Diamond In the Rough

Jan 15 2010

After months of working, Lindsay Schroader has completed a 1790 version of the District of Columbia, but it doesn’t include the section of Virginia that originally was included in the District.

It’s a diamond in the rough with a chunk out of the lower left.

Both Donald Hawkins’ and Peter Chirico’s previous work omitted Virginia, and we’ve all agreed that a complete map is critical to the history of the early city.  The challenge is to find trustworthy maps.  Many of the maps have inconsistencies between them, and their lines look generic – “as if someone drew them who really wasn’t standing there measuring,” as Hawkins puts it.

We’ve agreed to use a map that Hawkins created, 1790 Arlington County, and have geo-referenced it to the 1885 US Coastal and Geodetic Survey map provided by Chirico. Schroader will have months of work to bring these two maps together and incorporate them with the completed part of the District.  All of the maps have different contour scales, and she will have to do much digitizing by hand!

Schroader and Hawkins working with his hand-drawn maps

Here is an image of Lindsay Schroader working with Donald Hawkins and some of his hand-traced corrected maps.

2 Responses to “Diamond In the Rough”

  1. AlbertThurber March 23, 2011 at 2:02 am #

    I was told by family memeber that a Becker donated his land for the White House. Can somebody tell me if this is true. If this is true was Boss Shepard envolved? I can be contacted via email athurber2003@yohoo.com

    • Dan Bailey March 24, 2011 at 8:49 pm #

      I am certainly not an expert in these matters. I have been reminded numerous times that land at that time was always been bought and sold and that it is difficult to determine who owned what and when. Boundaries between two farms also changed even though the farm owners did not. Land was also rented out to someone to cultivate temporarily. I can say, however, that I have never seen the name “Becker” on any of the maps that show the boundaries of the land in 1790. This does not mean much. I wish I could help more. Good-Luck with your search.

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