Residence Act

Residence Act of 1790Residence BillAn Act for establishing the temporary and permanent seat of the Government of the United StatesAn Act to amend "An Act for establishing the temporary and permanent seat of the Government of the United Statesfrom December 1790 to November 1800Potomac residence issueResidenceselectiontemporary capital of the United States
The Residence Act of 1790, officially titled An Act for establishing the temporary and permanent seat of the Government of the United States, was a United States federal statute adopted during the second session of the First United States Congress, and signed into law by President George Washington on July 16, 1790.wikipedia
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1st United States Congress

First CongressFirst United States Congress1st Congress
The Residence Act of 1790, officially titled An Act for establishing the temporary and permanent seat of the Government of the United States, was a United States federal statute adopted during the second session of the First United States Congress, and signed into law by President George Washington on July 16, 1790.

New York City

New YorkNew York, New YorkNew York City, New York
At the time, the federal government was operating out of New York City.
By 1790, New York had surpassed Philadelphia to become the largest city in the United States, but by the end of that year, pursuant to the Residence Act, the national capital was moved to Philadelphia.

Capital city

Capitaladministrative centerDistrict seat
The Act provided for a national capital and permanent seat of government to be established at a site along the Potomac River and empowered President Washington to appoint commissioners to oversee the project.

James Madison

MadisonPresident MadisonPresident James Madison
Congress passed the Residence Act as part of a compromise brokered among James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and Alexander Hamilton.
In return, Congress passed the Residence Act, which established the federal capital district of Washington, D.C. on the Potomac River.

George Washington

WashingtonGeneral WashingtonGeneral George Washington
The Residence Act of 1790, officially titled An Act for establishing the temporary and permanent seat of the Government of the United States, was a United States federal statute adopted during the second session of the First United States Congress, and signed into law by President George Washington on July 16, 1790.
The terms were legislated in the Funding Act of 1790 and the Residence Act, both of which Washington signed into law.

Independence Hall

Pennsylvania State HouseState HouseIndependence Square
At the outset of the Revolutionary War, the Second Continental Congress was meeting in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House.
Following the ratification of the Constitution, the Congress, while meeting in New York, passed the Residence Act of 1790, which established the District of Columbia as the new federal capital.

Conococheague Creek

ConococheagueConococheague ValleyWest Branch Conococheague Creek
The Residence Act specified that the capital be located along the Potomac River between the Eastern Branch (the Anacostia River) and the Connogochegue (near Williamsport and Hagerstown, Maryland), and encompass an area of no more than "ten miles square" (10 mi on a side, for a maximum area of 100 mi2).
The Conococheague, or Connogochegue, as it was known at the time, was the northernmost extent of the range along the Potomac within which Congress in the Residence Bill of 1790 authorized the establishment of the Federal District, known as the District of Columbia.

Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783

protest outside the buildingdue to a mutinyJune 1783
In what became known as the Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783, Dickinson sympathized with the protesters and refused to remove them from Philadelphia.
In 1790, Congress passed the Residence Act, which created the District of Columbia, located on the banks of the Potomac River from land belonging until that time to the states of Maryland and Virginia, to serve as the new federal capital.

Boundary markers of the original District of Columbia

boundary stonesBoundary Stones (District of Columbia)borders of the District of Columbia
On March 30, 1791, Washington issued a presidential proclamation that established "Jones's point, the upper cape of Hunting Creek in Virginia" as the starting point for the federal district's boundary survey and the method by which the survey should determine the district's boundaries.
Working under the supervision of three commissioners that President George Washington had appointed in 1790 in accordance with the federal Residence Act, a surveying team that Major Andrew Ellicott led placed these markers in 1791 and 1792.

L'Enfant Plan

1791L'Enfant's Plan1791 plan
During the early spring of 1791, Pierre (Peter) Charles L'Enfant began working on a plan for the capital city that identified the future sites of the "Congress House" (the United States Capitol) and the "President's House" (the White House).
However, any decision on the capital was put on hold until July 1790 when Congress passed the Residence Act.

United States Capitol

U.S. CapitolCapitolCapitol Building
During the early spring of 1791, Pierre (Peter) Charles L'Enfant began working on a plan for the capital city that identified the future sites of the "Congress House" (the United States Capitol) and the "President's House" (the White House).
New York City remained home to Congress until July 1790, when the Residence Act was passed to pave the way for a permanent capital.

Congress Hall

Congress reconvened in Philadelphia on December 6, 1790 at Congress Hall.
Following the ratification of the Constitution, the Congress, while meeting in New York, passed the Residence Act on July 9, 1790.

White House

The White HouseExecutive MansionPresident's House
During the early spring of 1791, Pierre (Peter) Charles L'Enfant began working on a plan for the capital city that identified the future sites of the "Congress House" (the United States Capitol) and the "President's House" (the White House).
The July 1790 Residence Act named Philadelphia, Pennsylvania the temporary national capital for a 10-year period while the Federal City was under construction.

Washington, D.C.

Washington, DCWashington D.C.District of Columbia
Thus, Maryland laws applied on the eastern side of the Potomac, and Virginia laws applied on the western side in the District of Columbia until the government officially took residence. In February 1801, Congress approved the District of Columbia Organic Act, which officially organized the District of Columbia.
The signing of the Residence Act on July 16, 1790, approved the creation of a capital district located along the Potomac River on the country's East Coast.

Pierre Charles L'Enfant

Pierre L'EnfantPierre (Peter) Charles L'EnfantL'Enfant
During the early spring of 1791, Pierre (Peter) Charles L'Enfant began working on a plan for the capital city that identified the future sites of the "Congress House" (the United States Capitol) and the "President's House" (the White House).
L'Enfant had already written first to President George Washington, asking to be commissioned to plan the city, but a decision on the capital was put on hold until July 1790 when the First Congress passed the "Residence Act", setting the site of the new federal district and national capital to be on the shores of the Potomac River.

Thomas Johnson (jurist)

Thomas JohnsonThomasTh. Johnson Jun r
In January 1791, the President proceeded to appoint, in accordance with the Residence Act, a three-member commission, consisting of Daniel Carroll, Thomas Johnson, and David Stuart, to oversee the surveying of the federal district, and appointed Andrew Ellicott as surveyor.
In January 1791, President Washington appointed Johnson, with David Stuart and Daniel Carroll, to the commission that would lay out the federal capital in accordance with the Residence Act of 1790.

Outline of Washington, D.C.

Historical outline of the District of ColumbiaOutline of the District of ColumbiaDC
The area given to Washington, D.C., was originally 100 sqmi ceded by the states of Maryland and Virginia in accordance with the Residence Act; however, in 1846, the retrocession of Washington, D.C., meant that the area of 31 sqmi which was ceded by Virginia was returned, leaving 69 sqmi of territory originally ceded by Maryland as the current area of the District in its entirety.

Arlington County, Virginia

Arlington, VirginiaArlingtonArlington County
In 1846, based on a petition to Congress by the residents of the Virginia portion of the District (Alexandria County) and the City of Alexandria, the area of 31 sqmi which was ceded by Virginia was returned, leaving 69 sqmi of territory originally ceded by Maryland as the current area of the District in its entirety.
With the passage of the Residence Act in 1790, Congress approved a new permanent capital to be located on the Potomac River, the exact area to be selected by U.S. President George Washington.

District of Columbia home rule

home ruleCommissioners of the District of ColumbiaD.C. Home rule
On July 16, 1790, the Residence Act provided for a new permanent capital to be located on the Potomac River, the exact area to be selected by President Washington.

District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801

Organic Act of 1801District of Columbia Organic Actin 1801
In February 1801, Congress approved the District of Columbia Organic Act, which officially organized the District of Columbia.

United States

AmericanU.S.USA
The Residence Act of 1790, officially titled An Act for establishing the temporary and permanent seat of the Government of the United States, was a United States federal statute adopted during the second session of the First United States Congress, and signed into law by President George Washington on July 16, 1790.

Statute

statutorystatutesAct
The Residence Act of 1790, officially titled An Act for establishing the temporary and permanent seat of the Government of the United States, was a United States federal statute adopted during the second session of the First United States Congress, and signed into law by President George Washington on July 16, 1790.

Potomac River

PotomacSouth Branch Potomac RiverNorth Branch Potomac River
The Act provided for a national capital and permanent seat of government to be established at a site along the Potomac River and empowered President Washington to appoint commissioners to oversee the project. The Residence Act specified that the capital be located along the Potomac River between the Eastern Branch (the Anacostia River) and the Connogochegue (near Williamsport and Hagerstown, Maryland), and encompass an area of no more than "ten miles square" (10 mi on a side, for a maximum area of 100 mi2).

Philadelphia

Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia, PACity of Philadelphia
At the outset of the Revolutionary War, the Second Continental Congress was meeting in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House. It also set a deadline of December 1800 for the capital to be ready, and designated Philadelphia as the nation's temporary capital while the new seat of government was being built.