« AnteriorContinuar »
SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES,
Fourth of July, 1848,
ON THE OCCASION OF LAYING THE CORNER-STONE OF THE
NATIONAL MONUMENT TO THE MEMORY OF WASHINGTON.
AN INTRODUCTION AND AN APPENDIX.
Published by order of the National Monument Society.
J. & G. S. GIDEON, PRINTERS.
WASHINGTON NATIONAL MONUMENT OFFICE, July 5, 1848. At a meeting of the Board of Managers of the Washington National Monument Society held this day, the following resolution was unanimously adopted :
Resolved, That the thanks of this Board be presented to the Hon. ROBERT C. WinTHROP, for the eloquent, instructive, patriotic and appropriate Address pronounced by him yesterday, on the occasion of laying the corner-stone of the National Monument to the memory of Washington: That he be requested to furnish the Board with a copy of the address; and that a large and elegant edition of the same be published in pamphlet form, under the direction of a committee to be appointed for
Mr. Fendall, Mr. Watterston, and Gen. Henderson were appointed as the committee, and presented a copy of the foregoing resolution to Mr. Winthrop.
MR. WINTHROP'S ANSWER.
WASHINGTON, July 6, 1848. GENTLEMEN:
I am greatly honored by the resolution of the Managers of the Washington National Monument Society.
My Address is at their service, to be disposed of in any manner of which they shall think it worthy.
I am, most respectfully,
ROBT. C. WINTHROP.
A SUITABLE site for the National Monument having been granted by Congress, the Board of Managers soon after adopted a resolution, declaring that the corner. stone of the proposed structure should be laid on the 4th of July, 1848, as the day most appropriate to so patriotic an object. Application was made, at an early period, to the Hon. R. C. Winthrop, to deliver an address on the occasion, to which a favorable answer was received; a committee was appointed to make all necessary arrangements for the interesting ceremonies, which consisted of Messrs. Henderson, Maury, and Lenox, and a Building Committee was also, at the same time, created, consisting of Messrs. Carbery, Watterston, and W. A. Bradley, and to which was afterwards added Col. Abert.
The former Committee proceeded to appoint a marshal-in-chief, Mr. Joseph H. Bradley, and with him to make the necessary arrangements for laying the cornerstone on the day designated. Invitations were sent to the different States of the Union, requesting the attendance of delegates with banners, and other insignia; to the President of the United States, the heads of departments, distinguished individuals, army and navy officers, the corporate authorities of Washington, Georgetown, and Alexandria, &c., and to some of these invitations answers were received, which will be found in the Appendix.*
The Building Committee proceeded to appoint an architect, Mr. Robt. Mills, who had furnished the design of the monument; to cause the foundation of the structure to be excavated, a railway to be formed, and to contract for the materials required for the construction of the edifice. Mr. Thomas Symington, of Baltimore, influenced by a spirit of patriotism, presented to the Society a massive block of marble, weighing 24,500 lbs., taken from his quarry near that city, for the corner-stone, which was conveyed, free of charge, by the Susquehanna, and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Companies to the depot in Washington, and thence by the citizens to its place of destination. Three industrious marble cutters, Messrs. Dougherty, Berry, and Rutherford, of Washington, undertook to prepare the cover and excavate the stone gratuitously, a duty which they performed to the satisfaction of the Committee. The casing or lining of the cavity, made of zinc, was prepared without charge, by Mr. Clement Woodward, and the stone set, and other masonry executed by several public-spirited stone masons of Washington, without cost, under the direction of Mr. James Dixon, who had volunteered to act as superintendent till another should be permanently appointed. Mr. J. Pettibone undertook, gratuitously, to let out sites on the ground (which the Board of Managers has, by resolution, designated “ Monument Place") to individuals for the purpose of erecting booths,
* See Appendix No. 1.
tents, and stands, for the accommodation of spectators; and the Committee ordered stands, or platforms, to be erected, for the orator of the day, the President of the United States, the heads of departments, officers of the Society, and members of the Board of Managers, the Grand Master Mason, &c.; and also triumphal arches to be built, one at the bridge on 14th street, and one near the foundation of the Monument, which were handsomely decorated. On the lofty arch on the south side, through which the masons entered, was placed a live eagle forty years old, which had hailed the advent of General Lafayette to Alexandria, and which has since been presented to Mons. Vattemare, to be deposited, upon his return to France, in the National Museum of Paris. The scene here presented was magnificent. The whole plain was covered with human beings. The vast sloping anphitheatre of seats exhibited an unbroken sheet of human countenances, expressing a deep in. terest in the ceremonies of the day, while over the whole the banner of the Union, spread and displayed by the willing breeze, seemed proudly to extend its ornament and protection. “ It afforded one of the most beautiful subjects for the pencil which painter could desire. The surface of the mall is undulating, and the whole of it covered with green sod, now fresh from the recent rains. The heights were occupied by groups of carriages of every description, by booths with refreshments, and by the various erections constructed for the display of fire works. As the space was ample, the crowds that had been confined in the streets here burst abroad, and spread and scattered themselves in all directions. From space to space arms were stacked and guarded, while all along the grassy slopes ladies and gentlemen, citizens and soldiers, on foot, and on horseback, strayed about in the cool breeze and bright sun, seeming to enjoy their existence. Further down was the seat of action. Here, in a hollow spread with boards, and surrounded with seats, a crowd began to gather to witness the ceremonies of laying the corner-stone, and to listen to the addresses with which it was to be accompanied. Around two sides of this space were high and solidly constructed ranges of seats, hired out to spectators, covered with awnings, and affording a favorable position for seeing and hearing.”
To a member of the Building Committee was assigned the duty of collecting the articles to be deposited in the corner-stone when Jaid. Among these were two beautiful Daguerreotype likenesses of General Washington and Mrs. Martha Washington, by Mr. I. S. Grubb, of Alexandria, the former from the last original painting ever taken of him, by Sharpless, in 1796, at Mount Vernon, and the latter from one by the celebrated Robinson in 1790. Both these originals are in the possession of Mr. Custis, of Arlington. This gentleman was also an invited guest on the occasion, and he and Gen. Walter Jones accompanied Mrs. Hamilton, relict of Alexander Hamilton, now in her 91st year, and her daughter, Mrs. Holly, to the ground. Mr. Custis brought with him a sword presented to him by General Wash. ington, with the date 1775 inscribed on the blade. The copper-plate, engraved by D. O. Hare, and presented by him, contained an inscription of the names of the officers of the Society and members of the Board of Managers, &c.t
The Board of Managers assembled at their office prior to the departure of the procession, which began to form in front of the City Hall about 10 o'clock.
The military mustering.ground, which was well selected in one of the openest and most elevated spots in the city, being the junction of two broad avenues, and
* See Appendix No. 2.
† Ibid. No. 3.
immediately in front of the City Hall, presented an imposing spectacle. The military assemblage (commanded in chief, for the day, by Major-General Quitman of the United States Army, and General Cadwallader and Colonel May, command. ing specially the infantry and cavalry troops respectively) was unusually large, and the appearance and discipline of the troops, both regulars, marines, and uniform companies, was highly creditable. Distinguished officers on their mettled chargers were curveting about in front of the long lines of men, whose different colored plumes and rich and various uniforms gave variety to what, in a regular army would have too much of stiff uniformity.
A beautiful banner, executed by several ladies of Galveston, and sent to General Houston to be deposited in the Monument, and presented in the name of a committee whose eloquent letter accompanying it, was read to the Board, by the Secretary,* and the banner borne in the procession by Mr. J. F. Lewis of Texas, who, in the absence of General Houston, was requested to present it. This flag was about a yard wide and one and a half long, the top white, the bottom pink, groundwork purple with a large star in brown and yellow. This flag was beautifully executed, and presented by Misses C. Sydnor, Mary E. Rhodes, Sarah Sydnor, Caroline White, Kate Hyller, Fanny Trueheart, Lucinda Knight, and Emma White.
Another beautiful banner was also presented by Mr. William Alexander, in the name of an Association of young men in Baltimore, who made an address to the Board, which was responded to by General Walter Jones. This banner was of white satin, the vignette, a female figure holding in one hand a drawn sword, and with the other the Seals of Justice; in the distance a ship was seen entering the harbor, the whole encircled with a gold wreath. The name of the Association was in gold letters.
The following was the order of the procession.
vate Secretary, in a carriage, attended by the Marshal and Deputy
shals, with batons, rosettes, and sashes.
The members of the Cabinet, in carriages. The Marshal of the Day (Joseph H. Bradley, Esq.) on horseback, attended by his
aids on horseback, with batons and sashes.
Major-General Quitman, commanding-in-chief, and staff. Military escort, consisting of the following cavalry, commanded by Colonel May:
Laurel Troop, Captain Capron.
Marlborough Cavalry, Captain Tuck.
Ringgold Cavalry from Alexandria.
Eagle Artillerists of Baltimore, Captain Kane.
Infantry, under the command of General Cadwalader,
Baltimore City Guards, Lieutenant McDonald.
* Appendix No. 4.
+ Ibid. No. 3.