The Capitol Dome

2018 Dome 55.1

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50 THE CAPITOL DOME O n Monday, 18 June, the United States Capitol His- torical Society hosted an event to launch its latest book, Creating Capitol Hill: Place, Proprietors, and People. Written by Charles Carroll Carter, William C. diGiacomantonio, and Pamela Scott, and with maps by Don Alexander Hawkins, the book tells the story of how the Founding Fathers reached a compro- mise to situate the permanent seat of government along the Potomac River, how Pres. George Washington and Peter L'Enfant chose the site for the city, how Washing- ton negotiated an agreement with the proprietors who owned the land on which the city was to sit, and how a neighborhood and capital city arose from these tenuous arrangements. Donald G. Carlson, chair of the USCHS board of trustees, opened the event with remarks praising the dedication of the authors and editor Donald Kennon in seeing this book through to completion. Carlson also introduced a special guest who spoke to the gathered audience: "George Washington" as portrayed by Dean Malissa, the official interpreter for George Washington's Mount Vernon. "Washington" spoke to the great uncer- tainty and challenges that beset the new republic at its founding—and subsequently—as the capital city was established, but emphasized that hope prevailed so long as people came together in a spirit of amity and mutual concession. Kennon, also chief historian emeritus of USCHS, moderated a panel featuring all four contributors to the book. Carter detailed his lifelong fascination with the history of his family, as well as a few myths he has long wanted to debunk (such as "Jenkins' Hill"). DiGiaco- mantonio shared how his background in political his- tory enabled him to better explore the circumstances which yielded the Residency Act—which created a per- manent seat of federal government along the Potomac River—as well as the agreement of the proprietors to yield half of their land to the new government in the expectation of a tremendous increase in value for the remainder. Hawkins explained how he got interested in Sen. Chris Van Hollen (MD, standing, right) with Creating Capitol Hill authors Don Alexander Hawkins (standing, left), Wil- liam C. diGiacomantonio (center), Pamela Scott, and Charles Carroll Carter Hardcover copies of Creating Capitol Hill "George Washington" as portrayed by Dean Malissa KATIE GARLOCK/PORTRAITIONS KATIE GARLOCK/PORTRAITIONS USCHS USCHS LAUNCHES CREATING CAPITOL HILL

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