The Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson
FEDERAL CAPITAL / DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
You are desired to proceed to Georgetown, where you will find Mr.
Ellicot employed in making a survey and map of the federal territory.
The special object of asking your aid is to have drawings of the
particular grounds most likely to be approved for the site of the
federal town and buildings. You will therefore be pleased to begin on
the eastern branch, and proceed from thence upwards, laying down the
hills, valleys, morasses, and waters between that, the Potomac, the
Tyber, and the road leading from Georgetown ~ the eastern branch, and
connecting the whole with certain fixed points of the map Mr. Ellicot
is preparing. Some idea of the height of the hills above the base on
which they stand, would be desirable. For necessary assistance and
expenses, be pleased to apply to the Mayor of Georgetown, who is
written to on this subject. I will beg the favor of you to mark to me
your progress about twice a week, by letter, say every Wednesday and
Saturday evening, that I may be able in proper time to draw your
attention to some other objects, which I have not at this moment
sufficient information to define.
to Major L'Enfant, March 1791