11 Nov 2019

History:

Lost Capitol Hill: Walter Sowerbutts

Last year, in writing about the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, I wrote about the only veteran I could find at the last minute. I was told that there were, indeed, more, and this year I want to look at one of them: a young man with the mellifluous name […]


07 Oct 2019

History:

Lost Capitol Hill: Instrument Maker John Clark

I have long been intrigued by manufacturing on the Hill, and, in particular, the scientific instruments that were built here or by locals. I came across another instrument manufacturer, though one who has remained remarkably resistant to finding out much of what he did, mainly because of his utterly generic name: John Clark. As best […]


30 Sep 2019

History:

Lost Capitol Hill: Death and Resurrection

Last week, we looked at Douglas Forrest – pictured at left – who served aboard the Merrimac during the Battle of Hampton Roads. After this, he served in various positions in the military. In 1863, he was sent to carry dispatches to France via a pair of blockade runners. He reached Calais safely after some […]


13 May 2019

History:

Lost Capitol Hill: The Night Side pt 2.

Last week, I introduced Robert W. Smiley’s book on the nightlife of 1894 Washington D.C. While the examples I quoted are far from the kind of dirt I am sure those who purchased the guide back then were looking for, as the work progresses, it does live up to its name. On page 39, Smiley […]


22 Apr 2019

History:

Lost Capitol Hill: Explosion in the Alley

Having now spent two weeks finding the good in Schott’s Alley, it’s time to go back to my real love: scandals. And Schott’s Alley had its share. In 1911, not only did a gang of purse snatchers make their home there, but it harbored an honest-to-god murderer. But first, the purse snatchers. On January 8, […]


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