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Washington Post: About that ‘bud summit’ at the White House — pot activists are still waiting
|| 6/25/2016 || 10:55 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Thirty minutes after the meeting began, Eidinger and Nikolas Schiller, co-founder of DC Marijuana Justice, were done and outside the White House. They held a banner that read “President Obama, We need a higher level meeting.”

Screengrab of the Washington Post story About that ‘bud summit’ at the White House — pot activists are still waiting

+ MORE



Washington Post – Letter to the Editor: The D.C. Council’s marijuana club ban inadvertently creates the ‘smokeasy’
|| 1/11/2016 || 11:44 am || + Render A Comment || ||

Screengrab of the Washington Post Letter to the Editor

The D.C. Council’s marijuana club ban inadvertently creates the ‘smokeasy’

January 11, 2016

The Jan. 7 editorial “Clouded judgment” regurgitated the same tired argument that the District is moving too fast to change discriminatory cannabis laws. But as council member Brianne K. Nadeau (D-Ward 1) said, there is no emergency that warrants a ban.

Beginning July 17, 2014, the day the D.C. Council’s decriminalization law went into effect, it stopped being a criminal offense to have cannabis clubs in the District. It wasn’t a criminal offense to have private events, where the public is not invited and cannabis could be used behind closed doors. The decriminalization law says that the smell of cannabis is not probable cause for police action. Private cannabis clubs could have been created before Initiative 71 was voted on, but they weren’t.

By rubber-stamping the mayor’s ban, the council inadvertently created the “smokeasy,” a private residence where adults consume cannabis together. Is this the “unintended consequence” of poorly crafted emergency legislation? It’s a hallmark of poor governance to enact laws to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. By banning cannabis-using adults from gathering at private venues, the council created a problem.

We look forward to working with the mayor and the D.C. Council on fixing the ban so all adults have access to safe places outside their homes to use cannabis responsibly.

Adam Eidinger and Nikolas Schiller, Washington
The writers are founders of DCMJ and authors of Initiative 71.


SOURCE: Washington Post



Washington Post: On Day 1 of legalization, Bowser submits bill to prevent ‘pot clubs’
|| 2/26/2015 || 6:17 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

“A long time ago, we decided there would be no large events with people smoking,” Schiller said. “It was one of those quiet victories to be celebrated in back yards and in living rooms.”

+ MORE



DC Flag Day in the Flesh
|| 6/15/2011 || 7:01 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Back in mid-May, late at night after a few of our friends had gotten out of jail after being arrested outside of the U.S. Capitol demonstrating in favor of voting rights & statehood for DC, Ally B., Adam E., and myself were discussing ways we could do another action. I brought up the idea of using Flag Day as an upcoming day that people could mobilize around and everyone agreed that there was enough time to plan & execute an event. Inspired by Shana Glickfield’s collection of DC Flag tattoos, together we wrote the first press release and since Adam & I were busy working on other projects, Ally did the rest of the organizing for “DC Flag Day in the Flesh“. In all, this was one of the best events I’ve ever helped to organize because we had such a great turnout and very positive media coverage. I’m looking forward to helping organize the second annual DC Flag Day in the Flesh :-) I’d like to get the folks from Guinness Book of World Records to come and document “the most tattooed ‘state’ flags in one location.”


Inked and Non-Inked Gather in Dupont Circle

Celebrate Flag Day Tuesday, June 14, 6-8 pm

It is well known that thousands of District of Columbia residents past and present sport DC flag tattoos. In fact, George Washington, whose family crest is the source of the DC flag, would never have predicted that so many would passionately adorn themselves to show their civic pride. Over the years, the “Three Stars and Two Bars” has come to symbolize over 600,000 Americans who can not enact their own laws nor elect voting representatives to the House and Senate.

This Flag Day 2011 we encourage a large gathering of people with DC Flag tattoo’s and those that support them as a way to get under the skin of America and bring attention to DC’s lack of rights in Congress.

Come celebrate DC Flag Tattoos, paint large Give Me a Vote Hands, and find out what you can do to get DC equal representation in Congress.

WHO: Inked, non-Inked, and all who LOVE DC
WHAT: Flag Day DC Celebration, Speakers sponsored by DC Vote, Art sponsored by Give Me a Vote and Albus Cavus, and surprises!
WHEN: Tuesday, June 14, 2011, 6pm to 8pm
WHERE: Dupont Circle, Washington DC, USA
“Home of Taxation Without Representation”



A couple photographs of me from BYT by Dakota Fine

DC Flag Tattoo Day – June 14 by Brandon Bloch


Video by Mike Flugennock


Video by Edgar Elmore


Video by Matt Bevilacqua

Press:
+ D.C. faithful get inked, rally for representation – Washington Post
+ D.C. Flag Tattoo Day: Show off your city pride – AP via Washington Post
+ D.C. residents to celebrate flag tattoos – AP via WTOP
+ D.C. residents to celebrate flag tattoos – AP via Federal News Radio
+ Tattooed DC Residents Push for Representation – WMAL
+ Flag day is for… showing off tattoos? – Seattle Post-Intelligencer
+ D.C. Ink: Flag-Tatted to Gather at Dupont Tomorrow – DCist
+ Photo Booth: D.C. Flag Tattoo Day – DCist
+ DC Flag Tattoo Day: Does it Matter If You’re Not Punk? – Washingtonian
+ With flag tattoos, D.C. residents seek representation in Congress – Scripps Howard
+ D.C. Flag Tattoo Day mixes District flag with tattoos – TBD
+ D.C. Flag Day tattoos: The Polaroids – TBD
+ Got a DC Flag Tattoo? Celebrate Today – NBC Washington
+ Showing off some inked skin for D.C. – WJLA
+ D.C. Flag Tattoos We Don’t Endorse, Even for Voting Rights – Washington City Paper
+ Welcome to Our Strife, Tattoo – Washington City Paper
+ Norton Commends Youth Activism and Achievements Today at Two Separate Events, DC Flag Day Tattoo Rally and Ballou STAY High School Graduation – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)
+ DC Statehood advocates unveil DC flag tattoos for Flag Day – DC Direct Action News
+ Photos: DC Flag Tattoo Day! Go DC! #dcflagtattoo #dcvote – Vincent Gallegos
+ DC Flag Tattoo Day – Frank Turner
+ DC Flag Tattoo Day – Borderstan

From the Washington Post article:

When Allyson Behnke’s friend was arrested back in May for rallying in support of District representation in Congress, she and a few others started brainstorming ways to raise awareness for the cause in a more entertaining way. Somebody mentioned Flag Day, and an idea tattooed itself on her mind.



Feature in today’s Weekend Pass Section of the Washington Post’s Express Newspaper: “Geo-Beautiful”
|| 10/28/2010 || 6:08 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Screengrab from the PDF of today EXPRESS newspaper

click to view the full page

Earlier this afternoon I got a call from a friend informing me that one of my maps was published in today’s Washington Post Express Newspaper. Judging by the advertisement that shows up on the full page spread, I think someone at the Express has a sense of humor.



Armillary Sphere Donated to ‘Federal City’ by Author; Ancient Astronomical Device Links Early Chinese to Modern Americans – The Washington Post, November 10, 1936
|| 2/7/2010 || 1:37 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

No one knows where the Noyes Armillary Sphere is today. Over the last few years I have personally called the Smithsonian & the National Park Service inquiring about the sculpture’s existence, but all have said it is lost. I genuinely find that difficult to believe because its not a small sculpture, but a rather large one. Some day in the future I would like to see this sculpture replaced and over time I hope to post more photographs and articles about this lost sculpture of Washington, DC.

According to the Smithsonian Institution Research Information System:

The sculpture originally consisted of two equal rings representing the Meridian and Equator, intersecting to form a sphere. Each intersecting ring was divided into areas representing the equinoxes and the Arctic and Antarctic regions. A wide bronze ring was adorned with the signs of the zodiac…. The base of sphere designed by Horace Peaslee, the architect of Meridian Park. The sphere was accepted by the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts in 1929, and was purchased with funds donated by Bertha Noyes, founder of the Washington Arts Club, in memory of her sister Edith. The sphere was vandalized during the 1960s and was removed from the park for repair. During this time, the sphere disappeared, with only the small winged figure of a child remaining.


National Park Service Photograph of the Noyes Armillary Sphere in Meridian Hill Park in the District of Columbia taken in the 1930's

National Park Service Photograph Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Armillary Sphere Donated to ‘Federal City’ by Author; Ancient Astronomical Device Links Early Chinese to Modern Americans.


The bronze sphere, 16 feet in circumference, bears the words: “Given to the Federal City, MCMXXXVI, for Edith Noyes.” It is the gift of Bertha Noyes, noted Washington artist, in memory of her sister.

Although the origin of the armillary sphere as an astronomical instrument is shrouded in mystery, its invention is usually credited to China, where it was first in use in approximately 200 B. C.

The Noyes memorial was designed by C. Paul Jennewein, New York sculptor, whose other works in Washington include the statue of a nude with fawn in Judiciary Square which was erected in memory of Joseph James Darlington, a District Supreme Court justice. Its placement in 1922 stirred a heated controversy.

Mounted on a granite pedestal three feet in height, the sphere has the signs of the Zodiac in relief on the outside of the great circle, within which are cleverly contrived the hours of the day marked in Roman numerals. In the center is a winged figure of a child greeting the sun.

At the base is a tablet, also of bronze, which corrects minor variations of the dial at different times of the year. Adjustments were made by a Columbia University astronomer in order that the instrument might be scientifically exact.


This newspaper article was obtained from the Washington Post historical newspaper archives. This article is not in the public domain but is being republished here under the fair use doctrine of U.S. copyright law in order to advocate for a replacement armillary sphere in Meridian Hill Park.


Related Armillary Sphere Entries:



Vote Victory Result Of Luck, Hard Work, Some Sweat, Tears – The Washington Post, March 30, 1961
|| 2/2/2010 || 11:29 am || + Render A Comment || ||

This newspaper article highlights some of the work that was undertaken to ratify the 23rd Amendment to the United States Constitution. Two curious items that I learned from transcribing this article was that the Washington Post sent out a team of correspondents to 44 state capitals to cover the ratification process and that Tennessee was the only Southern state to ratify the Constitutional Amendment. As I have noted here & here, Arkansas was the only Southern State to flatly reject the Constitutional Amendment based mostly on the racial makeup of the District of Columbia. Nonetheless, I’ve got to wonder that with all the technological innovations in the last 50 years, would it be easier to pass a Constitutional Amendment nowadays than it was then?


Vote Victory Result Of Luck, Hard Work, Some Sweat, Tears

23d Amendment Had Close Calls, Many Friends

To the Washington resident starved for the vote the Constitution offered cake: He could be elected President of the United States.

Until the adoption of the 23d Amendment yesterday the Constitution denied him bread: the right to vote for the great office to which he always has been eligible to be elected.

Amending the Constitution is extremely difficult. The approval of two thirds of the members of both Houses of Congress must be won, then the approval of three fourths of the states (either their legislatures, as in the case of the 23d Amendment, or of specially called state conventions, as the case with the 21st Amendment repealing prohibition).

Amended 12 Times

And in the 170 years since the Bill of Rights went into effect the job has been done only 12 times. Several attempts have failed.

The 23d Amendment hardly had the intoxicating, thirst-slaking appeal of the prohibition-repeal Amendment. That it went through 39 states faster than the 21st went through 36 is astonishing.

It is astonishing even if you know of the confluence of luck and circumstance- including the dedicated, devoted work of many persons to a democratic principle, of the fortuitous political self-interest of some, even of the desire to use the presidential vote to head off home rule- that lie behind the 23d’s passage.

The whole story can never be told. But there are several examples of luck and lucky dedication that helped bring the vote to Washington:

+ A ratification resolution squeaked by the Illinois Senate with a 2-vote margin.

+ Tennessee almost certainly would not have ratified had it not been for the decision of Gov. Buford Ellington to rescue an Amendment resolution that a House committee had tabled. Tennessee was the only Southern state that ratified.

+ A House-passed resolution was before the Indiana Senate. Adjournment- until 1963- was but a few days away. It was not realized that the bill had not been lost en route from the printer and was, therefore, not on the Senate calendar.

Because of a routine “How are things going?” phone call from Sturgis Warner, presidential vote counsel to the District Democratic and Republican State Committees, the lost bill was found- and ratified in time.

The GOP-controlled Wyoming Senate got a do-not-pass recommendation from its Judiciary Committee. Under ordinary circumstances that would have been the end of the resolution.

Mary Bruner, District GOP Committee secretary and a former clerk in the Wyoming House, was horrified. She felt that the central problem was that Wyoming legislators did not understand that the Amendment would give District residents the presidential vote- period.

The Wyoming Press Association was meeting at the time in Cheyenne. Mrs. Bruner’s younger brother, Jim Griffith Jr., editor of the Lusk (Wyo.) Herald, had just been elected president.

She contacted him and influential Wyoming friends, including Lewis E. Bates, editor of the Wyoming State Tribune in Cheyenne, and State Treasurer C. J. Rogers.

Even before the Judiciary Committee action, the state’s lone Congressman, Rep. William Henry Harrison (R-Wyo.), had wired compelling appeals for support.

The Senate constituted itself as a committee of the whole, took the Amendment from the Judiciary Committee, passed it and sent it to the House, which later ratified it.

Perhaps it was luck, too, that Washington’s newspapers- divided on home rule and many other issues- were wholeheartedly united in trying to win the presidential vote.

Last September, The Washington Post set up a network of legislative correspondents in 44 state capitals. Especially in recent weeks, they provided The Post with the caliber of phone and wire coverage of fast-breaking news that can come only from experienced, on-the-spot reporters.

Beyond that, these correspondents themselves became interested in the Amendment. Their interest stimulated that of their own and other newspapers, of state legislators and of governors.

Slip-up in Vermont

There was one slip-up. The Vermont Senate had passed a ratification resolution. One day, the Vermont correspondent reported that the House had ratified. The report was duly printed.

Next morning, the office of Rep. Robert T. Stafford (R-Vt.) said there must have been a mistake- that the House had approved on a second, not a third and final, reading.

The cleark of the Vermont House, Dale Brooks, confirmed this. He said the House was in session at the moment (the morning of Friday, March 10) but was tied up with a fish and game bill. He doubted that final action could come before the following Tuesday.

The Washington Post reporter, almost speechless at the possibility of having to repeal Vermont, managed to ask Brooks if he would call collect whenever the House did ratify. Brooks said he’d be glad to.

Brooks called back within 10 minutes. He said that he had apprised Speaker Leroy Lawrence of the situation, and that the Speaker had suspended legislative hunting and fishing and called up the Amendment resolution, which was passed- unanimously.

For New Mexico’s ratification much credit is due to the wife of George Dixon, The Washington Post columnist. She is the daughter of Sen. Dennis Chavez (D-N. Mex.) Her name is Ymelda as most Dison’s fans know by this time.



This newspaper article was transcribed from a scan of the original newspaper article. The document was obtained from the Washington Post archives and is not 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.



VOTE PLEA TO CONGRESS – Americanize 400,000, Urges D.C. Joint Citizens’ Committee – The Washington Post, February 13, 1918
|| 1/29/2010 || 12:45 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

The Constitutional Amendment contained in this transcribed newspaper article is quite beautiful. It shows nearly 100 years of compromise and the remains of a civil rights struggle that affects 600,000 American citizens. Only a shred of this original Constitutional Amendment exists today and its in the form of the 23rd Amendment to the United States Constitution, which was ratified 43 years after the publication of this newspaper article in 1961. Unfortunately, the 23rd Amendment only allows the residents of the District of Columbia to obtain Presidential Electors (to be able to vote for the President) on par with the least populous state and provides no representation in Congress. The portion of the Constitutional Amendment below that was not ratified remained unfinished business for another 17 years when in 1978 the District of Columbia Voting Rights Amendment was passed by Congress. After seven years only 16 states of the needed 38 had ratified the amendment and the time window of ratification expired, leaving the residents of the District of Columbia without representation in Congress. There has not been a Constitutional Amendment passed by Congress since and I urge my delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton to introduce Constitutional Amendment similar to the one below. If not now, when?



VOTE PLEA TO CONGRESS


Americanize 400,000, Urges D.C. Joint Citizens’ Committee.


NO VOICE ON WAR OR TAXES


Proposed Amendment Would Give Power to Congress to Grant Franchise on President and Fix Representation in Both Houses– Statehood Not Contemplated.


Renewed appeal to Congress to Americanize the 400,000 inhabitants of the Capital by granting them a voice in the national government was made yesterday by the citizens’ joint committee on national representation for the District of Columbia. Every senator and representative was urged to support the constitutional amendment which will empower Congress to give the disfranchised citizens of Washington the right to representation in Congress, and to vote for President and Vice President.

The citizens’ committee mailed to the members of both houses of Congress a copy of the joint resolution providing for amendment of the Federal Constitution as the preliminary step to conferring the vote and representation on the District populace. With the resolution now pending before Congress went two circulars outlining the rights and privileges which its adoption would make possible to the long disfranchised citizens of the nation’s Capital.

Voice in Electoral College.

One circular explains what the proposed District suffrage amendment would do, and also what it would not do. This leaflet sets forth that by enabling Congress to give the District voting representation in Congress and the electoral college, it will become possible to–

Make Americans of 400,000 people– soon to be 1,000,000- whose present political prospects are less than those of aliens elsewhere in America.

Put in force the principle of “no taxation without representation” at the center of the American republic.

Add representative participation in government to the duty, always borne, of paying taxes and bearing arms.

Remove the present stigma resulting from permanent political impotence of a people more numerous than the population in each of six American States (1910 Census).

Statehood Not Proposed.

Make the heart of our own nation “safe for democracy” while engaged in the world crusade to that end.

Make it possible for the District boys fighting in France to look forward on their return to a voting right in the government they have fought to defend.

Make it no longer possible to say that the American Capital city the only national capital that has no voice in its national government.

Showing the other side of the shield, the circular then sets forth that a constitutional amendment does not propose statehood for the District; does not propose destruction of the “ten mile square” provision of the Constitution or lessen in the slightest degree complete control of the nation over the District; it is not a measure for local self-government, and does not disturb in any way the financial relation of the nation and Capital, either by the abolition or perpetuation of the half-and-half law.

Gives Congress Power to Act.

The joint resolution proposing the amendment necessary to the Constitution as a condition precedent to the granting by Congress of District suffrage, was introduced in the Senate by Senator Chamberlain, of Oregon, while in the House it was offered by Representative Austin, of Tennessee. This resolution when passed by a two-thirds vote of the Senate and House and ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the States provides that:



“The Congress shall have power to admit the status of citizens of a State the resident of the District constituting the seat of the government of the United States, created by article 1, section 8, for the purpose of representation in the Congress and among the electors of President and Vice President and for the purpose of suing and being sued in the courts of the United States under the provisions of article 3, section 2.

“When the Congress shall exercise this power the residents of such District shall be entitled to elect one or two senators as determined by the Congress, representatives in the House according to their numbers as determined by the decennial enumeration, and presidential electors equal in number to their aggregate representation in the House and Senate.

“The Congress shall provide by law the qualifications of voters and the time and manner of choosing the senator or senators, the representative or representatives, and the electors herein authorized.

“The Congress shall have power to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing power.”


Low Court Standing.

Under the caption “Americanize Washingtonians,” the citizens committee in the other circular sets forth that the 400,000 Americans in the District constitute the only community of intelligent, public-spirited citizens in the United States which is denied representation in the national government.

“As a suitor in the courts of the United States,” runs this appeal for congressional support, “the District resident has, the Supreme Court says, a lower standing than an alien.

“In relation to national laws the sole function of the District resident is to obey. They take no part in making the laws which they must obey.

“In relation to national taxes their sole function is to pay. They have nothing to say, like other taxpayers, concerning the amount and kind of taxes they shall pay and how the tax money shall be spent.

No Voice in War Declaration.

“In relational to national war their sole function is to fight in obedience to command. They have no voice, like other Americans, in the councils which determine war and peace. They have no representation in the government which requires them to fight, to bleed and perhaps to die.

“National representation is a distinctive, basic right of the American citizen- in a government of the people, by the people, for the people- in a government which roots its justice in a consent of the governed- in a representative government which inseparably couples taxation and arms-bearing as a soldier with representation.

“Since the 400,000 Americans of the District pay the national taxes, obey national laws and go to war in the nation’s defense, they are entitled on American principles to be represented in the national government which taxes them, which makes all laws for them and which sends them to war.

Not to Disturb National Control.

“The constitutional amendment which we urge empowers Congress to correct this inequity without disturbing in the slightest national control of the Capital or the present form of municipal government. Congress retains every power in these respects that it now possess. All that happens will be that the District becomes a small fractional part of that Congress, and politically an integral part of the nation which that Congress represents.

“National representation will clothe the Washingtonian with a vital American privilege to which he is undeniably in equity entitled; will cleanse him of the stigma and stain of un-Americanism, and, curing his political impotency, will arm him with a certain power.

“It will relieve that nation of the shame of un-Americanism at its heart and of impotency to cure this evil.

“It will inflict no injury or hardship upon either nation or Capital to counteract these benefits.

“Consistency and justice; national pride and self-respect; the will to efface a shameful blot from the national escutcheon; the spirit of true Americanism and righteous hatred of autocracy in any guise; the patriotic impulse toward full preparedness of the nation as a champion of democracy and representative government everywhere in the world- all combine to make irresistible at this very moment our appeal for the adoption of this amendment.



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.



Arkansas Is First To Reject District Voting Amendment – The Washington Post, January 25, 1961
|| 1/25/2010 || 3:13 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

It should be noted that after nearly fifty years Arkansas has still not ratified the 23rd Amendment to the United States Constitution.


Arkansas Is First To Reject District Voting Amendment

Vote Is 59-26;
Opponent Fears Try at Statehood


Arkansas Is First To Reject District Voting Amendment
By Monton Mintz, Staff Reporter

Arkansas yesterday rejected the proposed Constitutional Amendment that would let District residents vote for President and Vice President. It is the first state to do so.

The Arkansas House of Representatives refused to ratify by a vote of 59 to 26. Ratification is possible only with favorable action by both the House and Senate.

Rep. Marion Crank of Little River County led the fight against ratification. The Associated Press reported from Little Rock that he told the House:

“They propose to create another state. Giving them electors is the first step.”

Several cries of “Amen” were heard when he finished speaking, the AP said.

Rep. Jack S. Oakes of Woodruff County, a proponent ratification, brought Washington’s Negro population into limited discussion.

He said he understood that the City was 80-per-cent Negro, but Arkansas should not deprive the District of the right to vote.

“This just gives them another propaganda weapon,” he said.

Oakes’ estimate of the District population is not supported by the Census Bureau. The Bureau said on Jan. 16 that preliminary figures show the population is 53.9 per cent Negro.

As to Crank’s assertion that the Amendment is the first step toward statehood, Washington leaders of the campaign for national suffrage pointed out that Congress carefully framed the Amendment to do only one thing: to allow District residents to vote for presidential electors.

The Citizens for Presidential Vote says in its official brochure: “The Amendment would not make the District of Columbia a state, nor endow it with any attributes of a state. Neither would it give the District any representation in the House of Representatives or the Senate.”

Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus did not endorse the Amendment, although he had said in September that “I cannot conceive of a situation where I would refuse to let anyone vote.”

In the Ohio Senate yesterday, a ratification resolution was introduced by Minority Leader Frank W. King (D-Toledo). The Amendment has the backing of Gov. Michael V. DiSalle.

Five state legislatures have approved the Amendment, leaving 33 to go. Ratification resolutions are pending in at least 10.

In Maryland, both houses have approved resolutions whose texts differ slightly. Final action awaits agreement on a single resolution.

Similar resolutions have been approved by the Pennsylvania House and the Minnesota and Oregon Senates.


This newspaper article was obtained from the Washington Post historical newspaper archives. This article is not in the public domain but is being republished here under the fair use doctrine of U.S. copyright law in order to continue my advocacy for full representation for the American citizens of the District of Columbia.



Anxious To Come Back – The Washington Post, July 24, 1890
|| 12/17/2009 || 11:36 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Map of Alexandria County from 1878

ANXIOUS TO COME BACK


The District Hath Charms for the People of Alexandria


A MOVEMENT OF THE CITIZENS


Ninety Per Cent of the Population of Alexandria City and County Ready and Willing to Leave the Old State and Become Part of the National Capital.


The question of the repeal of the law retroceding Alexandria county to Virginia is the uppermost topic in the ancient city now. The advocates and opponents of repeal are having it back and forth good naturedly. “When are you going into the District?” one asks banteringly of the other. The latest step that has been taken toward securing a crystallization into action of all the discussion on the subject for the past twenty-five years was the presentation in the Senate, as stated in The Post yesterday, of a petition by Mr. Edmunds, signed by about 400 citizens of Alexandria county, praying for the repeal of the act of 1846, giving back to Virginia that portion of the ten miles square which Virginia had ceded for the seat of government. A Post reporter circulated among the business men of Alexandria yesterday with a view of learning the public sentiment in the matter. He found an almost unanimous sentiment in favor of it, at least those whom he met favored it and claimed that there was little opposition to the movement.

Mr. Amos Slaymaker, the King-street drygoods merchant, carried the petition among the business men. He said that he found very few who were opposed to it. There were some who thought that it was a slap at old Virginia, and they thought that it was not right to “go back” on the old State. The opposition was based entirely on sentiment. Those who favored repeal were animated by practical movements.

“We do not regard it as a slap at old Virginia,” Mr. Slaymaker said to the Post reporter. “We believe that it would benefit Virginia as well as Alexandria. See how Maryland has benefited by the proximity of the District. This would put a slice of the District right into Virginia, and could not but benefit all the surrounding country. I was a Confederate soldier myself, and I would not do anything that would be a blow to Virginia. Alexandria should be the port of entry for Washington. The navy yard and the ordnance foundery should be located here, where there is plenty of deep water instead of government spending thousands of dollars every year dredging out the Eastern Branch.”

“What started this movement?”

“It was started out in the county, and the paper was sent to me by Mr. Lacey, the patent attorney of Washington, who own considerable property in Alexandria county. The people in the county are all strongly in favor of it.”

“How is it proposed to proceed?”

“We hope to get Congress to repeal the law of retrocession. The Virginia legislature will bring the case before the Supreme Court, where we hope to get a decision. It is said, I believe, that Daniel Webster claimed when the law of retrocession was passed that it was unconstitutional, but a test has never been made of the law. Why, at the present time when you want to run any lines in the District you have to start from our corner of the ten miles square. It would be quite as constitutional for Maryland to take back that portion which she ceded to the Government. Then where would your District be?”

Mr. Joseph Broders, the grocer, on King street, near Union, heads the list of those who signed the petition. “I have thought for years that the act of retrocession was unconstitutional,” he said, “and when the paper was brought to me I said that I would willingly sign it– I would put my name at the top if they wanted. Daniel Webster said when it was proposed to let Virginia take back what it had given the Government, ‘Why, gentlemen, you can’t do that.’ But the South was in a majority in Congress, and it was rushed through. It was put through largely through railroad influence. Alexandria wanted to subscribe for the Orange and Alexandria Railway, and as part of the District it couldn’t do it. So it was decided to have the city go back into the State, and then it could be authorized to subscribe, and it was done. But it was wholly unconstitutional. Why, suppose a bill were to be brought up into Congress retroceding to Maryland that part which that State gave to the Government? The thing wouldn’t be heard of. It would be declared unconstitutional at the start. But if it was constitutional to let go of the part of the District on this side of the river it certainly is to retrocede that part of the District on the other side. That is plain enough.”

Mr. D.W. Whiting, the publisher of the Daily Progress, said that he had long favored repeal and had written for it for years. “Here we are paying out between $80,000 and $100,000 a year to the State,” said he, “and are getting nothing in return for it. All our license fees, the fines in State cases, and 40 cents on the $1 goes into the State, and we get nothing in return for it. Look at our streets; cobblestones overgrown by grass. If we had this $100,000 to spend on home improvements we could pave our streets better. As it is we spend about $10,000 a year on our streets. The benefit to Alexandria by coming into the District would be immense. There is an overwhelming sentiment here in favor of it. I believe that 90 out of 100 favor it. The laboring people favor it almost to a man, and the business men of Alexandria are largely in favor of it.”

Mr. Whiting yesterday published in his paper the following editorial on the subject:

RETROCESSION — A petition was presented to the United States Senate yesterday signed by a number of leading citizens of this city, asking Congress to pass an enabling act so that the constitutionality of the act annexing that portion of the District of Columbia, south of the Potomac, to Virginia. There are many very strong reasons why the people of Alexandria should desire to get back into the District. One of the reasons is that Alexandria is paying annually into the State treasury nearly, if not quite $100,000, which if spent in the city would give us good streets instead of miserable cobblestone wagon-destroyers that we have. The only reason for desiring to remain with the State is a sentimental one. The reasons for going back to the District are practical ones and appeal to common sense and business interest. If a vote was taken on the subject, nine-tenths of the people would vote to go back.

George Fisher, of Fisher Bros., on Royal street, said that he favored repeal because he believed that it would be a great benefit to the city to be in the District. It would rid the city of an undesirable political element. They could get city councils that would improve the streets. The city debt was being rapidly paid off without any increase in taxation, instead of improvements being made to the city. The politicians were, of course, opposed to repeal. It would take away the franchise.

Mr. John Harlow, of Harlow Bros., Royal and Cameron streets, said that he believed 95 persons out of 100 favored it. His brother, George Harlow, is strongly in favor of it.

Mr. M. B. Harlow, the city treasurer, said that one great reason for complaint was that so much money was paid into the State and nothing received in return. The circuit judge, the city sergeant, and other State officials were paid by the city. He, however, was not convinced of the wisdom of taking the step of separation.

Mr. Peter Aitchison, of Aitchison Bros., lumber dealers, on Union street, near Prince, is strongly in favor of repeal. He is a member of the city council, and has given considerable thought to the subject. He was not in his office when the reporter called, but his brother George was. He agreed with the other speakers that Virginia got a good deal more out of Alexandria than Alexandria did out of Virginia. He believed that a large majority of the people favored the repeal.

N. Lindsey, an extensive wholesale grocer at King and Union streets, also member of the city council, strongly favors the movement and signed the petition.

Mr. William F. Creighton, proprietor of the extensive drugstore on King and Royal streets, said that the subject had been considerably discussed in his store by members of the council and others. He had heard it stated that the city had paid in 1889 $88,00 toward the State, for which nothing had been received. His store is quite an assembling place for members of the council before and after meetings, and he had heard a good deal of discussion. He had signed the petition on it being represented to him that in the District the taxes would be lower and the local improvements would be greater.

French Smoot, the lumber dealer, on Union street, near King, a member of the city council, had also signed the petition. Other who believe in repeal are:
Helmuth Bros., butchers, corner King and Columbus streets; Summers & Bros., Pitt, near King; Thomas Leadbeater, North Fairfax, near King; R. C. Acton, the King street jeweler; William H. May, agricultural implements; Thomas Lannon, grocer; B. F. Peake, carpenter and builder; George Wise, insurance; L. E. Corbett, customs collector; C. A. Yohe, Old Dominion cigar factory; R. Bell, L. Bendhelm, C. W. Howell, Isaac M. Bell, R. M. Latham, Issac Eichberg, drygoods; J. H. D. Lunt, Worth Hulfish, V. M. Power, Perry & Son, T. A. Robinson, E. S. Fawcett, D. A. Windsor, whose son assisted in circulating the petition; Frederick Paff, G. E. French, W. N. Berkley, R. T. Lucas, A. W. Armstrong, J. C. Creighton, Thomas Hoy, C. T. Helmuth, H. Kirk, A. A. Warfield, C. B. Marshall, Henry Strauss, J. A. Marshall, R. W. French, G. P. Hill, L. Stabler & Co., R. F. Lee, B. Wheatley, R. J. Thomas, J. R. Edelin, Louis Brill, William Demaine, George Wise, A. H. Smythe.


Anxious To Come Back – The Washington Post, July 24, 1890


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.





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