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Jul 4, 2014

Laid by the Stars: the District of Columbia Boundary Stones

District of Columbia Boundary Stones Laid According to Six Stars

by Jude Cowell

From moseying around on my Kindle Fire today I discovered an excellent resource concerning the laying of the District of Columbia boundary stones on the land that President George Washington selected (former surveyor as he was.)

Now if this Southerner and former resident of Washington DC were a Yankee Doodle Dandy, I'd be touting a macaroni feather in my cap about now! Yet, alas, I am only a Georgia native who misses residing in the capital city for its history, grace, and beauty. But not for its Politics, as you may imagine, especially since they reach far and wide and seem these days to muck up pretty much everything, don't they?

The Residency Act of July 16, 1790 (amended March 3, 1791) gave President Washington the authority to select a site for the national capital on the Potomac River between Alexandria, VA and Williamsport, MD. He chose the southernmost location within those limits so that all of the 4th largest port of the country at that time, the present-day Old Town Alexandria, would be included.

The area was platted by professional surveyor Major Andrew Ellicott who began on February 12, 1791 (astrological details below). He hired Benjamin Banneker, an "...astronomer and mathematician from Maryland to make the astronomical observations and calculations necessary to establish the south corner of the Square at Jones Point" (Alexandria, VA.)

Astrologers easily recognize the usual vagueness of calling Banneker only an "astronomer and mathematician" although of course he was those as well as an almanac publisher. However, Freemasons and their traditional use of Sacred Geometry is obviously described here. Washington, a highly positioned Freemason, was well aware of astrological principles, too (George 'elected' the hour of Cornwallis' surrender) as did Jefferson, Franklin, and other Founders.

Below is an excerpt from the website which may delight most of the astrologers I know (six stars!) especially those of the Mundane Astrology persuasion. The website's link follows the excerpt if you wish more information which includes photos of the stone relics. Most of the 40 stones are still visible--the D.A.R. located and surrounded them with metal fences some years ago in a valiant effort to protect them. There's also a link to an early newspaper article describing the boundary stones' condition at that time and much more:

"Banneker fixed the position of the first stone by lying on his back to find the exact starting point for the survey...and plotting six stars as they crossed his spot at a particular time of night." From there, Ellicott's team embarked on a 40-mile journey, surveying ten-mile lines first to the northwest, then the northeast, next southeast, and finally southwest back to the starting point, clearing twenty feet of land on each side of the boundary.

The Alexandria Masonic Lodge placed a stone at the south corner on April 15, 1791, in ceremonies attended by Ellicott, federal district commissioners Daniel Carroll and David Stuart, and other dignitaries. Other stones, made of Aquia Creek sandstone, were placed at one-mile intervals along the boundaries, resulting in 40 stones total. On each stone, the side facing the District of Columbia displayed the inscription "Jurisdiction of the United States" and a mile number. The opposite side said either "Virginia" or "Maryland," as appropriate. The third and fourth sides displayed the year in which the stone was placed (1791 for the 14 Virginia stones and 1792 for the 26 Maryland stones) and the magnetic compass variance at that place. Stones along the northwest Maryland boundary also displayed the number of miles they fell from NW4, the first stone placed in Maryland. Stones placed at intervals of more than a mile included that extra distance measured in poles.

For further reading I'll hope on this historical topic you'll visit forthwith.

However, the Astrology of April 15, 1791 Jones' Point, Virginia must be addressed later in a fresh post. Meanwhile, you may be interested to note that the DC website of the D.A.R states that "The south cornerstone was ceremoniously laid at Jones' Point on April 15, 1791." Later on we'll look at a few astrological indicators for that date as a speculative natal chart for the District of Columbia. Since no mention of an hour has been found, the chart has been set up for 'noon' LMT though of course a morning hour may be closer to the true time of such a somber and important (Masonic) ceremony that lays the foundation of the Utopian capital of the New Nation in the New World: "E Pluribus Unum". Play around with the horoscope if you like and we'll hopefully discuss it soon.

Another discovery I made today is the Twitter handle of a brother-sister duo who 'walked the diamond' surrounding the District and I decided to Follow them...@walkthediamond. Why not fill your water bottle and join in?

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