Auction 165, Lot 224

Scarce Publication Detailing Land Ownership Prior to the District of Columbia

"[3 Maps Bound in] Washington in Embryo; or, the National Capital from 1791 to 1800. The Origin of All Rights and Titles to Property in Washington, D.C...",

Subject: Washington, D.C.

Period: 1874 (published)


Color: Black & White

10.6 x 14.1 inches
26.9 x 35.8 cm

This fascinating publication shows land ownership in the District of Columbia shortly before L'Enfant's plan for the nation's capital. The text is divided into three sections and includes 3 maps: Plan of Hamburgh (18.5 x 14.9"), Plan of Carrollsburg (15.3 x 22.7"), and Sketch of Washington in Embryo (20.2 x 15.5"). This last map is of particular interest as it superimposes L'Enfant's plan over the existing estates and demonstrates the logistics involved in transitioning private lands to the federal government. The 78 pages of text includes detailed statements showing individual owners, lot locations, date of sales, and more. Published by E.F.M. Faehtz and F.W. Pratt. A scarce publication, with no auction results or dealer listings in the last 30 years.

References: Phillips (DC) #6, #7 and #8; Phillips (Maps) p. 1000.


The map of Washington is clean, bright, and fine (A+). The maps of Hamburgh and Carrollsburg have pleasant light toning and are near fine (A). Text is also lightly toned and the covers are present but detached (B).

Estimate: $500 - $650

Sold for: $750

Closed on 11/15/2017