Robert Pohl

Robert Pohl worked for many years as a computer programmer but recovered from that and became a full time stay-at-home dad. With his son now in school, he has expanded his horizons and become a self-taught historian. He has written books about his house as well as Emancipation in the District of Columbia. You can reach Robert at Robert[at]

Robert Pohl
09 Jul 2018


Lost Capitol Hill: Ludwig de Wette’s Washington

I have spent the last couple of days helping my parents move out of their current house and consolidate their two households into one. In the process, a number of interesting items have appeared, one of which is worthy of a closer look in this column. It is a book published in Germany in 1838, […]

02 Jul 2018


Lost Capitol Hill: Explosion at the Navy Yard

One thing that has always surprised me about the work done at the Washington Navy Yard during the 19th Century was the cavalier attitude towards danger, and how often civilians were invited (or, frankly, invited themselves) to witness events that should have been closed off to anyone not directly involved in them. A good example is […]

25 Jun 2018


Lost Capitol Hill: An Explosion at the Navy Yard

I recently gave a talk at the Literary Hill Bookfest on the research that was done at the Washington Navy Yard over the years. In looking into this, I came across a terrifying episode in the life of Abraham Lincoln at the Navy Yard. Lincoln was good friends with the commander of the Yard, John […]

18 Jun 2018


Lost Capitol Hill: Departing the Navy Yard

I have previously described the Washington Navy Yard as an entry point to the nation’s capital, but it was also used as a place of departure. It was often simply for day trips down the Potomac and excursions organized by local organizations. But at other times it was used for more formal departures, such as […]

11 Jun 2018


Lost Capitol Hill: Outlaw Way

While reading the D.C. Register live-tweeting as done by Helder Gil every Saturday, I came across the intriguing information that a part of 10th Street NE was to be renamed ‘Outlaw Way.’ Since outlaws have, frankly, never been much of the fabric of Capitol Hill life, this required immediate research. As it turned out, no person […]

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