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A Portrait of Old George Town   By:

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[Illustration: MAP of GEORGE TOWN]

A PORTRAIT

OF

OLD GEORGE TOWN

[Illustration: EARLY GEORGE TOWN]

A Portrait of Old George Town

BY

GRACE DUNLOP ECKER

[Illustration]

1951

THE DIETZ PRESS, INCORPORATED

Richmond, Virginia

COPYRIGHT, 1951 BY GRACE G. D. PETER

SECOND EDITION Revised and Enlarged

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF MY FATHER AND MOTHER GEORGE THOMAS AND EMILY REDIN DUNLOP AND MY AUNT, ELLEN DUNLOP ALL THREE OF WHOM LIVED LONG, USEFUL AND UNSELFISH LIVES IN GEORGETOWN

GEORGE TOWN GHOSTS

By WILLIAM TIPTON TABLOTT

The ghosts of Georgetown when they meet In haunted house or moonlit street With pride recall the functions gay When down the Philadelphia way The Federal City overnight Moved to its bare and swampy site, For Georgetown then a busy mart, A growing seaport from the start, Where a whole hearted spirit reigned, Threw wide its doors, and entertained With wines and viands of the best The Federal City was its guest.

In memory of the good old days, Whose ways to them were modern ways, Congenial ghosts across Rock Creek, With formal bows and steps antique, Rehearse a spectral minuet Where once in bright assemblies met Beruffled belles looked love to beaus In powdered wigs and faultless hose; Or merchant ghosts survey the skies And venture guesses weatherwise Regarding winds that will prevail To speed their ships about to sail.

Still in the shaded hillside streets A trace of old time welcome greets The passer by who has a flare For scenes of old. No longer there A buoyant Georgetown stands alone, The Federal City having grown Until their boundaries overlap; So that, deleted from the map, Though once the Federal City's host, Georgetown itself is now a ghost.

Foreword

It is not at all in my mind to write a history of Georgetown. Several have been written, but I do want, very, very much, to paint a portrait of this dear old town of my birth where my parents, my grandparents, great grandfathers and one great great grandfather lived, and which I love so dearly.

A portrait, partly of its physical features, its streets, its houses and gardens, some of which still exist in their pristine glory but, alas, many of which have gone the way of so called progress. In place of the dignified houses of yore, of real architectural beauty, stand rows of cheap dwellings or stores, erected mostly in the seventies and eighties when architecture was at its worst. In 1895 it was that the old names of the streets were taken away and from then on we've been just an adjunct of Washington.

Not only of its physical side do I wish to tell, but I want to paint a picture of the kind of people who lived here, from the beginning up through the gay nineties nearly one hundred and fifty years. Of the kind of things they did, their work, their play, their thoughts and their beliefs, for the character of the town, like human beings, was formed largely by their beliefs, and these old Scotsmen for they were greatly in the majority laid a great deal of stress on their Presbyterian form of Christianity. Witness the oath that had to be taken by the Flour Inspector on February 24, 1772: "I, Thomas Brannan, do declare that I do believe that there is not any trnsubstantiation in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper or in the elements of bread and wine, at or after the consecration thereof by any person whatsoever."

And yet, with this strong prejudice, they coƶperated and lived on friendly terms with the Roman Catholics who, very soon after the taking of this particular oath, founded their college and established their convent for teaching young girls... Continue reading book >>




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