Alexandria Library -- Special Collections

Document of the Month

August 2004

Evening Cruise on the Potomac River, July 10, 1877

After the Civil War, cities and towns generated revenue by encouraging tourism. Residents and visitors explored the nation's cultural and physical resources.

A similar outing today would cost each person about $75.00.

The Alexandria Library, Special Collections Division has more than 500 historical maps that focus on Alexandria and regional history. Maps of the Potomac River cover the period from the 1700s to 1972. Of special interest are a chart "shewing the Alexandria Canal" and a hand-colored navigation map from 1864 detailing lighthouses and soundings.
Advertisement for Potomac Evening Cruise

Related Resources
  • Maps Collection: An Historical Map of the Tidewater Potomac, n.d.
  • Maps Collection: Potomac River of Yesterday and Today, n.d.
  • Larry Steven Allen. Musical Life in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia
  • Robert Harrigan. Pastimes in Washington: Leisure Activities in the Capital Area, 1800-1995
  • Karen Willoughby. The Development of Leisure Time in Alexandria, Virginia, 1797-1812
  • "Derivations of Potomac River Place Names," Echoes of History, January 1974
  • "Potomac River Place Names," Echoes of History, March 1974


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