Sketch of Bladensburg, Maryland, looking northward
Watercolor on paper drawing of "Sketch of Bladensburg, Maryland, looking northward", ca. 1801, from the Latrobe Sketchbooks, by Benjamin Henry Latrobe. In 1801, Belgian immigrant Baron Henri Josef Stier (1743-1821) began the planning construction of what became Riversdale Mansion, on 800 acres of property just north of Bladensburg, Maryland. Stier first commissioned Latrobe to design the mansion, but received slow responses from the architect and artist. Another designer worked on the project before Latrobe eventually submitted his potential design. This was ultimately rejected by Stier. This drawing features numerous businesses, houses, and small sailing boats in Bladensburg, with a bridge stretching across a small body of water. The town is positioned along the east bank of the Anacostia River and has several small creeks that run through it.