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Independent Grays of Baltimore, with their excellent band, Captain Hall. ;
Fredericksburg Guards, Virginia, Captain Jackson.
Washington Light Infantry, Captain Tate.
Maryland Cadets, Captain Harris.
Boston Light Guard, Captain Clarke.
Mount Vernon Guards of Alexandria, (Va.,) Lieutenant Price. Columbia Riflemen of Baltimore, with their excellent band, Captain M'Allister.
First Division, Major A. A. Nicholson, Marshal.
The Fire Companies in the following order: Vigilant Fire Company of Baltimore, hauling their splendid Suction, numbering 58 men, each wearing a uniform cap, with the letter V in front.
Washington Company of Baltimore, with their handsome Suction, numbering 35 men, uniformed like the Vigilant, and having the letter W in front of their caps.
Howard Company of Baltimore, numbering 40 men, hauling their handsome new Suction, uniformed like the preceding companies, with the letter H on their caps.
The Anacostia, Columbia, Franklin, and Perseverance Fire Companies of Washington, and a delegation from the Northern Liberties, in full uniform. These four companies numbered each about 50 men. Their engines were in splendid order, and handsomely decorated with flowers, flags, &c. The firemen wore red jackets and white pantaloons, and made a handsome appearance,
The Fire Department was in charge of Mr. G. S. Gideon, as chief marshal, assisted by Mr. Jonas B. Ellis of the Anacostia, Mr. John C. Whitwell of the Columbia, Mr. L. Lepreux of the Franklin, and Mr. John D. Thompson of the Perseverance. The Independent Order of Odd Fellows, comprehending the officers and members of various Lodges, in charge of Mr. Wm. F. Bayly and Mr. J. T. Towers.
The Vice-President of the United States.
Senators and Members of Congress.
Delegations from the States.
Second Division, Major S. R. Hobbie, Marshal. Temperance Societies, under Mr. A. F. Cunningham as marshal, consisting of
The Freemen's Vigilant Total Abstinence Society.
The Sons of Temperance.
Knights of Temperance.
The Corporation of Washington.
Third Division, Wm. H. Gunnell, Marshal, vice Blake, sick.
Citizens not delegates from States. Carriage containing the venerable Mrs. Hamilton, her daughter, Mrs. Holly, G. W.
P. Custis, Esq., and General Walter Jones. Carriage containing the Speaker of the House of Representatives, orator of the day,
Mayor of Washington, and the Chairman of the Committee of Arrangements. Carriage containing the Architect of the Monument, having in charge the books and
other articles to be deposited in the corner-stone.
The Monument Society. The Masonic Fraternity, in full costume, headed by their marshal, J. B. Thomas.
The weather was singularly propitious. A fine rain had fallen the previous day, which had cooled the air and laid the dust, and the Beneficent Deity seemed to smile auspiciously on the interesting and imposing ceremonies of the day. May it be an omen of the success of the great enterprise! The procession, which was decidedly the most splendid ever witnessed in Washington, was about an hour in reaching the site of the monument, where everything was in readiness to lay the stone, which forms the commencement of a structure, which, it is hoped, will endure till time shall be no more. During its advance the bells of the city continued to toll solemnly. In the procession were delegations of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Sawbridge Indians, who brought with them silver medals, struck in 1786, representing Washington in the act of shaking hands with the red man, and under whose administration their forefathers made some of the earliest treaties of peace. To these Indians were assigned seats on the platform near the orator, to whom they listened with profound attention, as did the immense assembly he addressed. After the procession had reached the ground, the ceremonies commenced with an appropriate prayer to the Throne of Grace, by the Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of Maryland, the Rev. Mr. McJilton, which was succeeded by a psalm, to the tune of “Old Hundred,” sung by the assembled multitude, with due solemnity and feeling.
The Hon. R. C. WINTHROP, orator of the day, then arose and delivered an address, which in purity of diction, beauty of style and sentiment, and genuine eloquence, has, perhaps, never been surpassed—and which was received with universal and merited applause. When Mr. WINTHROP had concluded, Mr. B. B. FRENCH, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia, delivered an appropriate address, after which he descended from the platform on which he had stood to the corner-stone, and proceeded to deposit the articles selected to be placed in the cavity, and to perform the usual appropriate Masonic ceremonies of laying it. A patriotic song was then sung by Mr. Eddy, and the benediction pronounced ; and thus terminated these interesting and solemn ceremonies.
Such had been the interest felt by all in this noble enterprise, that it was found difficult to preserve the marble chips, taken from the cavity of the corner stone. which were eagerly seized upon by visitors, to be kept as mementos of the event. The Board ordered square pieces of the stone to be wrought, labeled, and presented to the several State delegations, to be deposited in the Library or Museum of each State and Territory. They bore the following inscription:-“To the State of this piece of the corner-stone of the Washington National Monument, laid July 4, 1848, is presented by the Board of Managers.”
After the ceremonies attendant upon laying the corner-stone were ended, the
procession returned to the Pennsylvania Avenue, where the military part of it was reviewed by the President of the United States, and afterwards dismissed.
A fine banner, which had been borne in the procession, was presented by the Florida Delegation to the Board of Managers. Mr. Yale, on the part of the delegation, addressed the chairman, Mr. P. R. Fendall, in an appropriate and eloquent manner, and was responded to by the chairman.* The banner was of white satin, fringed with gold. In the centre is painted the coat of arms of the State, with the motto—“In God is our trust,” March 3d, 1845—when she became a State. On the reverse above, the words “ Pascua Florida, 1512," appear; and in the centre is painted the likeness of Juan Ponce de Leon.
The interesting day was closed by a brilliant display of fireworks on Monument Place, prepared by Mr. Brown, who had been employed by the Committee of Arrangements for that purpose, and by the pyrotechnists at the Navy Yard and Arsenal in this city. They reflected great credit on the skill of those who had prepared them, and displayed this beautiful art in great perfection. Among the varied and splendid tableaux of stars, diamonds, burning and revolving circles, pyramids, &c., exhibited on this occasion to an immense multitude, spread, in picturesque groups, over the plain, was a device representing the proposed monument, which was forty feet high, and displaying in letters of fire the name of " WASHINGTON.” This terminated the exhibition of these admirably prepared fireworks.
The 4th of July, 1848, will long be remembered by all who witnessed and participated in the brilliant procession and imposing ceremonies of that day, which has, perhaps, never before been so celebrated in this country. It is remarkable, that this is the first national anniversary which has, in any part of the Union, been exclusively devoted to rendering an affectionate and grateful homage to his memory. The circumstance that after the lapse of nearly half a century since his death, it has been so employed, is a gratifying indication that his memory is still fondly cherished in every American heart, and that the noble and patriotic undertaking in which the pociety has embarked, is destined to be crowned with complete and glorious success.
Fellon-citizens of the United States:
We are assembled to take the first step towards the fulfilment of a long deferred obligation. In this eightand-fortieth year since his death, we have come together to lay the corner-stone of a National Monument to WASHINGTON.
Other monuments to this illustrious person have long ago been erected. By not a few of the great States of our Union, by not a few of the great cities of our States, the chiseled statue or the lofty column has been set up in his honor. The highest art of the old world—of France, of Italy, and of England, successively—has been put in requisition for the purpose. Houdon for Virginia, Canova for North Carolina, Sir Francis Chantrey for Massachusetts, have severally signalized their genius by portraying and perpetuating the form and features of the Father of his Country.
Nor has the Congress of the Nation altogether failed of its duty in this respect. The massive and majestic figure which presides over the precincts of the Capitol, and which seems almost in the act of challenging a new
vow of allegiance to the Constitution and the Union from every one who approaches it, is a visible testimony—and one not the less grateful to an American eye, as being the masterly production of a native artist*—that the government of the country has not been unmindful of what it owes to WASHINGTON.
One tribute to his memory is left to be rendered. One monument remains to be reared. A monument which shall bespeak the gratitude, not of States, or of cities, or of governments; not of separate communities, or of official bodies; but of the people, the whole people of the nation :-a National Monument, erected by the citizens of the United States of America.
Of such a monument we have come to lay the cornerstone here and now. On this day, on this spot, in this presence, and at this precise epoch in the history of our country and of the world, we are about to commence this crowning work of commemoration.
The day, the place, the witnesses, the period in the world's history and in our own history-all, all are most appropriate to the occasion.
The day is appropriate. On this 4th day of July, emphatically the people's day—we come most fitly to acknowledge the people's debt to their first and greatest benefactor.
WASHINGTON, indeed, had no immediate connection with the immortal act of the 4th of July, 1776. His signature did not attest the Declaration of Independence. But the sword by which that independence was to be
* Horatio Greenough.