Alexandria Canal Company (Image via Office of Historic Alexandria)

Alexandria Canal Company (Image via Office of Historic Alexandria)

Via OHA, on May 26, 1830, the United States Congress granted a Charter to the Alexandria Canal Company.

The canal was proposed earlier that year by a group of Alexandria businessmen to link the communities of Georgetown and Alexandria, which at the time were both within the boundaries of the District of Columbia.  The intent was to enhance capacity of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, discontinuing the unloading of cargo boats heading southward at Georgetown, and allowing them to pass directly to Alexandria instead. Construction on the seven-mile canal was begun in 1833 and continued over the next decade, lowering boats 38 feet across its course over an aqueduct and through a series of four locks.  The canal was subsequently abandoned in 1886.

FrancisPierpontVia OHA, on July 7, 1865, the four year occupation of Alexandria by Union forces ended, and the military governor departed the city, vacating the home at 415 Prince Street that had been used as the headquarters for the “restored” government of Virginia.

The restored government was first created at the Wheeling Convention in early June 1861 when counties in the northwest section of Virginia refused to join the Confederacy after the state’s vote for secession was approved by the larger population on May 23 of that year. Francis Harrison Pierpont, was elected governor with the support and recognition of President Abraham Lincoln, and was re-elected in May 1863, serving until 1867. He was a driving force behind the creation of the new state of West Virginia, approved by congress in 1863.

When Arthur Boreman was elected governor of the new state, the capital of the restored government of Virginia moved to Alexandria with Pierpont remaining as governor.  It was Pierpont who ordered the seizure of a pasture at the southern end of Washington Street then owned by Francis L. Smith, Robert E. Lee’s friend and lawyer that was quickly developed into the Freedmen’s Cemetery.

In May 1865, President Johnson appointed Pierpont as Provisional Governor of Virginia and the capital was moved to Richmond.

Hilton Alexandria Old Town
We told you first a couple months back this was coming. The shop is NOW open.

OHA shop in the Hilton Old Town Alexandria HotelThe Office of Historic Alexandria (OHA) is pleased to announce the opening of a new Historic Alexandria Shop in the Hilton Old Town Alexandria Hotel at 1767 King Street, immediately adjacent to the King Street Metro Station, King Street Trolley stops, and close to the Alexandria Union Station.

Located just off the lobby, on the interior of the hotel, the new retail shop offers gifts and Alexandria-themed signature merchandise to busy travelers and guests to our fine city, and is in a perfect location for those residents needing a last minute gift item when heading out of town. The new location offers a variety of fine retail items representing all Office of Historic Alexandria museums.

Stop in and visit us at OHA’s newest Historic Alexandria Shop at the Hilton Old Town!

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