Congressional Cemetery is a tract of about thirty acres of ground on the north bank of the Anacostia River just northeast of Pennsylvania Avenue at Barney Circle, S. E. The main entrance to the cemetery is at 1801 E
Street, S. E., at the Superintendent's lodge. The property is composed of ten squares of land acquired over a period of years. Most of the cemetery is on gently sloping ground which declines sharply on the southern boundaries near the banks of the Anacostia. There are a large number of shade trees scattered throughout the cemetery. The cemetery's streets or avenues- Congress, Tingey, Henderson, Ingle, Naylor, Tucker, Arnold, Pinkney, Prout, Richards, and Whittingham are generally named after those who were important to the development of the cemetery or Christ Church.
The Congressional Cemetery contributes significantly to
the cultural heritage and visual beauty of the District of Columbia. Although privately owned by Christ Church, Congressional Cemetery was the first true National Cemetery in the U. S. and is perhaps still the only
truly National Cemetery due to the fact that Arlington and other national cemeteries are principally reserved for military dead. From the time of its establishment in 1807 until the end of the Civil War, three Presidents, two Vice Presidents, seventy-five Senators and Representatives, as well as many high-ranking executive, judicial and military officers and American Indians were interred in Congressional Cemetery. There are perhaps more early historical figures buried within this "American Westminster Abbey" than in any other cemetery in the country.