DC -- Logan Circle neighborhood (but not Logan Statue):
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- LOGAN_170325_17.JPG: Logan Circle
In Past and Present: Mirror on American History
Pierre L'Enfant's 1791 design for the Nation's capital featured a prominent triangle formed by the "President's House" and two intersections: Pacific Circle, located to the northwest of the presidential residence, and Iowa Circle, to the northeast. While work on the White House began soon, the areas around the two prospective circles remained woods and farmland for over 70 years. Only after the Civil War did they becoming thriving hubs, with new names derived from Union heroes. Pacific Ocean became Dupont Circle after Admiral Samuel DuPont; and, much later, Iowa Circle became Logan Circle in honor of General and Senator John A. Logan.
In 1862, a year into the Civil War, what was still Iowa Circle entered American history when the Union Army chose this area for a special headquarters. Its military assignment was to manage and care for the influx of escaping slaves who poured into the District of Columbia, a then unique zone of emancipation. Refugees arriving at the camp received papers guaranteeing them military protection; and hundreds were housed here, as individuals and as families, in long two-story barracks. Many camp residents found jobs that supported the war effort.
What the new freemen could not have expected was that they would be visited here by the man whom history would call the Great Emancipator. These encounters came during the annual effort by the Lincoln family to escape the city's sweltering summer heat by occupying a residence at Soldiers' Home on the heights to the Circle's north. On his daily horseback commute, President Lincoln's route took him by the freemen's barracks, and he sometimes stopped to chat and even to sing. Witnesses later described poignant moments of human fellowship. (See inset below.)
In 1865, when the camp was disbanded, Washington was still little more than a large village of dirt roads, wooden sidewalks and open sewers. This backward condition changed dramatically in the exuberant postwar era of national growth and prosperity that Mark Twain dubbed the "Gilded Age."
In the Nation's capital, this postwar development was propelled by D.C. Governor "Boss" Shepherd, whose dynamic public works program gave new life to L'Enfant's vision. Shepherd, honored today by a statue at city hall on Pennsylvania Avenue, was popular both with the city's developers and with Washington's newly enfranchised black population. Nowhere was Shepherd's impact on the cityscape more evident than at Iowa Circle, where elegant residences rose almost overnight.
Builders of that day were fearless in blending architectural styles, and this residence at #4 on the Circle offers a prime example. Erected in 1878, it combines a Victorian body, a front porch imitating the Italian Renaissance and a side porch aptly described as "American Steamboat Gothic."
In the 1880's, #4 Iowa Circle became the residence of Senator John A. Logan and his family. By then, the famed Civil War hero had become a presidential aspirant with wide support among Union veterans and African-Americans.
In the summer of 1885, some 5,000 of Logan's black supporters thronged into the Circle in a rally of speeches and songs to hail his candidacy for the Republican nomination in 1888. But hopes for a Logan presidency were dashed just a year later when Senator Logan died suddenly of old war injuries.
In 1901, President William McKinley came to Iowa Circle to unveil the statue honoring John Logan's historic place as a military hero in the decisive struggle to save the Union and, later, as a postwar statesman. The equestrian sculpture was the work of renowned American artist Franklin Simmons, who labored for seven years in Rome to craft it. The statue's base, designed by the famed architect Richard Morris Hunt, displays high reliefs depicting Logan's military and political careers. Congress formally named the Circle in Logan's honor in 1930.
For the first half of the 20th century, the Circle thrived as home to many of the city's prominent black professionals. But after World War II, the entire Logan Circle neighborhood began to sink into a wider sea of urban blight.
In 1968, when America's racial unrest exploded after the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., the national crisis was captured in images of rioting, looting and fires that devastated the 14th Street corridor, just steps from Logan Circle. By then, the Logan Circle neighborhood faced two threats: further decay or brutal urban redevelopment of a kind that erased handsome original architecture on nearby Scott and Thomas Circles.
The designation of a Logan Circle Historic Preservation District in 1972 offered some home of arresting the neighborhood's decline. But by 1975 the distinctive house at #4 Logan Circle -- long vacant, badly dilapidated, and a well-known site of illicit commerce -- began to collapse. At that point, the derelict structure was saved by a private citizen's initiative, but the building's full rehabilitation took another three decades. Its restoration as John Logan House occurred amidst a neighborhood revitalization as entrepreneurial energies were attracted by the Circle's centrality, architectural beauty and historic character.
John Logan House was dedicated in 2016 as the presidency of Barack Obama brought history full circle. During his term as a U.S. Senator from Illinois, President Obama had held the seat once occupied by Logan, and Obama's election as the nation's first black President helped crown the cause of Union and emancipation to which John Logan had devoted his life.
Those who saw Lincoln at Iowa Circle saw him as no one else did. He enjoyed listening to the singing during the evening under the trees. He could not read music, and could not carry a tune, but he loved simple songs... Here he stood in the campfire shadows and sang along in a raspy monotone... [One evening] he and the black refugees sang "America"... and "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen." After that, when they finished "Every Time I Feel the Spirit," Lincoln wiped tears from his face. He remained silent with his head bowed as the black people around him sang "Thank God I Am Free at Last."
-- Charles Bracelen Flood, Lincoln at the Gates of History
- LOGAN_170325_27.JPG: Those who saw Lincoln at Iowa Circle saw him as no one else did. He enjoyed listening to the singing during the evening under the trees. He could not read music, and could not carry a tune, but he loved simple songs... Here he stood in the campfire shadows and sang along in a raspy monotone... [One evening] he and the black refugees sang "America"... and "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen." After that, when they finished "Every Time I Feel the Spirit," Lincoln wiped tears from his face. He remained silent with his head bowed as the black people around him sang "Thank God I Am Free at Last."
-- Charles Bracelen Flood, Lincoln at the Gates of History
- LOGAN_170325_36.JPG: John Logan House
A Memorial to General and Senator John A. Logan
Champion in the Struggle to Preserve the Union and Establish Racial Justice in America
The house at #4 Logan Circle, built in 1878, was the 1880's home of Senator John A. Logan. In the Civil War, Logan's military valor had helped to save the Union. In the postwar era, Logan lived here as a political leader deeply committed to achieving equal rights for black Americans.
John Logan was born in 1826 in southern Illinois of Scotch-Irish parents, the eldest of eleven children. After a rural boyhood and service in the Mexican-American War, Logan became a successful lawyer and won a seat in Congress in 1858 amid rising North-South tensions over slavery.
As a Democrat from a region with Southern sympathies, Logan at first opposed abolitionism and favored appeasing the slave states. But when the South seceded in 1861, Logan was galvanized into full support for the new Republican President, Abraham Lincoln.
Returning home, Congressman Logan was instrumental in rallying Illinois' allegiance to the Union cause. Then, volunteering for military duty, Logan raised a regiment, which he led to war.
As Lincoln searched for military leadership, Logan soon distinguished himself as a commander of troops. Early on, Logan's courage and grit won the esteem of another Illinoisan -- Ulysses Grant, who would rise to become the North's senior general and carry Logan with him to the highest levels of Northern command.
Logan's troops revered him, calling him "Black Jack" after his steely dark eyes. This nickname became their battle cry. A fellow general witnessed Logan's unique "power to call out of the men every particle of fight that was in them." Many would later recall Logan as the Union army's most inspiring leader.
Logan served in eight major campaigns. At Fort Donelson, his gallantry while wounded secured the Union's first decisive victory. For valor at Vicksburg, Logan won the army's highest tribute, a Medal of Honor.
By mid-1864, the war's toll had weakened public support for the Union cause, leaving Lincoln's re-election in grave doubt. But the political tide turned after the battle of Atlanta, a Union victory in which Logan's leadership proved crucial. Logan's political skills also contributed to Lincoln's re-election. On leaves from military duty, the charismatic hero delivered powerful speeches that buttressed public belief in the President's dual goals of Union and emancipation. Like Lincoln, Logan now saw these war aims as inseparable.
In a conflict where military professionals from West Point led the armies on both sides, Logan shone as the quintessential citizen-soldier. Logan's character, combining military dynamism with moral restraint, showed notably in the hours after Lincoln's assassination in 1865 when he saved the city of Raleigh by facing down a mob of vengeful Union soldiers bent on torching North Carolina's capital.
Years later, in a tribute to Logan, President Rutherford Hayes deemed him "clearly the most eminent and distinguished of the volunteer soldiers."
In peacetime, Logan helped found the 400,000 strong organization of Civil War veterans known as the Grand Army of the Republic. As Grand Army commander in 1868, Logan established an annual observance to honor those who had died defending the Union -- today's Memorial Day.
As a postwar Republican, Logan won three terms in the US Senate, where he championed soldiers' pensions; aid to widows, orphans, and wounded veterans; and public education for all citizens, including black Americans. As Senator, Logan became a stalwart advocate for racial justice as a central cause in American democracy.
The preeminent black leader Frederick Douglass likened Logan's integrity to the granite and steel in that era's newest architectural marvel. Logan, he said, had a "backbone like the Brooklyn Bridge."
In 1884, Logan ran for president with support from former President Gran, Douglass, and thousands of Union veterans. Eventually Logan took the Vice-Presidential spot on a Republican ticket headed by James Blaine. After Democrat Grover Cleveland defeated Blaine, Logan's undiminished stature pointed him toward a renewed White House candidacy in 1888.
To black Americans, a Logan-led Republican ticket was a welcome prospect. On June 12, 1885, some 5,000 African-Americans crowed in front of this house to hail Logan's leadership with speeches and songs. Logan and his wife Mary then welcomed hundreds of these supporters into their home.
Hopes for a Logan presidency vanished a year later when old war injuries suddenly brought fatal complications. On this death in 1886, Logan was among the first Americans to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda. He was interred at Soldiers' Home.
In 1901, President William McKinley came to what was still Iowa Circle to unveil the equestrian Logan statue, a majestic world-class bronze crafted in Rome by the eminent sculptor Franklin Simmons. The high reliefs on its base depict Logan's military and political careers. In 1930 Congress renamed the Circle in Logan's honor.
John Logan House recalls a man who, in the era of America's gravest crisis, rose to national greatness, first as a valiant military commander alongside Grant and later as a champion of African-American rights in the spirit of Lincoln. The four suites of Logan House are named to honor Logan, Douglass, Grant, and Lincoln -- allies in America's epic struggle for unity with justice. John Logan House was dedicated in 2016 during the presidency of Barack Obama, whose election symbolized the nation's continuing progress in this cause.
- LOGAN_170325_47.JPG: No Braver Man Than John Logan
In November 1860, Abraham Lincoln's election as the nation's first Republican President ignited Southern fears that the country's new balance of political power threatened the institution of slavery in America. Within months, eleven Southern states declared their secession from the Union, and the long-simmering dispute over slavery erupted into hostilities that became the Civil War.
As President Lincoln struggled to preserve the Union, he found an unexpected ally in Congressman John Logan, a young but influential Democrat from Lincoln's own state of Illinois. Logan's district at the southern ip of Illinois bordered he slave states of Kentucky and Missouri; and Logan, like his constituency, held Southern sympathies. But the South's secession left Logan in no doubt as to where he duty lay. Logan saw secession as treason, and he crossed party lines to pledge unwavering support to the President and the Union cause.
For Lincoln, John Logan's passionate commitment to the Union would become a powerful asset, first politically and then on the field of battle. In both roles, Logan would reveal a rare combination of charisma and courage.
Logan's initial contributions came at home. In a campaign to sway wavering Illinoisians, Logan's fiercely compelling oratory provided crucial leadership in securing his state's allegiance to the Union cause. Then, having raised a regiment, Logan resigned from Congress, became a soldier, and led the 31st Illinois Volunteers to war.
Though not a military professional, Logan soon showed superb capabilities as a battlefield commander. In early fighting, Logan's inspirational leadership won the respect of General Ulysses Grant, who would rise to command the full Union army. In a February 1863 dispatch to President Lincoln, using words of praise he employed only rarely, Grant recorded his esteem for Logan. Stressing the Union's need for leaders who would "add weight to our cause... and give confidence to a large number of brave soldiers," Grant wrote:
"Conspicuous ... is Brig. Gen. J.A. Logan. He has proven himself a most valuable officer and worthy of every confidence.... There is not a more patriotic soldier, braver man, or one more deserving of promotion."
In July 1863, Grant's confidence in Logan was vindicated as Union forces captured Vicksburg, the South's stronghold on the Mississippi River. For leadership and courage in this conquest, which split the Confederacy and became a turning point in the war, Logan won the Union army's supreme award, a Medal of Honor. By then, Logan had gained heroic stature among the men he led.
In the year ahead, Logan remained in the fore as Union troops waged a grueling campaign across the South. But by July 1864, as the war entered its fortieth month, its slow progress and heavy toll had weakened public support for the Union cause, casting doubt over Lincoln's prospect for re-election. THen came the battle of Atlanta. There, with valor that became legendary, Logan seized fallen Union colors, rallied retreating Union forces and led them to the city's capture. Throughout the North, the epic victory galvanized public morale and helped deliver Lincoln's re-election in November 1864. Five months later, the South surrendered at Appomattox.
John Logan's service as politician and soldier in the war to save the Union places him in the pantheon of America's greatest patriots. Later, Logan built on this legacy as a Republican Senator. Elected three times, he advocated for he needs of the many thousands of veterans he had helped to lead and became a champion for he millions of new American citizens he had helped to emancipate.
- LOGAN_170325_54.JPG: John Logan
Harper's Weekly, June 13, 1863
- LOGAN_170325_57.JPG: When Logan Rode the Battle Line
In the Civil War, General John Logan's gallantry earned him mythical stature among the soldiers he led in battle. The memoir of a fellow Union officer depicts Logan's unique inspirational impacts:
"When General Grant would ride down our line he commanded the most thorough respect and confidence from all of us, and it was the same when General Sherman rode down the line. But when General Logan rode down the line, every voice was heard in a shout. He seemed to have a power to awaken the enthusiasm that was in the troops, to the extent that no other officer in our army seemed to possess. He would stir up their blood in battle. The manner in which he sat his horse, the manner in which he would hold his hat... seemed to have the power to call out of the men every particle of fight that was in them."
-- General Mortimer Dormer Leggett
- Wikipedia Description: Logan Circle, Washington, D.C.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Logan Circle is a neighborhood in the Northwest quadrant of Washington, D.C. It lies six blocks east of Dupont Circle. The traffic circle is the intersection of 13th Street, P Street, Rhode Island Avenue and Vermont Avenue, with a federal park in the middle. The neighborhood is bordered by S Street to the north, 9th Street to the east, 16th Street to the west, and Massachusetts Avenue to the south.
Originally called "Iowa Circle", Logan was renamed by Congress in 1930 in honor of John A. Logan, a Civil War general and U.S. senator. At the center of the circle is a monument to Major General Logan. The circle is surrounded by many old homes, one of which belonged to the son of Ulysses S. Grant.
In the 2000s, the area has become gentrified and housing costs have soared (albeit from a depressed base, due to the overt drug and prostitution markets that existed in the neighborhood through the 1980s and 1990s). The commercial corridor along 14th Street NW is undergoing significant revitalization, and is known for its art galleries and live theater. A watershed event in the development of the neighborhood was the opening of a new, busy Whole Foods Market two blocks from Logan Circle in 1999, on a site previously occupied by an abandoned parking garage.
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