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The First Complete Block By Block Survey of the City of Washington, DC

The present map is the first complete survey map, compiled by James R. Dermott, an Alexandria resident who was hired to work under Ellicott by the three commissioners appointed by George Washington to oversee the implementation of the L'Enfant-Ellicott Plan for the Federal City.

Following Washington's approval of the original plan for the City, surveying work commenced, as overseen by the commissioners, including Dermott. Over the course of the next year, the relationship between Ellicott and the the 3 commissioners became strained and Ellicott and his team was ultimately fired in March of 1793. While George Washington persuaded him to come back to work, Ellicott was retained shortly thereafter by the State of Pennsylvania to survey a road from Reading to Waterford, and Ellicott never did return to work on the Federal City project.

Following Ellicott's departure, Dermott completed a plan of the city known as the Tin Case Map, which was tranmitted to President John Adams in 1793.

One of a set of 4 maps, published by Norris Peters in 1888. The full set includes:

  • The King Plats of the City of Washington in the District of Columbia, 1803
  • L'Enfant, Pierre Charles, 1754-1825. Plan of the city intended for the permanent seat of the government of the United States
  • Ellicott, Andrew, 1754-1820. Plan of the city of Washington
  • Dermott, James R.. Dermott or tin case map of the city of Washiington 1797-8

​Below is a link to an accompany text page, which accompanied the 4 maps and explans the reason for their preparation.

Text Note To Accompany The 4 Maps: /gallery/detail/49648d

Condition Description
4 sheets
John Stewart, Early Maps and Surveyors of Washington D.C., Records of the Columbia Historical Society, Washington, D.C., Vol. 2 (1899), pp. 48-71