Behind the Doors, Up the Stairs, on Seventh Street West
Paula Tarnapol Whitacre
Originally published in 2017 in the Surgeon’s Call, Volume 22, No.1
An 1869 traveler’s account of Washington, DC, did not have much good to say about the city’s boarding houses. “Boarding-house life is not pleasant anywhere,” wrote John Ellis. “In Washington it is simply abominable.” Besides awful food, uncomfortable rooms, and poor service, he said, a boarder could count on a lack of privacy and an abundance of gossip.
Boarding house keepers did not have an easy time of it either. Widowed or abandoned women ran most of them, one of the few socially acceptable options they had to support themselves. Many repurposed a few rooms in their own homes (known as “private houses”); others deliberately sought a building to rent for the purpose. The margin between profit and loss was razor-thin. In 1834, when a widowed proprietor, referring to her “ungrateful occupation,” calculated her costs, she pointed out that she had to purchase furniture on credit, spend more money than expected on “board” (the food she provided, which she also had to prepare), and, to top it off, had to contend with gaps in payment between tenants. “It is anything but profitable and pleasant,” she lamented.
Operating a boarding house (or at least publicly announcing it) fluctuated greatly in Washington in the mid-1800s. The City Directories in 1860 and 1864 each list about 80 boarding houses; more than double that number appear in the 1867 directory. Yet very few names appear across all three, much less even two, editions. The building on Seventh Street that became Clara Barton’s residence from 1861 to 1868, her storeroom for supplies during the Civil War, and the office for her Missing Soldiers Office work after the war does not show up under “Boarding Houses” in the directories at all, despite being rented to her and other tenants throughout this time.
Notwithstanding the complaints from both perspectives, boarding houses played an important role in Washington and, more generally, throughout 19th century America. They proliferated in Washington from its earliest days as the nation’s capital when the ebb and flow of the population corresponded to the Congressional calendar, and temporary residents did not want to commit to permanent homes. Most famously, senators and representatives shared quarters with fellow legislators from their same region of the country and/or political party, in boarding houses known as messes. Abraham Lincoln lived with other Whigs in a mess on Capitol Hill during his one term as an Illinois representative in the 1840s.
Beyond Washington, they were also a fact of life—anywhere from one-third to one-half of urban residents either lived in one or took in boarders in the 1800s, as noted by historian Wendy Gamber. Their existence made it possible for men—and women like Clara Barton—to live in a city where they had no family with whom to reside. Thus, despite their reputation, boarding houses represented opportunity.
When Clara Barton returned to Washington and a job at the Patent Office in 1861, she moved into 488 ½ Seventh Street. It was not a typical boarding house with a proprietor on premises making meals, but she rented rooms on the third floor, sharing common space with male tenants and living above stores and offices. Despite occasional complaints about the conditions and her neighbors, she recognized the value in having a place to hang her hat.
Location, Location, Location
Seventh Street began at the wharves on the Potomac River and stretched north to the city limits. It crossed the swampy National Mall and Pennsylvania Avenue, the city’s main commercial thoroughfare. The busy Center Market abutted the street on land that George Washington had designated to serve as a public marketplace. An article in 1851 described the market as “a confused medley of huts and shacks amidst which stood the original building….Along 7th and 9th street fronts, hastily built frame sheds were occupied by cook-shops and all kinds of dealers.” The dealers sold everything from live fish to furniture.
Other businesses on Seventh Street ranged from publishers to saddle makers to jewelers. Lawyers and patent agents no doubt appreciated the proximity to two of the city’s most imposing federal buildings, the Post Office and the Patent Office, which stood at Seventh and F Streets. Square 457, which contains Barton’s building, lies just south of these two buildings at the corner of 7th and E Streets. Thus she could easily walk to the Patent Office, the market, and, about a half-mile away, the U.S. Capitol.
Many other boarding houses also operated in the neighborhood, especially as the population grew during the Civil War. Eliza Catherine Scidmore, for example, came to Washington from Wisconsin in the early 1860s and kept a succession of boarding houses in the neighborhood, filling most of her rooms through personal references. And Mary Surratt, who became one of the most infamous boarding house keepers of the era, rented out her extra rooms on H Street when her husband died in 1862, leaving her to support her family and make good on his debts. Neither woman is listed in the city directories, again underlining that many of these establishments operated without formal identification.
The Building Changes Hands
The building at 488 ½ Seventh Street was constructed in 1853, commissioned or at least owned by a man named Raphael Semmes (also recorded as “Simmes”). Three stores fronted the street on the first floor, with offices on the second, and six boarding rooms on the third floor. According to research conducted for the General Services Administration (GSA), the architecture was typical for the mid-1800s: entrance to the building over a granite threshold into a small vestibule, straight staircases up to the second and third floors, and narrow hallways on each. In 1853, he paid taxes of $6,500, which provides some indication of its value.
Susan Ireland bought the building in 1857, and owned it during the time when Clara Barton lived there.  In 1859 she paid taxes on the building based on an assessed value of just over $9,200. An 1865 addition on the back (the east side) included a kitchen and small dining room on the third floor and a shared toilet under the staircase between the second and third floors. As an indication of the increased value, 1865 tax records show a $4,500 assessment attributed to these improvements.
Ireland did not live there or seem to take an active role in running the boarding house. She may have bought the building as an investment, given its favorable location. A widow, Ireland led a financially independent life, rather than enduring the drudgery of daily boarding house keeping like the women mentioned above.
Susan Ireland was born Susannah Fowler in 1788 and lived her early years in Maryland, probably in Prince George’s County. Her father Abraham and mother (name unknown) had nine children, ranging from Samuel, born in 1768, to Margaret Ann, born in 1790. The family may have raised tobacco, the county’s most profitable crop at the time. A 1799 deed of trust, in which Abraham entrusts his estate to his brother, listed assets in the form of slaves, livestock, and furniture, but did not indicate great wealth. He did not include land in the inventory.
Susan married James Ireland on December 22, 1806, in Prince George’s County. No further records about James were found. They did not have any living children; and by 1844, presumably widowed, she moved to Washington. The 1850 census lists her as living with Samuel and Jane Fowler (themselves possibly cousins, and Ireland’s nephew and niece) at 427 F Street, just a block or so from the house on Seventh Street.
According to family research, the Fowlers, including Ireland, were reasonably comfortable but not particularly affluent—until a twist of fate changed everything. The youngest son in Abraham’s family, named Joseph, had set off for New Orleans and amassed great wealth. He died in a shipwreck in 1850 without a will. After machinations that included a court case before the Louisiana Supreme Court, the estate went to his three siblings (Ireland and two sisters) who were living at the time, as well to as the descendants of those who had died.
The estate was valued—in the early 1850s—at $1.48 million. Ireland received one-eighth of the total, or about $185,000. So between 1850 and 1860, her status radically changed to that of a very wealthy woman.
The 1860 census lists Ireland, age 68, still living with Samuel (48) and Jane (37), their children ranging in age from 1 to 17, along with a nurse and a domestic servant. The house, located approximately where Sidney Harman Hall is today across from the Verizon Center, also probably included two enslaved African Americans. Slaves were not listed in the federal census of 1860, but rather by age and sex in a separate “slave schedule” under the name of the owner. The schedule lists two people owned by Ireland—a 50-year-old male and 17-year-old female. Most other slaveholders in Ward 4 also list only one or several enslaved people. Typical for Washington at the time, they would have served in domestic capacities as cooks, horsemen, and the like. Samuel Fowler is not listed as an owner, but the Fowlers may have benefited from the labors of the man and woman enslaved by Ireland, in addition to their own white employees.
In 1862, Congress passed and President Lincoln signed a bill to emancipate the slaves in the District of Columbia. The legislation established a fund of $900,000 to compensate owners who would need to testify their loyalty to the Union to qualify for the funds. It is not clear whether Ireland testified to the commission set up for this purpose out of conviction or expediency; but testify she did, on May 22, 1862, along with about 960 other slave owners over a period of three months. The commission records provide some information about the two enslaved people in her household. She requested payment of $350 for 58-year-old Henry Hammond, whom she bought from Henry Burch in 1851 (“slim made with a thin visage and healthy. He has a good hand for horses and is a tolerably good house servant”). She also requested $1,000 for 20-year-old Elizabeth Brent, whom she purchased from another of her nephews, John Dufief, in 1856 (“a good cook, washer, and ironer and a faithful family servant”). Like most claimants she received a percentage of what she requested—the commissioners awarded her $591.30.
The inheritance allowed Ireland, Samuel, and two other of her nephews to enter the private banking business. An estimated 700 private banks operated nationwide in what became known as the “Free Banking Era,” unregulated and unchartered. Ireland was publicly listed as a one of the six or so principals for the firm Rittenhouse, Fant & Company in the 1850s and 1860s. The name of the bank and list of partners varied over the years, as men came into and left the business; but “Mrs. Susan Ireland” was the only woman and always the last person listed in the bank’s advertisements and public notices for more than a decade.
The firm occupied the ground floor of a building at 352 Pennsylvania Avenue (later numbered 625). The intersection at Pennsylvania Avenue and 6th Street attracted a number of photographers, including Mathew Brady, whose studio was on the top floor of their building. It held deposits, made loans, and advertised that it would “buy and sell gold, silver, stocks, land warrants, &c., &c.”
Yet private banking carried risks. During a short-lived run on local banks in 1857, their bank incurred the “heaviest run,” according to the Evening Star: “As all of them [the partners] are individually liable in all their property for the obligations of their bank, it will not be saying too much that they are at this moment worth an aggregate of half a million dollars above and beyond any possible indebtedness of their institutions.” The article also noted several of the shareholders (including Ireland and Fowler) “are heirs of the well-known Fowler estate.” The partners also did business as the National Bank of Commerce of Georgetown, although this venture may have had less success. Although one account in the late 1870s said, “the business of the bank was not prosperous” and it “dissolved by mutual consent” on December 1, 1864, advertisements for the bank do appear in City Directories and the Evening Star in later years.
Ireland benefited from the banking arrangement, even if she is never mentioned as involved in its daily operations—an IRS tax assessment for 1864 lists her with assets of $20,428 and stocks worth an additional $1,425, among the highest recorded on the lists.
As examples of additional investments, she is listed as owner of an “elegant residence, three story brick double house at 1221 I Street,” auctioned about a decade after her death by Samuel. In 1853 she extended a loan of just over $3,300 to Peregrine Browning of Washington to purchase property on Pennsylvania Avenue, with the property itself as collateral. She also extended a loan to family member Henry Hurley for his estate in Rockville, MD; when Hurley defaulted after her death, Samuel moved to sell the property under him.
Her charity of choice was the Washington City Protestant Asylum for Orphan and Destitute Children. Ireland is listed in 1854 as a contributor of $20 but acknowledged as contributing a far more generous $500 in both 1855 and 1857 (about $13,000 today). No reports have surfaced yet of her involvement beyond financial contributions.
A Place to Call Home
The primary tenant whom we know about today, in addition to Barton, is Edward Shaw. Barton probably moved into the building because of him. In addition to serving as a fellow Patent Office employee, Shaw was from Attleboro, MA, not far from the Barton home in North Oxford. Their families knew each other. (Letters from Barton’s nephew Bernard Vassall to Shaw date back to at least 1851.) Shaw lived in the house at least by 1855, so occupied it when Ireland bought it. He rented the rooms on the third floor from Ireland and then sublet them to Barton and others; although it is not clear if he received payment or reduced rent for his services as an on-site manager or landlord, or perhaps rented them for more than he had to pay the owner. Like most of the middle class, he could have used the extra money.
Shaw graduated from Yale and was a schoolmaster in East Haddam, CT, where, based on the polite but insistent correspondence he received from people to whom he owed money, he found it difficult to make ends meet. He mounted a campaign for at least five years to get a federal job, and he homed in on the Patent Office to seek a position as an assistant patent examiner. He received many letters containing friendly but firm discouragement, such as from an examiner named Joseph Lane: “I am sorry there is nothing that I can do for you….There is no opening now in the Patent Office nor any probability of any…” In any event, beyond a vacancy popping up, Lane advised, “an appointment can hardly be obtained without recommendations from influential men, and the more of them the better.” Finally in 1853 Shaw heard from Francis Shaw (a distant cousin), who had information about a resignation at the agency, with the suggestion that Shaw quickly make his way to Washington to better press his case in person. When he arrived, Francis set him up with a temporary job with his employer, the Associated Press, as a “telegraphic correspondent” while he waited for the job to come through.
Other tenants include a Mr. Brown and his daughter Dora; a Miss Baker, with whom Barton sometimes shared meals; and a Mr. Doe, who did some of the general repair work around the building. While operating the Missing Soldiers Office, Barton’s friend and associate Jules Golay lived in the building. Businesses downstairs included jeweler Israel Libby, lawyers Everett & Forsyth, and insurance agents F.M. Blair and A.E.L. Keese.
Barton’s nephew William later described his aunt’s “bare lodgings on the third floor of 488 ½ 7th Street between D and E…. It was not an ideal place for a home-loving woman.”
One thing becomes clear: while it may not have been “ideal,” she appreciated having a place to come back to. In December 1863, as she tried to keep at least some of her Patent Office salary while serving the soldiers, she copied a letter into her diary that she wrote to the Patent Commissioner: “With a portion of this [salary], I have paid the rent of a room in Washington which I have rarely occupied, retaining it merely as a shelter to which I might return when my strength should fail me under exposure and labor at the field. I deemed this prudent, as I have neither father nor mother, and no where on the face of the earth have I other home or shelter.”
Barton sometimes recorded the daily routines on Seventh Street in her diary. In March 1864, she wrote about errands in the neighborhood: buying steel corset fronts, then “found butter selling at six cts per pound, returned slowly looking at furniture on my way. Picked up my broken jewelry and called on Mrs. Libby, who was below in her husband’s store. Ordered my repairs, stayed till 12 ½ and came upstairs a little discouraged.” (The specific discouragement of this day stemmed from trying to secure her own position, as well as the promotions of several other people.) On a beautiful morning in early May, which she planned to spend answering letters, “making my toilet, caring for my fish, poor little fellow! sweeping and dusting &c [etc.], Mr. Brown and Dora came and invited me out to breakfast. We walked through the upper market and down 9th Street to Mrs. Streeter’s, where we partook a most excellently cooked breakfast….”
In her diary she periodically mentions giving Shaw her rent, several months at a time, either retrospectively or as an advance. They had some non-financial contact, such as on April 13, 1864—“Mr. Shaw is pretty sick. Gave him a ‘pack’ this morning and remained by him till noon.” On January 28, 1865, “he objected to taking it and would not count it. I left $65.00 for 9 mos. @ $7.X per month.” But possibly he, or another tenant, also greatly irritated her. A year later, after completion of the addition, she wrote, “…am almost regretting that I did not take the new part of our building. I don’t know the expense, but it would be such a relief from this eternal vigilance committee of one that oppresses me like a night-mare…I am every day made to feel afraid to open and shut doors…or step heavily or stoke the coal down in my stove only at certain times or get water or have coal brought up or have a man come into the hall to bring me a pint of milk each day, &c….”
Instead of moving, she “decided to make me a little private parlor of my further room and went to find fancy articles for arranging a cabinet, but nothing of that nature is ever at hand for me.” Expenses in May of 1866 included carpet, lumber and a carpenter to create a partition. Although no photo of her living quarters on Seventh Street has surfaced, the GSA’s efforts to restore the space, in the 21st century, benefited from photos of some of her later accommodations. As she wrote in her diary, Barton often used curtains, fabrics, and knick-knacks to make a room feel more like home, however temporary.
Once she started lecturing about her war experiences, Barton had a more comfortable income, a different situation than when she was trying to hold on to a piece of her Patent Office salary in 1863. In one of her records, she lists about 15 bonds deposited in her name, ranging in amount from $50 to $5,000 for a total of about $13,700—deposited in Susan Ireland’s bank. Although no personal connection between Barton and Ireland is recorded, the bank was nearby and banking business often depended on personal connections.
In Later Years
Susan Ireland died on April 9, 1869. (By then, Barton had moved out, first to a room on Capitol Hill and then to Europe.) The National Intelligencer reported the next day that “Mrs. Susan Ireland, aged 80 years. Her funeral will take place at 3 o’clock from the residence of Saml Fowler, 327 F St.” Ireland is buried with other family members at Oak Hill Cemetery in Washington. We do not know at this point where James Ireland was buried, but he is not at Oak Hill with her.
A few days later, Ireland’s will was “filed and fully proven,” with Samuel as its executor. Perhaps befitting a wealthy woman with no direct descendants, the will stipulated distribution of her estate in a rather elaborate fashion. After apportioning $8,000 to the Orphan Asylum and $20,000 to Samuel Fowler “for his own use and in full compensation of his services,” she divided the rest of her estate into 150 parts or shares. In a few cases, she gave money to female relatives for their “sole and separate use,” perhaps guarding it from men who would otherwise take it. Her sister Mary Margaret DuFief had died in 1865 (one last sister, Sarah Ann Greeves, survived Ireland and died in 1871), and about half of the estate went to Mary Margaret’s five children, who included Jane, and their offspring.
In 1870, the bank reconstituted to take Ireland off as a shareholder. By the mid-1870s, however, the banking house does not appear in the City Directories. Perhaps it operated but didn’t list itself; perhaps the partners went off in other directions; perhaps the Panic of 1873 affected their assets as it did most notably to the private banking house of Jay Cooke & Company.
The building and land passed on to the Fowlers upon Ireland’s death. Samuel was assessed $7500 in 1870, while the records show an assessment for the same piece for more than double that amount, $16,242 in 1878-79, down to $13,289 in 1883-84, then up to $19,156 in 1893-94. Samuel Fowler died in 1896. Jane held on to the property until her death in 1904 after which the property left the Ireland/Fowler family.
Because of Washington’s change in the street-numbering system in 1870, the house on Seventh Street, between D and E Streets, went from 488 ½ to 437. Throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s, building permits were filed for various improvements to the businesses, such as remodeled show windows in 1907 and 1913. In 1934 the Boyce & Lewis Shoe Company took over most of the space. The company used the second floor for a storeroom, and the third floor lay vacant. As described more fully elsewhere, the property lay within the area of the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation, with various plans over the years for its fate.
In 1979, a Historic American Building Survey (HABS) report described 437 Seventh Street fronted with a “modern curtain wall”— a huge, unattractive façade of metal grill work–and occupancy by Boyce & Lewis. Indeed, the report commented that “the façade’s color, texture, and most especially its lack of articulation constitute a particularly insensitive example of contemporaneous design.”
Ironically, the report notes that “the upper floors were not made accessible by the owner.” Remember that GSA employee Richard Lyons found Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office sign and other artifacts in the attic in 1997. Had the owners granted entry back in the 1970s, perhaps the building’s connection with Clara Barton might have been discovered earlier.
 Ellis, p. 445.
 National Intelligencer, October 4, 1834, clipping in vertical file, Washingtoniana Collection, D.C. Public Library.
 Gamber, p. 3
 Quoted in Tangires, p. 48. Note that the squares were (and are) on city maps for land-use planning purposes, but residents would rarely be aware of their residence’s square number.
 Thanks for this information to Diana Parsell, who is writing a biography of Scidmore’s daughter, also named Eliza, a journalist and travel writer.
 Civil War naval aficionados well recognize the name Raphael Semmes as a leading Confederate admiral, although he lived in Alabama in the 1850s, not Washington. However he was born in Maryland in 1807, lived in Georgetown with an aunt and uncle as a child, and is listed in the 1860 census back in Washington. As another clue, an 1861 fire in a building nearby on Pennsylvania Avenue, reported in the National Intelligencer on January 3, 1861, was “owned by the estate of Raphael Semmes.”
 Clara Barton Building, prepared by OLBN Inc. for the GSA, GS-11P-12-MKC-0043, p. 69.
 Unpublished research notes by Robinson Associates for the General Services Administration, provided by National Museum of Civil War Medicine.
 HABS report, Square 457, Lot 825, 427-441 7th Street.
 Prince George’s County Court (Land Records), 1799-1800, JRM 7, p. 0031, MSA CE 65-39. Available online through Maryland Land Records, http://mdlandrec.net.
 A January 1, 1844, notice announces a letter awaiting pick up in the Washington post office for Ireland, according to research by Denise Tracy, a descendant of Susan Ireland’s brother William Fowler. The 1850 Census lists “Susannah Ireland” female, age 6, living in the Fowler home, but I believe this is simply a clerical error as the rest of the information corresponds with “our” Susan Ireland.
 Many thanks to Denise Tracy for this information. Joseph Fowler’s will: Orleans Parish. Louisiana. Successions, 1850. Second District Court, New Orleans, Louisiana. FHL microfilm #500711, Succession #3537. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.
 Using the calculator at Measuringworth.com, Joseph Fowler’s estate could be converted to $46.4 million in 2015 dollars; Ireland’s share would have been more than $5 million in 2015 dollars.
 District of Columbia, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1800-1890; accessed on Ancestry.com
 Kenneth Winkle, “Emancipation in the District of Columbia.” Online at Civil War Washington, http://civilwardc.org/interpretations/narrative/emancipation.php
 The City Directory of 1862, p. 149, lists Rittenhouse, Fant & Co. to include Charles E. Rittenhouse, H.G. Fant, Samuel Fowler, J.L. Dufief, William T. Herron, Richard Petitt, & Susan Ireland. Ireland was the aunt to all but Rittenhouse and Fant. The City Directory of 1867, p. 478, lists Rittenhouse, Fowler, Herron, Dufief, and Ireland, and an advertisement for “Rittenhouse, Fowler & Co.’s Banking House,” So, Samuel Fowler managed to get his name publically listed as a partner.
 Evening Star, September 16, 1857, p. 2.
 Richard Jackson, The Chronicles of Georgetown D.C. from 1751 to 1878. Washington, DC, R.O. Polkinhorn, 1878. The book further states, “a process of settlement is now being laid out in court between the copartners, in the equity case of Hamilton G. Fant, complainant vs. John L. Dufief and others, defendants.” Thus, more than a decade later, legal issues between the former partners remained, according to this account.
 Given what we know about her inheritance, she was worth more, but, as still occurs, may have had assets tucked away in various other holdings. U.S. IRS Tax Assessment Lists, 1862-1918; accessed from Ancestry.com
 Peregrine Browning to Samuel Fowler, Red’d 8th July 1853. As the text of the agreement notes, Fowler acted on behalf of Ireland, MS 0725.1947, Historical Society of the District of Columbia.
 Evening Star, May 23, 1878. Christensen ,pp. 5-6.
 Evening Star, January 17, 1854, p. 1; Evening Star, November 12, 1855, p. 3; June 12, 1857.
 J.H. Lane to E. Shaw, undated, Box 1 (1847-1852), Folder 2, Edward Shaw Papers, LOC. Shaw’s papers were part of what the GSA found in the attic of the house in the 1990s.
 Barton, William, quoted in Scott, p. 29.
 Clara Barton to D.P. Holloway, December 11, 1863, copied in Clara Barton, Diaries and Journals: 1863, Dec. 3-1864, May 7, LOC, https://www.loc.gov/resource/mss11973.001_0445_520/?sp=16
 March 31, 1864, Clara Barton, Diaries and Journals: 1863, Dec. 3-1864, May 7, LOC, https://www.loc.gov/resource/mss11973.001_0445_520/?sp=41.
 May 6, 1864, Clara Barton, Diaries and Journals: 1863, Dec. 3-1864, May 7, LOC, https://www.loc.gov/resource/mss11973.001_0445_520/?sp=71. William Streeter is listed as operating a restaurant at 381 F Street in the 1864 City Directory.
 April 13, 1864, Clara Barton, Diaries and Journals: 1863, Dec. 3-1864, May 7, https://www.loc.gov/resource/mss11973.001_0445_520/?sp=58
 January 28, 1865, Clara Barton Diaries and Journals: 1865, Jan.-Dec., https://www.loc.gov/resource/mss11973.001_0642_0851/?sp=28
 January 5, 1866, Clara Barton Diaries and Journals: 1866, Jan. 1-13 (includes ledger accounts of May 1864-May 1866), https://www.loc.gov/resource/mss11973.001_0852_1004/?sp=33
 December 13, 1865, Clara Barton, Diaries and Journals: 1865, Jan-Dec, LOC https://www.loc.gov/resource/mss11973.001_0642_0851/?sp=188
 Pages 21 and 22, Clara Barton Papers; Diaries and Journals: 1866, Jan. 1-13, LOC, https://www.loc.gov/resource/mss11973.001_0852_1004/?sp=21
 Caroline Alderson and Elizabeth Hannold, Presentation at Clara Barton Missing Soldiers’ Office, April 5, 2017.
 Clara Barton Papers: Diaries and Journals: 1866, Jan. 1-13 (includes ledger accounts of May 1864-1866), https://www.loc.gov/resource/mss11973.001_0852_1004/?sp=149
 Records compiled in Historic American Building Survey (HABS) no. DC-497, on 437-441 Seventh St. NW.
 Historic American Building Survey (HABS) no. DC-497, on 437-441 Seventh St. NW
Boyd’s City Directories, 1860 to 1876.
Clara Barton Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress Diaries and Journals online
Edward Shaw papers, 1847-1867, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress
Reports from the Court of Claims submitted to the House of Representatives during the Second Session of the Thirty-Seventh Congress, 1861-62, Volume 1.
Rooming and Boarding Houses, 1800-1939, Vertical files, DC Public Library Special Collections
U.S. Census Records; Slave Schedules; U.S. IRS Tax Assessment Lists; Washington, DC Wills and Probate Records: Available through Ancestry.com.
Historical Society of Washington, D.C. Edward N. Bomsey Deeds and Legal Documents Collection
Christensen, Judith. Historic Designation Evaluation Analysis: 9200 Darnestown Road, October 26, 2007 (former home of Ireland relative Henry Hurley).
Dickey, J.D. Empire of Mud: The Secret History of Washington, DC. Guilford, CT: Lyons Press, 2014.
Ellis, John B. The Sights and Secrets of the National Capital. New York: United States Publishing Company, 1869.
Gamber, Wendy. The Boardinghouse in Nineteenth-Century America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007.
Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) no. DC-497 on 437-441 Seventh St. NW
Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) no. No. DC-295, Mathew B. Brady Studio, 625 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Hooper, Carol. National Register of Historic Places Form 10-900-b, “Banks and Financial Institutions of Washington D.C., 1790-1860,” November 14, 1994.
Jackson, Richard. The Chronicles of Georgetown, D.C. from 1751 to 1878. Washington, DC, R.O. Polkinhorn, 1878.
Newman, Harry Wright. The Maryland Semmes and Kindred Families. Westminster, MD: Heritage Books, 2007.
Oates, Stephen. A Woman of Valor: Clara Barton and the Civil War. New York: The Free Press, 1994.
OLBN Architectural Service, Inc., for the GSA. Historical Structure Report, Clara Barton Building. GS-11P-12-MKC-0043. January 24, 2015
Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation. Unpublished report for Lot 14, 427-441 Seventh Street.
Provine, Dorothy (compiler). Compensated Emancipation in the District of Columbia, Petitions under the Act of April 16, 1862. Westminster, MD: Willow Bend Books, 2005.
Pryor, Elizabeth Brown. Clara Barton: Professional Angel. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1987.
Robinson Associates for the General Services Administration, unpublished research notes on Seventh Street West.
Scott, Gary. Clara Barton’s Civil War Apartments. Washington History 13 (1), Spring/Summer 2001, pp. 24-31.
Tangires, Helen. Contested spaces: The Life and Death of Center Market. Washington History 2(1), Spring/Summer 1995, pp. 48-67.
Winkle, Kenneth. Emancipation in the District of Columbia. Online at Civil War Washington, http://civilwardc.org/interpretations/narrative/emancipation.php.
Wright, Robert. Women and finance in the early national U.S. Essays in History, University of Virginia. Online at http://www.essaysinhistory.com/articles/2012/100
About the Author
Paula Tarnapol Whitacre is a writer based in Alexandria, VA. She is author of the forthcoming biography (Potomac Books/University of Nebraska Press) A Civil Life in an Uncivil Time: Julia Wilbur’s Struggle for Purpose about an abolitionist from Rochester, NY, who spent the Civil War in Alexandria. Her website and blog are at www.paulawhitacre.com. She also posts content related to the Civil War on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ptwhitacre and on Twitter at @ptwhitacre.