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A view of Alexandria's water front in 1834, when this city was a part of the District of Columbia.
•—From »n Old Print. Retrocession of Alexandria County HE retrocession of Alexandria which includes today all of Arlington County, the greater part of the present independent city of Alexandria and Falls Church, 100 years ago yesterday, is an epochal event in connection with the life of the Nation's Capital. The act of CongresST providing for * site for "establishing the tempo rary and permanent seat of the Government of the United States,” which was not to exceed 10 miles square, to be located on the River Potomac, "some place between the mouths of the Eastern Branch and the Connogocheague,” was approved July 16, 1790. But this, of course, did not include any part of Virginia,, which, it would seem, was contrary to President Washington's desire. And so, on January 24, 1791, we find the President writing to Congress: County, District of Colum bia, to Virginia, a territory "Gentlemen: In execution of the powers w'ith which Congress were pleased to invest me by their act entitled, ‘An act for establishing the temporary and permanent seat of the Government of the United States’ * * * I have not by this first act given to the said territory the whole extent of which it is susceptible in the direction of the river; because I thought it impor tant that Congress should have an opportunity of considering whether by an amendatory law they would authorize the location of the residue at the lower end of the present lo cation so as to comprehend the Eastern Branch itself and some of the country on its lower side in the State of Maryland, and the town of Alexandria in Virginia; if, however, they should think that the Federal territory should be bounded by the water edge of the Eastern Branch, the location of the residue will be made at the upper end of what is now directed. * • •” The result of the President's request was the passage by Con gress of an amendatory act, ap proved March 3, 1791, repealing so much of the original Residence Act "as requires that the whole of the district or territory, not exceeding 10 miles square shall be located above the mouth of the Eastern Branch,” and making it lawful "for the President to make any part of the territory below the said limit, and above the mouth of Hunting Creek, a part of the said district, so as to include a convenient part of the Eastern Branch, and of the lands on the lower side thereof, and also the town of Alexandria.” Virginia Passes Act Ceding Territory The Amendatory Apt of March 3. 1791, paved tne way lor the in clusion of what was then Alexandria, and what is now Arlington County. Virginia, anxious to have the Cap ital located within its own boun daries. and in anticipation of this, had already, by its General Assem bly. passed the act of December 3, 1789, for the cession of 10 miles square or any lesser quantity of territory for the permanent seat of the General Government, and an earlier and more liberal tender was made June 28, 1783. Naturally, President Washington was desirous to have Alexandria made a part of the new Capital City, to which he was more than a neigh bor or visitor, and in many respects he was actually a fellow-townsman. So closely was he tied up with the place that his recollections could well have included the village of Belhaven, founded some time be tween 1732 and 1746, and which superseded the earlier settlement of Hunting Creek Warehouse. The <irst President’s personal contact with Alexandria began at an early date, when he made frequent horseback trips to this busy settle ment, then one of the principal tobacco ports in the Colonies. Washington’s Ties With Old Alexandria Washington's activities in this old Virginia city were many-sided. It was from here, in 1754, that he set out to cross the wilderness to de liver Gov. Dinwiddie’s message to the French commander at Fort Du quesne, and it was here, in the Market House Square, that he marched at the head of 150 soldiers on dress parade, when he was but 22. Soon afterward these same men turned their faces toward the Ohio River, and after meeting the French in battle, capitulated at Fort Neces sity, on the date of the month that was later to be celebrated as Amer ica’s Independence Day. However, Washington was not to be outdone when he had authority for extending the District lines into Virginia, and that he moved quickly is evident from the fact that in about two weeks from the time the agreement had been reached with landowners, the ceremonies con nected with the placing of the initial stone occurred. The Commissioners apparently were in so big a hurry In officially laying down the four cornerstones of the District that • temporary stone was used at Jones } By John Clagett Proctor Point, and it was not until June, three years later, that the perma nent stone was put in position. The exercises connected with lay ing the cornerstone were conducted [ under the auspices of the Lodge No. 22, A. F. & A. M. of Alexandria, chartered under the grand juris diction of Virginia, April 28, 1788, and of which Gen. Washington be came the first worshipful master. This lodge is now known as Alex andria-Washington Lodge, No. 22, and thousands of tourists annually visit its lodgeroom to see the Masonic relics connected with the life of the first President. There is not an abundance of I dria County to Virginia, at the time 1 there seems to have been much merit i in the request, but looking at it to |day, the Congress certainly acted j very unwisely in parting with so 'valuable a territory. The first at tempt of Alexandria County to sepa rate from the District was made as early as March, 1824. when the proj ect was put to a vote and defeated by its residents 404 to 286. Again in 1846, a more successful effort was made of what Wilhelmus Bogart Bryan says: “The same condition of financial and trade troubles in the case of Alexandria, six years after the bank episode, inspired largely the move |t,ion was unproductive. The situa tion was a desperate one. As Con gress had already contributed to the enterprise and there was no prospect of help coming from that source, the town turned to the Legislature of Virginia. There it met a warm welcome, and in a few days after the receipt of the resolutions of the Common Council of Alexandria ask ing the consent of the Legislatures to the return of Alexandria County to the State, a bill to that effect be came a law. Then Congress passed Members of the Association of Oldest Inhabitants celebrating the 150th anni versary of the laying of the cornerstone of the District of Columbia at Jones Point, April 15, 1941. From this point was started “The Ten Miles Square literature extant regarding the lay ing of this stone, and the historians have to rely considerably upon a thoughtful writer who happened to be present and contributed to a Philadelphia paper a brief account, a part of which follows: “Alexandria, April 21, 1791. “On Friday, the 15th instant, the Hon. Daniel Carroll and Hon. David Steuart arrived in this town to superintend the fixing of the first cornerstone of the Federal District. “The Mayor and commonalty, to gether with the members of the different lodges of the town, at 3 o'clock, waited on the commissioners at Mr. Wise’s, where they dined, and. after drinking a glass of wine to the following sentiment, viz: " May the stone which we are about to place in the ground remain an immovable monument of the wis dom and unanimity of North Amer ica,’ the company proceeded to Jones Point in the following order: rirsi. me town sergeant. “Second. Hon. Daniel Carroll ano the Mayor. “Third. Mr. Elliott and the re corder. "Fourth. Such of the Common Council and aldermen as were not Freemasons. "Fifth. Strangers. “Sixth. The master of Lodge No. 22, with Dr. David Steuart on his right and the Rev. James Muir on his left, followed by the rest of the fraternity, in their usual form of procession. “Lastly. The citizens, two by two. Slone Is Placed With Much Oratory “When Mr. Elliott had ascertained the precise point from which the first line of the District was to pro ceed, the master of the lodge and Dr. Steuart, assisted by others of their brethren, placed the stone. After w'hich a deposit of corn, wine and oil was placed upon it and the following observations were made by the Rev. James Muir: “ Of America it may be said, as of Judea of old, that it is a good land and large—a land of brooks, of waters, of fountains and depths that spring out of the valleys and hills— a land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegran ates—a land of oil, olives, and honey —a land wherein we eat bread with out scarceness, - and have lack of nothing—a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayst dig brass—a land which the Lord thy God careth for; the eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it; from1 the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year. “ May Americans be grateful and virtuous and they shall insure the indulgence of Providence; may they be unanimous and just, and they shall rise to greatness; may true patriotism actuate every heart; may it be the devout and universal wish; peace, be within thy walls, O Amer ica, and prosperity within thy pal aces. Amiable it is for brethren to dwell together in unity; it is more fragrant than the perfumes on Aaron's garment; it is more refresh ing than the dews on Hermon’s hill.’ ” As to the retrocession of Alexan r mcnt which resulted in the restora tion of the town and county of Alexl andria to the State of Virginia. For In order to secure the coal trade from Cumberland, when the great western canal was finished, the town of Alexandria had burdened itself with debt to build the Alexandria Canal and the aqueduct. After 12 years of labor that costly and, for that day, difficult engineering work had been completed. Then, owing to lack of money, the work on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal stopped while still short of the proposed terminus at Cumberland, and the money put into the Alexandria sec a bill restoring Alexandria County to the State of Virginia, and the citizens by special rote gave their consent and the thing was done.” lo carry out the provisions of this act, passed by Congress July 9, 1846, President Polk appointed as com missioners for this purpose Robert Brackett, George Washington Parke Custis, G. W. D. Ramsay, George1 W. Smoot and James Roach, who caused polls to be opened in Alex andria County September 1 and 2, 1846, from 10 a m. to 6 p.m., when all free white male citizens of the "tSee ALEXANDRIA, Pag^CXiT An Eye for an Eye, A Tooth for a Tooth In Ireland WE ARE BESIEGED By Barbara Fitzgerald. (G. P. Putnam s Sons; $2.75.) Reviewed bv JAMES K. BOYLAND °resident, American Keltic Institute, and Member of the Staff of the Library of Congress Barbara Fitzgerald's recent novel,! "We Are Besieged,” is the story of an Anglo-Irish family, who lived in Ireland during the troubled period following the 1916 rebellion. The story is written in a very graphic and interesting manner, giving an accurate account of the historical events introduced in the course of the narrative. The earliest recollection of the heroine, Caroline Adair, is the burn ing down of her uncle's home by the Sinn Feiners. This occurred at the time when the Black and Tan were having an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. The terrible con flict raging throughout the country was mirrored in the individual fam ily household, w’here mother was against daughter and brother against sister. We witness the tragic hate and suspicion tha't wrecked the maimed life of Caroline's own father and mother. Her elder sister was driven frantically to seek relief in a love less marriage, which in turn resulted in the death of her real lover. Caro line herself triumphs in the end. but only after a long and bitter struggle. We cannot but admire the frank ness with which the author takes for granted, and admits the real cause of so much strife, bitterness and heartache, namely, religious bigotry. She tries very hard to be impartial, and docs not spare either side. She traces step by step the relentless struggle of Carolines mother against everything and everybody that savored of Sinn Fein or Roman Catholicism. Other: characters throughout the story just as candidly portray the same stupid intolerance and hate toward everything Protestant. “We Are Besieged" will have ac complished a noble task, if preju diced readers on both sides will take to heart the message clearly and fearlessly given by the author. They will see how inane and stupid they really become when they allowr re ligious fanaticism to dominate their lives. French Follies and Other Follies, by Francis Steegmuller. (Reynal & Hitchcock.) A collection of sketches hitherto published in the New Yorker. Seeing Things, by John Mason Brown. (Whittlesey House.) A col lection of Mr. Brown's Saturday Re view columns. Among the Authors By Carolyn Coggins Samuel Putnam has done an Eng lish translation of a book regarded as one of the major works of 20th century scholarship, a classic in the field of social anthropology. It was first published in Brazil 13 years ago as "Casa-Grande and Senzala." written by Gilberto Freyre. When it appears here shortly in English it will be called "The Mas ters and the Slaves." It’s a story of racial admixture and the cultural possibilities of the interbreeding of Portuguese, Indians and the Negro as illustrated in Brazilian life. ★ * * * The story of the United Fruit Co. will be told in a book com ing early next year, to be called "Empire in Green and Gold." Charles Morrow Wilson, who has written it, also authored "Ambassa dors in White,” a story about Amer ican tropical medicine published four years ago. It was considered an important vehicle in improving inter-American relations and the book has been widely read in South America. Brief Reviews MYSTERIES. Dead to Rights, by Dennis Allan. (Mill.) Complicated doings center around an old house on Gramercy Square. Average. Fear No More, by Leslie Edgley. (Simon & Schuster.) Beautiful young secretary gets framed for murder. Lively. The Case of Caroline Animus, by Dana Chambers. (Dial.) One of those things where a brilliant de tective (Jim Steele* solves a 20 year-old crime. The Murder of the U. S. A., by Will F. Jenkins. (Crown.) Probably a forerunner of a whole series on the coming atomic war—the popu lation of the United States is largely killed off within 40 minutes by an unknown aggressor. Oh, Murderer Mine! by Norbert Davis. (Handi-Book.) Murder on the campus of a California univer sity. SPORTS. Target Archery, by Robert P Elmer. (Knopf.) A history and a very comprehensive text on the subject. Illustrated. POLITICS. After Hitler Stalin? by Robert Ingrim. (Bruce.) A survey of con ditions designed to demonstrate that Stalin proposes to carry on the Nazi threat though under an other name. Truman Speaks, edited by Cyril Clemens. (Mark Twain Society.) The principal speeches and ad dresses of the President. / 7XOSE PRODUCTION \ LINES ACL PUTTING ON ] THE BEST PARADE Of J THIS MEMORIAL DAY. \ I ^--^DONALD! ) J Cartoon by Jim Berryman, typical of the series of cartoons by the two Berryman’s, father and son, of The Evening Star, ivhich were selected to illustrate Donald Nelson's book, “Arsenal of Democracy." Again Proving That Salem Has a Place Of Permanence in American Literature THE SALEM FRIGATE Bp John Jennings. <Doubleday & Co.; $3.) Reviewed by NELSON R. BURR Library o) Congress Staff Here is Salem in the bold days between the war of '98 with France and the War of 1812. Not the Salem of Hawthorne, when steam was displacing sail and the wine of life was settling on the lees, but some thing much lus tier. Salem builds the frigate Es sex. Tom Tis dall ships on her as a surgeon. His rival in love, Ben P ric e—; rather diabolic character Haw thorne might have conceived John Jennings. —has worked on her as a master carpenter, and nailed his heart to her keel. He marries Patience Nowell, loved by Tisdall, who mar ries Selina Hackett, the high-strung heiress of a rich merchant, and finds that she already has had an affair with Ben. On the Essex the two men live higji adventure, while the odd quad rangle gradually collapses. The weaker sides go—Selina probably by suicide after Tom leaves her for the sea, and Ben in battle. Tom comes back from sea—to Patience. These lovers are not deeply ana lized, and one keeps wondering how Hawthorne would have dissected these independent people in the liberal Salem of Unitarian Dr. Bentley rather than the Puritan town of Arthur Dimmesdale. Like Hawthorne and Hergesheimer before him, Mr. Jennings proves that Salem is a permanent part of American literature. It was a place where people dared to think and act for themselves. Only such places produce people worth writing about, and this story does them justice. Mr. Jennings has done a lot of solid historical research. His famous naval officers really live; his sea fights are real—the splinters sing like hornets, and the resulting sur gery is howling and gory. His work ought to satisfy ar.d hold the growing host of readers who turn to the historical novel as the surest way of understanding old America. A Century of the Sewing Machine Troubles of the united States Patent Office in the shifting of units from Rich mond to Washington brings to memory the agency's first major headache a century ago. On September 10, 1846, a patent was issued to Elias Howe, jr., on the “first machine having eye pointed needle and shuttle-making lockstitch." Thereafter was set in motion some 10 years of patent litigation and the beginning of mil lionaires in America. Ask any school child who invented the sewing machine and he will prattle, “Elias Howe." Yet a perusal of the biographies of the first of these sewing machine men leaves the question as to who was its in ventor as open as is the question of who invented the automobile. The idea of a machine that would use a needle and thread for the purpose of sewing two or more pieces of cloth together in the mat ter of r human hand appears to have been first thought out by an By Jack Murphy Englishman. Thomas Saint, who. as far back o' 1790, was granted a patent on a machine for sewing leather, but so far as Is known. Saint's idea was never put to prac tical use. Second figure to appear is the sewing machine world was Barthe lemy Thimmonier, a poor French tailor, who became so absorbed with the idea of a machine to sew the seams of garments that he was re garded as crazy. In 1830, after five years of tinkering, he produced a sewing machine which made the chain stitch by means of a hooked needle like a crochet needle, and was granted a patent. In another year he had 80 of his machines at work on uniforms for the French Army. Then one day a mob of infuriated tailors, who looked on his machine as dangerous competition, smashed every machine they could find and Thimmonier was forced to flee for his life. Those Were the Happy Days —By Dick Mansfield IfZSrATrffACTlOMj Voo AAAy Gzcall; HtXioxAL- CofVr. 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NECR5 VMMEW THEY’D CON-4 ceaztheaa SEZV/ES BEHIND , THE POX Curtain 1/1 TO SMOKE A <>¥ .itofiE T'rsSf?'. Andi saw "M’Z 155 AMO \/-Ti " |Ki OiD K(=N 'rocKy" TOO,J dio you?. I WO IN 6“ tfow otfcjy ci^ae # Tuesday MATlN££, Johw^ *T IMES"^ OME? »HI5 JOWnlwEMMA IM A HOTOLOTIME IffST IN THEZONG GalleGY Zine at The olo academy OF MUSIC OPENING might. To see Road To Ruin*, remember how WE'D TGAft'.UP THOSE LOHG GALLEGY STEPS TO GET A PICON V c>EAY ? i; VHHA7 QO you f2lZMeM«3Eri<? ANSWER To l*$t YU-ekf QU€5TI0N' HAT WAS THE comediah "SNUFFy" The CAI3-MAN^T MAME ? answer: AVE AAARlON, OP (2HO ©a/sKjNew Jersey I NEK7 WCBKy.\ » WHERE OlO AL OOtjON ATTfeMO CNOOL IN O.C.? J Development of America's first practical machine, that of Walter Hunt in 1834, was laid aside for a time for fear of taking the bread out of seamstresses' mouths. Hunt, a New York Quaker, noted for his invention of the safety pin (so in dispensable in the nursery), put to gether a devise which contained nearly all the essential parts of the best modem machines. The inven tion appears to have then dropped out of sight until 15 years later when, after the successful introduc tion of the sewing machine and the ensuing litigation for patent .profits, esential parts of the Hunt machines was found among the rubbish in a Gold street, New York, garret. Tq Elias Howe, jr., who is char acterized by Erederick L. Lewton, curator. Division of Textiles, United States National Museum, in his "A Brief History of the Sewing Ma chine,” as a man "not very profi cient in his trade of machinist and not inclined to put forth much ex ertion” came honors and millions. Essential facts in the Howe his tory are fairly well known. Poor, as were most inventors, his life fol lowed the New England pattern of from farm to mill. In July, 1845, he completed a model machine on which he sewed all the seams on two suits of wool clothes. This pio neer of the millions of sewing ma chines made since that date, after crossing the ocean many times and having been used as an irrefutable j witness in many courts, can now be seen in the Smithsonian Institu tion here. Howe’s Sewing Machine At the Smithsonian Howe’s machine, which Is often described as a device which uses a lockstitch and an eye-pointed nee-1 die, the second which he built, was granted United States patent No. 4750 in September, 1946. It, too, is in the Smithsonian. Isaac Merrit Singer of Boston was j the first to build a successfully op erating and practical machine. j When, in 1851, the news came that1 Singer had invented a machine that; would continuously sew, Howe ap- ' peared at the Singer door with the | demand that the latter pay $25,000 for infringement of the Howe pat ent. Singer, who had started his j business with $40, declined, and a long chain of litigation began. In the judication, Singer justified ' his right to make the machines on i the claims of Walter Hunt, who also had used an eye-pointed needle and | a shuttle to force a lockstitch. But Hunt had failed to apply for a pat ent, the courts decided his machine was never completed in the sense of the patent law and did not antici pate the patent granted to Howe. Inventors Involved In Patent Litigation Ablest among the early inventors in the field of mechanical sewing was Allen B. Wilson of Adrian, Mich. Far removed from any con tacts with the New England invent ors, without having seen a sewing machine or without any knowledge of Howe’s work, he completed a practical machine in 1849. Instead of using a shuttle pointed at one end and moving back and forth in a straight line, he made a shuttle pointed at both ends which moved in a curved path, forming a stitch at each forward and backward stroke. Wilson won his second patent in August, 1851, and Introduced the, A a | rotary hook, an Ingenious substitui for the shuttle. His third patent, th* stationary circular disk bobbin, came the next year and in 1854 he patent ed the universally used 4-motion feed. By this time the Wheeler. Wil son & Co. factory was turning out many machines and became involved in the series of cross patent suits in which all the major inventors were engaged. A Virginian, James Edward Allen Gibbs, also contributed to mechan ical sewing. While on a visit to his father in Hookbridge County, Va., he happened into a tailor’s shop where there was a Singer machine working on the shuttle principle. Im pressed with the ability of the ma chine, he, however, thought it too heavy, complicated and cumbersome and that the price was exorbitant. Also a poor man, he worked odd hours and developed the first prac tical single chain-stitch sewer. He took his machine to Philadelphia and interested James Willcox, a model builder, in it. After some mi nor patents were taken out Gibbs received the most important one in June. 1857. This association with Willcox led to the formation of the Willcox & Gibbs Sewing Machine Co., which also played its part in the ' patent litigation struggle. The story is not complete without the name of William O. Grover, a Boston tailor, who devised a double locked chain-stitch machine and was granted a patent in February, 1851. A company was formed and there after reorganized under the name of Grover & Baker Sewing Machine Co., the principals being, beside Grover, William E. Baker, another tailor; Jacob Weatherill, mechanic, and Orlando B. Potter, lawyer. This company built in Boston a most complete factory for the production of machines. Sewing Machine Trust Was First One Formed Potter, through his ability as an attorney, secured one-third of the company without investment at the start and became its president. He was the promoter of the first trust of any prominence formed anywhere. It became known as the '‘combina tion." The celebrated suit between Howe and I. M. Singer & Co. was decided by Judge Sprague of Massachusetts in 1854, eight years after the Issu ance of the patent to Howe. Verdict soon followed against the Wheeler Wilson Co., Graver & Baker Co. and other infringers of Howe's patent. Howe, thus in absolute control of the sewing machine business, de manded and received $25 royalty for every machine sold. But the battle in the courts was far from over. As each manufacturer improved his machine, he was charged with in fringement by others and costly liti gation cut heavily into profits. Finally Attorney Potter persuaded the various interests to pool all the patents covering the essential fea tures, which would enable them to control the industry, instead of con tinually fighting and trying to de vour one another, and the long bat tle in which Patent Office employes played no small part, came to an end. Some idea of the scope of the ‘‘combination" may be seen in the estimate that Howe received not less than $2,000,000 in the form of roy alties before his patent licenses ex pired. Singer’s estate, on his death, was estimated at $13,000,000. i