"Sir: You are desired to proceed to Georgetown where you will find Mr. Ellicott employed in making a survey and Map of the Federal Territory. T/Il' special object of asking your aid is to have a drawing of the particular grounds most likely to be approved for the site of the Federal town and buildings. You will therefore be pleased to begin on the Eastern branch and proceed from thence upwards, laying down the hills, va/leys, morasses and waters between that and the Potomac, the Tiber, and the road leading from Georgetown to the Eastern branch and connecting the whole with certain fixed points on the map Mr. Ellicott is preparing. Some idea of the height of the lands above the base on which they stand would be
desirable.1 wil/ beg the favour of you to mark to me your progress about twice a week, say every Wednesday and Saturday evening, that I may be able in proper time to draw your a ttention to some other objects which I have not at this moment sufficient information to define."
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Pierre Charles L'Enfant, French architect, author of the master plan for Washington D.C., 1791