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artillery, the Grand Marshal delivered to the Commissioners of the District a large silver plate, bearing the following inscription, which was then read :

This southeast corner stone of the Capitol of the United States of America, in the city of Washington, was laid on the 18th day of September, 1793, in the thirteenth year of American Independence, in the first year of the second term of the Presidency of George Washington, whose virtues in the civil administration of his country have been so conspicuous and beneficial, as his military valor and prudence have been useful in establishing her liberties, and in the year of Masonry, 5793, by the President of the United States, in concert with the Grand Lodge of Maryland, several lodges under its jurisdiction, and Lodge No. 22 from Alexandria, Virginia.

Thomas Johnson, David Stuart, and Daniel Carroll, Commissioners; Joseph Clarke, R. W. G. M. P. T.; James Hoban and Stephen Hallet, Architects; Collin Williamson, M. Mason.

The artillery discharged another volley, when the plate was delivered to the President, who, attended by the Grand Master pro tem. and three Worshipful Masters, deposited the plate on the corner-stone, upon which was placed corn, wine, and oil. The assembly joined in prayer, which was succeeded by the Masonic honors, and a volley from the artillery. An oration was then delivered by the Grand Master pro tem., and the ceremony was concluded by a prayer, Masonic honors, and fifteen rounds from the artillery. The assemblage retired to an extensive booth, where they enjoyed a barbecue feast, and the celebration was concluded with another salute of fifteen guns at sunset.

Under the successive superintendence of Stephen Hallet, George Hadfield, and James Hoban, as architects, the north wing was made available for the first sitting of Congress in Washington, Nov. 17, 1800. In the meantime the walls of the south wing were carried up twenty feet and roofed over, for the temporary occupation of the House of Representatives. The House sat in this building, which was styled “ the oven,” from 1802 until 1804, when the roof was removed for the completion of the wing, under the direction of B. H. Latrobe, while the House occupied the room of the Library of Congress, on the west side of the north wing, until the hall in the south wing was prepared for use, in 1808.

The old Senate chamber was of but temporary construction, the columns and entablature being of wood stuccoed, and the capitals of plaster. The staircases were also of wood. On September 19, 1808, the centre of the vault of the old room of the Supreme Court was removed, when the arch gave way, carrying with it the floor of the Senate chamber, and killing John Lenthall, clerk of the works. It was the opinion of Mr. Latrobe that this accident was occasioned by striking the centre of the arch too early. The damage to the building was immediately repaired.

The south wing was finished in 1811, the work having been much delayed by the embargo troubles of 1808 and 1809. The finish of this wing was much more beautiful and substantial than that of the Senate chamber. The Hall of Representatives was semicircular, with a vaulted wooden ceiling; the entablature was supported by twenty fluted Corinthian columns of sandstone; the frieze over the Speaker's chair was ornamented by a figure of the American eagle, carved in sandstone, by Signor Franzoni; the opposite frieze was also decorated with figures by the same artist, representing Agriculture, Commerce, Art, and Science. Behind the chair of the Speaker sat a figure of Liberty, with the eagle by her side, her right hand presenting the Constitution on a scroll, and the liberty-cap in her left, her feet resting upon a reversed crown and other symbols of monarchy and bondage.

The sandstone of which the walls of the central portion of the Capitol are constructed, was procured from an island in Acquia Creek, in Virginia. The island was purchased by the Government, in 1791, for $6,000, for the use of the quarry. The two halls of Congress were connected by a temporary wooden structure, for convenience of communication between the two legislative bodies.

The interior of both wings was destroyed by fire when the British took the city, August 24, 1814, but the outer walls remained uninjured. Latrobe, who had resigned in 1813, was reappointed, immediately after the fire, to reconstruct the building.

Congress sat, during the first session after the invasion, in the Post Office building, and ordered the Capitol to be rebuilt, by act of February 13, 1815; and on the 8th of the following December, passed an act leasing a building situated on the eastern side of the Capitol park, and now known as the Old Capitol. Congress remained in that building until the Capitol was prepared for occupation.

On the resignation of Latrobe, in December, 1817, he was succeeded by Charles Bulfinch, under whose superintendence the foundation of the main building was laid, March 24, 1818, and the original design was finally completed in 1825.

The Capitol Extension.—By the act of Congress, Sep

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tember 30, 1850, provision was made for the extension of the Capitol, according to such plan as might be approved by the President. The plan of Thomas U. Walter, architect, was accepted by President Fillmore, June 10, 1851, and he was appointed to carry it out.

The corner-stone of the extension was laid with imposing ceremonies, which are best described by quoting the record deposited beneath the stone, which is as follows :

On the morning of the first day of the seventy-sixth year of the Independence of the United States of America, in the city of Washington, being the 4th day of July, 1851, this stone, designed as the corner-stone of the extension of the Capitol, according to a plan approved by the President, in pursuance of an act of Congress, was laid by


PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, assisted by the Grand Master of the Masonic Lodges, in the presence of many members of Congress, of officers of the Executive and Judiciary Departments, National, State, and District, of officers of the Army and Navy, the Corporate authorities of this and neighboring cities, many associations, civil and military and masonic, officers of the Smithsonian Institution and National Institute, professors of colleges and teachers of schools of the District, with their students and pupils, and a vast concourse of people from places near and remote, including a few surviving gentlemen who witnessed the laying of the corner-stone of the Capitol by President Washington, on the eighteenth day of September, seventeen hundred and ninety-three.

If, therefore, it shall be hereafter the will of God that this structure shall fall from its base, that its foundation be upturned, and this deposit brought to the eyes of men, be it then known, that, on this day, the Union of the United States of America stands firm; that their Constitution still exists unimpaired, and with all its original usefulness and

glory, growing every day stronger and stronger in the affections of the great body of the American people, and attracting more and more the admiration of the world. And all here assembled, whether belonging to public life or to private life, with hearts devoutly thankful to Almighty God for the preservation of the liberty and happiness of the country, unite in sincere and fervent prayers that this deposit, and the walls and arches, the domes and towers, the columns and entablatures now to be erected over it, may endure forever ! GOD SAVE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

DANIEL WEBSTER, Secretary of State of the United States.

Daniel Webster officiated as the orator of the day, and concluded the ceremony by a most eloquent address.

The extension consists of two wings placed at the north and south ends of the former building, at a distance of 44 feet from it, with connecting corridors 56 feet 8 inches wide inclusive of their outside colonnades. Each wing is 142 feet 8 inches in front, on the east, by 238 feet 10 inches in depth, exclusive of the porticoes and steps. The porticoes fronting the east have each twenty-two monolithic fluted columns, and extend the entire width of the front, having central projections of ten feet four inches, forming double porticoes in the centre, the width of the gable. There is also a portico of ten columns on the west end of each wing, 105 feet 8 inches wide, projecting 10 feet 6 inches, and like porticoes on the north side of the north wing and south side of the south wing, with a width of 121 feet 4 inches. The centre building is 352 feet 4 inches long and 121 feet 6 inches deep, with a portico 160 feet wide, of twenty-four columns, with a double façade on the east, and a projection of 83 feet on the west, em


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