City, port of entry, and county seat of Alexandria county, Va.
; on the Potomac River
, here a mile wide and providing an excellent harbor, and 6 miles below Washington, D. C.
The city contains a number of high-grade educational institutions, and has important manufacturing industries.
In 1890 the population was 14,339; in 1900, 14,528.
In August, 1814, while the British
were making their way across Maryland
, a portion of the British fleet, consisting of two frigates of thirty-six guns and thirty-eight guns, two rocket-ships of eighteen guns, two bomb-vessels of eight guns, and one schooner of two guns, sailed up the Potomac
under the charge of Commodore Gordon
, of the Sea Horse
, and easily passed the guns of Fort Washington
, the defenses of which the government a neglected.
The British squadron appeared before the fort (Aug. 27), when the commander blew up the magazine and fled.
The squadron passed and anchored in front of Alexandria
, prepared to lay the city in ashes with bombs and rockets if demands were not
There was no effective force at Alexandria
to oppose the invaders, for the able-bodied men and heavy guns had been called to the defence of Washington
They were powerless, and were compelled to submit.
The invader contented himself with burning one
vessel and loading several others with plunder, for he became in too great a hurry to depart to wait for the hidden merchandise and the raising of the scuttled vessels.
The squadron sailed down the Potomac
, annoyed all the way by batteries and the militia on the shore, the former quickly constructed and armed with heavy guns from vessels sent by Commodore Rogers
, and also others sent down from Washington
The British squadron, having an aggregate of 173 guns, passed out safely into Chesapeake
peake Bay on Sept. 5.
In the Civil War
the city was occupied by National troops on May 25, 1861.
and the same day Col. Ephraim Elmer ells worth
(q. v.), commanding the 11th New York Volunteers (Fire Zouaves) was killed as he was descending from the roof of the Marshall House
, where he had hauled down a Confederate flag, by James T. Jackson
, the keeper of the hotel.