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but the latter was not incorporated until 1802. Little of interest is found in the history of the city during the eight years of Jefferson's term. The President took the greatest interest in its welfare, and used every effort in his power to beautify it, and render it stable. His watchful care over it is strikingly shown in the letter reproduced in facsimile on the succeeding page; and in his messages to Congress he recommended liberal appropriations for its improvement, as indeed President Adams had done before him. But there were always unfriendly voices urging lack of authority on the part of Congress to make such grants, and the appropriations were very small. He did succeed in getting, in 1803, an appropriation of fifty thousand dollars for the completion of the south wing of the Capitol, and another for setting out four rows of Lombardy poplars on Pennsylvania Avenue.
The city grew but slowly. At the close of Jefferson's term (1808) it contained but about five thousand people. This result was caused largely by the uncertainty that existed as to its future. Agitation for the removal of the Capitol continued until the introduction of the steam-engine and the telegraph removed the chief grounds of the opposition-i. e., its remoteness and inaccessibility. The most persistent effort of all was made near the close of Jefferson's first term. The discomforts and inconveniences of the new city were deemed intolerable by the Northern members, and Congress would probably have voted then to remove the government until the new city should have had time to grow, had a suitable
prevents his complements to mo munae he has this moment seen a wooden house building
place presented itself. The violence and persistency of these attacks led to the coining of a new term, “Capitol-movers.'
The newspapers of Philadelphia and New York were most violent in these attacks, probably because those cities had lost most by the change. Their writers never tired of joking at the young capital. " That Arcadian seat of government,' they termed it, “that village in the wilderness," away from the centres of population, where “men of talent were expected to expatriate themselves for six months in the year, deprived of the society of wives and children, and of the comforts of civilized life.” They depreciated the Capitol itself, described “the puddles under the skylights,” “the crumbling ceilings, and rattling sashes, unwelcome interruptions of many an elaborate harangue,” the court surmounted by a dome two or three hundred feet high, “round which foreign ministers and Yazoo nabobs may swing to the side-doors and alight under cover in chariots and four, or coaches and six, surrounded by all the paraphernalia of European parade." They said nothing could be heard in the hall of the House, the voice of the Speaker being completely lost before reaching the ear, and "if now so bad," they asked, “what will it be when keen northwesters shall begin to bawl through the longdrawn corridors, when driving snow-storms shall rush through the folding-doors, sweep up the winding stair-cases, break pell-mell into the hall with the dripping members, and whirl round the Arabian Circle in the very teeth of representative Majesty ?”
The most telling blows, however, were struck by a writer in the Philadelphia United States Gazette. We quote some of his letters as reflecting the thought of the day :
Where are our cities?” he asked. “To Northward ! Our churches, colleges, libraries, moral and political associations ? To Northward ! Finally, where is our Government ? Tending Southward ; transporting itself, gradatim, from the banks of the Delaware to Tiber Creek, from those of Tiber Creek to those of the Little Miami, or of the great Tombigbee, to Florida, Louisiana, and the Lord knows where. In the meantime the national bantling, called the city of Washington, remains, after ten years of expensive fostering, a ricketty infant unable to go alone. Nature will not be forced. This embryo of the State will always remain a disappointment to its parents. The Federal City," he continues, "is in reality neither town nor village-it may be compared to a hunting seat, where State sportsmen may run horses and fight cocks-kill time under cover, and shoot public service flying. A few scattered hamlets here and there indicate a sordid and dependent population, and two or three vast edifices upon distant hills so palpably demonstrate intermediate vacuity that Indian sachems and Tripolitan ambassadors are regularly fitted out for a tour to the northward, that they may not return and see nothing but the nakedness of the land. .. There sits the President, during the summer recess, like a pelican in the wilderness, or a sparrow upon the housetop, and when the delegates flock around him for the winter they flutter awhile from tree to tree and then settle down by hundreds and peck, and flutter, and hop about without fear of surprise, the hill of the Capitol being from one or two furlongs to three or four miles distant from the neighboring farms and the mischievous urchins of the vicinity."
He likens the Congressmen trudging along on a frosty morning through mud and snow to “so many pilgrims incurring voluntary hardship, or a journey of penance," and supposes a snow-storm, “as likely to be as fatal to a parliamentary question at Washington as a shower of gold at Westminster, and a bleak November as sure to blow away antiministerial opposition on Capitol Hill as a puff from one of the orators of Government at the Palais du Tribunat."
In March, 1804, a bill to remove the seat of government to Baltimore, and making provision for providing the necessary public buildings, and for transporting the public effects, passed to its second reading in the Senate ; at the same time a motion was offered in the House to recede the District back to Maryland and Virginia, one argument being that the time of Congress was too much taken up in legislating for it.
“When Congress is once mounted on wheels and set a rolling,” said a federal Senator- Manasseh Cutler-referring to this bill, “I believe it impossible to say where the government will roll to, and when it will stop. It is believed the one [reason] which operated the most powerfully is that this city has the misfortune to be called after the name of Washington. The people of this city are, as might be expected, extremely irritated. If these measures should be carried, —which I scarcely think