WASHINGTON, Sept. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — A View of the Swamp: Foreign Impressions of Washington, D.C. from the Founding Era to the Civil War, edited with an introduction by Christopher Lee Philips, is an anthology of writings by foreign travelers who visited Washington, D.C. during its formative period from the 1790s to the 1860s.
First impressions of the nation’s capital were often critical, especially among the British, who had recently lost their American colonies to independence at the hands of a brilliant generation of upstart revolutionaries. Some visitors thought the city would never really amount to anything. “It can never become a town of any importance,” wrote the Irish traveler Isaac Weld Jr. Frances Trollope observed that “it has been laughed at by foreigners.” For Charles Augustus Murray, Washington, D.C. resembled “the bottom of an old lake.” A generation after his mother’s visit, the English novelist Anthony Trollope was blunt when reflecting on the War of 1812, stating simply, “we burnt it.”
Early travelers to Washington, D.C. met with major challenges. Roads were poor to non-existent, comfortable hotels were few, and fine dining, where available, came at a premium. Some visitors were simply tourists. Others were scouts for investors or investors themselves. There were abolitionists, diplomats, feminists, members of the military and probably a few spies. Viewing a session of Congress was a mandatory accomplishment for many, who would consider their visit incomplete without observing the American political process. These intrepid early visitors to Washington, D.C. witnessed the growth and development of the new capital city and the new nation, and lived to tell about it.
Drain the swamp? A capital idea, indeed.
A View of the Swamp is available via Amazon. Kindle Edition: [ASIN: B08BJD71V2] $9.99.
Paperback Edition: [ISBN-10: 1096640716; ISBN-13: 978-1096640714] $19.95. A limited number of review copies are available.
Christopher Lee Philips attended the Institute of Humanities at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. After moving to Washington, D.C., he worked briefly in the research department of the Washington Post and at United Press International. His writing has appeared in various publications including the Virginian-Pilot, Washingtonian and World War II magazine. A licensed tour guide in the nation’s capital, he is also a member in good standing of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA).
Christopher Lee Philips
SOURCE Cloud Light Publishing