This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text, images,
or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the
original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1901. Not
illustrated. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER XIV A NEW ERA AND A NEW CITY "TT
was my misfortune," said Grant in his last A annual message to
Congress, " to be called to the office of Chief Executive without
any previous political training," and when his second term was
ended he confessed that he had failed in the discharge of an
unfamiliar task. His years in the Presidency, nevertheless, marked
a turning-point in the history of the country. The war was now a
memory. The period of reconstruction was past. Natural legal and
political conditions had been in large part restored, and repaired
economic forces, both North and South, were gathering head for new
achievements. The national spirit, when it took stock of its re-;
sources at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, awoke at last
to full consciousness of its strength, and, subordinating every
other sentiment to that of hope, a reunited and homogeneous people
turned with pride and joy to face the long future of peace,
prosperity, and growing greatness in store for their common
country. The birth of a new era found Washington transformed into a
capital worthy of the republic. The federal city, in 1860, had
attained a population of nearly seventy thousand inhabitants; but
its growth had been slow, and it remained in reality little better
than an overgrown village, far inferior to many State capitals in
beauty, size, and comfort. Its houses, as a rule, were built of
wood, and plain to the point of ugliness. There were no regular
grades throughout the city, and most of its walks and avenues were
unpaved and ill kept. The entire water supply came from pumps and
springs. The sewerage system was fatally defective, and the wide,
shallow canal which extended from the Potomac nearly to Capitol
Hill was a diseasebreeding receptacle for the city's...
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