In Colonial Days
By James Croggon, The Evening Star, February 26, 1910 [pt. 2 p. 8]
The story of what are known as squares 598, 652, 653, 702 and 703 commences with the ownership of the land by Charles Craroll, jr., in the colonial days, when the tracts known as Duddington manor and Duddington pasture included much of the territory converted from wilderness into farming land. Before the plan was made by LEnfant and Ellicott the streets and squares of Carrollsburg were there, for Mr. Carroll, whose mansion and outbuildings were erected south of these about the year 1750, laid off 160 acres into a town bearing his name on the point on the Anacostia river, or Eastern branch, east of St. James creek.
There were over 250 lots platted in squares by the laying out of thirteen streets under Henry Rozer, Daniel Carroll and Notley Young, trustees, who were empowered to dispose of the lots by lottery. Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Gov. Johnson, Cols. William Fitzhugh, Tilghman and Crawford, the Digges, Ringgold, Slater, Davidson, Hepburn, Collard, Offutt and other prominent families thus became lot owners, and ere the government was permanently located there was an effort made to bring trade here.
Shipping Interests Noted
The squares noted, between N, O, 1st street east and Canal street west or James creek, were along the northern border of Carrollsburg, and some of the original owners under the lottery drawing held the ground when it was apportioned. That square, 598, consisting of twelve lots on N.O. Canal and 1st streets west, in 1794 was apportioned, one-half to the government, the remainder to Robert Brown, John Davidson, Daniel and Thomas Jenifer, Richard Tilghman, Dick and Stuart and Ignatius Digges. In 1799 J.H. Nicholson bought lot 3, corner of 2d and O streets, and two years later Eliza Luce had the north lot of the square. The ground was then listed at 3 cents. In after years Catharine Connell and Charles Glover owned some of the lots, and for nearly forty years the square lay idle and the assessed values depreciated to half a cent per foot. The explanation is that the ground bordering James creek was low and marshy and later became a portion of penitentiary marsh, then better known to gunners than to real estate operators. Capt. Thomas Corcoran, at that time engaged in the brick business, bought the government lots.
Apportioned in 1794
In 1800 John Darnell owned lot 11, corner of N and 1st streets, and sold it to Notley Maddox. In 1811 Catherine Connell owned part of 11, and in 1815 lots 18, 20, 5 and 2 passed by tax title to William Emack, Adam Lindsay, John Hoye and James McCormack, respectively Up to this time the 3 cents per foot rate for taxation was decreasing, and for years one cent was the figure, and in 1829 three fourths of a cent. In 1816 John Emmerson owned part of lot 11, which two years later wa vested in Ezra Simpson. In 1819 Adam Lindsay owned lot 12 and J.A. Smith lot 5, the latter in 1838 going to John Hoye, and the same year B. Kelly owned lot 18.
Col. Washington Buys Lots
Taxed at Low Rate
Square 702 of twenty lots on South Capitol and Half streets east between N and O streets was divided in 194, the government taking title to lots 4 to 9 and 12 to 18 and for lots 241, 240, 256, 112, 110, 257 and 249 of Carrollsburg. The title to lot 1 was vested in Barnes & Redgate, 2 in Anne Torrin, 2 in Thomas Richardson & Co., 10 by Stephen Moyland, 11 in D. Carroll, Commissioner; 19 in James Holladay and 20 in James Mewburn. In 1795 Mr. Holladay was given a deed for his lot; in 1797 lot 20 went to H. and J. Appleton and in 1800 James Stranger had lot 8 and R. Moon lot 9. P. Sim owned lot 11, corner of Half and N streets, in 1803, and Charles varden, R. chery and Thomas Young owned parts of the same a little later. In 1810 Samuel N. Smallwood, subsequently mayor of Washington, owned part of lot 11 and in 1811 Daniel Carroll owned part of 1, corner of Half and O streets.
Acquired by Tax Titles
Twenty lots, six fronting on N street and seven each on Half and 1st streets southeast, were laid out in square 703. In 1794 the partition between the Commissioners and proprietors vested title for Carrollsburg lots as follows: Lot 1, corner 1st and O streets, to Samuel Collard for $119; lot 2, corner Half and O streets, to Dick & Start for $243; lot 3, to same for $259; lot 4, to Edward Tighlman for $258; lot 9, to William Claggett and John Watson for $11; lot 14, to Thomas Jennings for $114; lot 15, to James Tighlman for $117; lot 16, to William Russell for $113; lot 17, to same for $121; lot 18, to Stephen Moyland of Pennsylvania for $116, and lot 19, to J. Hepburn, jr., and E. Spriggs. The title to the others remained in the United States.
In 1799 John Mason bought lot 9, corner of N and Half streets, and in connection with this lot was the deed of Alexander Hanson, chancellor of Maryland, to Mason reciting that the latter had in 1793 bought of R.B. Lathner lots 252 and half of 111, Carrollsburg lots, the property of Barton Clark and Peter Campbell, for $192. In 1801 Clement Boswell bought lot 1 at 1st and O streets and three years later lot 20, adjoining, selling part of the latter to George Collard. Mr. Boswell lived here in a frame house listed in the early days at $500 and Mr. Collard in one listed at the same, and for over half a century were the families here. They were for many years in the city councils, the latter a leading carpenter and builder, and a son became prominent in the lumber trade.
Boswell Property Transferred
In these squares in the first assessment the ground was listed at 3 cents per foot, but the values crawled downward, and in 1829 half that amount and less was the rate. Then it fell to half a cent; this, to, in 1800, when on squares north quite a settlement was made and a church or chapel was erected nearby. It appears that as a business town Carrollsburg was a failure, but perhaps no part of Washington has furnished more bricks for building and paving than the old burg, which for nearly the whole of the last century was best known as Brickyard Hill, where the Maddox, Williams and Richards families operated.