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Records Relating to Pre-National Zoological Park Purchases

Document Date Contents Notes Source

from 1889 through 1977

William Hornaday's Report of the Holt House Property for Inclusion in the NZP 1/1/1889 'Dr. Henry C. Holt"Address: Residence on the property. P.O. Address, care of W.T. Baldus, Druggist, 1901 Penn. Ave. NW, Washington"Property: 13 75/100 acres on Jackson Hill, near Rock Creek, surrounded on three sides by Judge Ord's 'Columbia Mill' property, and on the other by Lanier Heights. The colored cemetery lies immediately across the Adams Mill Road on the south of this property."Improvements: The only improvement worth naming is the house in which the owner resides which is said to be about 45 years old and in need of repairs. Anyone buying this tract (except the Park Commission) would undoubtedly pull down this house the first thing. There are four or five acres of the land level enough to be cultivated and on this an annual crop is grown. About three-forths of the entire property is in the nature of hillsides so steep as to be practically valueless for either agricultural or residence purposes. There are some fine forest trees upon the upper end of the ridge, next to Lanier Heigths. That end of the property is simply a sharp ridge, barely wide enough along the summit for a road."Price: On an interview with Mr. Hornaday on Apr. 24, on the premises, and later in a letter dated Apr. 29, Dr. Holt stated that his price is 10 cents per square foot for the whole tract. This equals $4,356 per acre or $59,875 for the whole. "Assessed Value: This was assess in 1886 at 1/4 of a cent per square foot, or $108 + per acre."Estimated Value in 1889: On April 25, 1889, Messrs. James E. Fitsh and Geo. W. Brown (who formerly owned a half interest in Lanier Heights and subdivided and sold that tract) estimated the value of the Holt property at $40,000. Appraised May 15, 1889 by Honorary Appraisers at $35,000 for the whole tract."Desirability: If the park is located between Woodley and Klingle Roads, it will, for several reasons, be an unfortunate necessity to include the Holt property. It would ruin the lower end of the park to allow that commanding ridge to be occupied by even the few houses that would be built upon it. While the land could all be used to excellent advantage for the accomodation of animals of many kinds, cheaper land in other localities would serve that purpose just as well. The chief desirablility of this property lies in the necessity of keeping it from being built upon and also preserving the fine forest trees upon it. The valley around this property would be very necessary necessary to the park, hence the necessity of the above.'"This report provides a first-hand description of the property in 1889 and it lists the reasons for why it was desirable for inclusion in the NZP. SI Archives, RU 74, Box 289, Folder 9
William Hornaday's Report on Pacificus Ord's Columbia Mills Property for inclusion in the NZP 1/1/1889 'Pacificus Ord"Address: Owner's residence, 1913 Penn Ave. NW, Washington"Property: A serpentine tract of 24 12/100 acres situated on and including both sides of Rock Creek from the corner of the colored cemetery up to within about 700 feet of the Klingle bridge, and including the entire roadway known as 'Adams Mill Road'. It bounds the Holt property on three sides, and excepting a precipitous bank in one place, is everywhere else merely the lowest level of the creek valley and the creek itself."Improvements: None. The negro shanty at the old mill site is anything but an improvement and the bridge has been washed away."Price: In several interviews and finally by letter (Apr.30, 1889) the owner has declared his inability to determine the value of this land, and set a price upon it. In the year 1885 the owner executed a deed of this property to the District, as a gift, on condition that it should be used either as a zoological garden or for public baths; but the Commissioners declined to accept the gift and returned the deed."Assessed Value: In 1886 this land and water was assessed at $100 per acre."Cost: This land was purchased about 5 years ago for $1600."Estimated Value in 1889: On May 3, 1888 Messrs. Thos. J. Fisher and Co. stated that in their judgement this land was worth $500 per acre. Letter of that date on file in Mr. Hornaday's office. Value estimated May 14 by Honorary Appraisers at $400 per acre, or $9600 for the whole."Desirability: This tract is desirable because it includes so much of Rock Creek. In case it is included in the Park it can all be utilized to good advantage for the accomodation of living animals, including birds, especially waterfowl. If the Park is located between Woodley and Klingle Roads, this property is indespensible. Owing to its nature it is of little value for any other purpose than that of a park of some sort, and its agreed by all who have been consulted (expect T.J. Fisher & Co.), including Mr. H.P. Waggaman, that its value is under $500 per acre.'" It is of interest to note that Hornaday referred to a 'negro shanty' on the Columbia Mills property. This is the only known reference to an African American dwelling. Although many documents mention worker's housing in addition to a dwelling house, none give a specific description of the housing types. SI Archives, RU 74, Box 289, Folder 9
Surveyor's Report on the Holt House Property, including deed transfers, for the NZP 4/8/1890 '... Mr. B.D. Carpenter, the surveyor employed by the District Attorney to assist him in obtaining information, which only a surveoyr could furnish, and which was necessary to the making of reports on the titles of land in the Park, states that the parcel of land above referred to falls within the lines of the patent for 'Pretty Prospect'. ... [all property deed transfers are listed] ..."I have submitted to Mr. Carpenter the deeds mentioned in the foregoing chain and he informs me, that the parcel of land claimed by Charles D. and Henry R. Holt, part of the Park falls within them, except as to the deed of Johnson to Dunlop."I have also submitted to him the various deeds from Benjamin Stoddert, the patentee, for parts of 'Pretty Prospect', and he informs me that as to the parcel of land claimed by said Charles D. and Henry R. Holt, there is no conflict of lines or lappage whatsoever, with or on any other parcels, as shown by his plats, and from his personal knowledge denied from frequent surveys in the vicinity.==Opinion"I am of the opinion upon the foregoing that a conveyance of the land claimed by said Charles D. and Henry R. Holt, falling within the 'Park' as shown on the map furnished by the Park Commission to the District Attorney, to which the said Charles D. and Henry R. Holt, and Charles A. James, as trustee, will be parties grantors, would pass a good title to the United States, subject to the taxes shown to be due by the certificate of the Collector enclosed herewith... "Hugh T. Taggert"Asst. U.S. Attry.==April 8, 1890==The statements made on my authority in the foregoing abstract are correct."B.D. Carpenter"Surveyor'" Boundary lines and property deeds for Holt House were confirmed by the surveyor, B.D. Carpenter. SI Archives, RU 74, Box 110, Folder 11
Letter to Henry Holt from Secretary Langley, regarding the purchase of Holt House 7/2/1889 'Doctor H.C. Holt,"Jackson Hill,==Sir:"The Commission having received your letter of June 28th, offering to take $40,000.00 for your property, called Jackson Hill, containing thirteen and three-quarter acres, more or less, whose boundaries, as laid down on their map, are:"the Columbia Mill property, owned by Pacificus Ord, on the north and west; the Adams Mill property on the south; and a portion of the subdivision known as Lanier Heights, owned by Messrs. McPherson and Finley, on the east;"hereby accept the offer, subject to the condition that the Zoological Park shall be established by the acquisition by the Government of the other property condemned; the whole being subject to the approval of the President of the United States."Very respectfully yours,"S.P. Langley"Commissioner Secretary"to the Commission'" Langley officially accepted Holt's offer of sale for $40,000. The boundary description of the property is a bit confusing since Columbia and Adams Mills are one and the same. Ord's property consisted of part of 'Pretty Prospect', 'Pleasant Plains' and 'Lamar's Outlet', bordering the Holt property on the south, west and north as indicated on maps. SI Archives, RU 74, Box 289, Folder 9
Land Transfer Deed from Dr. Holt et al to the Commissioners of the Zoological Park 11/21/1889 The U.S. Geological Survey platted a map of the newly formed National Zoological Park, listing the boundary lines and acreage purchased from each owner, including the 13.36 acres purchased from H.C. Holt. No prices are listed. National Zoological records at the SI Archives show that the Park Commissioners paid the Holt family $40,000 for their 13.36 acres. DC Recorder of Deeds, Land Records Liber 1424, District of Columbia, boundary map, no page no.
Probate Record for Henry C. Holt 4/12/1893 Henry C. Holt lived in Prince Georges County, Maryland with his two sons, Charles D. and Henry R., when he died on March 21, 1893. He did not leave a will. Holt House was sold to the Commissioners for the Zoo in Nov. 1889, before Holt's death in 1893. DC Archives, Administrative Records for DC, Probate Record #5520
Congressional Appropriation for additional funding for Holt House renovations 6/8/1896 '29 Stat. 279"Deficiency appropriation:"Under Smithsonian Institution==National Zoological Park: For repairs to the Holt Mansion, to make the same suitable for occupancy, and for office furniture, including the accounts set forth hereunder in House Document Number 324 of this session, $426.75.==To reimburse the Smithsonian fund for assuming the expenses of labor and materials for repairs urgently necessary for the preservation of the Holt Mansion, including the accounts set forth hereunder in House Document Number 324 of this session, $499.45.==Approved June 8, 1896.'" Congress approved an appropriation to the Smithsonian for additional expenses at Holt House. SI Archives, RU 365, Box 36, Folder 14
Some Account of the Life and Family of George Shoemaker by Edward Shoemaker 1/1/1901 'Jonathan Shoemaker, my grandfather, was a native of Pennsylvania, having been born March 20th in the year 1756, at Cheltenham, near Philadelphia. "He married Hannah Lukens and had five sons and one daughter, viz.: Isaac, David P., Joseph Lukens, Charles, George and Elizabeth."He appears to have been a man of prominence in affairs and held a number of positions of public trust, among them was that of magistrate and was also a member of the convention to revise the Constitution of Pennsylvania (1789). He afterwards resided in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, and from there he removed in the early part of the last Century to Georgetown, DC, where his descendants now are, and operated Columbia Mills, known also as Adams' Mills, on Rock creek; while living there, as my father used to relate: 'Dolly' Madison frequently rode out to his father's house, seated in the mill-wagon to visit his mother, with whom she was intimate and spend the day in social chat."After my grandmother's death, which occurred here about the year 1807, he took his sons, who were brought up as millers, and removed to near Monticello to take charge of the Shadwell Flour Mills, belonging to Thomas Jefferson."He was intimate with Jefferson..."Grandfather and his first wife are buried in a little graveyard, which he gave, about 1807, to the Friends' Meeting, in Washington, it being a component part of Alexandria Monthly Meeting. It is situated near his old home, in the rear of Cincinnati street near Columbia road and close to the romantic banks of Rock creek."My grandfather's second wife was a widow Deaves and the only relic of her in my possession is an old 8 day Irish clock, which she willed to my father."George, my father, was born at Quakertown, PA, on the 27th of September 1792, and was married to Rebecca Albertson on the 14th of November, 1816, at Plymouth, PA by Friends ceremony."After her death, father moved (to) Georgetown, DC, about the year 1817, and became deputy Flour inspector, and on the 13th of September, 1821, he was again married to Elizabeth Lukens at the above named Plymouth, PA. "Father continued to reside in Georgetown up to the time of his decease in 1865. He held the office of Flour Inspector for a period of forty-eight (48) years; having been annually elected by the Councils of the town uninterruptedly during that long time.' Shoemaker's five sons 'were brought up as millers' so he apparently operated Columbia Mills as a family business. Shoemaker's connection to Shadwell Mills is important to note since Jefferson's detailed records on his mill lend insight to how Shoemaker operated Jefferson's mill. There are no known accounts of Shoemaker's operation of Columbia Mills. MLK Library, Washingtoniana Division, Cemeteries: Quaker Burying Ground file
The Medical Annals of Maryland, 1799-1899, entry for Dr. Ashton Alexander 1/1/1903 p. 126, 299-300"Dr. Ashton Alexander was listed as a 1799 founder of the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of Maryland. 'Born near Arlington, VA, 1772. Student of Dr. Philip Thomas, of Frederick, MD; M.D., University of Pennsylvania, 1795; first settled in North Carolina; came to Baltimore in 1796; Commissioner of Health, Baltimore, 1804-05 and 1812; Attending Physician, Baltimore General Dispensary, 1801-03; First Secretary of Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of Maryland, 1799-1801; Consulting Phusician, Baltimore Hispital, 1812; President District Medical and Chirurgical Society, 1819-20; Provost, University of Maryland, 1837-50; married, first, daughter of Dr. Philip Thomas, and second, Miss Merryman. The last surviving charter member of the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty.' "'A grand old man with magnificent physique; wore knee and shoe buckles and stockings, and carried a gold-headed cane; fond of dinners and society. Died at Baltimore, February, 1855.' Dr. Alexander was active in various Baltimore medical organizations throughout his life, helping to advance medical knowledge. Alexander studied under and married a daughter of Dr. Philip Thomas in Frederick, MD. The familial connection between the Alexanders and Johnsons (Mrs. Elizabeth Thomas Johnson was a cousin of Elizabeth Thomas Alexander) may have promted him to buy Holt House. Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of MD, the Maryland State Medical Society.
Historic Graves of Maryland and the District of Columbia, re: Quaker burial customs 1/1/1908 p. 222-223"Samuel Harrison, a member of the Society of Friends, wrote: 'They, who look with such confidence to our immortality beyond the grave, are not apt to be solicitous for their transitory fame, that most glowing epitaps upon perishable marble bestow; and they build no shrines to which pious pilgrimages may be made, over the relics of their saints.'==p. 264"'The usual number of acres allowed to a [Quaker] church being one, known simply as 'God's acre'.' It was the Quaker custom to avoid epitaps at graves inpreference for unmarked tombstones, such as at the Sandy Spring and the Betty's Cove Friends Graveyards in Maryland. Records have not been found to indicate how graves were marked at the Quaker cemetery near Adams Mill Road but most likely they followed the general tradition of unmarked tombstones. SI American History Library, book by Helen W. Ridgely, published by Grafton Press, NYC, 1908.
History of Frederick County, Maryland by T.J.C. Williams, regarding the Roger Johnson family 1/1/1910 p. 109-111"'Roger Johnson, Governor Johnson's youngest brother, was a major in the Revolutionary Army. He engaged in the iron business and built Bloomsburg forge on Bennett Creek. He married on February 4, 1781 Elizabeth, daughter of Richardand Sarah Coale Thomas, of Montgomery County. They had the following children:"Richard (1781-1839) married Julianna Dorsey"George (1783-1854) married Elizabeth Dunlop"Samuel (1784-1826) "Henrietta (1785-1849)"William Thomas (1787-1831) married Dolly Mactier"Sarah (1788-1834) married Eli Dorsey"Joseph (1790-1835) married Eleanor Hillary"Charles (1792-1867) "Dorcas (1793-1815) married Henry Mactier"James Thomas (1794-1867) married Emily Newman"Eliza (1796-1889) married Rev. William Armstrong in 1826' Roger Johnson was a lifelong resident of Frederick County, Maryland. Historical Society of Frederick Co, MD Library, Vol. 1, publisher: L.R. Titsworth & Co, 1910.
History of Frederick County, Maryland, by T.J.C. Williams, regarding slavery in the county 1/1/1910 'When the first census was taken in 1790, there were in Frederick County, including the territory afterwards given to Carroll County, 3,641 slaves and 213 free negroes. From that time until 1820 the number of slaves continued to increase but at not so great a proportion as the increase of free negroes. In 1800 there were 4,572 slaves; in 1810 there were 5,671; in 1820 there were 6,685. Then the decrease began, due doubtless to the change of sentiment toward slavery in Pennsylvania where the general and growing tendency was toward concealment of fugitives and also a growing sentiment in Frederick County against slavery. In fact with Pennsylvania as a place of refuge for runaway slaves within easy reach slave property became unprofitable and precarious. In 1830 the number of slaves in the county was 6,370. Before the next census was taken the county had been divided for the formation of Carroll. This reduced the population of Frederick County by over 12,000. How many of these were slaves there is no way of telling..."The material condition of the slaves of Frederick County never was unfavorable. They were treated with mildness and humanity, they were well fed and comfortably clothed and housed, were cared for in sickness and when old age came upon them they were no longer required to labor but were cared for until the end of their days. The most distressing feature of slavery as it existed in Maryland was the separation of families, of husband and wife, of mother and child. This however, seldom happened except where there wer sales by executors and administratiors and for debt. But it was bad enough then. The negro population in all these years were most cheerful and apparently free from care and in most cases devotedly attached to their owners. In June 1859 there was a great colored fair in Frederick City in which both slave and free took part. It was attended by the negro population from all parts of the county, dressed in holiday attire, the women all wearing the brilliant colors in which the African has always delighted. It was attended by a colored brass band from Hagerstown. Commenting on this Fair the Frederick Examiner declared that 'it would have distressed Northern sympathiers to have witnessed their liberty, comfort and happiness because it would have upset all the horrible ideas of Southern slavery that fanaticism loves to torment itself withal'.' Roger Johnson, a resident of Frederick County, owned several slaves. This report lends some insight into how slavery was perceived in Frederick County during Roger Johnson's ownership of the Columbia Mills and Holt House property. Frederick County Historical Society, publisher: MD: C.R. Titsworth & Co, Vol. 1, 1910.
History of Frederick County, Maryland by T.J.C. Williams, regarding the Johnson family 1/1/1910 p. 325"'Urbana is a pleasant village in the Southern part of the county near the Sugar Loaf Mountain, three miles from the Baltimore & Ohio railroad at Ijamsville and seven miles from Frederick. Among the early residents of Urbana district, near the village, was Roger Johnson, brother of the Governor, who lived in a fine mansion which many years afterwards passed into the possession of Arnold Windsor. In a family graveyard on this farm Mr. Johnson was buried. His elegant home, during his residence in it, was the scene of many social gatherings and the window panes bore the names of many of the guests, cut into the glass with diamond rings. In this same district, near the Monocacy river Roger Johnson and his three brothers, Thomas, Baker and James, built an iron furnace in 1774. It continued in operation until about 1800. The Johnsons also had a forge on Bush Creek in the northern part of the district. The ore which supplied the Johnson Iron Furnace came from the immediate neighborhood.' Roger Johnson settled in Urbana, close to Frederick, MD and was active in the iron business. Note the pratice of guests memorializing themselves by inscribing their names on window panes with diamond rings, in a similar fashion to the window inscription at Holt House. Historical Society of Frederick Co, MD Library, Vol. 1, publisher: L.R. Titsworth & Co, 1910."Library
The Rambler, column of 'The Evening Star', regarding Jonathan Shoemaker and the Quaker cemetery 03/14/1915 'Several years ago the Rambler wrote a story of a trip through the country west of the American University and over the fields through which no roads at that time led. On that trip he came upon a little cemetery, fenced in with iron picketts, but upgrown with a tangle of vines. It was a Shoemaker burying ground and he copied a couple of epitaphs. Last Sunday, when Mrs. Willett said that her mother was Rachel Shoemaker of that neighborhood, the Rambler recalled the little cemetery which he had come upon long before. Mrs. Willett knew all about it. The people sleeping there were her people. Rachel Shoemaker was the daughter of Samuel Shoemaker, and a good many years ago the Shoemaker family owned a number of farms in that territory, their land extending from the Rockville pike to the receiving reservoir near the District line. There were the farms of Samuel Shoemaker and, of his brothers, Isaac, David, Charles, and Jonathan.' Jonathan Shoemaker gave a portion of 'Pretty Prospect' to the Quaker Society in 1807 for a cemetery, following the death of his first wife, Hannah Lukens. The headstones the"author remembered seeing most likely belonged to the adjoining Union Benevolent Association cemetery since Quakers by tradition did not mark their gravesites. MLK Library, Washingtoniana Room, microfilm of the 'Evening Star'
American Medical Biographies by Howard A. Kelly and Walter L. Burrage, entry on Ashton Alexander 1/1/1920 'Dr. Ashton Alexander (1772-1855); founder, 1st Secretary (1799-1801), Treasurer (1801-3), President (1819-20) and last surviving charter member of the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of MD; "Alexander also held the following positions in Baltimore, MD: Commissioner of Health (1804-5, 1812), attending physician, Baltimore General Dispensary (1801-3), consulting physician, Baltimore Hospital (1812), and provost, University of Maryland (1837-50).' Alexander's various positions clearly show him as very engaged in his profession in Baltimore. During the years of his ownership of the property, he served as Provost of the University of Maryland in Baltimore. He may however have wanted Holt House as a summer residence since his daughter Elizabeth married John Marshall of Washington, DC. Univ of MD at Baltimore, Health Sciences Library, publ: Baltimore, MD: Norman, Remington Co., 1920.
The Life of Thomas Johnson, a biography written by S. LaPlaine 01/01/1927 p.15 Roger Johnson was born March 18, 1749. He studied under his brother Thomas and settled in Frederick to engage in the iron business. He built the Bloomsbury Forge on Bennett's Creek in Urbana District (with his brothers' help) and also managed a Forge on Bush Creek at Riehl's Mill, in the northern part of the district. He held the rank of Major in his brother James' battalion. He married a Quakeress, Elizabeth Thomas, the daughter of Richard Thomas of Montgomery.==p.149 Life in the less developed regions of Western Maryland appealed to Thomas, the Governor, but he was required to stay in Annapolis and Philadelphia during the war with Great Britain. Four of the brothers, Thomas, James, Baker, and Roger established profitable businesses in Frederick County, eventually managing several properties together. These four brothers were the most prosperous of the Johnson children. 'Roger was domestic and retired, economical and temperate,' as compared to Benjamin who was 'a good easy man, a poor manager, with little mind.' '...there is no doubt that James, Baker, Thomas, and Roger were unusually successful, rising by pluck and self-reliance to places of commanding leadership in the western section of the state.'==p.353 'One example of the patriotic interest of Thomas, James, Baker, and Roger Johnson is shown during the summer of 1780, by their joint loan to the state of the sum of 10,000 dollars.'==p.402 'He [Thomas] took considerable delight in the Iron Works which he owned in connection with his brothers. Their Catoctin Furnace located on the slope of Catoctin Mountain some miles north of Frederick Town had become one of the most successful business enterprises in the country. Yet the workmanship in casting was still primitive and crude: there was much still to be learned. ...But despite the crudeness of the workmanship, the enterprises of the Johnson brothers grew to tremendous proportions. Continuing to expand their business, the 4 brothers built a furnace along the Rocky Run, where they secured a quantity of valuable iron ore.' Eventually they petitioned to acquire timberland on Sugar Loaf Mountain as they were in need of a large supply of firewood. A staff member at Frederick Historical suggested that much of the information used came from first hand accounts. Itprovides an insight into Roger's business interests and hisassociation with his brothers. He was rooted in Frederick, probably not having much time to invest his own efforts in his 'Pretty Prospect' property. Historical Society of Frederick County, Maryland,book published: NYC: Hitchcock Press, 1927).
Oliver Evans: A Chronicle of Early American Engineering by Greville & Dorothy Bathe 1/1/1935 p. 12"Oliver Evans' 'arguments that his inventions would dispense with the services of several men and boys in each mill and that one man alone could attend to a large mill in full operation, did not find much favor, for most of the mills were worked by members of the same family or by two or three men who were partners in this kind of enterprise..."'If the grain be brought to the Mill by land carriage, the Miller took it on his back, a sack generally 3 bus., carried it up one story by stair steps, emptied it in a tub holding 4 bus., this tub was hoisted by a jack moved by the power of the Mill which required one man below and another above to attend to it, when up the tub was moved by hand to the granary, and emptied. All this required stong men.'' As is evident from this account, the use of Oliver Evans' inventions at the Columbia Mill precluded the need for a large labor force to operate the mills. SI American History Library, book publisher: Philadelphia, PA: the Historical Society, 1935.
Report written by Major H. Brooks Price, District Officer for HABS documentation on Holt House 1/1/1935 '[Holt House] is said to have been occupied at different times by Presidents Adams, Jackson and Van Buren... Dr. Henry C. Holt's name appears in the city directory 1880 as Dr. Henry C. Holt, Jackson Hill, Columbia Road. At this time he was evidently farming the land, for Henry Holt and Charles D. Holt, probably sons of the doctor, were at this time also living at the same address, their occupations being given as 'farmers'.' Most of the information gathered came from colorful newspaper reports; the author referenced the Sunday Star of 1/28/1934. Most of the information appears to have been gathered from secondary sources. MLK Library, Washingtoniana Division, Holt House file
Letter to Harry Dorsey from Ethel Taylor Howard, regarding history of Holt House 03/30/1936 Ms. Howard quoted Procter: 'Shoemaker was a Quaker and about 1809 gave to the Friends' meeting, located on Eye Street between 18th and 19th streets, a plot of ground, in the shape of a rhombus, for burial places. .....near Adams Mill Road entrance to the Zoological Park.' She further quoted George Simmons from 'Roadside Sketches': 'At the northeastern corner of the cemetery is the entrance to the Holt place, the old mansion being a few hundred yards to the westward on an emenence overlooking Rock Creek. The Holt Cottage is a famous old house. It's SE exposure is well represented in the accompanying illustration. Old Dr. Holt now over 88 years of age, is the centre figure of the group in front. It is considered more than half a century old and has been occupied at different times by three Presidents of the United States, John Quincy Adams, Van Buren, and Andrew Jackson. There is a tradition that it was built by Adams, but this is a mistake- It is often called Adams House. However, Dr. Holt has owned it since December 1843. The trees were planted by Dr. Holt, the Hill being nearly destitute when he took it over. It is now known as Jackson Hill. Ruins of old Adams Stone Mill is observed on the bank (toward right on creek.) The mill was built by John Quincy Adams nearly half a century ago - one of the most popular grist mills on the creek - old dam site visible a few 100 yards up the stream.'... Proctor further stated that 'Adams Mill was the property of Jonathan Shoemaker before Adams bought it, and that it then was known as Columbia Mill.'"Ms. Howard continued: 'I am in correspondance with a descendant of Roger Johnson, born 1749 and who married Elizabeth Thomas of Sandy Springs (Quakeress) on Feb.4, 1781. Among their eleven children were two named Joseph and Charles... I am hoping that he and his brother Joshua, who were quite some dealers in Real Estate, have left private papers in which they may have mentioned this old house, and therefore give me a earlier date for it's erection. Tradition says it was 1805...' Ms. Howard cited inaccurate sources; Proctor and Simons wrote colorful narratives of the 'Quaint Olde Time' sort. Their statements are not verifiable. No further information was found from the Johnson descendants. Nat'l Zoological Park, Folder I of Zoo Administration files re: Holt House
Brief Historical Sketches Concerning Friends' Meetings, re: Sandy Springs Meeting history 1/1/1938 'When the government was transferred to Washington from Philadelphia quite a number of Friends came with it, and the first committee in charge of these Friends was appointed in 1802 by the Indian Spring Monthly Meeting, near Laurel, MD, now extinct, and near the close of that year the committee reported in favor of establishing a meeting in Washington. Accordingly, in 1803, the Washington meeting was organized. The interest thus created continued to grow until 1806, when a mid-week meeting was established under the direction of the Balitmore Yearly Meeting. In 1807 a lot for burial purposes, situated in the rear of Cincinnati Street between Adams' Mill road and Rock Creek, was donated by Jonathan Shoemaker, then a prominent member of the Society, and this is still held by trustees. In this little graveyard are interred members of the Seaver, Shoemaker, Schofield, McPherson and Jenney families. Few stones mark their resting place, and although it has been disused as a burying place since about 1860, it has been cared for and kept fenced in."In the same year a preparative meeting was commenced and it was then decided to purchase ground on which to build a meeting house..."To go back to the 'root' period, the minutes of Indian Spring Monthly Meeting in June of 1802, speak of the 'remote situation of Friends who reside in and about the City of Washington', and by November of that year it is reported that: 'The Committee appointed to visit such of our members as reside in and about the City of Washington have all except one attended to their appointment, and on conferring together have agreed to report that there are a few heads of families, some young persons of both sexes, and several children residing in that place and the vicinity thereof, and although the heads of families are but few, we are unitedly of the judgement that their situation claims the sympathy and further notice of Friends.'..."And on 10th month 14th, Evan Thomas on behalf of the Committee on Washington, reported that 'Friends of that place have requested their Meeting may be established' ... which solidly considered was united with and referred to the Quarterly Meeting for approbation."In March 1807: 'Friends of Washington informed that they had procured a Lot for the purpose of a burying ground and wishing Trustees to be appointed to receive the title thereto.'...' Jonathan Shoemaker was one of the earliest Quakers to resided in the city of Washington. He moved to the new city in 1802, the same year that the Washington meeting was organized. Until their Metting was officially 'established' in 1808, Washingtonian Quakers (including Shoemaker) attended the Sandy Spring/ Indian Spring Monthly Meetings, approximately 20 miles away in rural Maryland. Swarthmore College, Friends Library, book compiled by T. Chalkley Matlack, not publ, 1938.
Letter from W.M. Mann to H.W. Dorsey, regarding the history of Holt House 11/08/1943 Mr. Mann responsed to a request for information on Holt House. He cited from 'Washington, City and Capitol', of the American Guide Series (1937), 'This structure erected in 1805 was the favorite summer refuge of Andrew Jackson, as certain diamond scratched legends on an upper window attested. The room from which this window looks out was once used by Professor S.P. Langley, poineer in aviation, as an observation post from which to study the flight of birds' (p.576). This letter helps identify how widespread and common the different rumors were regarding Holt House. Nat'l Zoological Park, Folder I of NZP admininistration files re: Holt House
Letter from Ralston Goldsborough C.E. to W. Gray Harman, regarding a geneological search of the Johnson family 03/31/1944 'I have here a very complete chart of Gov. Thomas Johnson's family and as far as I know there is no proof that Thomas Johnson, the father of the Governor, who married Dorcas Sedgewick, never came to Frederick County; after coming to this country he decided to return to England, was captured by Spanish Pirates and finally escaped; landed in Canada and finally returned to Calvert County- I am drawing from memory but I think I am correct - dying there where he is buried with his wife. His sons Benjamin, Thomas (the Governor), Roger, Baker, and James came to Frederick County sometime around 1774; it was Baker who built 'Auburn' in the village of 'Catoctin Furnace' in 1804; James built 'Springfield' just below the furnace property and on the same side of the road; Roger operated a furnace near the mouth of the Monocacy river and built a home there; Thomas owned 'Richfields' (home of Admiral Scott Schley) which was purchased from him by my great grandfather in 1800; Benjamin, oldest of all the children of Thomas and Dorcas (Sedgwick) Johnson is said to have operated a glass works on Bush Creek near the present town of Ijamsville, in this county.' Information for this account was based on oral traditions passed on through the author's family. Historical Society of Frederick County, Maryland. Folder #3 of the Johnson family Files
Thomas Jefferson's Shadwell Mills operation, ca. 1820, fr. Newton Bond Jones' dissertation at UVA 1/1/1950 'There are eleven flour mills in the county [Albermarle County, Virginia] in 1820... Shadwell Mills employed three hands in grinding 20,000 to 30,000 bushels of wheat.' The comparison to Shadwell Mills is important to note both since Jonathan Shoemaker operated Shadwell Mills after leaving Columbia Mills, and because the mills both operated as merchant mills. Therefore Columbia Mills most likely also only employed two or three hands. Albemarle County Historical Society, from book titled Charlottesville & Albemarle Co, VA 1819-60
'The Monday Club' article from Maryland Historical Magazine, Volume 49, regarding Ashton Alexander 01/01/1954 Dr. Alexander was listed as a member of the Monday Club, anexclusive men's club, which met every Monday night. Ashton Alexander was listed as a regular attendee during 1937-8. Since the Monday Club met in Baltimore, it helps confirm that Dr. Alexander was firmly settled in Baltimore and could not have lived at Holt House during that time. He had purchased Holt House in 1935. Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore City
Examination for Termite damage in Holt House 07/07/1954 By T.E. Snyder"He described finding extensive termite infestation on all floors, 'still alive in the walls,' but concluded that there was no resulting structural weakening. All other studies show significant structural weakening of Holt House long before 1954, so Snyder's findings are a bit puzzling. Nat'l Zoological Park, Folder I of Zoo administration files re: Holt House
John Quincy Adams and the Union, by Samuel Bemis, regarding Adams' ownership of the Columbia Mills 01/01/1956 'His basic difficulty, however, came from a most ill-advised business investment that he had suddenly entered into in 1823 while Secretary of State: the Columbia Mills." Mrs. Adam's cousin George Johnson had been proprieter of some grist and flour mills on Rock Creek in the District of Columbia, which existed at the foot of the present-day Adams Mill Road... The business consisted in buying wheat and corn carted in from surrounding areas, grinding it into flour and meal, selling in part in Washington and shipping the rest by schooner down the Potomac from Georgetown to Atlantic coastal ports. Johnson claimed to have put $60,000 into the property. After that he had to mortgage everything to the Bank of Columbia for a loan of $20,000 payable with interest in installments over five years. In July 1823 the bank was about to foreclose and Johnson had no means of raising funds. He appealed to John Quincy Adams to take over the business and keep him on as manager with an option to buy half ownership back for a sum equal to what Adams would put up: $20,000 plus $10,000 to get things into shape and buy wheat for the season's grinding...with the provision that George Johnson would buy back not half but all or nothing in the future. To take over the property he transferred $9,000 United States six-per-cent stock (i.e., bonds) to the Bank of Columbia together with a mortgage on his F-street dwelling house!...It also promised employment later for his second son John Adams, 2d... Adams remained a troubled mill owner the rest of his life... More repairs proved necessary than Johnson had counted on. The assistant miller did not put in an appearance. Business was dull as the summer advanced. They ground only a hundred barrels of flour a week instead of an anticipated hundred per day. Accounts were in a tangle. Only with great delay and difficulty did John Adams, 2d, succeed in clearing them up and putting in a reliable set of books... At the end of the first year there were no profits in sight. By spring 1824 there were seven hundred barrels of flour on hand, not to mention corn meal heating up in the warehouse with no buyers... After Adams left the White House his son took over all the responsibility... No sooner had son John got the mills operating at least temporarily on a sound basis than his health began to fail. He lingered on for two years, often in acute pain [he died in 1834]. By mustering his resources John Quincy Adams managed to pay off the last of the $30,000 mill debt... John had brought his father's summer ammanuensis, William Greenleaf, from Quincy to help run the mills. Without close supervision Greenleaf proved incapable...Nathaniel Frye took over the management... [which] afforded some scant income.'"Samuel Bemis provides an accurate summary of the events surrounding John Quincy Adams' ownership of the Columbia Mills. SI American History Library, book publisher: New York City: Alfred A. Knopf, 1956.
Notes from a conversation with William Chester, a NZP worker, re: repairs of Holt House c. 1898 8/16/1957 '[Mr. Chester] came to the NZP in 1896 to work on the grounds crew. ... He worked on the renovation of the Administration Building, working under a contractor named Cleveland. At that time there were 6-inch planks on the second floor; all floors had to be replaced. The fireplace and mantel in the big room were remodeled. The stucco on the outside had also to be replaced in spots. Frank Lowe's uncle was a carpenter who did some of the work. Lowe laid the floors and Cleveland put in the wainscoting.'" Letters between Frank Baker and Glenn Brown indicate that the large second floor room was renovated in 1898, with Mr. Cleveland in charge of the work. This personal account is the only known description of the original flooring. SI Archives, RU 365, Box 36, Folder 9
National Zoological Park report, untitled, undated, post 1957 post 1957 Section entitled 'Information Pertaining to the Present Administration Building of The National Zoological Park'. 'In 1890 $2,000 was appropriated for major repairs (roofing, plastering, steps, and other small improvements) to render it fit for human occupancy. The building was occupied as the Zoo Administrative Office in June of 1890. In June 1896 urgent repairs to the structure amounting to $926.00 were made. In Fiscal Year 1914 a hot water heating plant was installed, new floors and additional repairs were made. From this date until the present time no major program of repair has been accomplished due to lack of funds. Emergency repairs have been made frequently to render the structure as safe as possible for human occupancy within funds available."In May 1957 the Department of Buildings and Grounds, District of Columbia Government conducted an inspection and survey as to repairs and/or renovation of the structure. It was determined at that time that extensive termite damage necessitated major and complete renovation. Their reccomendations consisted of the following:"A. If new office quarters were provided within the next several months limited temporary repairs to certain potentially dangerous condition had to be made. This recommendation was estimated as $2,000."B. If it was necessary to occupy the existing building for the next year certain dangerous conditions should be corrcted as soon as possible, estimated amount $12,000."C. If it is determined to rehabilitate this building for long term continued use extensive renovation work must be made $60,000."The present structural condition is in a worse condition of disrepair at this time than in 1957. No major repairs or alterations have been accomplished. Besides the factors of unsound structural conditions the safety factors involving the occupancy by humans is a great risk."The building....is inadequate for utilization as an office...' This report was likely part of a greater document put together in support or request that the zoo receive funds for a new administrative building. Nat'l Zoological Park, Folder I of NZP administrative files re: Holt House"
Historic Houses of George-Town & Washington City by H. Donaldson Eberlein & C. Van Dyke Hubbard 1/1/1958 'In spite of 18th century tradition for the general plan (Palladian), the house bears unmistakable earmarks of the Federal Era-the Wyatt windows, the currently favored type of cornice... Its character was hopelessly blemished by the present jacket of stucco... In 1803 William Mackall conveyed to Jonathan Shoemaker the adjacent mill property on Rock Creek, quite possibly without the land on which the house stands.' The report included some incorrect information: Mackall's first name was Walter, not William (known from deed records); deed records also show that Shoemaker bought the whole tract of land from Mackall, not just the mill area. MLK Library, Washingtoniana Division, book publisher: Richmond, VA: Dietz Press, Inc., 1958.
HABS Report on Halcyon House, Benjamin Stoddert's residence at 3400 Prospect St. NW, Georgetown 3/1/1959 Halcyon House, in Georgetown, still stands today and was rebuilt as an apartment building. The report described Stoddert as one of 'Washington's confidential agents and one of the nineteen original proprietors who signed the agreement for the ten mile square [becoming the federal city]... Stoddert's duties with the Board of Trade brought him into close contact with John Adams, then serving as President of the Board. When Adams became President, Stoddert was appointed the first Secretary of the Navy.' Benjamin Stoddert lived at Halcyon House in Georgetown. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, HABS Geo-13-DC-69
Letter to Theodore Reed, Director NZP, from Charles Hodges, re: Holt House recollections 9/27/1961 'Mr. Theodore Reed, Director"National Zoological Park,"Washington, DC==Dear Sir:"A recent news item in the Washington Star detailed improvements in the Zoo that are contemplated in a 10-year program. Included is the proposed replacement of the Zoo office building built in 1805. This single item recalls an experience of mine and gives reason for my writing."During the summers of 1911-12, while on vacation from school I worked in the 'shops' at the foot of the hill in back of the monkey house. Mr. Morgel was superintendent. I helped make and erect cages, including the flying cage; sharpened and repaired drills for the men quarrying stone from the cliffside on Rock Creek between the wolves dens and Taft Bridge and did other odds and ends of work such as plumbing and concrete. Once I was called upon to do some work in the attic of the Office building. It was then used as storage place. At that time I noticed some names and dates (I believe '1825') scratched on the window pane on the rear, north side of the building. It is for this reason that I write because I think it may be of interest - historic or otherwise. The building is of historic importance and I hope will be preserved."Yours very truly,"Charles R. Hodges'" Charles Hodges recollected seeing engravings on Holt House window panes in 1911-12 and expressed his wish that the building be preserved. SI Archives, RU 365, Box 36, Folder 9
Letter to Charles Hodges from Theodore Reed, Director NZP, re: Holt House recollections 10/2/1961 'Mr. Charles R. Hodges"1026 Taney Courts"Frederick, Maryland==Dear Mr. Hodges:"I was very much interested in your letter of September 27th. You have a good memory to recall the Zoo as it was 50 years ago."There are plans to build a new office building some day, but it will not be in the immediate future. This old house is not really suited to the needs of an administrative staff, and it is too far away from the animals. We hope, however, that it will not be torn down, as we all realize its historic importance. Tentative plans call for it to be made into a guest house for visiting scientists, a library, and perhaps a research center. In any case, the window panes will be preserved, with the names and dates scratched on them so long ago. One is dated 1827. We hope that we can control the termite damage which is now threatening the structure, and preserve the old mansion which has been a landmark for more than 150 years."Thank you for writing me. It was good to hear from you."Sincerely yours,"Theodore H. Reed D.V.M."Director'" Reed replied to Mr. Hodges letter by stating that the NZP intended to preserve Holt House if possible. SI Archives, RU 365, Box 36, Folder 9
"Findings & Recommendations (unknown source & date post 1961) for Holt House post 1961 'Initiate plans for a new Administration Building on the site selected in the Master Plan. Until new quarters are provided as above, Zoo Administration activities should be continued in the present building with repairs limited to those essential for the safety and comfort of occupants. Raze the Holt Mansion upon completion of Item 1 above at an estimated cost of $13,500. Have the Holt Mansion site termite-proofed and construct a single floor Guest House comprising five efficiency apartments at an estimated cost of $177,940.' "'The present Administration Building has been sustaining continuous damage to wood framing and trim, from ground level to roof trusses,f or more than a century by well established colonies of termites.' Survey teams in 1957 and 1961 showed joists and flooring were weak due to termites, and water damage and termites were found in the roof framing. 'It was concluded that about 50% of framing and 75% of the window frames would have to be replaced... It was concluded all stucco would have to be removed after which it might be possible to salvage the walls and foundations provided extensive repointing and repairs were carried out.'"'To restore the Holt Mansion to its original appearance for service as a museum or some other long range purpose would involve razing the entire structure and then rebuilding.' This report recommended demolishing Holt House because it was not economically feasible to stabilize the house. SI, AHHP Archives, Holt House file
"Letter to Joseph Bradley from Richard H. Howland," report on general history of Holt House 6/28/1962 'Tradition says it [Holt House] was erected about 1805. The layout of the rooms and the emphasis on a single story are reminiscent of 'Homewood', built by Charles Carroll, Jr. in Baltimore ca. 1802... The most noteworthy [changes] include the removal of the two curving stairways in the entrance vestibule, the demolition of the monumental flight of outside wooden steps... and removal of many portions of interior wooden trim and flooring [due to] termite infestation.' A recommendation was made to preserve, not restore, the house due to its loss of historic integrity." SI, AHHP Archives, Holt House file
Flour Milling in America by Herman Steen 1/1/1963 'The flour milling trend had been somewhat away from localized semi-agricultural undertakings before Evans' time, but his inventions hastened the growing movement toward making mills into large industrial enterprises. This was basically due to the fact that Evans' mills required considerable capital for machinery, buildings, equipment, etc... After their initial skepticism, American millers generally adopted the Evans system without much more delay, with the result that their plants were recognized as being the most advanced in the world..."A vast majority of the flour mills of the period around 1800 operated on the custom basis -i.e., farmers brought in wheat to be milled into flour, usually paying a toll of from one-twelfth to one-eighth of the wheat. Many of the custom or grist mills also bought wheat, or ground their toll wheat, and thus had flour for sale. Only the relatively few mills in the cities did no custom business and were purely merchant mills. The merchant mills were larger than the grist mills, but none were large by later standards... Oliver Evans (b. 1755 Del., d. 1819), a famousengineer and inventor of numerous mechanical contrivances, was also the author of the first American milling revolution. Astounded by the tremendous amount of hard physical labor used in flour mills - in those days all movement of wheat and product in, around and out of a mill was done of the backs of men - Evans developed an automatic system powered by the waterwheel that turned the millstone. This system consisted of bucket elevators, screw conveyors, hopper boy and a few other devices. It took wheat to the top of the mill by mechanical power, carried it down by gravity through the grinding process, elevated the product and carried it down through the bolting sieves and spread it out to cool. The Evans system reduced the amount of manpower needed in a mill by more than half and it eliminated nearly all of the back-breaking labor. It also increased the extraction of flour from wheat... "Most of the colonies had statutes that custom mills must operate on certain days and merchant mills were under compulsion to set aside certain stones for custom work... Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia inspectors certified the quality and grade of export shipments, probably doing so under pressures from Barbados importers who complained about being imposed upon... There was one colonial miller whose flour had such a great reputation that it was exempt from inspection for export... That was George Washington.' George Johnson followed the general trend of using Oliver Evans' inventions at the Columbia Mills, claiming that his mills operated with the finest equipment. Despite these refinements, Columbia Mills failed to produce a profitable return for him or John Quincy Adams. Georgetown University Library, book publisher: Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1963.
American Biographies, entry on Benjamin Stoddert 1/1/1964 p. 62-64"'Benjamin Stoddert was born 1751 in Charles County, Maryland. He joined the Revolutionary Army in 1777 as acaptain and resigned in April 1779. On September 1, 1779 he was unanimously elected the secretary of the board of war, serving until February 6, 1781. Stoddert married Rebecca Lowndes in 1781 and they had eight children. He started a mercantile business in Goergetown in the 1780s. George Washington approched him requesting him to purchase vast tracts of land, some as a speculator for the new federal city. In 1794 the Bank of Columbia was founded with Benjamin Stoddert as the first president. On May 18, 1798 he was elected the first Secretary of the Navy by John Quincy Adams. Later in life Stoddert suffered great financial difficulties due to failed land investments and died in debt on December 17, 1813.' Benjamin Stoddert lived in Georgetown and bought large tracts of land, including 'Pretty Prospect'. SI Archives, Reference Room, Vol. IX, ed. by Dumas Malone,NYC: Charles Scribner's & Sons, 1964
Friends Meeting of Washington-Background & Origin by S. Stanton & J. Sharpless re: J. Shoemaker 6/1/1965 Early Quaker meetings for the greater Washington area took place at Indian Spring near Laurel, MD. The first meeting in Washington, DC was held in 1803. Jonathan Shoemaker deeded a lot near present day Adams Mill Road for a Quaker burial ground in 1807. Later that same year a lot was purchased near I Street for building the first Meeting House in DC, which was completed in 1811. In 1817 the regional connection to Indian Spring was changed to Alexandria, VA. Information for the report was collected from the Works Progress Administration in 1937 which was not checked against original documents, therefore there may be some discrepancies. What is apparent is that Shoemaker was one of the very earliest Quakers in Washington, DC. MLK Library, Washingtoniana Division, Churches: Friends file, pamphlet
Quaker Records in Maryland by Phebe R. Jacobsen, Pub No. 14, Hall of Records, 1966 1/1/1966 p. 19 'In the 1750s, Indian Spring, and then Sandy Spring, were added as Weekly Meetings. Sandy Spring and Indian Spring Meetings met alternately between 1795-1846. In 1846 the title was changed to Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting.' ==p. 96 'Congregations for Sandy Spring were drawn from the Montgomery County, Maryland and District of Columbia areas. After the 1828 Separation, the majority of Friends from Sandy Spring were identified with the Hicksites. A small group withdrew from the Hicksites and transfered their membership to the Batimore Monthly Meeting, then held at Eutaw Street. These Friends retained their identity as the Indian Spring Preparative Meeting, Orthodox, until 1841, when the meeting was discontinued. The remaining members were then joined to the Baltimore Preparative for the Eastern and Western Districts.' Quakers from the D.C. area (such as the Shoemakers) attended the same monthly meetings as Quakers from Montgomery County (Thomas family). The Quaker meetings at Indian Spring may have been where the Shoemaker, Thomas/ Johnson families met, perhaps discussing Pretty Prospect and transfering deeds among fellow Quakers. Maryland State Archives, Geneology Division, Religious Associations
Milling in Rock Creek Park, unknown author and location of original document 1/1/1967 'In 1809 Roger Johnson of Frederick County, Maryland, purchased the property [Pretty Prospect] and then conveyed it to his son George. Over the next decade, the younger Johnson poured money into improvements, claiming by 1820 to have invested a total of $60,000. In that year he had five pairs of stones in operation and had ground 60,000 bushels of wheat, 20,000 bushels of corn, and 40,000 pounds of plaster of paris. But the business did not prosper. He was forced to borrow $20,000 payable with interest in five years from the Bank of Columbia. By the summer of 1823, the bank was threatening to foreclose on the property and in desperation Johnson went to his cousin Louisa's husband, Secretary of State John Quincy Adams. Painting a rosy picture of the future of the mills, and a grim picture of his wife and three small children out at the mill, he pleaded for Adams' help. If Adams would invest $20,000 to pay the mortgage and an additional $10,000-12,000 to get the mill in shape and purchase wheat for the next season's grinding, and keep Johnson on as manager with the option to buy back half ownership later for $30,000, Adams could become a prosperous millowner."Adams was no businessman. He knew nothing about milling and knew that he could never manage the operation, but mill ownership was attractive to him, perhaps 'a gracious offer of Providence.' He was looking forward to retirement at the end of the Monroe Administration and time to engage in literary pursuits. The mill might be just the thing to support him comfortably in his declining years and it would provide useful employment for his son, John Adams 2d. He considered the matter only a week and then agreed to buy the mill if George Johnson would undertake not half but all future capital investments. Johnson consented and Adams sold $9,000 in US 6% bonds and mortgaged his house at 1335 F Street to raise the rest. "Adams' first year as a millowner was a nightmare. Many repairs to the mill were necessary. An assistant miller did not show up for work. Business was bad. Production which should have been 100 barrels of flour a day was more nearly 100 a week. Johnson's bookkeeping system was an unintelligible jumble. The next spring 700 barrels of flour and a quantity of green corn heating up in the warehouse lay heavy on the hands of the company with no prospects for sale. In the summer of 1824, floods along the creek washed out roads and damaged the mill.'"continued next entry George Johnson and John Quincy Adams struggeled unsuccessfully to produce a profitable return from the Columbia Mills. SI Archives, RU 74, Box 88, folder 81
Milling in Rock Creek Park, unknown author and location of original document 1/1/1967 continued from previous page"'By the end of his unhappy Presidency in 1829, Adams was thoroughly disillusioned with the pleasures of mill ownership. The situation seemed to be getting worse by the year. When local crops were good, general market conditions were bad; when market conditions were good, the local crop failed. After 1829 the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad began to bring in large quantities of western grain to Baltimore, forcing a number of Washington mills to the wall and Georgetown merchants into decline. George Johnson proved incompetent and was eased out of the business. Then John Adams 2d took over management of the mill and succeeded in making it solvent, although many pressing debts remained. Samuel Flagg Bemis described the former President's feelings in the winter of 1829-30 when 'wretched mills preyed like gangrene on his spirits.'..."The sheriff never caught up with John Quincy Adams, but he came close. In 1834 John Adams 2d died. After his death, the elder Admas managed by scrimping to pay off the $30,000 debt on the mills plus other debts that John had incurred in their operation. But difficulties continued. William Greenleaf, brought from Quincy, Massachusetts, to run the mills, was a failure and between 1834 and 1836, the Columbian Mills were often closed down. Adams considered selling, but flour mills were a drug on the market and it was not possible to sell without a total loss of his investment. Between 1836 and 1839 he was reduced to borrowing sums from his former valet... Antoine Guista. But after the darkness came the dawn. Nathaniel Fry, Louisa Adams' brother-in-law, eventually took over Columbian Mills and by good management succeeded in producing for Adams a small income during his last year."After Adams' death the mill continued in operation as a part of his estate. In 1850, Maryland-born, 48 year old Horatio White was the principal miller, living there with his wife Hannah, and sons... In the next house visited by the census taker lived another miller, Charles Mansfield, who was probably White's assistant. Ten years later both millers were at the same location. But in 1867 the story of Adams Mill came to an end. In that year it was stricken from the tax books. By the turn of the cenutry every trace of the mill and associated structures had disappeared."The mill seat covered about 32 acres. There were at least two mill structures on the site, a bone mill and wheat mill... The dam was several hundred yards upstream from the wheat mill.' The Columbia/ Adams Mills stayed in the Adams family until 1871, as the deeds show. There has been no substantiating evidence found that Horatio White was principle miller during the 1850s. SI Archives, RU 74, Box 88, folder 81
Herbert Collins' report at request of Richard H. Howland, report on general history of Holt House 6/10/1967 The report lists the chronology of ownership and disclaims some previous myths associated with the house: Holt House was part of tract known as 'Pretty Prospect', not 'Pleasant Plains' which adjoined it and on which the Adams' mill was located; John Quincy Adams never owned 'Pretty Prospect'; the name 'Pretty Prospect' was changed to 'Jackson's Hill' around 1840; window panes were signed O.S. Paines, not Andrew Jackson; Martin Van Buren was not associated with the house; newspaper articles confused Henry Holt with a Joseph Holt, a judge in Washington, DC. The confusion over the origin of the name 'Jackson's Hill' continues. See letter dated 2/22/1988 for one possible answer. Some claim the name came from Mrs. Holt's first marriage to Andrew McDonald Jackson but the name was actually used before the Holts were associated with the house (see advertisement from 1841)." SI, AHHP Archives, Holt House file"
A History of Baltimore Yearly Meeting of Friends, re: Sandy Spring Friends Cemetery 1/1/1972 p. 158"'The early Sandy Spring Friends, in their desire for simplicity and a degree of privacy in all things, had followed the far older Quaker custom of burying their dead one beside another in the order of their passing, in graves designated only by rough pieces of fieldstone - unmarked in any way. Meanwhile a written record was kept of the name, date of death, age, and family relationship of each of the deceased.' Jonathan Shoemaker attended the Sandy Springs Friends Meeting and was thereby familiar with their customs. It is therefore plausible that the custom of unmarked graves used at Sandy Springs Friends Cemetery were also used at the Quaker Cemetery near Adams Mill Road. Swarthmore College, Friends Library, book by Bliss Forbush, publ. Baltimore Yearly Mtg, 1972.
National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form for Holt House 4/24/1973 'The house has a five-part plan, one of the few remaining five-part Georgian schemes in the District of Columbia. Also of architectural interest is its one-story orientation.' "Changes listed include rebuilding the ground floor for offices, removal of several walls, new foundation, flooring, extra windows, woodwork, fireplaces, chimneys, exterior entrance steps, removal of balcony and other changes. Despite all the changes and the 'very bad state of repair due to leakage and termite damage', the report stated that Holt House 'offers great potential for restoration and remodeling... and serves as a great example of early 19th century architecture in the District of Columbia'. U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service, copy at AHHP Archives
"Report on Holt House with Feasibility Study for Restoration by Denys Peter Myers 5/1/1977 'The house advertised on June 30, 1841 in the National Intelligencer was described as follows: 'The house is very superior; it is 126 feet long, two wings and a centre building, rooms of every size, unique and beautiful in its plan;'... The house now on the site is composed of two wings and a central block, but it is only 88 1/2 ft long... It has already been observed that the present appearance of the building suggests a date not much earlier than circa 1840. In this case, it is probable that appearances are deceiving and result largely from alterations made after the house was built. It must be strongly emphasized, however, that nothing now visible about the house suggests a date as early as the rumored 1805 or Eberlein's circa 1810. It is the considered opinion of this investigator that the original date of the building now called Holt House cannot be much before 1825..."One Allen Hoffar wrote the following comment in 1927: 'The place was called Jackson Hill... I was a frequent visitor there with a friend of Mrs. Holt's during '85. The house is now greatly changed as to the interior, the large upper hall being then reached by a flight of stairs on each side, and both hall and stairway having their walls covered with ivy that had pushed its way between window casings and walls to form a most peculiar wall covering.'..."Plans and specifications (presumably by William Ralph Emerson (1833-1917), the first architect engaged on the renovation project, were transmitted by Secretary Langley to W.T. Hornaday, Acting Superintendent of the National Zoological Park, on June 3, 1890... For example, new roof frames were to have been constructed, all wooden partitions were to have been removed, all floor and ceiling joists were to have been removed, and all plaster was to have been removed...In a letter dated July 5, 1890 Dr. Frank Baker, then 'Acting Manager' and later Superintendent of the National Zoological Park, wrote Secretary Langley regarding omissions proposed by Emerson to lower costs to within the budget... 'The western room should be left entirely unfinished for the present. I am not at all sure that you will not wish to have it torn away altogether when you return. It was not an integral part of the original house but was added later.'... It may be worth noting that the north basement wall of the west wing is stone, whereas the corresponding east wing wall is brick.'... Holt House lacks architectural integrity... Holt House must be ranked as a comparatively poor representative of its type [Palladian].'. Myers' construction date of 1825 was based on a lack of any older, original fabric being visible, and he stated that later changes altered the original appearance anyway. He suggested that an archaeological study is needed to be able to accurately distinguish the different layers of fabric. Note that the commentary by Allen Hoffar on a visit to Holt House may be inaccurate since Mrs. Holt died in 1880. SI, AHHP Archives, Holt House file, fr. SIA RU 365, Box 35, Holt House folder
"Memo to Dr. Reed from Dr. Challinor/Mr. Ripley"regarding the future of Holt House 6/15/1977 'Although we have talked about restoring the Holt House because it is on the list of Landmarks of the National Capital, we have not developed a specific restoration program... With guidance from Dr. Howland, we retained consulting architectural historian, Denys Peter Myers, to develop a restoration program which could be used for estimating and future budgeting guidance. Mr. Myers' final report, copy of which is attached, indicates that the historical importance of the Holt House is a myth. With the evidence developed by Mr. Myers in his excellent report, I propose to invite the Historic Preservation Office to re-examine their declaration and move toward withdrawing the house from the landmarks list.' Holt House was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. As it was one of the earliest listings for the District of Columbia, the criteria for selection were not as stringent as they are today. Because Myers' report 'demystifieds the historical importance of Holt House', Dr. Challinor recommended a reevaluation of its listing (as is typical for a property which looses its integrity). SI, AHHP Archives, Holt House file
Oliver Evans Inventive Genius of the American Industrial Revolution by Eugene S. Ferguson 1/1/1980 p. 14"'Evans' improvements consisted of bucket elevators that raised the grain and meal from one level to the next; a horizontal screw conveyor; two other conveying devices; and a hopper boy, whose function was to cool and dry the meal before gathering it into a hopper feeding the bolting cylinder. United in a mill, these five separate components embodied the totally fresh concept of a continuous manufacturing process. Wheat could be taken from a wagon or from the hold of a vessel, cleaned, ground between millstones, dried and cooled, sifted, and delivered to barrels ready for packing without the intervention of a human operator, except as adjustments to the machinery became necessary.' Oliver Evans' inovations allowed the Columbia Mills to be automated, requiring less labor to operate. SI American History Library, book publisher: Greenville, DE: the Hagley Museum, 1980.
Descent from Glory-Four Generations of the John Adams Family by Paul C. Nagel, re: Columbia Mills 1/1/1983 p. 171-2 John Adams' 'attempts to manage the Columbian Mills, where the family hoped to make up its lost fortunes, kept him dependent on the family and made him subject to John Quincy's relentless scrutiny. When his parents were in Quincy from April to November, John sent no word about the mills, though John Quincy bombarded him with advice and solemn remarks. 'You know how much I have suffered from the mills since I purchased them,' the father wrote, although he tried to be realistic, calling them 'my imaginary gold mine at Rock Creek.' He did secure advice from Boston friends on management and market matters and shared these with the silent John."John had much to be quiet about, as it happened. Despite good counsel, he had taken fright and sold his flour at 75 cents a barrel instead of waiting for the predicted rise, which would have brought him $2.50..."Finally, in 1832, word began circulating that flour purchased from the Adams mill was spoiled. John Quincy threw up his hands in despair, and not only over the business. John's emotional and physical condition was now so serious that Louisa's brother-in-law, Nathaniel Frye, had to be given management of the mills. With his help, along with the reorganization of family resources by Charles Francis, the most pressing debts were paid. However, John Quincy was stuck with the Columbian Mills for the rest of his life. They were a fearful reminder of the disintegration of his second son, whose condition worsened through most of 1833 and 1834.' The Columbia Mills proved to be an endless emotional and financial drain on the Adams family. National Portrait Gallery, Archives Library, book publisher: NYC: Oxford Press, 1983.
HABS Report on Holt House/ Jackson Hill 7/6/1983 The earlier survey from March 1937 listed the condition of Holt House as 'good'. It also stated that Dr. Holt found the land barren and planted all the trees on the property. The November 1974 survey listed its condition as 'fair' and the July 1983 Architectural Data Form survey stated that the house was 'originally a one-story on raised basement ... [with] basement [now] converted to entrance level'. Photographs were included with each survey and show the progression of deterioration. The 1937 HABS survey recorded incorrect deed transfers for Holt House. Attached photos from 1937 show the house to have been in stable condition with only minimal brush surround the house, while 1974 photos show overgrown trees and brush with the entrances boarded up." Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, HABS-DC, WASH, no. 21
Report on National Zoo lands (written for the Smithsonian?) unknown author, date and sources used 'Park area is made up of three tracts, viz 'Pretty Prospect', 'Pleasant Plains' and 'Mount Pleasant'... Pretty Prospect was also bordered by the lands owned by Philip Barton Key, brother of Frances Scott Key... Since Johnson actually owned this property as well as the property which he earlier sold to John Qunicy Adams, it is probable that the Adams and Johnsons visited each other, especially since the Johnsons were Mrs. Adams' kin.' The report listed the progression of deed transfers for 'Pretty Prospect' and gave information on the owners of three tracts of land that became part of the National Zoological Park. SI, AHHP Archives, Holt House files
The Life and Times of Congressman John Quincy Adams, by Leonard L. Richards" 01/01/1986 The biography of J.Q.A. discussed the Columbia mills as follows: 'But he also made some dubious investments, including one that proved to be a monstrous headache. It began in 1823 when a Washington bank was about to foreclose on his wife's cousin, who owned some grist and flour mills in the District of Columbia called the Columbia Mills. The cousin appealed to Adams for help and without knowing much about the property or anything about the business Adams bought him out. The cousin was kept on as manager, proved to be incompetent, and was replaced by Adam's second son, John, who worked himself to the bone and succeeded in getting the business barely solvent. The mills, Adams noted in his diary, preyed on his spirits like 'gangrene,' and he pictured himself becoming a typical ex-President, hopelessly in debt and one step ahead of the sheriff, like Jefferson and Monroe.'.....'Charles Francis proved to be the financial genius of the family. Young Charles took over the Massachusetts accounts after George's death, straightened out the mess that George had left, collected rents and handled his father's business with efficiency and dispatch. Still Adams had trouble with the Columbian Mills. When his son John died in 1834 he replaced him with his secretary, who had worked under John's direction but was incapable of running the mills on his own, and once again the mills became a constant financial drain. Eventually Adams turned to his brother-in-law, who as luck would have it proved to be a competant steward like Charles. In the meantime, however, Adams found himself in the embarassing position of repeatedly having to borrow money from his old friend and former valet, Antoine Guista...' John Quincy Adams' brother-in law was Nathaniel Frye, the second husband of Louisa's sister Caroline. Adams' secretary was William Cranch Greenleaf. John Quincy Adams diary entries and letter correspondance with Frye after 1834 confirm this report. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986, located at NMAH, political history library
Letter to Nat'l Zoo from Mrs. Randolph Arnold Aufranc regarding Mrs. Susan Holt 2/22/1988 Aufranc's great-grandmother Susan Jane Tucker Jackson Holt resided at Holt House. She married Andrew McDonald Jackson before marrying Dr. Henry Holt, thereby explaining the origin of the name Jackson Hill. Aufranc stated that articles from 'The Rambler' and 'The Washington Star' reported some false information, including mixing up Andrew McDonald Jackson with a naval officer Andrew M.C. Jackson. Aufranc requested the Zoo to send her further information on Holt House for her to pass on to her grandchildren. Although the explanation given for Jackson Hill's name appears sound, the name was actually used before the Holt's owned the property. Therefore there must be another explanation for the name. SI Archives, RU 385, Box 35
John Alexander: A Northern Neck Proprietor, regarding the Ashton Alexander family 01/01/1990 'Dr. Ashton Alexander, born 1769/72 in Virginia, received a slave in his mother's will, received a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania and was a 'Grand old man with magnificent physique; wore knee and shoe buckles and stockings, and carried a gold-headed cane; fond of dinner and society.' He practiced and resided in Baltimore. He was married (1) on 26 December 1799 in Frederick County to Catherine Hanson Thomas, born 15 October 1775, daughter of Dr. Philip Thomas of Frederick, Maryland..."Ashton married (2) Sarah R. Merryman... "Ashton and his wife Sarah of Baltimore conveyed a part of 'Pretty Prospect' to Nicholas R. Merryman of Baltimore County. "Ashton died 16 March 1855, and was buried two days later. Catherine died Wed. 11 January 1826 in Baltimore, Maryland. Children:"1. Richard Henry Alexander, bapt. 20 February 1804..."2. Ashton Alexander, Jr. born 1809... died 2 Dec 1831, age 22"3. Elizabeth Maria Alexander born 20 August 1802, died January 1847..."4. Catherine Rebecca Thomas Alexander, born 1814... died 12 September 1825 in her 11th yr."5. George Alexander... He is mentioned in the 1815 will of his grandfather Philip Thomas...'==Dr. Alexander was the son of Gerard Alexander II who was married to his cousin, Jane Alexander Ashton. They were originally from Virginia but owned property in Frederick County and Prince William County. " Dr. Ashton Alexander was raised in northern Virginia, resided in Frederick, Maryland for a short time and settled in Baltimore, Maryland. The reference to the conveyance of 'Pretty Prospect' to Nicholas Merryman was to cover estate expenses of Ashton's sister, Sydney Alexander. When the property was sold to Henry Holt in 1844, the deed listed Ashton Alexander, Nicholas Merryman and Henry Holt. Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore, MD, book by Wesley E. Pippinger (Gateway Press, 1990).
Rock Creek Park: District of Columbia, historic resource study, by William Bushong for the National Park Servicepublication 01/01/1990 'The milling industry and its variety of products, such as paper, flour, fertilizer, and cut timber, flourished along Rock Creek in the first half of the nineteenth century...at least eight mills were built along Rock Creek from Georgetown to the District boundary... These industrial enterprises were built in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and grew in proportion to the developement of Georgetown and Washington City. The watermills built on Rock Creek within the boundaries of the District of Columbia included Lyons (ca. 1780), Deakins (pre-1794), Columbian (pre-1800), Parrott (pre-1800), Argyle (pre-1850), and the Pierce (1829), complexes.==The Columbian Mill was believed to have been built by Georgetown merchant and real estate speculator Benjamin Stoddert before 1800. Stoddert was one of George Washington's agents who aided the president in his negotiations with land proprietors in the region and was the first secretary of the Navy. It was purchased by John Quincy Adams in 1825 [actually 1823] and thereafter became known as Adams Mill. The property was located on the National Zoological grounds on the east bank of Rock Creek, about 700 feet south of a distinctive sharp bend in the waterway. After a checkered career the flour mill ceased its business operations around 1867. Michler's map depicted the complex as intact and identified it as Columbia Mills. The building soon fell into ruins and was removed during the development of the zoo grounds in the 1890s.'== This report recounted some of the Columbia Mills' history but did not mention Holt House. Two errors in the report are the date of mill purchase by Adams and the purported removal of stones by the Zoo in 1890s. No evidence of removal exists. Library of Congress, Main Reading Room, National Park Service report
'Site of Thomas Jefferson's Mills' section: 'Chronology' 02/22/1991 1803 Toll mill constructed. This smaller mill was reserved for milling flour and grinding corn for Jefferson and his neighbors' own consumption. A toll was paid for it's use.==1805-06 Dam constructed at head of canal to increase flow of water to the mills==1806 Manufacturing Mill (a mill for flour intended for market) completed and leased the following year to its first tenants. Jefferson described it as having 'two indepedent water wheels, singled geared, one turning a pair of 5.f. Burr stones, the other a pair of 6 f. do. she will be finished in the best manner with every modern convwnience, is about 40 by 60.f. 3 floors in the body which is of stone, & 2. floors in the roof.' Important improvements by Oliver Evans were utilized in this 'modern mill'. This entry differentiates between the two mill types at Shadwell, Shoemakers leased the latter merchant mill. Columbia Mill was also a merchant mill. The differences of the 'modern' equipment at Shadwell might account for Shoemaker's unfamiliarity and therefore inability of operating the mill more successfully. Monticello Research Center, Shadwell Mills and Dams file
"Quaker traditions - Sources for Nonconformist Genealogy & Family History by D.J. Steel 1/1/1992 p. 677 'The use of headstones was denounced by the yearly (Quaker) meeting of 1717.'==p. 682 'A marriage before the priest nearly always automatically carried disownment with it.'==p. 672 'Because Quakers and Baptists were unbaptized they were not eligible for burial service (in a Christian cemetery).'==p. 673 If Quakers were buried in a Christian cemtery, 'Quakers would be buried on the North side'. These references to Quaker beliefs and practices are useful in understanding the Quaker cemetery layout. If any headstones were found in the cemeteries, they did not belong to Quakers. "Ashton Alexander and Roger Johnson both married Quaker women 'out of faith' for which their wives were disowned by the Quaker community. Maryland State Archives, Geneology Division, Religious Associations
Events That Changed America in the Nineteenth Century, ed. by Thackeray & Findlingard, re: Quaker's views on slavery 01/01/1997 p.82 "'Quakers made the first attacks on slavery in America. Although many Quakers owned slaves, they found slavery difficult to reconcile with their belief that all men are brothers. Individual Quakers such as Benjamin Lay and John Woolman denounced slavery as a sin. Antislavery Quakers in America received support and encouragement from their counterparts in Britain, who were actively protesting slavery in the West Indies. Quaker opposition to slavery slowly mounted until 1758, when leaders at the yearly Meeting in Philadelphia condemned both the slave trade and slavery. Quakers in other Northern States followed suit, and the few Quakers who refused to free their slaves were banned from positions of authority within the Society of Friends.' Jonathan Shoemaker was a Quaker originally from Pennsylvania, which is referred to as the state in which Quakers were most opposed to slavery. Library of Congress, Main Reading Room, book publisher: CT: Greenwood Press, 1997
Phone interview with American Medical Association in Chicago, IL, re: Dr. Ashton Alexander 8/25/1997 The American Medical Association was founded in 1847, holding its first meeting in Philadelphia. The following year, the annual meeting was held in Baltimore. Dr. Ashton Alexander served as a delegate representing Maryland that year. He is listed in the catalog of permanent members for the Association as a faculty member of the University of Maryland for Medicine and Surgery. Past history reports on Holt House mistakenly referred to Alexander as a charter member of the American Medical Society. In fact it was the American Medical Association. American Medical Association, Chicago, IL "phone interview
Telephone interview with John McGrain, author of extensive study of Historical Molinography in MD, re: Columbia Mills 10/23/1997 Mr. McGrain explained that after the Oliver Evans mill innovations and inventions of the late 18th century, mills were operated generally by only two people with extra help perhaps to load and unload the flour, cornmeal and plaster sacks. One example he sited was Evan's 'Hopper Boy' invention which mechanically replaced the need for a hopper boy employee. Often mills were operated by members of one family."'Unlike textile mills, there is no documented history of flour, corn or plaster mills using slave labor.'" Mr.McGrain, an archivist at the Maryland Historical Society, has studied Maryland mills for many years and is very knowledgeable on the subject. He compliled an exaustive database on the subject which is available on microfilm at the Maryland State Archives in Annapolis. telephone interview
Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy by William Hinshaw re: the Jonathan Shoemaker family no reference to Jonathan Shoemaker in PA;==1808 Elizabeth Shoemaker (only daughter) was married in Sandy Spring, MD in the Quaker faith;==The first official Quaker Preparative Meeting in Washington was held in 1806. One year later Shoemaker donated the cemetery to the Quaker community from part of his property. 'Shortly thereafter' the first Quaker meeting house was built in Washington, DC. In 1817 the Washington Preparative Meeting was transferred to Alexandria Monthly Meeting with all its members. Shoemaker was one of the earliest Quakers to reside in Washington County. No entry was found for Jonathan Shoemaker in Pennsylvania. Stuart Furman, SI Facilities Services, vol.s for VA, MD, PA, publ: Genealogical Publishing Co,1985
Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting Church Records 1824-1964, re: Jonathan Shoemaker Miscellaneous section at end:"'Jonathan Shoemaker married to Elizabeth Davis, 1810;"received in community 9th month 20, 1805==Elizabeth Shoemaker married to Jonathan Shoemaker, 1810;"received in community 9th month 20, 1805==Charles Shoemaker"David Shoemaker [sons of Jonathan and Hannah]'==Sandy Spring is listed as being in the county of Montgomery==There are many listings for the Thomas family, however there is no specific mention of Catherine Thomas Alexander or Elizabeth Thomas Johnson. Both women were disowned by the community when they married men of other faiths. Jonathan Shoemaker was a practicing Quaker and he belonged to the same Indian Spring Monthly Meeting as the Thomas family did. Maryland State Archives, Microfilm for Friends Society Meetings, M-2250
"Geneology of the Shoemaker Family of Cheltenham, Pennsylvania, compiled by Benjamin Shoemaker 'George Shoemaker, son of Jonathan Shoemaker and his wife Hannah Lukens, was born 9 mo. 27, 1792 at Quakertown Montgomery County, Pennsylvania; died 7 mo. 20, 1865, in Georgetown, DC. He married 11 mo 14 1816, at Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, Rebecca Albertson, born 2 mo. 25, 1793, daughter of Jacob and Mary Albertson, of Plymouth; she died 1 mo. 17, 1818, buried at Plymouth;...==George married 9 mo. 13, 1821, at Plymouth Meeting, Elizabeth Lukens, born 9 mo. 17, 1795, died 2 mo. 25 1881; daughter of David and Mary Lukens, of Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. Soon after the death of his first wife he removed to Georgetown, D.C. and engaged in the milling business, controlling the Columbia Flour Mills for many years. He held the office of Flour Inspector for forty-eight years.==George and his wife were members of Alexandria Monthly Meeting. They were buried in Oak Hill Cemetary, Washington D.C.==During her residence in Georgetown, Elizabeth L. Shoemaker was active in all charitable works, having been for many years a directress in the Union Benevolent Society, and of the Female Orphan Asylum. She was also clerk and treasurer of the Washington Preparitive Meeting of Friends, 1836-1849.' George Shoemaker, son of Jonathan, was a well known miller in Georgetown. The Columbia Flour Mills of Georgetown were not the same Columbia Mills owned by JQA. The account further stated that George's wife Elizabeth was a director of the Union Benevolent Society, the organization that aquired adjoining land to the Quaker cemetery Jonathan Shoemaker had deeded to the Friends Society. County of Montgomery, Court House, Norristown PA, Department of History & Cultural Arts
Notes in regard to Thomas Jefferson Mills, unknown author, regarding Shadwell Mills 'Thomas Jefferson owned three mills situated on the Rivenna River."1. toll or grist mill"2. manufacturing or merchant mill"3. saw mill==The first toll mill was built in 1757 by Peter Jefferson... It was rebuilt in 1803... An addition was added during the next several years. It began to grind again in 1805... It was not leased to tenants as was the manufacturing or merchants mill. Martin, a negro, was its first manager... Davy, a slave, was the next manager... Youen Carden, was the manager in 1808 and so remained except for short periods until 1824.==About 1793 Thomas Jefferson began to formulate plans for a larger manufacturing mill. The site was laid out in 1803 by Jas. Walker, a millwright from Buckingham County. A contract was entered into with Hope, a mason. Walker was to install tye machinery. It was almost completed by 1806 but did not, however, begin operations until 1807... It was leased to Jonathan & Isaac Shoemaker Jan. 1807 under a five year lease at $1250.00 per year. Bad management forced them to sell their lease after only 4 years..."During Shoemaker's term the rent of the mill was paid in cash.'" Jonathan Shoemaker began a lease of Shadwell Flour Mill in 1807 while still owning Columbia Mills. His son Isaac operated the Shadwell Mill but was unable to do so properly. The agreed upon rent was expensive. Both the Shadwell Flour Mill and the Columbia Mills operated as manufacturing/merchant mills. Monticello Research Center, Shadwell Mills and Dams file
Transcription of entries in the Roger Johnson family Prayerbook 'Roger died March 3, 1831, at 81 years 11 months and 18 days.==Daughter Dorcas married name Mactier died in New York on Dec. 4, 1815 at 23 years old.==Son William T. Johnson died January 8, 1831 at 43 years, 3 months, and 4 days.==Son Dr. Samuel Johnson died August 11, 1826 in his 42nd year. ==Sarah Dorsey died in Ohio Aug. 25, 1834 at 45 years old.==Joseph Johnson, died March 4, 1835 at 45 years old.==Elizabeth Johnson, widow of Roger, died Sept. 8, 1837 at 82 years old.==Richard Johnson died July 14, 1839 at 58 years old.==Henrietta Johnson died April 8, 1849 (64 years).==James T. Johnson (doctor) died Sept. 4, 1867 aged 73. Notice that Roger Johnson's son George is not listed in the family bible. His dates are not included with the those of his siblings. Historical Society of Frederick County, Maryland, File # 3 of Johnson Family Files

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