Lost Washington: Carroll Row
Carroll Row, built ca. 1800, was located at the northeast corner of 1st and A Streets, SE.
The most important of the five houses in the row was the northern most structure, which was one of Washington's earliest hotels -- Long's Hotel. It was the site of many festive occasions, including President Madison's inaugural ball in 1809. An eyewitness of the ball described the guests as a "moving mass" that crowded into the ballroom and broke an upper window sash for ventilation when the air became oppressive.
Carroll Row was built by Daniel Carroll who was the principal landowner of Capitol Hill in the early nineteenth century. The row became famous for becoming fashionable boardinghouses for members of Congress prior to the Civil War, with patrons including John Quincy Adams and Abraham Lincoln while he was a member of the 30th Congress (1847-49).
The row was occupied and used as headquarters by General Robert Ross and Admiral Sir George Cockburn, leaders of the invading British forces who burned the city on the night of August 24, 1814. During the invasion, the southernmost house (closest to Pennsylvania Avenue) became a hospital for wounded British soldiers. Later, in the 1830s, it served as the printing establishment of Duff Green, editor of the United States Telegraph and printer for the government.
During the Civil War the entire row served as Carroll Prison, housing the government's political prisoners.
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