Shaw in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Civil War Camp to Victorian Neighborhood
City within a City
—Greater U Street Heritage Trail —
When the first shots of the Civil War were fired, this entire area north of Washington’s downtown was still woods and open fields, with a few small wooden houses scattered here and there. The Union command chose this area for some of the city’s major encampments–Campbell Hospital at 6th and Florida Avenue, the Wisewell Barracks at 7th and P Streets, and Camp Barker near 13th and R Streets. These camps were safe havens for freedmen fleeing the South, and some chose to stay and make their homes in the area.
After the war, as the city’s population mushroomed, public streetcars began to run north from downtown through this neighborhood, opening it up for development. From the 1870s to 1900, builders filled its residential streets with the Italianate, Second Empire and Queen Anne style row houses that characterize the neighborhood today. Blacks and White built and lived in this neighborhood which became predominantly African American between
The Prince Hall Masonic Lodge, the large building adjacent to the African American Civil War Memorial, was designed by the prominent African American architect Albert I. Cassell in 1922 and continues to be a center of civic and social activity.
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 4 of 14.)
Location. 38° 55.015′ N, 77° 1.559′ W. Marker is in Shaw, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of U Street, NW and 10th Street, NW, on the right when traveling east on U Street, NW. Touch for map. Marker is on the sidewalk just north of the subway entrance (escalator) for the U Street/African-American Civil War Memorial Metro rail station. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20009, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. African American Civil War Memorial (here, next to this marker); Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named African American Civil War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Sailors / With Freedom Came the Greater YOU (about 300 feet away, measured in We had everything we needed right here (about 300 feet away); Musicians / With Freedom Came Their Businesses (about 300 feet away); Pioneers / With Freedom Came Their Community (about 300 feet away); Artillery / With Freedom Came Their Cultural Icons (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Shaw.
More about this marker. [Photo captions:]
Christian Fleetwood, an African American Medal of Honor winner lived in this neighborhood.
This Civil War [Campbell] Hospital once stood near 6th and Florida Avenue in today’s LeDroit Park.
An archival photo of members of the Prince Hall Grand Masonic Lodge, 1000 U Street.
Conductors pose with their horse-drawn public streetcar, right, on Boundary Avenue, now Florida Avenue, in the 1860s. The advent of public transportation encouraged the building of rowhouses in the area after the Civil War, such as these in the 1900 block of 13th Street, above.
Also see . . . Greater U Street Heritage Trail markers that have been entered in the Historical Marker database. (Submitted on March 25, 2009.)
Additional keywords. U. S. Colored Troops, USCT
Categories. • African Americans • Railroads & Streetcars • Settlements & Settlers • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 30, 2008, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,066 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on December 30, 2008, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 2. submitted on October 31, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 3. submitted on October 17, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A photo of the marker and the surrounding area in context. • Can you help?