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Mr. Jefferson did much to further the prosperity of the city, by procuring grants of money for carrying on the public buildings; he also gave encouragement to all the improvements in the city then brought forward ; and caused Pennsylvania avenue to be planted with trees. He also established the Navy-yard.
Mr. Madison was also a friend to the prosperity of the city ; but owing to the restrictions on commerce and the subsequent war, little progress was made in his administration in the public works.
But it is during the administration of Mr. Monroe that the most extensive and valuable improvements have been made in every part of the city, and the public money has been expended on public works with the greatest liberality. Two new Executive Offices have been built; the President's House nearly finished; the north entrance of the square ornamented with handsome iron railing ; both wings of the capitol restored, and the centre building rapidly advancing to completion ; the capitol square laid out, planted with trees, and surrounded with an iron railing. One frigate and a seventy-four gun-ship finished, and another in a state of great forwardness, at our Navy-yard. These expenditures of public money at the seat of government, have materially assisted the Corporaton to raise and expend more in making streets, market-houses, building bridges, an asylum, a principal portion of the City Hall, and to make many other valuable improvements—all tending to the accommodation of our National Represent, atives.
Though the city has received many important advantages from the favour and protection of the various Executives and the Heads of the different Departments under them; still few of these officers have heretofore considered themselves at home in this city; and have paid no farther attention to us than during the period of their official engagements.
John R. Adams forms an honourable exception:
He has erected an elegant house near the President's Square, in which he resides in winter.
While particular societies have been gratified, the public good has been consulted. This has been recently exemplified in the assistance given by the public officers to the erection of a large bell, which is already placed in the tower of the Unitarian Church, in the central division of the city; and to a similar one about to be placed on the Episcopal Church in the western part. Thus, after the lapse of many years, we have been furnished with the pleasing and useful mode of announcing holy-days of rest and devotion; and a means of public alarm, in case of the awful visitation of nocturnal fire.
The city of Washington will owe a debt of gratitude to the patriotism and wisdom of the general government, in the successive administrations, in promoting public improvements; and nothing will contribute more to the comfort and convenience of the public, than bringing the water from Smith's Spring to the capitol, and thence along Pennsylvania avenue to Fifteenth street, west.
Surely no policy. can be more correct than that of rendering the metropolis of this vast republic, in all respects worthy of the powerful and extended nation of which it is the focus. The economy, or rather miserable parsimony, which would cripple its growth, would be found, at no very remote period, a wretched anti-national policy.
The list of plants found in the District, and classed according to the Linnean system, was first furnished by Dr. Brereton, and revised and corrected by Mr. Rich, from the records of the Botanical Society of this place, and cannot fail to be interesting to men of science at a distance.