The New Student's Reference Work/District of Columbia
District of Colum′bia, the territory containing the national capital (Washington City), is bounded on the north, northwest, east and southeast by Maryland and on the west and southwest by the Potomac River and Virginia. Its area is 60 square miles, though originally the area was 100 square miles. It was originally ceded to the United States by Maryland and Virginia in 1788 and 1789. The Virginian portion and the city of Alexandria were given back in 1846. Slavery was abolished in the District in 1862. The affairs of the District are now managed by three commissioners under the direction of Congress, and the citizens have no vote. Half of the District's expenses is paid by the general government, the other half being raised by taxation on the property of the citizens. There also are a court of the District of Columbia, with six judges, and a police-court with one judge. The climate is generally healthy, though fevers are somewhat common in summer. The soil is comparatively fertile and farms are numerous. Manufactures are not common, printing and publishing being the chief industry. Besides the public schools, there are many educational institutions of different sorts, most of which are in Washington. Among them are Georgetown College, Columbian University, Howard University, the Smithsonian Institution and the National Museum. Population, 331,069.