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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
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 facade on the east, and a projection of 83 feet on the west, em
bracing a recessed portico of ten coupled columns. The entire length of the Capitol is 751 feet 4 inches, and the greatest depth, including porticoes and steps, is 324 feet. The ground actually covered by the building, exclusive of the court-yards, is 153,112 square feet, or 652 feet over three and a half acres.
The material of which the extension is built, is a white marble slightly variegated with blue, and was procured from a quarry in Lee, Massachusetts. The columns are all of white marble obtained from Maryland.
The principal story of the Capitol rests upon a rustic basement, which supports an ordonnance of pilasters rising to the height of the two stories above. Upon these pilasters rests the entablature and beautiful frieze, and the whole is surmounted by a marble balustrade.
The main entrances are by the three eastern porticoes, being made easy of access by broad flights of stone steps with massive cheek-blocks, and vaulted carriage-ways beneath to the basement entrances.
The Dome.-Over the rotunda, in the centre of this huge pile, rises a magnificent cast-iron dome. The old dome was constructed of brick, stone, and wood, and sheathed with copper. Its height, inclusive of a circular wooden balustrade upon the top, was 145 feet from the ground. This was removed in 1856, and the present stupendous structure of iron is now taking its place. It was designed by T. U. Walter, the accomplished architect of the extension, and the castings made and erected in their places, by Janes, Beebe & Co., of New York city, who have accomplished in this work the noblest specimen of iron construction of which the world can boast, embody