The location of the Nation’s capital was a point of great contention for years, with advocates of Southern states insisting that the Capitol not be located in Philadelphia or New York City. The unlikely compromise on the District of Columbia was an unsatisfactory choice for many involved, due to the swamp-like conditions of the city, the incessant mud that made construction and troop movements difficult, and the meddlesome River Monster of the Potomac, affectionately nicknamed “Patty.”

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