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i'm currently on daily blogging sabbatical, but i'll be back very soon.

District Representation – The Washington Post, January 22, 1879
|| 10/1/2009 || 8:16 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

District Representation

The Washington Post, January 22, 1879

With the exception of the Indian tribes, the only community within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States unrepresented in Congress is the District of Columbia.

Territories whose few inhabitants are scattered over a broad expanse like the masts of ships on the ocean, and which neither commerce nor manufactures, send their delegates to Congress to represent their interests, and procure for them such legislation as shall tend to develop their resources and afford encouragement and protection to their people the embryo state advances toward maturity.

States with half the population of this District have their representatives in the House, and have an equal voice in the Senate with the oldest, largest, richest, and most populous members of the family states.

It is only here, at the capital of a country whose government is based on suffrage, that suffrage is unknown.

Holding to the theory that governments derive their just powers only from the consent of the governed, and that the ballot is the proper mode of expressing that consent, our Government denies the ballot to the inhabitants of its capital city.

Believing and teaching that is should be no taxation without representation, and that such taxation is tyranny, our Government levies taxes on the property of this people, and if those taxes are not paid it sells the property under the red flag and the hammer of a Government auctioneer. Thousands of homes have thus been sold here during the last few years.

We cannot see how any man, whatever may have been the result of his observation here in times past, can hold to the Democratic creed, to the great underlying principles of free government, and oppose the representation of this District in the law-making department of our governmental mechanism.

And because out faith in true Democracy is a vital reality, and not a sham, we approve the proposition to have the District of Columbia represented in the House. We see no reason why this community should be an exception to the general rule- why all should have a voice in the Capitol and we be mute.

It may be urged that the horde of negroes who swarm here will be used to elect a delegate who will misrepresent our people. We do not believe it. Intelligence and social influence, if rightly employed, will so direct public opinion that the election will be a fair expression of the wishes of our people.

As the delegate will not vote, and as his influence will depend on his being in accord with the dominant party in Congress, there will be no temptation to resort to any of those schemes and tricks that brought reproach upon popular suffrage here some years ago.

But whatever may be the fears of the timid and doubtful, we see no way in which an honest believer in Democracy can deny representation to this community. The taxpayer has a right to be heard. A delegate can speak for him. Consistency demands that this proposition should not fail for want of the support of Democrats in Congress.


This newspaper article was transcribed from a scan of the original newspaper article. The document was obtained from the Washington Post archives and is in the public domain. It is being republished here in order to continue my advocacy for full representation for the American citizens of the District of Columbia.



Map of Westminster Street NW in Washington, DC from 1921
|| 9/27/2009 || 4:46 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

westminster street 1921 Map of Westminster Street NW in Washington, DC from 1921

Last year I published Then & Now Birds-Eye Views of the Westminster Neighborhood in Washington, DC [1884 & 2005] and earlier today I came across some new maps of the street I’ve lived on for the last 5 years. This map comes from the 1921 edition of Baist’s real estate atlas of surveys of Washington, District of Columbia. It shows the neighborhood pretty much as it is today except for the neighborhood playground that currently sits where houses 193-196 used to be and some of the stables & garages people had constructed in their backyards have been removed.

Below is the citation from the Library of Congress entry:

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La Grisette by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
|| 8/6/2009 || 7:04 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

la grisette La Grisette by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
Caption in French: La grisette voulut avoir des robes et des chapeaux. elle se vendit.
Caption in English: The grisette wanted to have dresses and hats. It was sold.

Image from Alexander Dumas Les Morts vont vite

La Grisette by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. was written in 1836 shortly after returning to Boston from medical studies in Paris. The poem expresses not only nostalgia for his recently deceased young lover, but also for Paris itself and all that it represented to him at the time. I added some hyperlinks in the prose for further inquiry.


La Grisette by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

As Clemence! when I saw thee last
Trip down the Rue de Seine,
And turning, when thy form had past,
I said, “We meet again,”–
I dreamed not in that idle glance
Thy latest image came,
And only left to memory’s trance
A shadow and a name.

The few strange words my lips had taught
Thy timid voice to speak,
Their gentler signs, which often brought
Fresh roses to thy cheek,
The trailing of thy long loose hair
Bent o’er my couch of pain,
All, all returned, more sweet, more fair;
Oh, had we met again!

I walked where saint and virgin keep
The vigil lights of Heaven,
I knew that thou hadst woes to weep,
And sins to be forgiven;
I watched where Genevieve was laid,
I knelt by Mary’s shrine,
Beside me low, soft voices prayed;
Alas! but where was thine?

And when the morning sun was bright,
When wind and wave were calm,
And flamed, in thousand-tinted light,
The rose of Notre Dame,
I wandered through the haunts of men,
From Boulevard to Quai,
Till, frowning o’er Saint Etienne,
The Pantheon’s shadow lay.

In vain, in vain; we meet no more,
Nor dream what fates befall;
And long upon the stranger’s shore
My voice on thee may call,
When years have clothed the line in moss
That tells thy name and days,
And withered, on thy simple cross,
The wreaths of Pere-la-Chaise!


Note: I recently realized that I don’t often share here what I read, rather what I’ve created, photographed, mapped etc. Starting today I am going to try to include more poetry, miscellaneous literature, and interesting factoids I find on-line. I think they’ll make this digital scrapbook a little more robust. Enjoy!


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[FOUND MAP] Isola d’Elba aka the Island of Elba
|| 7/10/2009 || 5:49 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

isola d elba map small [FOUND MAP] Isola dElba aka the Island of Elba

Click the map above to view the larger version

The other night I was over at my friend’s house in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, DC for her going away party and saw this map hanging on the wall.

Isola d’Elba aka the Island of Elba is an island in Tuscany, Italy, 20 kilometres (12 mi) from the coastal town of Piombino. It is the largest island of the Tuscan Archipelago, located between the Tyrrhenian Sea and Ligurian Sea, and the third largest island in Italy after Sicily and Sardinia. This map shows the island with various cities, embellishments of fruit, flowers, & fish, important mountains on the island, and at the top of the map there is an iconic graphic of Napoleon Bonaparte riding a horse.

I first read about the Island of Elba when I was learning about French emperor Napoleon I in high school. Following the Treaty of Fontainebleau, Napoleon was exiled to Elba after his forced abdication in 1814 and arrived at Portoferraio (near the steamboat on the map) on May 3, 1814. He stayed on Elba for only 300 days and returned to France only to be exiled again to the far more distant Island of Saint Helena.

Below is a Library of Congress copy of a British engraving depicting Napoleon’s banishment to Elba in 1814:

napoleon on his way to elba [FOUND MAP] Isola dElba aka the Island of Elba

It’s titled “The journey of a modern hero, to the island of Elba” and says at the bottom:

Farewell my brave soldiers, my eagles adieu;
Stung with my ambition, o’er the world ye flew:
But deeds of disaster so sad to rehearse
I have lived–fatal truth for to know the reverse.
From Moscow to Lipsic; the case it is clear
I was sent back to France with a flea in my ear.

A lesson to mortals regarding my fall:
He grasps at a shadow, by grasping at all.
My course it is finish’d my race it is run,
My career it is ended just where it begun.
The Empire of France no more it is mine.
Because I can’t keep it I freely resign.

Coming from the butt of the donkey is the text: “The greatest events in human life is turn’d to a puff.” Coming from the broken sword is the text: “A throne is only made of wood and cover’d with velvet.” Written on the saddle are two phrases: “The budget of Mathematical books for my study at ELBA.” & “Materials for the history of my life and exploits.”


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My own Coat of Arms, the Origin of the Stars & Stripes, and Hartburn, DC
|| 6/2/2009 || 1:57 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

origin of the stars and stripes My own Coat of Arms, the Origin of the Stars & Stripes, and Hartburn, DC

Original image created in Chicago, 1894.
From the Library of Congress’ An American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera.

Some time in the future I’d like to read more deeply into heraldry and come up with my own Coat of Arms. Today there is so much talk about name branding that I think it would be an interesting juxtaposition where my Coat of Arms could visually explain some subtle details about me. My motto would either be Socio Ditata Labore or Gloria Immortalis Labore Parta, but how would I go about designing the shield? That is where I am currently stuck at, but I imagine that if I were to dig deeper into the arcane traditions of heraldry, I would come up with something fitting.

About two months ago I was rummaging through the Library of Congress’ An American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera and came across the image above. I knew that the DC flag was based off of George Washington’s family crest, but I didn’t know that it had been changed over the centuries prior to his family’s arrival in America. Moreover, I didn’t know that the city I currently live in, Washington, DC, might have been called something completely different…

From a New York Times’ Letter to the Editor published on April 8th, 1984:

Eberhartpence, Eberhart, Hartpence, Hart – what’s in a name? Indeed, had it not been for a change of name back in the 12th century, our nation’s capital might be Hartburn, D.C.

You see, when George Washington’s British ancestor William de Hartburn moved from Hartburn to Wessington in 1130, he changed his name to William de Wessington, which later became de Washington. The ”de” was dropped when the family arrived on these colonial shores around 1659.

Had William retained his original name, the father of our country would have been one ”George Hartburn.”

Imagine that– a gastrointestinal themed capital city. The people’s pyrosis!

I bet the George Hartburn University would have an even better medical school too! It makes me wonder if there would even be a Hart Senate office building, lest someone get the wild notion of burning it down. Or what about the lexical ramifications of when the British torched Washington in the War of 1812? Would this alternate history be called The Burning of Hartburn? I can only laugh and, of course, take some antacids.


A very long time ago, a couple weeks after the reelection of George W. Bush in November of 2004, I wrote that my most recent map looked similar to the gas mask I had purchased days prior:

Yet living in DC with 4 more years of Bush, I am expecting some acid reflux in the belly of the beast…

While there was only one case of acid reflux to hit Washington, DC during the subsequent 4 years, and a mild case at that, I can laugh again at this alternative history double entendre. Acid reflux in the belly of the beast? Only if George Washington’s ancestor didn’t change his name.



A Perpetual Calendar showing the day of any month corresponding to any day of the week, for the year 1775, to the year 2025
|| 3/5/2009 || 7:44 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

perpetual calendar 1775 2025 A Perpetual Calendar showing the day of any month corresponding to any day of the week, for the year 1775, to the year 2025

Last year I was planning on making six different calendars for 2009 to follow up the three calendars I made for 2008. I never ended up making any. It wasn’t that I couldn’t or wouldn’t, I just did really care at the time to make them. They didn’t end up becoming a priority, but I’m no sure why. I am still considering making one for myself, but haven’t yet.

The other week I came across this broadside on the Library of Congress’ Printed Ephemera Collection and thought it was worthy of sharing here. I’ll note that the graphic above shows only a portion of the original broadside, but for the purposed of this entry, it’s all I want to write about. This Perpetual Calendar was printed in Washington, DC in 1848 by the company Barnard & Sandy and is an interesting analogue means to find what the date is. Here is how:

The four steps it takes to find the day of the week.
1) Guide your finger to the years column on the right (or left) column
2) Guide your finger to the left (or right) to the central month column
3) Guide your finger down to the day of the week column
4) Guide your finger to the day of the month

perpetual calendar 1775 2025 in four steps A Perpetual Calendar showing the day of any month corresponding to any day of the week, for the year 1775, to the year 2025

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

It only works if you know what year it is, what month it is, and know either the day of week or the day of the month it is. For example, lets say you were unconscious for the last two weeks and don’t know what the day of the month it is (5th, 7th, 11th?) but you know that today is a Thursday, in March in the year 2009. This calendar will give you four options for the day of the month: 5, 12, 19, or 26.

Alternatively, if you knew that today was the 5th of March in 2009, but didn’t know the day of the week, you’d have to find where 5 shows up in the days of the month chart then find the point where the months of the year intersect in the day of the week box.

Once you figure out how to use this calendar its pretty easy to use. You can easily use this to plan for weekend trips for the next 16 years into the future or find out the day of the week a specific event took place in the last 234 years. I’ve come to the conclusion that while my art might be beautiful to look at for a year in the form of a calendar, I would rather construct a calendar like this one that outlives the 28 year cycle most leap year calendars follow. I think this would be an awesome project to undertake!



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What! A Bicycle Rifle? Yes?
|| 3/3/2009 || 7:14 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

what a bicycle rifle yes What!  A Bicycle Rifle?  Yes?

Click to view a larger version of the advertisement

So with Congress possibly changing DC gun laws to give DC colonists a token vote in the House of Representatives, I found this advertisement for a bicycle rifle to be somewhat humorous. With this rifle, I can lock & load & cycle and I make sure no one knocks me off my bicycle! I could discharge the rifle at a car’s wheels in case I feel that the car is getting too close to me. Imagine how I’ll be able to proactively protect my life and save myself from getting into accidents with larger vehicles with this handy rifle. I’ll have the most formidable bicycle ever!! The constitution might say we have a right to bear arms, but it doesn’t say anything about the right to have bicycles with arms. I predict the bicycle rifle will become the new Cycle Chic accessory item of Washington, DC cyclists. Just remember, you read it here first.


When I wrote about my neighborhood last year, I mentioned that the League of American Wheelmen competed on May 20th, 1884 on the land that would eventually become my current residence over a hundred years later. The advertisement above is from the program of the competition on the Library of Congress website.


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Nixon Sends GIs Into Cambodia And An Inverted 1970 Map of Communist Controlled Laos and Cambodia
|| 3/1/2009 || 8:53 pm || Comments Off || ||

The other week I found this flyer in the Library of Congress’ An American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera. I inverted the colors because the location of the conflict & reason for mobilization are different, but the circumstances remain timely because America currently at war in two countries. I remember going to the White House for a demonstration nearly six years ago the weekend after George Bush invaded Iraq. I have the video that I produced that day somewhere backed up and I plan on uploading to the YouTube this month as a somber reminder. However, I learned six years ago that our government is going to go to war without the consent of the American public and protesting, while important, does little to change the course of events in present-day America. 39 years ago, however, demonstrations were an important part of ending the war in Vietnam. But will they help bring the troops home from Iraq & Afghanistan? Doubtful. Really doubtful.


THE WASHINGTON POST – Friday, May 1, 1970

Nixon Sends GIs Into Cambodia

NIXON DECLARES ALL-OUT WAR ON SOUTHEAST ASIA

THE PEOPLE MUST ACT NOW

map of communist controlled areas in Laos and Cambodia Nixon Sends GIs Into Cambodia And An Inverted 1970 Map of Communist Controlled Laos and Cambodia

MASS MEETING at the WHITE HOUSE at noon on saturday, may 9

In another attempt to stifle dissent, the Nixon administration has handed down regulations prohibiting demonstrations on federal park land without a 15 day advance notice. Public outrage at the invasion of Cambodia is so great we will go to the White House in spite of these regulations. We will assert our right to peacefully assemble. The police may block us. If they also decide to arrest us, we will maintain a militant non-violent discipline, and options will be provided for those not prepared for arrest. Meet us at the White House!

DEMAND IMMEDIATE WITHDRAWAL OF ALL U.S. TROOPS & SUPPLIES FROM SOUTHEAST ASIA

The New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam — 1029 Vermont Av. N.W. Wash. D.C. 20005


nixon sends troops into cambodia Nixon Sends GIs Into Cambodia And An Inverted 1970 Map of Communist Controlled Laos and Cambodia

Courtesy of the Library of Congress


Notes:
1) On the transcription page on the Library of Congress website, I found that the map above was improperly cited as an “illustration”
2) I believe the map was probably published in the Washington Post on Friday May 1st, 1970



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Thomas Jefferson’s Map of Washington from March 31st, 1791
|| 2/28/2009 || 1:30 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

thomas jefferson dc map 1791 Thomas Jeffersons Map of Washington from March 31st, 1791

Map courtesy of the Library of Congress

Throughout the week I watched the Senate debate on the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2009. This bill (which I’ve written about before in its different forms) will give DC residents a token vote in the House of Representatives, while denying us representation in the Senate. (Taxation Without 2/3′s Representation!!) Thursday afternoon the Senate passed the Act after they also voted to add a bogus amendment written by the National Rifle Association to weaken/remove the District of Columbia’s gun laws. The vote showed clearly that the District of Columbia is still Congress’ little colony and even with the Act’s passage, DC residents are no better off than before, except of course, we’ll be governed by 536 unelected officials, instead of 535. Hurrah for continued tyranny masked as progress!

There were two words I heard over and over again during the Senate debate: Founding Fathers. Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, is revered as one of America’s founding fathers and after looking at his map that he drew in 1791 (and attempting to read his nearly illegible text), I’ve come to the conclusion that the Seat of Government that the Constitution gives Congress exclusive jurisdiction over (Article I, Section 8, Clause 17), is also nearly the same geography that was defined as the National Capital Service Area [link to Google Map] when DC statehood was proposed. This area is basically all the federal government buildings around the National Mall and is what I feel Congress should have exclusive control over. So why was the Seat of Government expanded to include the entire District of Columbia when Jefferson clearly drew a smaller vision 218 years ago? I don’t know, but fixing one of the Founding Father’s faux-pas should involve giving DC residents full equality that citizens of the rest of America receive, which means representation in both the House and the Senate.



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An Act for establishing the Temporary and Permanent seat of the Government of the United States
|| 2/24/2009 || 12:35 pm || Comments Off || ||

For last month or so I’ve been adding historic pieces of legislation here on my blog. The aim here, and the general aim of this blog, is to keep an ongoing, on-line journal that features things that I’m either interested in or things that I have created. Historic pieces of legislation related to the District of Columbia fall into the former category, and today’s entry is the text & scans of the act that established the Temporary (Philadelphia) and Permanent Seat of the Government of the United States in a “district of territory” that would eventually become named the District of Columbia.


temporary home of government1790 An Act for establishing the Temporary and Permanent seat of the Government of the United States

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Text of the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871
|| 1/30/2009 || 5:23 pm || Comments Off || ||

The District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871 aka “An Act to provide a Government for the District of Columbia (41st Congress, 3d Sess., ch. 62, 16 Stat. 419, enacted 1871-02-21) is an Act of Congress, which revoked the individual charters of the City of Washington, the City of Georgetown, and the County of Washington and created a new city government for the entire District of Columbia. The legislation effectively merged what had been separate municipalities within the federal territory into a single entity. It is for this reason that the city, while legally named the District of Columbia, is still commonly known as Washington, D.C. However, this act was abolished in 1874, and while the name did not change, the territorial Governor was replaced with a three-member Board of Commissioners appointed by the President. This system existed until 1974 when the District of Columbia Home Rule Act allowed for District residents to elect their own mayor.

Below is the text of the bill:

organic act 1871 1 Text of the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871

Continue reading the bill:

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Text of the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801
|| 1/29/2009 || 5:12 pm || Comments Off || ||

The District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801 (officially An Act Concerning the District of Columbia) (6th Congress, 2nd Sess., ch. 15, 2 Stat. 103, enacted 1801-02-27) is an Act of Congress, which incorporated the District of Columbia and divided the territory into two counties: Washington County to the east of the Potomac River and Alexandria County to the west. The charters of the independent cities of Georgetown and Alexandria were left in place and no change was made to their status. The laws of both Maryland and Virginia continued to remain in force within the District.

Below is the text of the bill:

organic act1 1801 Text of the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801

Continue reading the bill:

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Photograph of the ceiling inside of the Alhambra obtained from the Casselman Archive of Islamic and Mudejar Architecture in Spain
|| 12/11/2008 || 3:14 pm || Comments Off || ||

ceiling alhambra Photograph of the ceiling inside of the Alhambra obtained from the Casselman Archive of Islamic and Mudejar Architecture in Spain

Title: Alhambra
Date: 1354-1391
Place: Andalusia–Granada–Granada
Time: Islamic (Nasrid)
Description: Interior: Sala de la Barca (Hall of the Boat), Detail of Wood Ceiling
Subjects: Palace / Ceiling / Artesonado / Lacería / Granada
Type: StillImage
Is Part Of: Casselman Archive of Islamic and Mudejar Architecture in Spain
The Arts Collection
Rights: Copyright Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System
Posted here for educational & promotional purposes
Ownership: University of Wisconsin Art History Department
Submitter: Thomas E. A. Dale, Art History, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Local Identifier: Arts.csls8503.bib


Yesterday I read that the University of Wisconsin’s Art History Department has made available over 4,000 images from its slide library. The Casselman Archive contains images of medieval and early modern Spain taken by the late Eugene Casselman (1912-1996) during his thirty years of travel throughout the Iberian peninsula. The images span over one thousand years of architectural history, from the seventh to the seventeenth century. While I never studied architecture or Islamic art, I can’t help but be reminded of the stylistic similarities between what I produce and what was being produced over 600 years ago.



Stereocard of the Great Hall in the Vatican Library
|| 11/17/2008 || 3:59 pm || Comments Off || ||

vatican great hall library stereocard Stereocard of the Great Hall in the Vatican Library

William Herman Rau (1855-1920), “Corridoio della Biblioteca Vaticana, Roma”. Stereofotografia. Numero di catalogo: 1999.

The other day I was clicking through Wikipedia and I came across this interesting stereogram. Check out these other stereocards.



In the December issue of QST Magazine
|| 11/16/2008 || 5:57 pm || Comments Off || ||

old ham radio ad In the December issue of QST Magazine

Vintage advertisement from the December 1966 issue of QST Magazine for Heath Company’s Ham Radios

QST magazine is the most widely read Amateur Radio publication in the country. Since 1915, QST has been delivering the latest news and practical information from the world of Amateur Radio. In September I was contacted about supplying a map similar to the one in the photograph above for an upcoming advertisement in the magazine. While I didn’t have the original map shown above, I was able to print a copy of my “New Blaeu” map for Brian Wood of the DZ Company. The advertisement below is featured in the December edition of QST Magazine on page 150. If you see it on the newsstands, please pick up a copy! Click the advertisement below to be taken to www.dzkit.com

DZ ChristmasAd PressOpt In the December issue of QST Magazine

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Nikolas Schiller is a second-class American citizen living in America's last colony, Washington, DC. This blog is my on-line repository of what I have created or found on-line since May of 2004. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

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