Image: Library of Congress

Capitol Hill Before L'Enfant

April 8, 2003
In his Overbeck lecture on April 8, 2003, noted author, GWU professor and longtime Hill resident John M. Vlach described the woods, streams and plantations that existed in the area of Capitol Hill before the grand design for a federal city was superimposed.

Vlach's lecture included a pictorial tour of the Hill's perimeter, where most of the 18th century landowners had their homes, slave quarters and tobacco barns.

Vlach is a professor of Anthropology and American Studies at George Washington University and the author of ten books, including Charleston Blacksmith, The Afro-American Tradition in Decorative Arts, Folk Art and Art Worlds, and Back of the Big House: The Architecture of Plantation Slavery. He also has curated a number of exhibitions for the Smithsonian's Museum of American History and other institutions around the country and has generously assisted the Overbeck Project as a conceptual adviser and as a trainer of our volunteers.

Past Lectures