Back to Intro



(1815 – 1901)

18th mayor of the District, born in Baltimore and served in the Maryland house of delegates from 1838-39. He was postmaster of Washington (1855-58) and was twice elected Mayor of Washington (1858-61). At the beginning of the Civil War in 1861 he was arrested for refusing to take the oath of allegiance. He was released when no evidence of sympathy with the Confederacy could be found, but he resigned and was replaced by Mayor Richard Wallach. Lincoln offered him the commissionership of emancipation for D.C., but he declined. He remained active in local affairs until his death, and served on the inauguration committees of three Presidents: Buchanan, Lincoln, and Cleveland.

Image Courtesy of: Library of Congress

Berret School
14th & Q St. N.W.

Built in 1889
Architect: Albert H. Harris

In the1980’s the Berret School was used as a Trust Homeless Shelter.

Image Courtesy of: Sumner School Museum

Congressional Cemetery
Berret Family Vault