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On This Day, We Were Given Representation in Congress

by ARLnow.com July 9, 2010 at 1:01 pm 1,183 4 Comments

On this day, 164 years ago, Congress voted to allow the area we now know as Arlington to cede from the District of Columbia and become part of Virginia.

Technically, representation in Congress did not come immediately after the vote. It would take another year for the Virginia legislature to accept the retrocession. And not everybody was well-represented. Virginia was a slave state and Arlington would not benefit from the Compromise of 1850, which outlawed the slave trade in the District.

Amid a fascinating history lesson, our friends at We Love DC pose a thought-provoking question: Was the retrocession a good idea? For the District, the answer seems to be no.

Flickr pool photo by ameschen.

  • Greg

    Good pic for this piece. Arlington peaking through the fog across the bridge from DC.

  • MB

    So more like “On This Day, We* Were Given Representation in Congress”

    *White Men Only.


    Retrocession aside, Arlington’s still very much a part of DC, and has more in common with the other side of the Potomac than we ever will with Richmond. Or hell, even Loudon County.

  • Mike

    We all should be thankful for the Potomac river being a physical divide from DC.

  • rob

    We Love DC notes that Arlington “is a deeply profitable part of the Virginia taxbase.” But, before using that to suggest retrocession was a raw deal for DC, we should ask if Arlington would be as profitable as it is had it remained part of DC.


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