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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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8979. WASHINGTON (City), Foundation of.—
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8979. WASHINGTON (City), Foundation of.—

As to the future residence of Congress,
I can give you an account only from the
information of others, all this having taken
place before my arrival [in Philadelphia].
Congress, it seems, thought it best to generalize
their first determination by putting questions
on the several rivers on which it had been proposed
that they should fix their residence. The
Hudson river, the Delaware, and the Potomac,
were accordingly offered to the vote. The first
obtained scarcely any votes; the Delaware obtained
seven. This, of course, put the Potomac
out of the way; and the Delaware being once
determined on, there was scarcely any difference
of opinion as to the particular spot. The
Falls met the approbation of all the States pres
ent, except Pennsylvania, which was for Germantown,
and Delaware, which was for Wilmington.
As to the latter, it appeared that she
had been induced to vote for the Delaware on
the single idea of getting Congress to Wilmington,
and that being disappointed in this, they
would not wish them on that river at all, but
would prefer Georgetown to any other place.
This being discovered, the Southern delegates,
at a subsequent day, brought on a reconsideration
of the question, and obtained a determination
that Congress should sit one-half of their
time at Georgetown, and that till all accommodations
should be provided there, Annapolis
should be substituted in its place. This was
considered by some as a compromise; by others
as only unhinging the first determination and
leaving the whole matter open for discussion
at some future day. It was in fact a rally, and
making a drawn battle of what had at first appeared
to be decided against us.—
To Governor Benjamin Harrison. Ford ed., iii, 340.
(Pa., Nov. 1783)