City of Washington from Beyond the Navy Yard by George Cooke with White House Oval Office by George Cooke 1833

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By 1688, the Anacostia had become a part of a world market economy and one of the premier tobacco-producing sources of the British Empire. For seventy years, tobacco planters, using enslaved labor, methodically clear-cut acres of forested woodlands along the Anacostia River for tobacco-producing fields betraying the interdependence of the riparian valley ecosystem.