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PLEA FOR RESTORATION OF ALEXANDRIA COUNTY – The Washington Times, April 13, 1902
|| 8/1/2010 || 12:35 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Of note, is that this very same article was published verbatim the following week on the same page in the same newspaper with a new title REUNION OF DISTRICT AND ALEXANDRIA.


restoration of district and alexandria PLEA FOR RESTORATION OF ALEXANDRIA COUNTY   The Washington Times, April 13, 1902


Mr. H. Phillips Memorializes the District Committee.


MANY BURDENS IMPOSED


Caused by Proximity to District- Problems of Police Protection and Improvement of Public Highways Cited as Reasons for Re-annexation.


Mr. H. Phillips, a resident of Alexandria county, Va., who believes that the retrocession of that county is unconstitutional and that it still forms a part of the District of Columbia, has communicated to Congress his views on the question of restoration.

Mr. Phillips statement is addressed to the House Committee on the District of Columbia, and is as follows:


“In the year 1784, pursuant to paragraph 17, section 8, article 1, of the Federal Constitution, Virginia ceded to the United States a small area on the Potomac River to form part of the permanent seat of the General Government. In 1846 Congress passed an act ceding this land back to Virginia, thus dismembering the established seat of government of ten miles square. The portion returned to Virginia was organized as a separate county, only one-fourteenth of the average size of the counties of the State.

Burdensome Problems

“The problem of local police protection and improvement of public highways in the little county has become difficult and burdensome on account of the disorder and heavy travel incident to proximity to a large city.

“In 1861, the War Department and military forces again took practical possession of the county, building fortifications on every conspicuous eminence within its borders, and at the close of the war retained the Custis estate of eleven hundred acres, later paying for it and establishing a great national cemetery, a large military post, and a station of the Department of Agriculture, within its borders. The United States makes no contribution to the expenses of the local government, notwithstanding its ownership of one-sixteenth of the area and one-seventh of the property valuation of the county.

“The suburbs of cities are peculiarly subject to the presence of unlawful persons who resort to such points for illicit liquor selling, gambling, and other disorderly conduct near public highways. Especially is this observed on the Sabbath day. The residents of Alexandria county as a class are honorable, intelligent, and public spirited. The attorney for the county is active and successful in prosecuting offenders brought to his attention, and the judiciary resolute in sentencing law breakers. The police force of this small county, limited to a few men, receiving inadequate pay, cannot, however, prevent disorderly person entering the county from the city of Washington, or preserve order along the extensive river front. The history of municipal government shows that public order is thus difficult to preserve near boundary lines of a city. Malefactors constantly seek such border for the commission of unlawful acts, or to escape the strong arm of the law; hence cities are usually extended far beyond the limits of closely-built houses.

Sanitary Protection Needed.

“Sanitary protection, equally important to public welfare, requires that Alexandria county should be restored to the District of Columbia. Disease is carried to the limits of cities in deposits of water material, not only contaminating springs and water courses used by unsuspecting persons, but adding by exhalation to the other impurities of city air. Fire protection in suburbs also makes an extension of municipal limits desirable.

“It is also reasonable that cities control the maintenance of suburban parks and driveways, contributing to the health and pleasure of its residents. The circumscribed limits of walls and fortresses observed in the history of feudal towns should be thus brushed aside by the advance of science and civilization. The principles applicable to the extension of cities generally become more important when the seat of government and capital of a nation are concerned.

“So, disregarding the legal status of Alexandria county, there are important and practical reasons why it should be restored to the District of Columbia. It was urged in behalf of ceding part of the District of Columbia back to Virginia in 1846, that the United States had no property or buildings in Alexandria county. Now, we find the United States owns three bridges across the river, and in addition, a large share of the lands, buildings, and other improvements in the county, is the property of the National Government.

“An instance of the necessity of police protection occurred a few years ago. Coxey’s army came to Washington. They were ordered from the city and came over to Alexandria County and camped, and only moved when, upon application to the Governor, a company of troops bundled the army, bag and baggage, across the river. The executive officers of the Government, the judiciary, and members of Congress pass over this unpoliced area to and from Arlington National Cemetery. If injury comes to any official of the Government on the county highways from some criminal or insane person the Government is responsible for neglecting to maintain a jurisdiction imposed by the Constitution.

The Legal Question.

“It would seem, however, to be a proper subject for judicial inquiry, whether under the Federal Constitution, one or two of the three principal branches of Government have power to alienate a part of the established seat of government. The War Department has built on the county highways water mains, telegraph and telephone lines, and pumping station on land obtained for a bridge approaches in Alexandria county, without authority of Virginia, and without permission of the owners of the fee of the public highways, so if Alexandria county is lawfully part of Virginia, the United States is a trespasser without process of law or just compensation; but if the Supreme Court declares Alexandria county part of the District of Columbia, the Commissioners of the District of Columbia may at once provide for its police protection, and the Government improvements are within the legislative control of Congress.

“Congress has prohibited fishing at certain times, and in various methods in the waters of the Potomac, along the District. If Alexandria county is part of Virginia, such legislation is wholly unwarranted, and notwithstanding such legislation, Virginians have full riparian rights in the waters of the Potomac opposite Washington, subject only to Virginia laws.

“Jackson City has long been a menace to the moral of Washington, but if the establishment of the boundary of Maryland and Virginia has any reasonable interpretation, Jackson City is wholly in the District, and the Commissioners neglect their duties if they do not police Alexandria Island, and abate a stain on Washington city.

“Considering the restoration of Alexandria county to the District, in respect to the wishes of President Washington, it is most worthy of the attention of Congress. To the efforts of the first and most distinguished President, the location, plan, and success of the Capital may be justly ascribed. It will be a deserved tribute and honor to his memory to restore the original and proper limits surveyed and established under his person direction.

“Regarding the fitness of the proposed resolution, the Supreme Court has decided that the question is cognizable only in a case between the United States and the State of Virginia, and cannot be adjudicated between other parties. If the court decides Congress did not exceed its constitutional powers in ceding part of the seat of government to Virginia the controversy ends. If the court decides, however, Congress exceeded its powers, the jurisdiction of Congress, the courts, and Commissioners of the District will thenceforth extend over the entire ten miles square.

“The people of Alexandria county generally favor a restoration of the original District. Virginia does not wish to lose more territory. The United States paid $20,000,000 to Spain for a lot of foreign islands and proposes to $5,000,000 to Denmark for three little tropical islets, so it may not be unjust to contribute $1,000,000 toward the debt of the mother of States if Alexandria county is restored to the National Government.

“The Capital, the seat of general government, is important, however, not only to the in Washington, and in Virginia, but its preservation, its size, and location and its welfare are rights of and affect the people of the entire nation. The interests of the people, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from Canada to the Gulf and the detached territory, should be fully and justly considered in the action on the proposed resolution.

“It may urged, Why disturb a condition of dismemberment of the seat of government established for over fifty years? In reply, it may be justly stated there is no progress of civilization, or improvement of any description, that does not disturb existing conditions within lawful limits. If the object of the resolution is desirable for the Government and for the citizens directly and indirectly interested, if it is entirely within the powers and limitations of the Federal Constitution, and if the resolution is appropriate to the subject matter, it should be adopted.”


This newspaper article was transcribed from a scan of the original newspaper article on Chronicling America. It is being republished here in order to continue my advocacy for full representation for the American citizens of the District of Columbia.



Backpacking Photos from Pike National Forest in Colorado
|| 8/4/2010 || 12:04 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

backpacking Backpacking Photos from Pike National Forest in Colorado

Last month while I was in Colorado I spent about 14 hours in Pike National Forest. The plan was to leave Monday, July 26th, hike into the state park, find an appropriate camping spot, spend the night, in the morning attempt to climb Sentinel Point, and then return in the afternoon of Tuesday, July 27th. We were able to accomplish some of those plans, but not all of them.

+ MORE



GAMBLERS MAY GET ALEXANDRIA FOR US – The Washington Times, October 16, 1905
|| 8/8/2010 || 6:53 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

The only Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of the retrocession of Alexandria was in Phillips v. Payne. This the first I’ve transcribed that includes R. A. Phillips.


gamblers alexandria 10 16 1905 GAMBLERS MAY GET ALEXANDRIA FOR US   The Washington Times, October 16, 1905

GAMBLERS MAY GET ALEXANDRIA FOR US


Argue That County Belongs to the District


FAMOUS QUESTION REVIVED


Federal Court Will Decide Whether Congress Legally Returned the County to Virginia


Interest in whether Alexandria county is part of the State of Virginia or of the District of Columbia has been revived through the prosecution of poolrooms in Virginia.

The cases are now before Judge Waddill, judge of the United States court of the eastern district of Virginia. His decision tomorrow may mean the opening of this celebrated question.

Ten years ago the jurisdiction of Alexandria county was questioned. The case was taken before the United States Supreme Court by R. A. Phillips, a well-known capitalist and real estate owner of Alexandria county, with offices in Washington.

The court decided that the issue was one wholly between the United States and the State of Virginia and that a private citizen was not qualified to bring it up for disposition.

Since that decision, which failed to settle the status of the county, the case has been at a standstill and is so now. There are residents of Alexandria county who now are inclined to believe that with the agitation attending the poolroom cases the retrocession of the county will again come up for serious discussion.

Return of County

In the proclamation of President Washington, Alexandria county was part of the “ten mile square” allotted as the seat of the Federal Government. In 1846, Congress voted to retrocede to Virginia “that portion of the ten mile square south of the Potomac.”

It has been contented by eminent lawyers that if Congress has that power in 1846, it has that power today to retrocede to Maryland that portion which is known as the District of Columbia. They argue further that it then has the power to change the seat of Government to Bladensburg, Jackson City, of even to Hawaii.

It is not understood that Congress ever had the power to cede away any part of the “ten mile square” defined as the limits of the District of Columbia in President Washington’s proclamation.

The activity of Mr. Phillips and other is ascribed to the lax methods which now obtain in the government of the county and the benefits to be derived from its restoration to the District.

Would Benefit Town.

The county would have the benefit of the good-roads law, the revenues from Government property, such as Arlington, the three Government bridges, and other property would revert to the District and citizens of what is now Alexandria county would have the protection of a police system and the benefits of sanitary laws which are not now in force in the county.

L. E. Phillips, the Washington attorney, a son of R. A. Phillips, said yesterday that there is practically no sanitation in the county, the police facilities are poor, and that the methods of governing the county are much in line for improvement. Should the court decide that Alexandria county is legally within the District line it would mean practically a general revision of affairs there, and one which would not only mean benefits to the people of the county, but to the county itself, and to the District of Columbia.

New Phase Brought Up.

A letter from Mr. Phillips father to Attorney John A. Lamb, counsel for the two poolroom men who now under arrest, is interesting in that it presents a phase of the matter which has not been brought prominently before the public.

The letter reads as follows:


“It is a pleasure to me to observe that you assert in a case before Judge Waddill, of the United States district court, that Alexandria county is a part of the District of Columbia, and that the act of retrocession was wholly ultra vires.

“In my opinion Congress has less right to relinquish or transfer its exclusive jurisdiction over part of the seat of Federal Government than it would have to cede away or relinquish its legislative power over postoffices and postroads.

“Of course, we all know the Constitution has become a mere political football in these modern days. We find our Federal Government in canal-digging business in foreign territory, and in the missionary business in Asiatic islands, and it is refreshing to observe occasionally a recurrence to safe principles of jurisdiction and Federal authority.

“Section 8, paragraph 17, provides for the establishment and jurisdiction of the District, and a few lines later, Section 9, paragraph 2, puts a guarantee about one good old writ- ‘The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus’ shall not be suspended. It is a striking coincidence that the provision of the Constitution violated dismembering the seat of government and the appropriate procedure for the determination of such infractions of the fundamental law are in close proximity. When, in the course of events, it may appear necessary to dismember the seat of government or remove it permanently to a new location, such a proposal must first be submitted to all the States; and with the approval of three-fourths it will become lawful.

“As for the individual citizens respecting whose rights or liberty the writ of habeas corpus is brought in this particular case. I have no interest. It is an ill wind that blows no one good, and so even the rights and liberties of an unfortunate gambler may correct the grevious error of dismembering our seat of government. It was established by our Revolutionary ancestors. I trust Judge Waddill will do his part as a judge and a patriot to restore it.

“If appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States, that august body may meet the question fully and say that under the high privilege of this particular writ, the court is bound to decide whether the District was dismembered lawfully.

“As for inconvenience that will arise respecting titles and acts of de facto government since 1847, changes of governmental control are frequent respecting territories, counties and cities and nobody has has ever been seriously hurt by them.

“R. A. PHILIPS.”


This newspaper article was transcribed from a scan of the original newspaper article on Chronicling America. It is being republished here in order to continue my advocacy for full representation for the American citizens of the District of Columbia.



CRAZED FROM SMOKING A WEED – The Florida Star – May 19, 1905
|| 8/11/2010 || 11:08 am || + Render A Comment || ||

Aside from checking out past predictions, I’ve found it very interesting to trace the history of cannabis through old newspaper articles. While not the first usage of the word “marihuana” on Chronicling America, this was the first result that show up when using the “relevance” search result option. I also chose it because it has such a sensational drawing that was published along with the article (below). The larger lessons that I learned here are that American Reefer Madness began well before the mid-1930s and the illegality of cannabis in Mexico has been an issue for over 100 years & continues to be problematic today.


crazed from smoking a weed CRAZED FROM SMOKING A WEED – The Florida Star – May 19, 1905
The Florida Star – 5/19/1905

Marihuana is a weed used in Mexico by people of the lower class and sometimes by soldiers, but those who make larger use of it are prisoners sentenced to long terms. The use of the weed and its sale, especially in the barracks and prisons, are very severely punished, yet it has many adepts, and Indian women cultivate it because they sell it at rather high prices.

The dry leave of marihuana, alone or mixed with tobacco, make the smoker wilder than a wild beast. It is said that immediately after the first three or four drafts of smoke smokers begin to feel a slight headache. Then they see everything moving, and finally they lose all control of their mental faculties. Everything, the smokers say, takes the shape of a monster, and men look like devils. They begin to fight, and of course everything smashed is a monster “killed.” But there are imaginary beings whom the wild men cannot kill, and these inspire fear until the man is panic stricken and runs.

Not long ago a man who had smoked a marihuana cigarette attacked and killed a policeman and badly wounded three other offices. Six policemen were needed to disarm him and march him to the police station, where he had to be put into a straitjacket.

crazed from smoking a weed graphic CRAZED FROM SMOKING A WEED – The Florida Star – May 19, 1905

There are other plants equally dangerous, among them the tolvache, a kind of loco weed. The seeds this plant boiled and drunk as tea will make a person insane. Among some classes of Mexico it is stated that Carlotta, the empress of Mexico, lost her mind because she was give tolvache in a refreshment.

There is in the state of Michoacan another plant the effects of which upon the human organism are very curious. The plant grows wildly in some parts of Michoacan, and natives have observed that whenever they traversed a field where there were many such plants they lost all notion of places. It takes from three to four hours for a person affected by the smell of the plant to recover the full control of his mental faculties.

Another very curious plant is the one called “de las Carreras” in some places where it grows. When a person drinks a brew of the leaves of seeds of the plant he feels an impulse to run and will run until he drops dead or exhausted.



Don’t Look Back – Physically Assaulted On A MetroBus
|| 8/12/2010 || 11:58 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

This was first posted on Facebook to allay the concerns of my friends after reading the tweets:


metrobus assault tweet1 Dont Look Back   Physically Assaulted On A MetroBus

Riding home on the 92 down U street- got on at 18th & Wyoming. Going 8 blocks down U. About 5 minutes after boarding a crazy dude behind me at about 7 rows back says something like ‘look back here again and I’ll kick your ass.’ Thinking it was someone else I looked back. Crazy dude walks up to my seat and proceeds to start swinging at me in my seat. Woman from behind me, about 3 rows back, in between he & I, pulls him away. The bus stops. He gets ejected off at 15 & U. I am asked if I want to press charges. Shaken, I felt my forehead, said No. One block later, this same crazy person, walks/runs to the next block to the 14th & U intersection, outside the McDonalds, and DEMANDS to get back on the bus being that he had already paid his fare. At this point a series of people get out their phones and call 911. I call myself and give my statement. The Darwin award goes to the man who waits for the police to arrive. 3 cars do. Then a couple more. A few people get off the bus to announce to the police what happened. I get up, apologize to the bus for hindering their commute, and as I step off the bus a police officer, last name Ali, asked if I was hit by the man. I said yes. He leaves and proceeds to arrest the crazy dude. It was painful to watch them take him down. He was placed in handcuffs on his belly. Two people from the bus came forward to give their eye-witness statements. The woman in her mid-20′s from Georgia who yanked the crazy dude off me (thank you) and the mid-20′s Asian man both gave their contact information. After all the police left, one by one, the last officer got out the camera, and he took a couple pictures of the welt on my forehead. One photograph included a millimeter measuring stick that actually measured the size of the red mark. I walked two blocks toward and ran into to one of the people I’ve known longer than anyone else in DC– JR Russ– who I had my first Thanksgiving in DC with. Story told. Walked the rest of the way home. Tired. No concussion. Needless drama. Needless pain. Don’t look back.

metrobus assault tweet2 Dont Look Back   Physically Assaulted On A MetroBus

This is the third time I’ve been physically assaulted in the District of Columbia in the last three years…. The previous assaults happened on July 17, 2008 & October 28th, 2008



Hist! It’s Friday the 13th, the Day of Ill Omen – The Washington Herald, September 13, 1912
|| 8/13/2010 || 3:53 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

After having a rather rough start to this year’s only Friday the 13th, I decided to scour Chronicling America for articles related to this age-old superstition.

friday the 13th Hist! Its Friday the 13th, the Day of Ill Omen   The Washington Herald, September 13, 1912

Age-old superstitions, echoing from out the gay yet parlous days and nights when gods and men trod the bright earth together, and made the high heavens ring with their warrings and wassailings and laughter and loves, mingle in a weird walling to cast a fearsome spell over this Friday, thirteenth of August.

Friday, thirteenth- the words thrill with their wild strangeness of uncanny witchery, the wanchancy call of Bad Luck. Friday mated with thirteen makes this a woeful day in the calendar of the superstitious. Hangman’s day, Devil’s day, a time of witchery and unknown powers. Ogers are abroad, evil spirits, wicked ghosts.

A day of shuddering doubt, a creepy chilling day, when graves yawn and shadows stalk the quiet churchyards, as of a mystically moon-lit night. Its dread may not be lightly laughed away-hark! Laughter is hollow, like an echo from the tomb.

The superstition is too strong– it is an instinct. It is so old.

Before there was a hangman, Friday was the terror of the days. Before Jesus Christ was crucified, Friday stood a gaunt specter to shut the road of time from the hopeful beginning of the weekly round of fruitful labor to the ending of the tour of work and the coming of the rest of the day.

Of a Friday Adam and Eve ate of that forbidden fruit “whose mortal taste brought death into the world and all our woe.” Cast out from their bright garden, whence the angels held them forth, they died in the sadness of mortality on a Friday.

Thirteen comes like a cloud out of the myth and legend. Before Christ sat at meat, in the last supper, with His twelve apostles, of whom Judas, called Iscariot, first arose, thirteen brought its threat of trial and tribulation.

Thirteen Norse gods sat at table, and Balder, arising first, was first to die. Yea, far back in those dim recesses of time when Buddha and Brahma smiled their inscrutable, eternal smiles, thirteen held the charm of evil.

Well- there’s nothing you can do to put the day off. Breathe deeply, speak softly, eat lightly, step nimbly, smile broadly. You’ll probably come through all right. There’ll be another Friday thirteenth in December.



Don’t buy these books…
|| 8/16/2010 || 10:57 am || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

aerial photographer book Dont buy these books...

I came across these books on Amazon the other day and thought it was odd that Amazon would even list these books for sale. I believe that someone probably wrote a simple computer program that goes through Wikipedia and slurps categorical Wikipedia entries, like aerial photographers or American cartographers, formats the text, and then uploads the content as a book. Nonetheless, I don’t recommend spending $19.99 for either of these books!

american cartographers book Dont buy these books...


Mentioned Today On The Huffington Post Concerning Facebook’s Censorship of Advertisements Related To Cannabis
|| 8/24/2010 || 11:49 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

huffingtonpost facebook cannabis censorship Mentioned Today On The Huffington Post Concerning Facebooks Censorship of Advertisements Related To Cannabis

Animated GIF featuring 3 iterations of the Huffington Post’s front page

This morning after reading the article on the Huffington Post about how Facebook banned certain ads related to cannabis, I contacted my friend who knows the author about how Facebook also banned a bunch of ads I created earlier this year, and was subsequently included at the end of the article.

Text and screen grab below:

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THE EXPECTANT HAND – The Mahoning Dispatch, June 04, 1909
|| 8/28/2010 || 12:02 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

The article below is a condensed short story from a biography by Frank Allaben on the life of Gen. John Watts De Peyster. I chose this article because it describes a doctor recommending Indian hemp, which is the colloquial name for one of these five plants: Cannabis indica, Apocynum cannabinum, Sida rhombifolia, Asclepias incarnata, Hibiscus cannabinus. The doctor was most likely recommending Cannabis indica because it is the only variety of Indian hemp which has medicinal properties. Sadly, today in America a doctor would lose their license to prescribe drugs if they were to assist their patient in acquiring Cannabis indica as described below.


the expectant hand THE EXPECTANT HAND   The Mahoning Dispatch, June 04, 1909

THE EXPECTANT HAND


No Charge Made, But a Present of Money Not Refused.

In recording an illness of his grandfather, Gen. John Watts De Peyster tells an amusing story in connection with Indian hemp. It is printed in his biography by Mr. Frank Allaben.

Indian hemp was recommended as a remedy during my grandfathers illness, but where to get it was the question. Finally some one said it was grown in the garden of old Mr. Henry Brevoort, who owned a large plot on the east side of Broadway, extending through to the Bowery above Tenth street. Grace Church stands on part of this ground.

Doctor Bibby gave me some money, told me to jump into his gig, drive up to Brevoort’s old low-storied cottage house on Bowery, and tell the owner that I wanted some Indian hemp for my grandfather, John Watts. I was to use diplomacy if necessary, but not to return without it.

I trotted briskly, roused Mr. Brevoort from a nap, stated my case, found no demur, and got the Indian hemp, which he dug up with his own hands.

“How much am I to pay?” I questioned.

“I never sells it,” Mr. Brevoort replied, “because if I takes money for Indian hemp, it weakens the vartoo.”

I stated that I was ordered to pay, and we discussed the matter, walking across the garden toward the gig, which I had left on Broadway.

I had made up my mind that I had met with a disinterested Christian, had replaced the money in my pocket, when I felt a brawny, sunburnt, freckled hand restraining me, and heard these words whispered in my ear: “I never sells Indian hemp, for that weakens the vartoo, but if I gives it, I never refuses a present.”

I extricated the money confided to me, placed it in the expectant hand, hurried home and related my story, and I have heard it laughed over many times.



If you don’t get the joke, don’t worry, its not that funny. My reading on this story is that “vartoo” is Mr. Brevoort’s Dutch pronunciation of the word “virtue.” As in, virtue is a trait or quality deemed to be morally excellent and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being. By selling something medicinal, Mr. Brevoort is saying that he would weaken the plants effectiveness by profiting off the sale. A contemporary aspect of this moral concept is that some medical cannabis dispensaries in California only take donations instead of selling their medicine. Maybe they don’t want to weaken the vartoo either.





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