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who are commodiously seated in mahogany chairs, of the richest fashion; each one has a chair to himself, and before him is a mahogany table with drawers and places for pen, ink, and paper; these seats are arranged in regular rows. The Hall is heated by furnaces; I saw two fire places only.
The Senate Chamber is similar to the Hall, and furnished in like manner also, with the exception of the President's chair, which is quite plain, compared with that of the Speaker's. I attended a few times to hear the debates, but was unable to hear, at least, distinctly, owing to the noise made in the galleries, lobbies, and that made by the slaming of the doors. I was greatly surprised that so little order was maintained; such running to and fro, both by visitors and members; and from the nature of the great centre dome, the slightest tread is echoed by it for several seconds. Although I could not accurately hear the members, I could easily distinguish the shrill, clear voice of the Speaker, Mr. Clay. There is something peculiarly sweet and harmonious in the tone of his voice; and he was always necessarily saying something. He has to put the question; he has to call for the ayes and nays; and that very often.When a member rises, Mr. Speaker announces it as follows: "the gentleman from Maryland," or as the case may be; several will rise in the course of a few min utes, which keeps him incessantly proclaiming to the House. When a motion is made, the Speaker repeats it to the House, and calls for the ayes and noes, thus; "those gentlemen who are in favor of, say aye, and those who are against it, say no;" all the members answer immediately; some saying "aye," and some saying "no," at the same instant. If the Speaker be satisfied from the sound, which has the majority, he pronounces aloud, "the noes have it," or as the case may be. But if the Speaker cannot distinguish by the sound, he says "we cannot distinguish by the sound, the noes will rise;" when they all rise from their seats, and he counts them to himself, pointing to each member with his finger. He will sometimes then be at a loss, and call upon the ayes to rise. When any member calls for the
yeas and nays, as they do very often, the clerk calls upon every member by name, the person answering "aye" or "no," while the clerk, with a pen in his hand, sets down the vote.
I have in vain attempted to come at the minutia of the architecture of the capitol: either those to whom I applied were unwilling to furnish the plan, or have lost it. Although it would fill a volume of itself, it would have been pleasing to me to have added this to the work, and such is the nature and number of its eternal intricacies, that no one unskilled in architecture, could give any description that would be satisfactory. The first story, which is that under Congress Hall and Senate Chamber, with the exception of an apartment assigned to the Supreme and District Courts, is nothing but an assemblage of small apartments, committee rooms, vaulted galleries, and lobbies, where no honest person ought to be seen. The second story comprises Congress Hall, the Senate Chamber, clerk's offices, and post offices for both Houses, the great Rotunda, rooms for the President, rooms for the heads of Departments, and apartments for Foreign Ministers, a library, and a room appropriated to paintings. Above this story are two others, all laid off into small apartments, designed perhaps for committee rooms. It appears that those who planned the capitol committed a great oversight by an useless waste of room. Taking from the whole length of the edifice, the length of the Senate Chamber, Congress Hall, and the Rotunda, it leaves eighty five feet. Had this surplus been divided between Congress Hall and the Rotunda, it would have rendered them more convenient. They had to enlarge the Hall the last census, and will probably have to do so after the next ; and as to the Rotunda, which is designed for the inauguration of the President, and other public occasions; it will be found inadequate for the accommodation of such numbers as may wish to attend. But as respects the beauty, grandeur and durability of the workmanship,
* Under all is a cellar filled with choice hickory wood for the use of Congress.
this edifice is not surpassed, perhaps, by any other in the world.
It has already been observed, that the capitol presents an east and west front. The east front commands a view of the capitol square, that part of the city called . the capitol hill, the navy yard, and the Eastern branch. The west front commands the Potomac, the bridge, the canal, (which is to bring the waters of the Potomac and the Eastern branch through the city,) the president's house, the city hall, the public offices, the Pennsylvania and Maryland avenues. The Pennsylvania and Maryland avenues meet at the west front of the capitol, in the form of the letter V. The ground lying between these avenues is sacredly reserved as an ornament, and commands an extensive view of the surrounding country, as well as the Potomac, and the canal already mentioned. The Pennsylvania avenue, which is the right side of the V, is planted with four rows of trees, and the best private buildings in the city; while the Maryland avenue, (which is the left side of the V) as yet remains undistinguished among the commons, which gives to its fellow an odd appearance, by throwing it into an obtuse angle with the capitol. Was the Maryland avenue even planted with trees, it would add greatly to the prospect, and show the design.
Those planners for eternity have been guilty of another oversight, a blunder which ought never to be forgiven. Instead of setting the President's house (which terminates Pennsylvania avenue) at the end of it, which was evidently intended, they have placed it on the right, without its area; and, although the avenue commands a view of the house, its relative position gives to it an awkward appearance.
President's House.-The President's house is one mile and seven-eighths from the capitol, and is likewise built of free-stone, but built according to the lonic proportion. It is two stories high, 170 feet in length, and 85 in breadth. It has a large square of ground attached to it, planted with beautiful and flourishing trees. In the midst of this square, which is enclosed with a wall, upon an elevated situation, sits the queen of the city, enrobed
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in snowy white. Before entering upon a description of the other public establishments, it may be as well to notice the capitol square, one of the principal ornaments of the city.
Capitol Square. The principal part of the capitol square lies on the east of the capitol, extending no further to the west than just to take in the brow of the hill upon which the capitol stands. The ground within the iron railing contains twenty acres and one-eighth.— The foot-walk outside of the railing is three fourths of a mile and 180 feet in length. It is planted with trees and shrubbery, consisting of the spontaneous growth of the surrounding country, with the exception of the horsechesnut. They have procured the elm from Massachusetts, and the fir and spruce from Maine. Those trees are planted in the form of a border round the square, without order or regularity, and by far too thick for their well being there are a few scattering ones throughout the square. Had the projectors of this plan been less prodigal of attention to this part of the square, and spared a few more for the remaining part, it would have added much to the convenience, if not to the beauty, of the design. As yet this shrubbery is in its infancy. A man is kept continually at work amongst those trees, with a view of keeping them free from grass, or whatever else may impede their growth. On the outside of the railing is a single row of trees, between which and the railing is a convenient walk for the citizens. The railing, in mechanism, may vie with any thing of the sort, both for beauty and strength. It consists of slender palisades of iron, about an inch square and four feet high.These palisades are placed upright, the lower end being inserted into a solid stone, and soldered with lead. The tops of these palisades terminate in a point, are about four inches asunder, and are firmly confined with a double plate of iron, through which the points are inserted. The stone which confines the lower end of the palisade is about two feet wide, and completely protects a stone wall, of about two feet high, from the weather. This wall supports the whole fabric. Every sixteenth is a
triple palisade, which is to be ornamented with a cap of brass.
The other Public Buildings.-The war office and the navy office are vast buildings of brick; they are on the left of the President's house, and not far distant from it. The treasury office, and office of the department of state, are likewise large brick buildings; they stand on the right of the President's house, and about the same distance from it as the former. Another large building of brick is occupied by the general post-office, the city post-office, the patent office, and the Washington library. But the largest building in the city, excepting the capi tol, is the city hall: it is 200 feet in length, and high in proportion. In it the mayor holds his court, and here all city business is transacted. The whole of these great edifices are divided into numerous rooms and apartments, and swarm with clerks and other subordinate officers of government. The city hall and the general post-office occupy the highest ground in the city, and the scenery from this point is by far the richest ground view within it. Near the city hall is the prison; it is a large building, surrounded with a high brick wall. The other public buildings are, a poor-house, an orphan asylum, two churches for Roman Catholics, three for Presbyte rians, three for Methodists, two for Baptists, two for Protestants, one for Friends, one for Unitarians, two masonic halls, four banks, four market houses, a theatre, a circus, a fort, a ware-house, and a magazine. Besides these there is the navy yard, with its work-shops and of fices, and barracks sufficient to contain one thousand
Navy Yard.-The navy yard is a complete work-shop, where every naval article is manufactured: it contains twenty-two forges, five furnaces, and a steam-engine.The shops are large and convenient; they are built of brick and covered with copper to secure them from fire. Steel is prepared here with great facility. The number of hands employed vary; at present there are about 200. A ship-wright has $2,50 per day, out of which he maintains his wife and family if he have any Generally wages are very low for all manner of work; a
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