by Director of Education Talia Mosconi
|Cool River, Hot City: View of the DC-Georgetown Ferry
(rear left, loaded with wagons), and Aqueduct Bridge.
1862 stereograph by George N. Barnard.
|View of the C&O Canal running past Georgetown,
which retained an independent (sometimes divided) government until after the Civil War.
In Georgetown, the reality of war quieted most pro-Southern voices. Residents often wondered which neighbors they could trust. The village and its port had been absorbed into the newly formed District of Columbia in 1790, but retained an independent government until after the war. Georgetown’s mayor and town dignitaries officially pledged fealty to the Union at the Recorder of Deeds or the Department of Justice. But perhaps as many as a quarter of local residents– including the mistress of Tudor Place — registered their loyalties another way, packing their bags and moving south. Others fled to Baltimore or Philadelphia to escape harm’s way. And Georgetown College—now University—was almost literally divided: Half its students returned to the South and the remainder went North, giving rise to the school’s lasting color scheme of blue (for Union) and gray (for the Confederacy).
|Young people visit the Gap store there, now, but
once thronged Forrest Hall to enlist for the Union.