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Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and also known as D.C. or Washington, is the capital city of the United States of America. It is located on the Potomac River bordering Maryland and Virginia, with Congress holding its first session there in 1800. The city was named for George Washington, the first president of the United States and a Founding Father, and the federal district is named after Columbia, a female personification of the nation. As the seat of the U.S. federal government and several international organizations, the city is an important world political capital. It is one of the most visited cities in the U.S., with over 20 million visitors in 2016.

The U.S. Constitution provided for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of U.S. Congress; the district is therefore not a part of any U.S. state. The signing of the Residence Act on July 16, 1790, approved the creation of a capital district located along the Potomac River near the country's East Coast. The City of Washington was founded in 1791 to serve as the national capital. In 1801, the land, formerly part of Maryland and Virginia (including the settlements of Georgetown and Alexandria), officially became recognized as the federal district. In 1846, Congress returned the land originally ceded by Virginia, including the city of Alexandria; in 1871, it created a single municipal government for the remaining portion of the district.

The city had an estimated population of 705,749 as of July 2019, making it the 20th-most populous city in the U.S. and giving it a population larger than that of two U.S. states. Commuters from the surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs raise the city's daytime population to more than one million during the workweek. Washington's metropolitan area, the country's sixth-largest (including parts of Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia), had a 2017 estimated population of 6.2 million residents.

The three branches of the U.S. federal government are centered in the district: Congress (legislative), the president (executive), and the Supreme Court (judicial). Washington is home to many national monuments and museums, primarily situated on or around the National Mall. The city hosts 177 foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of many international organizations, trade unions, non-profits, lobbying groups, and professional associations, including the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization of American States, the AARP, the National Geographic Society, the Human Rights Campaign, the International Finance Corporation, and the American Red Cross.

A locally elected mayor and a 13‑member council have governed the district since 1973. Congress maintains supreme authority over the city and may overturn local laws. D.C. residents elect a non-voting, at-large congressional delegate to the House of Representatives, but the district has no representation in the Senate. District voters choose three presidential electors in accordance with the Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1961.

Washington, D.C. Media

302,827 media by topicpage 6 of 3029
Map of the city of Washington : established as the permanent seat of the government of the United States of America /

Map of the city of Washington : established as the permanent seat of t...

Shows block numbers, wards, and government buildings. Statement of responsibility printed above bar scale. Includes index to points of interest and inset "Map of the District of Columbia." Available also throug... more

The Capitol from the railway station, Washington, U.S., July 29, 1846

The Capitol from the railway station, Washington, U.S., July 29, 1846

Drawing shows a view of small structures in a forested area at the bottom and the Capitol building under construction at the top of a hill. Purchase; William Reese Company; 2000; (DLC/PP-2000:086). Title from i... more

To the voters of Washington ... [Washington, D. C.] J. N. Davis, printer, S. W. corner Pa. and 12th street. 1846.

To the voters of Washington ... [Washington, D. C.] J. N. Davis, print...

To the voters of Washington.; On verso, Copy 2: 29. Available also through the Library of Congress web site in two forms: as facsimile page images and as full text in SGML. 2 duplicate copies Printed Ephemera ... more

Capitol Washington

Capitol Washington

Print shows a bird's-eye view of the east front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Title from item. Printed below image at center: Plumbeotype. (DLC/PP-47235) Forms part of: Popular graphic art print filin... more

U.S. Reports: Cookendorfer v. Preston, 45 U.S. (4 How.) 317 (1846)

U.S. Reports: Cookendorfer v. Preston, 45 U.S. (4 How.) 317 (1846)

Description: U.S. Reports Volume 45; Howard Volume 4; January Term, 1846; Thomas Cookendorfer, Plaintiff in Error, v. Anthony Preston, Defendant in Error

Mayoralty. Clear the track for John C. Harkness, the mechanic's workingman's and independent candidate! ... Many voters. May 21, 1846. [Washington, D. C.] Printed by James N. Davis, Southwest corner of Pennsylvania avenue and 12th street.

Mayoralty. Clear the track for John C. Harkness, the mechanic's workin...

Harkness, John C. Available also through the Library of Congress web site in two forms: as facsimile page images and as full text in SGML. Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 198, Folder 5.

Horses for hire. Benjamin Bohrer, High, fronting West Street, Georgetown, D. C. would respectfully inform the citizens of Georgetown and its vicinity, that he keeps constantly for hire horses, buggies, and carriages ... Georgetown, D. C. F. W. D

Horses for hire. Benjamin Bohrer, High, fronting West Street, Georgeto...

Available also through the Library of Congress web site in two forms: as facsimile page images and as full text in SGML. Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 198, Folder 13.

[Hotel for Azariah Fuller, (Kirkwood House), Pennsylvania Avenue and 12th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. Third story floor plan]

[Hotel for Azariah Fuller, (Kirkwood House), Pennsylvania Avenue and 1...

Inscriptions on recto: Third story ; John Haviland Archt Philadelphia 1847 ; Gentlemen's stair ; Ladies stair. Building originally Fountain Inn, then Irving Hotel (1848), then The Kirkwood House (1854). Demolis... more

American agency office.. Washington, D. C. April, 1847. Dear Sir: The undersigned offers his services to those who may have claim for pensions of any description whatever ... John M. Thayer.

American agency office.. Washington, D. C. April, 1847. Dear Sir: The ...

Available also through the Library of Congress web site in two forms: as facsimile page images and as full text in SGML. Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 198, Folder 15.

President's house after its destruction by the British

President's house after its destruction by the British

Print shows fire damage to the White House after burning by the British during the war of 1812. Title from item. Inscribed on mount: Watterson's new guide to Washington, 1847-48. Library has two impressions. Ph... more

Brown's paintings, at the Odd-fellows' hall, on Monday night, Tuesday, and Tuesday night only, Sept. 27 and 28, 1847 ... [Washington, D. C. 1847].

Brown's paintings, at the Odd-fellows' hall, on Monday night, Tuesday,...

Available also through the Library of Congress web site in two forms: as facsimile page images and as full text in SGML. 2 duplicate copies Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 198, Folder 29. Copy scanned: 2

Job and fancy printing office, High street, West side, between fourth and fifth streets, Georgetown, D. C ... F. W. De Krafft. January, 1847.

Job and fancy printing office, High street, West side, between fourth ...

Available also through the Library of Congress web site in two forms: as facsimile page images and as full text in SGML. Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 198, Folder 11.

The organ kicked out

The organ kicked out

The Senate's February 1847 resolution barring reporters and editors of the "Washington Union" from the Senate floor and gallery was the basis for the artist's demeaning portrayal of the newspaper's powerful edi... more

[Hotel for Azariah Fuller, (Kirkwood House), Pennsylvania Avenue and 12th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. Principal floor plan]

[Hotel for Azariah Fuller, (Kirkwood House), Pennsylvania Avenue and 1...

Inscriptions on recto: Principal floor ; John Haviland Architect Philadelphia. 1847 ; Saloon ; Balconey ; Ladies dressing room ; Gent's dressing room ; Ladies stair-case ; Gentlemen's stair-case ; Piazza ; Ladi... more

Order of exercizes for Rittenhouse academy, July 27, 1847 .... [Washington, D.C.] Wm. Q. Force, Print. 1847.

Order of exercizes for Rittenhouse academy, July 27, 1847 .... [Washin...

Available also through the Library of Congress web site in two forms: as facsimile page images and as full text in SGML. 2 duplicate copies Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 198, Folder 22. Copy scanned: 1

Perpetual calendar. showing the day of any month corresponding to any day of the week, for the year 1775, to the year 2025 ... [Washington, D. C.] Barnard & Sandy. [c. 1848].

Perpetual calendar. showing the day of any month corresponding to any ...

Available also through the Library of Congress web site in two forms: as facsimile page images and as full text in SGML. Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 199, Folder 17a.

"Moore's Vacancy" : [Washington D.C.] /

"Moore's Vacancy" : [Washington D.C.] /

Cadastral survey map. "Surveyed 6th Nov'r 1848." On verso in lead pencil: From Joseph M. Toner papers. Pen-and-ink and lead pencil. Torn, missing small sections along edges, and faced with rice paper. Includes ... more

A tea party will be held by the ladies of the E. Street Baptist church, at Odd-fellows hall, on Wednesday evening, December 6 ... [Washington, D. C.] Dec. 1, 1848.

A tea party will be held by the ladies of the E. Street Baptist church...

Available also through the Library of Congress web site in two forms: as facsimile page images and as full text in SGML. Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 199, Folder 13.

Order of exercises for the celebration of the 72d anniversary of American independence by the Presbyterian sabbath school of Georgetown, D. C. ... Georgetown, D. C. De Krafft, printer. High St. [1848].

Order of exercises for the celebration of the 72d anniversary of Ameri...

Available also through the Library of Congress web site in two forms: as facsimile page images and as full text in SGML. Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 199, Folder 8.

U.S. Reports: McLaughlin v. Bank of Potomac et al., 48 U.S. (7 How.) 220 (1849)

U.S. Reports: McLaughlin v. Bank of Potomac et al., 48 U.S. (7 How.) 2...

Description: U.S. Reports Volume 48; Howard Volume 7; January Term, 1849; Bridget McLaughlin, Appellant, v. The Bank of Potomac and others.

Main entrance, north front, Smithsonian Institution / W. Wade del.

Main entrance, north front, Smithsonian Institution / W. Wade del.

Photographic reproduction of a lithograph showing people standing at the front entrance to the Smithsonian Institution castle. Lower left corner: W Wade, del. Published in Historic of Public Architecture by Rob... more

Head of navigation of the Potomac River /

Head of navigation of the Potomac River /

Relief shown by hachures. Depths shown by contours and soundings. Photocopy of ms. map. Oriented with north toward the upper left. Includes notes. LC copy originally printed on separate sheets, assembled to 1 s... more

Southern gateway, Smithsonian Institution

Southern gateway, Smithsonian Institution

Published in Hints on Public Architecture by Robert Dale Oewn (1849), p. 109. Reference copy may be available in LOT 4386P. Title from item. Caption card tracings: Galleries...; PI WORKS; Gates; DC, Wash. Galle... more

U.S. Reports: Wilkes v. Dinsman., 48 U.S. (7 How.) 89 (1849)

U.S. Reports: Wilkes v. Dinsman., 48 U.S. (7 How.) 89 (1849)

Description: U.S. Reports Volume 48; Howard Volume 7; January Term, 1849; Charles Wilkes, Plaintiff in error, v. Samuel Dinsman

Inauguration of Gen. Taylor, March fourth, 1849 / W.W. Butt.

Inauguration of Gen. Taylor, March fourth, 1849 / W.W. Butt.

President Taylor delivering his inaugural speech, on the steps of the Capitol. "From recent daguereotypes [sic] by Plumbe". Illus. in: Brother Jonathan, p. 1. Ref. copy in PRES FILE - Taylor, Zachary Inauguration.

City of Washington.

City of Washington.

Shows wards, built-up areas, and major buildings. Also covers Georgetown. Includes Capitol floorplan and index to points of interest. "16." LC copy accompanied by typewritten information card: [From] New univer... more

(No. 35) Circular to registers and receivers. Treasury department. [Washington D. C,] February 24th, 1849.

(No. 35) Circular to registers and receivers. Treasury department. [Wa...

Page Order: Leaflet Available also through the Library of Congress web site in two forms: as facsimile page images and as full text in SGML. Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 199, Folder 19b.

Paper-Mill tract : [on Rock Creek, N.W. Washington D.C.].

Paper-Mill tract : [on Rock Creek, N.W. Washington D.C.].

Partial cadastral survey map showing mill, cistern, millrace, dam, and associated features. Pen-and-ink and lead pencil. Soiled, torn, fold-lined, missing sections at edges, and mounted on cloth backing. Inclu... more

Daniel Carroll of Duddington's family on porch of house, F and 2nd Streets, S.E., Washington, D.C.

Daniel Carroll of Duddington's family on porch of house, F and 2nd Str...

Photograph shows members of the family of Daniel Carroll (1764-1849) with African American man, seated and standing on the porch of Duddington house, Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. Caption from another copy of ... more

Map of the city of Washington : established as the permanent seat of the government of the United States of America /

Map of the city of Washington : established as the permanent seat of t...

Shows block numbers, wards, and major buildings. Includes index to points of interest and inset "Map of the District of Columbia." LC copies fold-lined and mounted on cloth backing. Available also through the L... more

City of Washington.

City of Washington.

Shows wards, built-up areas, and major buildings. Also covers Georgetown. "Entered according to act of Congress ... 1850, by Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co. ... Eastern District of Pennsylvania." Includes note, inde... more

[Certificate of membership for the Washington National Monument Society] / Lith. by E. Weber & Co.

[Certificate of membership for the Washington National Monument Societ...

Certificate to raise funds to erect the Washington Monument shows two designs for the monument and two vignettes.

U.S. Reports: Grove v. Brien et al., 49 U.S. (8 How.) 429 (1850)

U.S. Reports: Grove v. Brien et al., 49 U.S. (8 How.) 429 (1850)

Description: U.S. Reports Volume 49; Howard Volume 8; January Term, 1850; Daniel L. Grove, Appellant, v. John McP. Brien, Robert Gilmor, William Fowle, William H. Fowle, and George D. Fowle, trading under the F... more

State of Alabama

State of Alabama

Name: Alabama Level: 40-ft. Donor: State of Alabama Dates: 1850/1850 Original material: marble Dimensions: 2' x 4' Sculptor/Carver: J.M.N.B. Nix & Co. Wetumpka, Ala. [MR] Original inscription: Alabama. A Union ... more

State of Maryland

State of Maryland

Name: Maryland Level: 80-ft. Dates: 1851/1850s Original material: marble Dimensions: 3' x 6' Sculptor/Carver: Baughman & Brother Original inscription: Maryland: The Memorial of her Regard for the Father of his ... more

State of Indiana

State of Indiana

Name: Indiana Level: 50-ft. Donor: State of Indiana Dates: 1850/1850s Original material: limestone Dimensions: 2' x 4' Sculptor/Carver: not known Original inscription: Indiana: knows no North, no South, nothing... more

U.S. Reports: West v. Smith et al., 49 U.S. (8 How.) 402 (1850)

U.S. Reports: West v. Smith et al., 49 U.S. (8 How.) 402 (1850)

Description: U.S. Reports Volume 49; Howard Volume 8; January Term, 1850; John West, Appellant, v. Joseph Smith and Ellen, his Wife.

State of Wisconsin

State of Wisconsin

Name: Wisconsin Level: 100-ft. Donor: State of Wisconsin Dates: 1851/1850s Original material: limestone Dimensions: 2' x 4' Sculptor/Carver: Algernon L. Wood Original inscription: Wisconsin Admitted May 29.1848... more

Washington aus der Vogelperspective / Druck v. Weger, Leipzig.

Washington aus der Vogelperspective / Druck v. Weger, Leipzig.

Engraving shows visitors on grounds of partially constructed United States Capitol building. Title from item.

Plan of railroads north and east of Boston, with the projected railroads from Danvers, Georgetown & Gloucester; showing the situation of the towns & villages, their distance from Boston & number of inhabitants.

Plan of railroads north and east of Boston, with the projected railroa...

Outline map, oriented to the west, of the area north of Boston showing the rail network. Scale ca. 1:160,000. LC Railroad maps, 234 Description derived from published bibliography. Available also through the Li... more

Map showing the N.E. & S.W. Alabama R.R. with its connections also the principal routes between New York and New Orleans.

Map showing the N.E. & S.W. Alabama R.R. with its connections also the...

Outline map of the eastern United states including Cuba and the Gulf of Mexico. Shows the railroad network and steamship routes. Indicates the railroad land grant and the coal and iron deposits in Alabama. Dist... more

State of Arkansas

State of Arkansas

Name: Arkansas Level: 30-ft. Donor: State of Arkansas Dates: 1850/1850 Original material: limestone Dimensions: 2' x 4' Sculptor/Carver: not known Original inscription: Arkansas Documented material history: • 1... more

State of Minnesota

State of Minnesota

Name: Minnesota Level: 220-ft. Dates: 1850s/1885 Original materials: pipestone, dark pink paint in letters (not known if this was ground for gold leaf) Dimensions: 1' 9" x 2' Sculptor/Carver: not known Original... more

State of Georgia

State of Georgia

Name: Georgia Level: 50-ft. Donor: State of Georgia Dates: 1850s/1850s Original material: marble Dimensions: 2' x 4' Sculptor/Carver: C. Morehouse, Madison Ga. [stone] Original inscription: State of Georgia The... more

State of Michigan

State of Michigan

Name: Michigan Level: 210-ft. Dates: 1850-52/1885/1916 Original materials: copper, silver letters and shield Dimensions: 1' 9" x 3' Sculptor/Carver: not known Original inscription: Michigan An Emblem of Her Tru... more

U.S. Reports: McClanahan v. Davis et al., 49 U.S. (8 How.) 170 (1850)

U.S. Reports: McClanahan v. Davis et al., 49 U.S. (8 How.) 170 (1850)

Description: U.S. Reports Volume 49; Howard Volume 8; January Term, 1850; Thomas H. McClanahan, Administrator of William J. McClanahan, deceased, Complainant and Appellant, v. Richard Davis, William D. Nutt, Ad... more

Monolith for columns, Capitol extension

Monolith for columns, Capitol extension

Photograph showing a 14 ton column being transported on a six wheel wagon drawn by oxen for an addition to the Capitol. In album: Benjamin Brown French "Photographs," p. 33. Title from item. Reference copy in L... more