Washington DC Environs

THE environs of Washington have many charming scenes and interesting objects. From the hills encircling the city one can obtain extended views of the District and the two neighboring states, spreading out in luxuriant fields and woods of the Potomac, curving gracefully to the southward ; and of the beautiful capital itself lying for miles along a wide, irregular valley. On one of these bold eminences stands Howard University, the well-known institution for the higher education of the colored race. It has a conspicuous location north of the Capitol, a short distance above the boundary line of the city, adjacent to the Seventh Street road, and is on a plateau comprising thirty-five acres, part of which is laid out as a park.

The university was established by special act of Congress in 1867, and named after Gen. Oliver O. Howard, who was its president for six years. Although more especially designed for colored students, it is open to all, without distinction of race or sex, and among its instructors and students are white and colored persons of both sexes. There are four hundred students from all parts of the United States, and six departments—theological, medical, law, college, normal, and preparatory, and the courses are from two to four years. The meocal department is largely attended, the classes having the benefit of clinical instruction in the Freedmen’s Hospital. There is an able corps of instructors, and tuition is free in its preparatory, normal, and college departments, and very low in the others. The general management is vested in a board of trustees. Congress yearly makes an appropriation for it.

The main building is of brick, is four stories in height, and at-tractive in design. It has ample accommodations for the lecture and recitation rooms, the chapel, the library, the museum, and offices. The library has 8,000 volumes, and in the museum are valuable collections of minerals and curiosities. On the grounds are two large buildings used as students’ dormitories, one known as Miner Hall, and the other as Clark Hall. The buildings and grounds are valued at $600,000.

Columbian University is situated on Meridian Hill, near the north-ern terminus of Fourteenth Street. A new college building is to be erected in the city on the corner of Fifteenth and H streets northwest, which will be occupied probably in 1888. This institution was established in 1822, and incorporated as a university in 1873. Besides its collegiate departments, it has those of law and medicine. It is under the direction of the Baptists, has many students, and is in a prosperous condition.

Wayland Seminary, which was established in 1865 for the education of colored preachers, is located near Columbian University. It has academic, normal, and theological departments, and is supported by contributions received by the American Baptist Home Mission Society. It occupies a handsome edifice, erected at a cost of $35,000, and has accommodations for two hundred students.

The Columbia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb is situated on Kendall Green, a plot of one hundred acres near the northern terminus of Seventh Street east. It was established in 1857, and is now con-ducted under government auspices. Here the deaf-mute children of the District of Columbia, and those whose parents are connected with the army and navy, receive free education. Its collegiate branch, known as the National Deaf Mute College (the only one of the kind in the world), was established in 1864. Students are admitted to this college from all parts of the country. It has numerous instruct-ors, and every necessary appliance for the thorough education in the higher branches of the unfortunate class for which it was designed.

The central building is of Gothic architecture, and all the buildings are spacious and conveniently arranged.

On high ground, on the south side of the Anacostia River, near the point where it mingles its waters with the Potomac, is the Government Hospital for the Insane, which was erected in 1855, at a cost of nearly $1,000,000. It has a commanding site, overlooking the city of Washington, and from its grounds the finest yiew of the Capitol can be obtained, the majestic edifice showing clearly and fully from this locality, with nothing to diminish its grandeur. The grounds are four hundred and nineteen acres in extent, and the building, with its buttresses and parapet, has been likened to a great feudal castle, it has a four-storied centre, with long connecting wings, and is seven hundred and fifty feet in length, and two hundred feet in width, and has nearly six hundred apartments, with accommodations for one thousand patients. It ranks among the prominent institutions for the insane in the world. The insane of the army and navy, and of the District of Columbia, are treated here.