Map Images

Planning Maps 1791-1800

In April of 1791 L'Enfant went in and by June 22 of that year had delivered his first draft of the planning map to GW at Mt Vernon. He was relieved of his duties in Feb 1792 and Ellicott published the first copy of his map in March of '92.

This is L'Enfant's first draft of his plan. Note the line drawing of Georgetown and the spelling of Potowmac. As you can see this map is very buisy.

David Ovason shows this same image on page 42 of "Secret Architecture", and attributes it to Ellicott. The small image on page 41 is an out-take from this map. He attributes the page 41 map to L'Enfant.

June 1791 L'Enfant

For the sake of comparison, I have painted five streets red.

Here is the version of Ellicott's map that was printed in Boston by Samuel Hill, featuring lot numbers, but no street names. Note how much simpler this map is than the one above, and how Mass. Ave. has been straightened. Notice that other than the street changes that were made, the form of this map is very similar to the one above, as are the others on this page. The main difference is that Ellicott shows more land in the boxed in area, and depicts the mouth of the Tiber as triangular, a feature which continues below.

1792 Ellicottt

All the painted streets moved but G street running east and west.

The next image is the small Thakara & Vallance version of Ellicott's map printed in Philadelphia in 1792 (Courtesy Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division, 21 x 26 cm ). The longitude is noted as 0, as above.

March 1792

This is Good's 1793 version of the last image.

November 1792

Ovason has a version of this image, which has both lot number and street names, on page 2 of his book. This is the map that he needs to have on page 42.

"The engraving published by James Thackara and John Vallance in November 1792 became the "official" city map for government and for property speculators. L'Enfant was incensed that his name did not appear on the map, and that several aspects of his original plan had been changed (among them, the straightening of Massachusetts Avenue, the elimination of twelve civic squares, and the alteration of the shapes of public spaces)." Image and quote from

Here is the full image, which is a T&V map. Note that this includes the Observation and Breadth of Streets notes that were on the Samuel Hill map. The look of the Georgetown area changes in this map.

They published this larger map (53 x 74 cm.) with text in November 1792, several months after the publication of their smaller map above. This "Plan of the City of Washington in the Territory of Columbia" has become known as the official city plan. I am still looking for the full sized colored image of this.

Baker's version of the map (July 93) based on the above image. Notice how the lots appear to rise off the page.

The next map was done in Amsterdam in 1793, and was based on the Baker version.

Berlin 1800.

Reid from T&V

Russel from Reid