventh and eighth divisions embrace the colored schools in Washington and Georgetown. There are no wards in the cities recognized now—the only divisions are the police and fire districts, which are made to correspond, and the school divisions before mentioned.
ment, with eight precincts; a fire department, of nine companies; and a health department,-all under the eye of the commissioners.
The District judiciary is a distinct and independent organization. Its official title is “The Supreme Court of the District of Columbia.” It has six judges—a chief-justice and five associate justices, and occupies what was formerly the City Hall, the government having purchased the entire building from the former corporation. The Supreme Court of the District holds special terms, one each for probate, chancery, circuit, and criminal business ; and also sits in general term to hear cases on appeal from the lower courts, at which all the justices preside except the justice who has heard the case on appeal.
ONE of the great features of the capital city is the Washington Monument, the highest artificial elevation in the world. From the city streets it is seen closing all vistas. Wherever one wanders, even into the deep valleys of the Potomac's affluents, one sees its white tip rising over the hills. The huge obelisk was ninety-three years in the building. In L'Enfant's original plan of the capital there is mention of an equestrian figure of George Washington, which had been voted in 1783 by the Continental Congress, and of an historic column, “ also intended for a mile or itinerary column, from whose station, at a mile from the Federal House, all distances and places through the continent are to be calculated.” The present pillar stands on the site designated for the equestrian statue, and is evidently a combination of the plans of a monument to Washington, and of an historic column. Its site is half a mile due south of the Executive Mansion, and at the intersection of the meridian line of Washington with a line running east and west through the centre of the Capitol, in the midst of the beautiful government park known as the Mall. Nothing was done concerning the project until December, 1799, soon after the death of Washington, when Congress resolved “that a marble monument be erected at the city of Washington to commemorate the great events of the military and political life of General Washington." But the country was poor, burdened with the enormous debt of the Revolution, and no appropriation was made
for carrying out the provisions of the resolution. So far as Congress was concerned, the matter slumbered for seventy-eight years; but in September, 1833, a number of patriotic citizens of Washington, under the leadership of the venerable Chief Justice Marshall and of George Watterson, then Librarian of