The District of Columbia (Washington, DC)
An act of Congress on July 16, 1790 (1 Stat. 130) established a Federal district for the seat of the United States government along the Potomac River on lands donated by Virginia and Maryland. Stretching from Georgetown to the Anacostia River, and later including Alexandria, the new Federal territory was officially named the District of Columbia in 1796. The Federal government relocated to the District of Columbia from Philadelphia on December 1, 1800, with Congress exercising exclusive management and legislative control over the district via designated committees in the House and Senate.
As the national capital, the District of Columbia became the center for numerous charitable organizations and institutions, including the Freedmen's Bureau and Hospital, the Freedman's Bank, the Government Hospital for the Insane (St. Elizabeths), the Columbia Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind, and the Board of Children's Guardians. During the Civil War, the district also established the first Federal police force with the Metropolitan Police.
District of Columbia Reference Reports describe strategies to research these organizations as well as other topics, including the district in the Federal census, immigration into Alexandria and Georgetown, naturalizations, slavery in the Federal capital, congressional and district court records, military service during the Civil War, and DC building permits and city directories.
Click on the title to view a PDF version of the reference report.
- District of Columbia Building Permits, 1877-1949
- City Directories for the District of Columbia, 1867-1970
- Early Census Schedules for the District of Columbia, 1790-1840
- Federal Census Records Relating to the District of Columbia, 1800-1940
- Selected Records Pertaining to Union Civil War Service in Organizations from the District of Columbia
- Immigration into the District of Columbia: The Ports of Alexandria (1820-1865) and Georgetown (1820-1821)
- The U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Columbia, 1801-1863
- Congressional Committees on the District of Columbia, 1808-1946
Board of Children's Guardians
Freedmen's Bank and Bureau
- The Freedman's Savings and Trust Company(Freedman's Bank) for the District of Columbia, 1865-1874
- Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (Freedmen's Bureau) for the District of Columbia, 1865-1872
Hospitals and Institutions
Columbia Hospital and Institution
- Annual Reports of the Columbia Hospital for Women, 1866-1953
- Annual Reports of the Columbia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, 1857-1927
- Students and Teachers of the Columbia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb in the Federal Census, 1860-1940
St. Elizabeth's Hospital
- Annual Reports of St. Elizabeths Hospital(The Government Hospital for the Insane)
- Patients and Staff at St. Elizabeths Hospital (The Government Hospital for the Insane) in the Federal Census, 1860-1940
- St. Elizabeths Hospital, 1907-1940: The Central Classified Files of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior
- Federal Court and Commission Records Relating to Slavery in the District of Columbia, 1820-1863
- Federal Census Records for the District of Columbia Relating to Slavery, 1800-1860
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