Empire of Mud
The Secret History of Washington, DCBook - 2014
Today, Washington, DC, gleams with stately columns and neoclassical memorials, but for decades it was one of the worst excuses for a capital city the world had ever seen. Before America became a world power, Washington City--as it was known for most of the nineteenth century--was an eyesore at best and a disgrace at worst. Unfilled swamps, filthy canals, and rutted horse trails littered its landscape. Beneath pestilential air, the town's muddy roads led to a half-finished Washington Monument, a domeless Capitol Building, and the wasteland of the National Mall. Boarding houses and slums lined the streets. Legendary madams entertained clients from all stations of society. Mobs and duelists ran amok with near impunity, and political bosses dispatched hooligans and thugs to conduct the nation's affairs. Featuring a rich cast of characters from radical journalists to slave traders and enterprising criminals, this book untangles the roots of our capital's beginnings to explore how the city was tainted from the start, setting a precedent for the dishonesty and mismanagement that have prompted generations to look suspiciously on the deeds of its politicians ever since.--From publisher description.
Publisher: Guilford, Connecticut :, Lyons Press, an imprint of Globe Pequot Press,, 
Branch Call Number: 975.3 DI
Characteristics: xviii, 301 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: Secret history of Washington, DC