Thursday, December 20, 2018

Offering the Once As It Was Map to the American Indian Museum for Free

Kevin Gover, Director
National Museum of the American Indian
Washington, DC
December 17, 2018

Re: Adding An Interactive site on the Anacostan Natives of DC to the NMAI website

Dear Kevin Gover,

My interest in the Native history of Washington, DC spurred me to create the Once As It Was map of DC ( It is a collection of the major historical sites of the Anacostan Native people of DC. Those sites include the Capitol and the White House.

When I last wrote you in October (attached), the absence of the history of the Anacostans in the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) was contrasted with the excellent segment on the NMAI website that told the story of the Manahatta Natives of New York City. (See link from previous letter at end).

That link is not currently working on the NMAI website and a search for the title or even Natives of Manhattan does not show that pdf file. The original document is still available elsewhere online.*

Nevertheless, I'm hopeful that the NMAI would now see fit to include the story of the Anacostan Indians of DC on its website. I am writing to offer you the contents of the Once As It Was DC website. That material includes an article that has complete documentation for all of the website references.** I'm sure in the hands of your staff, a much better presentation can be given to the rich history of the Anacostans.

I appreciate having been contacted by Eileen Maxwell on your staff, but it has occurred to me that you may not have considered the use of the contents of my website, or you may have been concerned about the possible financial cost of transferring this information to the NMAI. This letter is to assure you that there would be no cost to the museum. The contents of the website and the overall map format are available to you free of charge.

However, if you do reproduce a version of the website, some note that acknowledges my intellectual contribution would be appreciated. The success of this transfer would remedy the disappointing situation of my website offering many details of the Native American history for Washington, DC that are not included in the NMAI or it's website.

If you would like comment and additional input on this matter from the descendents of the Anacostans, I'd suggest contacting the Piscataway-Conoy tribal council, which is based in Waldof, Maryland. Their website is

Please be in touch with any specific questions that might arise about this matter.

Sincerely yours,

Armand Lione, Ph.D.
533 4th St. SE, DC, 20003

cc: Eileen Maxwell, Supervisory Public Affairs Specialist, NMAI

Original link:
“Manahatta to Manhattan, Native Americans in Lower Manhattan” (

*The Manahatta to Manhatten pdf is still available online to view and download at this Washington state educational website:

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Thomas Jefferson asked the name of the DC Natives & No one knew

The opening chapter of "Chocolate City (2017)" reviews what happened to the Natives of DC very well! (Although I've heard the Fleete story differently.)
There was no citation on page 15 for this item
Around 1800, Thomas Jefferson asked about "the name of the Native Americans who lived along the Eastern Branch, no one could answer him."

About 100 years later, in 1918, Margaret Brent Downing wrote:
The Earliest Proprietors of Capitol Hill

She complains on page 3. “Few cities of the larger and more cultured class have displayed a greater indifference towards the original owners of the land on which it has been built than the National Capital.”

Ms Downing was consistent with this complaint and never mentioned the Natives again in her article.

In 2018, you can visit the American Indian Museum and see this tradition upheld.