District of Columbia Boundary Markers - Benjamin Banneker

Dublin Core


District of Columbia Boundary Markers - Benjamin Banneker




There were 40 boundary stones placed in a square to mark the original boundaries of the District of Columbia. The sandstone markers were placed at one-mile intervals to measure 10 miles on each side, giving a total of 100 square miles. Assisting Andrew Ellicott with mapping and surveying the territory that created the boundaries for the new federal government was Benjamin Banneker, a free Black from Maryland.


Andrew Ellicott
Benjamin Banneker

Site Location Item Type Metadata


There are three surviving boundary stones on private property that separate Arlington County from Fairfax County’s Dranesville District: NW1 5607 Powhatan Street, Falls Church
NW2 5298 Old Dominion Drive, McLean
NW3 4013 North Tazewell Street, McLean



Additional Notes

In a process known as retrocession, the federal government, in 1847, granted approval to return all of the territory within the District of Columbia on the south side of the Potomac River to the Commonwealth of Virginia. This was the City of Alexandria and what later became Arlington County.



Andrew Ellicott and Benjamin Banneker, “District of Columbia Boundary Markers - Benjamin Banneker,” Fairfax County African American History Inventory, accessed April 19, 2024, https://fairfaxaahi.centerformasonslegacies.com/items/show/79.