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may not

wholly to the Institute as their own and sole property, exempt from any condition.

I am, very respectfully, yours, &c.,

JESSE DUNCAN ELLIOTT. To the PRESIDENT AND DIRECTORS of the National Institute at Washington,

HERMITAGE, March 27th, 1845. Dear Sir: Your letter of the 18th instant, together with the copy of the proceedings of the National Institute, furnished me by their corresponding secretary, on the presentation by you of the sarcophagus for their acceptance, on condition it shall be preserved, and in honor of my memory, have been received, and are now before me.

Although laboring under great debility and affliction, from a severe attack from which I recover, I raise my pen and endeavor to reply. The steadiness of my nerves may perhaps lead you to conclude my prostration of strength is not so great as here expressed. Strange as it may appear, my nerves are as steady as they were forty years gone by, whilst from debility and affliction I am gasping for breath. I have read the whole proceedings of the presentation by you of the sarcophagus, and the resolutions passed by the Board of Directors, so honorable to my fame, with sensations and feelings more easily to be conjectured than by me expressed. The whole proceedings call for my most grateful thanks, which are hereby tendered to you, and through you to the President of the National Institute. But with the warmest sensations that can inspire a grateful heart, I must DECLINE

I cannot consent that my mortal body shall be laid in a repository prepared for an emperor or a king—my republican feelings and principles forbid it—the simplicity of our system of government forbids it. Every monument erected to perpetuate the memory of our heroes and statesmen ought to bear evidence of the economy and simplicity of our republican institutions, and the plainness of our republican citizens, who are the sovereigns of our







glorious Union, and whose virtue is to perpetuate it. True virtue cannot exist where pomp and parade are the governing passions. It can only dwell with the people, the great laboring and producing classes, that form the bone and sinew of our confederacy. For these reasons I cannot accept the honor you and the President and Di. rectors of the National Institute intended to bestow. I cannot permit my remains to be the first in these United States to be deposited in a sarcophagus made for an emperor or king. I again repeat, please accept for yourself, and convey to the President and Directors of the National Institute, my profound respects for the honor you and they intended to bestow.

I have prepared an humble depository for my mortal body, beside that wherein lies my beloved wife, where, without any pomp or parade, I have requested, when my God calls me to sleep with my fathers, to be laid, for both of us there to remain until the last trumpet sounds to call the dead to judgment; when we, I hope, shall rise together,

I clothed with that heavenly body promised to all who believe in our glorious Redeemer, who died for us that we might live, and by whose atonement I hope for a blessed immortality I am, with great respect, your friend and fellow-citizen,

ANDREW JACKSON. To Hon. J. D. Elliott, United States Navy.


In the act making appropriations for the civil and diplomatic expenses of government, passed by the second session of the 33d Congress, and approved March 3d, 1855, a clause was inserted appropriating $30,000 for the construction, on such site, in a central position on the public ground, in the city of Washington, as might be selected by the President, of a suitable building for the care and preservation of the ordnance, arms and accoutrements of the United States, required for the use of the volunteers and militia of the District of Columbia, the care and preservation of military trophies, and for the deposit of newly-invented and model arms. To this legislation the public are indebted for the grim and solid building on the Mall, between Sixth and Seventh streets west, near the Smithsonian Institution.

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The United States Arsenal in the District of Columbia is located in that portion of the city known as 66 Greenleaf's Point,” a position chosen for its stratagetic importance, as it is near the confluence of the Anacostia and Potomac rivers, where the largest class of shipping can receive such munitions of war as national exigencies may require to be despatched. The buildings were commenced under the superintendence of Colonel Bomford, in 1814, and besides the Construction Department, of great interest to the student of military science, there is a room of models, in which the visitor will find death-dealing implements in such number and variety as only the Tower of London can surpass.


By provision of the act of Congress approved May 20th, 1826, the Penitentiary of the District of Columbia is committed to the superintendence of the Secretary of the Department of Interior. By an act passed February 25th, 1831, the national legislature decreed that the President of the United States should be authorized and required to appoint three commissioners for the purpose of selecting a proper site in the District of Columbia on which to erect a penitentiary, and $40,000 were appropriated for the purchase of such site, and for the construction of the necessary buildings. Congress subsequently appropriated, on February 25th, 1831, $36,360 for the completion of the buildings, and, at various periods since, liberal appropriations have been made towards the support of this unfortunately necessary establishment.

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On one of the most beautiful sites in the vicinity of the city, the traveler finds an edifice of singular beauty, surrounded by grounds that could only be kept in such order by the authorities and subordinates of an soldier's home.” For this beautiful edifice, the patriot and the old soldier are largely indebted to the foresight and philanthropy of General Winfield Scott. Congress, by the act of March 3d, 1851, provided for the establishment of a Military Asylum, for the relief and support of invalid and disabled soldiers of the United States. The Board of Commissioners appointed under the provisions of this act, reported December 31st, 1851, that they had secured temporary places for the reception of such invalids near New Orleans and at Washington, and had purchased a site in the District of Columbia for the permanent establishment of so important an institution. The Military Asylum is governed and controlled by a Board of Commissioners, consisting of the General-in-Chief, Generals commanding the eastern and western divisions, Quartermaster-General, Commissary-General, PaymasterGeneral, Adjutant-General, and Surgeon-General of the United States Army. The officers in immediate charge of the Asylum are the Governor, Deputy-Governor, Sec


retary, and Treasurer, who are selected, by the Board of Commissioners, from the officers of the army.

The classes of persons entitled to the benefits of the asylum are:-1. All soldiers and discharged soldiers of the army

of the United States who may have served honestly and faithfully for twenty years. 2. All soldiers and discharged soldiers of the regular army, and of the volunteers, who have served in the war with Mexico, and were disabled by disease or wounds incurred in that service, and in the line of their duty, and who are by such disability incapable of further military service. This class includes that portion of the marine corps which served in the war against Mexico. 3. Every soldier and discharged soldier who may have contributed to the funds of the Military Asylum, since the passage of the act to found the same, approved March 3, 1851, according to the restrictions and provisions thereof, and who may have been disabled by disease or wounds incurred in the service and in the line of his duty, rendering him incapable of military service. 4. Every pensioner (whether a regular or volunteer), on account of wounds or disability incurred in the military service of the United States, though not a contributor to the funds of the institution, who shall transfer his pension to the Military Asylum during the period he voluntarily continues to receive its benefits. No provision is made for the wives and children of the inmates of the Asylum, as such relatives are not recognized by law; but to such invalids as can prosecute a trade or handicraft, facilities are afforded for so doing. No deserter, mutineer, or habitual drunkard can be admitted without such evidence of subsequent good service, good conduct, and reformation of character, as the

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