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Washington Monument 


An authentic history of Its origin and construction, 

and Q comDlete description of Its 

nfAcmorlal tablets 

CopyrigM, mo 

Thk Caroline Publishing Co, 
1521 Caroline Street, \A ashinfton, D. C. 

Two Copies Received! 
QAq 1900 

I SECOND copy. 

Detivered t* 


JUL 18 1900 

I B3G6 


Library of (^GRg^res^ 
Office Gf tii« 


KesftUr of Cop^rl^filft 


Washington, D» C, 


M of 

this day visited the Washington Monument. 

"Witnesses : 


' S Ii'. A L 

The WA5fiiriQT0N NONUnENT. 

HE Washington Monument occupies a promi- 
nent site near the banks of the Potomac, west 
of the Mall, at the former confluence of the 
Tiber with the main stream, and half a mile 
due south of the Executive Mansion. It 
stands on a terrace 17 feet high. The square of 41 acres 
in which the Monument stands was designated on 
L'Enfant's plan of the City of Washington as the site for 
the proposed Monument to Washington, which was 
ordered by the Continental Congress in 1783 and ap- 
proved by Washington himself. The Monument stands 
close to the intersection of the JefFersonian meridian line 
of 1802, passing through the center of the Executive 
Mansion, north and south, with a line running east and 
west through the center of the Capitol. 

The total height of the Monument above ground is 
555 feet 5| inches ; or 597 feet 3 inches above mean low 
water in the Potomac ; or 596 feet 9.36 inches above the 
mean level of the Atlantic at Sandy Hook, N. Y.; or 592 
feet from its foundation bed. The entire height has 
been made slightly greater than ten times the breadth 
of base. The Monument is the highest permanent 
structure in the world. 

The estimated number of stones in the shaft is 23,000, 
and its total weight, including foundation and earth 
upon it, 81,120 tons. The mean pressure of the Monu- 
ment is 5 tons per square foot. 

The total cost of the structure, in round figures, 
amounted to about $1,500,000. The popular subscrip- 
tion reached the sum of $300,000, and Congress appro- 
priated the necessary balance. 


The foundations of the Monument, which bear a 
weight of 81,120 tons, are constructed of solid blue rock, 
and are 146 feet 6 inches square, and 36 feet 8 inches 
deep. The base of the shaft is 55 feet square, and the 
lower walls are 15 feet thick. At the 500-foot elevation, 
where the pyramidal top begins, the walls are only 18 
inches thick and about 35 feet square. The inside of the 
walls, as far as they were constructed before the work 
was undertaken by the Government in 1878 — 150 feet 
from the base — is of blue granite, not laid in courses. 
From this point to within a short distance of the begin- 
ning of the top or roof, the inside of the walls is of 
regular courses of granite, corresponding with the 
courses of marble on the outside. For the top marble is 
entirely used. 

The marble blocks were cut or " dressed " in the 
most careful manner, and laid in courses of 2 feet by 
experienced and skillful workmen. There is no " fill- 
ing" or "backing" between the granite and marble 
blocks, but they are all closely joined, the work being 
declared " the best piece of masonry in the world." By 
a plumb-line suspended from the top of the Monument 
inside, not | of an inch deflection has been noticed. 

The KET5T0NE. 

The keystone, which binds the interior ribs of stone 
that support the marble facing of the pyramidal cap of 
the Monument, weighs nearly five tons. It is 4 feet 6 
inches high, and 3 feet 6 inches square at'the top. 

The topmost stone of the pyramidon was placed in 
position December 6, 1884. It weighs 3,300 pounds ; its 
height from base to top is 5 feet 2 J inches ; it is 4 feet 
6| inches high on the outer face, with a 7-inch shoulder 

to bind on each side, extending 10| inches below ; its 
base is 3 feet and a fraction square, and 5 inches in 
diameter at the top where the aluminum top fits in. 
This is 9 inches in height and A^ inches at the base, and, 
weighing 100 ounces, terminates the top stone or cap. 
This metal was selected because of its lightness and 
freedom from oxidation, and because it will always 
remain bright. 

The masonry constructed by the Government is the 
best known to the engineering art, and the weight is so 
distributed, that, subjected to a wind pressure of one 
hundred pounds per square foot on any face, correspond- 
ing to a wind velocity of one hundred and forty-five 
miles per hour, the Monument would have a large factor 
of safety against overturning. 

The marble is of the same kind as that in the mono- 
lithic columns of the Capitol, has a fine grain, is close 
and compact in texture, free from disintegrating im- 
purities, and in this climate will endure for ages. 

In the proportions of this grandest monumental col- 
umn ever erected in any age of the world, the ratios of 
the dimensions of the several parts of the ancient Egyp- 
tian obelisk have been carefully followed. 

An immense iron-frame structure supports the ma- 
chinery of the elevator, which is hoisted with steel-wire 
ropes, 2 inches thick. At one side begin the iron stairs, 
of which there are 50 flights, containing 18 steps each. 
520 feet from the entrance to the Monument, at the 
baselof the pyramidal top, there is a lookout platform 
containing an area of 1,1 87|^ square feet and 8 windows, 
18 X 24 inches, 2 on each i'ace. 

It costs the Government about $20,000 a year to take 
the public up the 500 feet and down again after they 
have had a view of the surrounding country from the 


Bill approved June 6, 1000, appropriated $20,000 for one 
top of the Monument. The Sundry Civil Appropriation 
dynamo and connections, including installation of new 
system, and $6,500 for an addition to the boiler house 
for use in connection with the installation of electric 
power. The steam system is in good working order, 
but is slow and expensive, therefore it will be supplanted 
by the electric system. 

There is enough room in the interior of the Monu- 
ment to house an army of 12,000 men. The landings 
will accommodate 7,675 ; the stairs, 3,845 ; the upper and 
lower platforms, 450 ; and the elevator, 30 men. 

On an average, 500 visitors daily ascend to the top 
of the Monument, either by the staircase of 900 steps 
or with the elevator 

The thirteentli platform is at a height of 152 feet, and 
it is here where the Government began its work finishing 
the Monument. This platform does not contain any 
memorial tablets. The reason for this apparent over- 
sight cannot be ascertained : it may have been the 
superstitious belief of the builders in the bad omen of 
the fateful number thirteen which caused them not to 
honor this platform with any of the Monument's valuable 

One of the stones contributed was a block of African 
marble from the Temple of Concord at Rome, and was 
the gift of the Pope. It bore the inscription " Rome to 
America." In March, 1854, during the Know-Nothing 
excitement, the lapidarium, where the memorial blocks 
were kept, was forcibly entered, and this stone was 
taken, and, it is supposed, was thrown. into the Potomac. 
A reward for its return was offered, but the stone up to 
this date has not been recovered, and its hiding place 
remains a secret. 

The following are the Inscriptions on the four 
faces of the aluminum apex of the Monument : 

North Face. 

Joint Commission at setting of Cap Stone : Chester 
A. Arthur. W. W. Corcoran, Chairman; M. E. Bell, 
Edward Clark, John Newton. Act of August 2nd, 1876. 

West Face. 

Corner Stone Laid on Bed of Foundation July 4th, 
1848. First Stone at Height of 152 Feet, Laid August 
7th, 1880. Cap Stone Set December 6th, 1884. 

South Face. 

Chief Engineer and Architect, Thos. Lincoln Casey, 
Colonel Corps of Engineers. Assistants, George W. 
Davis, Captain 14tli Infantry ; Bernard R. Green, Civil 
Engineer ; Master Mechanic, P. H. McLaughlin. 

Fast Face. 

Laus Deo. 

Inscription on copper plate covering deposit 
recess of the Corner Stone of the Monument : 

4th July, 1776. Declaration of Independence of the 
United States of America. 

4th July, 1848. This Corner Stone Laid of a Monu- 
ment by the People of the United States to the Memory 
of George Washington. 

James K. Polk, President of the United States and 
Ex-Officio President of the Board of Managers. 

William Brent, First Vice-President. William W. 
Seaton, Mayor of Washington, 2nd Vice-President. 
Gen'l A. Henderson, 3rd Vice-President. J. B. H. 
Smith, Treasurer; George Watterston, Sec'y. 


Board of Managers. 

Major-Gen'l Winfield Scott, Gen'l N. Towson, Col. 
J. J. Abert, Col. J. Kearney, Gen'l Walter Jones, Thomas 
Carberry, Wm. A. Bradley, P. R. Fendall, Thomas Mun- 
roe, Walter Lenox, M. F. Maury, Thomas Blagden, 
Elisha Wittlesey, General Agent. 

Building Committee. 

Thomas Carberry, William A. Bradley, George Wat- 
terston, Col. J. J. Abert. 

Committee of Arrangements. 

Gen'l A. Henderson, Walter Lenox, Lieut. M. F. 
Maury ; Joseph H. Bradley, Chief Marshal ; Robert 
Mills, Architect. 

Contents of the Cornerstone Recess. 

Copies of the Constitution and of the Declaration of 
Independence; Messages of the Presidents, beginning 
with Washington ; the portrait and inaugural address 
of each President ; daguerreotypes of General and Mrs. 
Washington ; a copy of the Bible ; astronomical obser- 
vations by M. Fontaine Maury, U. S. N., for 1845 ; 
journals of the Senate and House of Representatives 
of the Thirtieth Congress ; list of the judges of the Su- 
ipreme Court ; an American flag ; coat of arms of the 
Washington family ; a set of United States coins, with 
specimens of Continental money ; Harper's illustrated 
^catalogue, and copies of newspapers from each State 
relating to Washington and the Monument. 

The following are copies of the memorial stone 
inscriptions : 

Described from South to North. 

30 feet height. FIRST LANDING. East. 

1. Presented by George Watterston, Secretary W. N. 
Monument Society, as a Testimonial of His Grati- 
tude and Veneration. A. D. 1849, 


2. Presented by the National Greys of Washing- 

ton, D. C. 

3. Presented by the Franklin Fire Company of 

Washington, D. C. Instituted A. D. 1827. " We 
strive to save." 

4. Little Falls Quarry, District of Columbia. Pre- 

sented by Timothy O'Neale. 

5. Delaware. 

First to Adopt Will Be the Last to Desert the Con- 


6. Maine. 

40 feet height. SECOND LANDING. West. 

7. Presented by the Columbia Typographical So- 

ciety, Instituted January, 1815, "As a Memento 
of the Veneration of Its Members for The Father 
OF His Country." 

8. Association of Journeymen Stone Cutters 
, of Philadelphia. 

July 9th, 1850. 
" United We Stand." 

[Slightly mutilated. 


9. Presented by the German Benevolent Society of 
the City of Washington, D. C. Instituted Octo- 
ber 3d, 1836. Incorporated July 27, 1842. As a 
Memento of the Veneration of Its Members for 
The Father of His Country. 

10. Alabama. 

A Union of Equality as Adjusted by the Con- 

11. The State of Louisiana Ever Faithful to the Consti- 

tution and the Union. 

12. Nashville, 

50 feet height. THIRD LANDING. East. 

13. Washington Light Infantry, Washington, D. C. 

Organized September 12th, 1830. Presented Oc- 
tober 19, 1850. 

14. Grand Lodge of Masons, District of Columbia, 

Our Brother, George Washington. 

15. Illinois. 

State Sovereignty, National Union. 

16. Presented by Washington Naval Lodge, No. 4, 

Ancient York Masons. J. Nokes, C. W. Davis, 
K 17. State of Georgia. The Union as It Was. The 
Constitution As It Is. 

18. Indiana. Knows No North, No South, Nothing but 

the Union. 

60 feet height. FOURTH LANDING. West. 

19. Presented by Anacostia Tribe, No. 3, I. 0. R. M., 

D. C, on the 3rd Sun of the 3x7 Suns Worm 
Moon G. S. 5610. 

20. I. 0. 0. F. Grand Lodge of the Independent 

Order of Odd Fellows of the State of New Jer- 
sey to the Memory of Washington, The Father 
of His Country. We Command You to Visit 
the Sick, Relieve the Distressed, Bury the Dead, 
and Educate the Orphans. F. L. T. 

21. Westmoreland County, Virginia. The Birth 

Place of Washington. 


22. (The surface and inscription of this stone is entirely 

decayed. Nothing can be deciphered.) 

23. New Hampshire. 

24. South Carolina. [Slightly mutilated. 

70 feet height. FIFTH LANDING. East. 

25. Presented by the Grand Division, Sons of Tem- 

perance, State of Virginia. 1850. Hand in Hand 

26. "God and Our Native Land" United Sons of 

America. Instituted, 1845. Pennsylvania. 
" Usque ad Mortem." " Lente Caute Firme." 

27. Grand Division S. T. North Carolina. " Love, purity, 

ity. . [Stone decaying. 

28. Connecticut. '' Qui Transtulit, Sustinet." 

[Stone decaying. 

29. Massachusetts. " Ense Petit Placidam Sub Liber- 

tate Quietem." 

30. 1776. New Jersey. 

SO feet height. SIXTH LANDING. West. 

31. To George Washington by the Maryland Pil- 

grims Association. Organized Balto 1847. 

32. R. W. Grand Lodge Of The I. O. 0. F., Indiana. In 

God We Trust, Constitutional Liberty, The Earth 
For Its Domain And Eternity For Its Duration. 

33. By The Invincible Fire Co. No. 5. Cincinnati, 

Ohio. 1850. The Memory of Washington. 

34. Maryland. The Memorial Of Her Regard For The 

Father Of His Country And Of Her Cordial, Ha- 
bitual, And Immovable Attachment To The 
American Union. " Crescite et Multiplicamini." 

35. The City of Washington To Its Founder. 

36. Virginia Who Gave Wasliington To America Gives 

This Granite For His Monument. 

[Stone showing signs of decay. 
90 feet height. SEVENTH LANDING. East. 

37. From The Mechanics of Raleigh, N. C. 

[Stone decaying, inscription very indistinct. 


38. The Odd Fellows of Ohio To The Memory Of 

Washington " Honor, Veritatis, et Benevolentiae 
Pretium Permanebit." 

[Stone shows marks of decay. 

39. Little Rock, Arkansas. [Marks of decay. 

40. The State of Mississippi to The Father of His 

Country. A. D. 1850. 

41. The State of Ohio. The Memory of Washington 

and the Union of the States. " Sunte Perpetua." 

42. The Tribute of Missouri 

To the Memory of Washington and a Pledge of 
Her Fidelity to the Union of the States. 

[Some of the lettering mutilated. 

100 feet height. EIGHTH LANDING. West. 

43. To The Father of His Country. 
Presented By The Independent Order op 
United Brothers, of the State of Maryland, 
A. D. 1851. 

[Some of the lettering and ornamental part 

44. From the Home of Knox by Citizens op Thomas- 

ton, Maine. 

45. Contributed By The Grand Lodge, I. O. 0. F., of 

Virginia. A. D. 1851. 

[Ornamental part slightly mutilated. 

46. "Hope " Rhode Island. 

47. North Carolina. Declaration Of Independence 

Mecklenburg, May, 1775. " Constitution." 

48. Wisconsin. Admitted May 29, 1848. 

110 feet height. NINTH LANDING. East. 

49. In Token Of Respect For Washington As A Free 

Mason. By The Grand Lodge of Ohio. 

50. Peter Force. 

51. By The Grand Lodge op Kentucky To The 

Memory of Washington, The Christian Mason. 

[Shows signs of decay. 


52. The Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons 
OF THE State of New York. Nelson Randall, 
Grand Master. William H. Milner, Ezra S. 
Barnum, Finlay M. King, Committee. 

[Slightly mutilated. 

63. Iowa. Her Affections, Like The Rivers Of Her 
Borders, Flow To An Inseperable Union. 

54. Nov. 12, 1852. From the Postmasters And Ast. 
Postmasters Of The State Of Indiana. Dedi- 
cated To The Washington Monument, Washing- 
ton. May His Principles Be Distributed Broad- 
cast Over the Land And Every American BAD. 
P. 0. 

120 feet height. TENTH LANDING. West. 

65. Patmos Lodge No. 20. Masons. Ellicott Mills. Md., 
Feb. 22d, 1852. 

56. I. 0. of 0. F. Philomathean Lodge No. 10. Mount 

Airy Lodge No. 235. Walker Lodge No. 306. 
Mount Horeb Encampment No. 18. German- 
town, Penna. MDCCCL. 

57. S. of T. R. I. 

58. City of Roxbury, Mass. The Birth Place Of 

Gen. Joseph Warren. 
[The damp and water threaten the stone with decay. 

59. California. Youngest Sister of the Union Brings 

Her Golden Tribute to the Memory of Its Father. 
[In danger of destruction by water coursing over 
its surface.] 

60. From the City of Frederick, Md. [Follows a 

lengthy inscription, which is illegible on account 
of indistinctness of the letters and insufficient 

130 feet height. ELEVENTH LANDING. East. 

61. Mount Lebanon Lodge No. 226, A. Y. M., of Leb- 

anon, Pennsylvania, Present This Block Of Native 
Marble As A Testimony Of Their Veneration 
And Respect For The Character And Services Of 
George Washington. A. L. 5851. A. D. 1851. 


62. Durham, New Hampshire. 

63. Washington Lodge No. 21 Of The City Of New 

York. Instituted A. L. 5800. [Shows signs of 

64. By the Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and 

Accepted Masons of Maryland. Benj. 0. How- 
ard, M.W. P. G. M., Chas. H. Ohr, M. D., M.W.G. M., 
Enoch S. Courtney, R. W. J. G. W., Jno. W. Ball, 
R. W. J. G. W., Jos. Robinson, R. W. G. S., Samson 
Cariss, R. W. G. T., Chas. Oilman, M. W. P. G. M., 
Thos. H. Hicks, R.W. D. G. M., J. N. McJilton, D.D., 
W.~G. C, Chas. B. Purnell, W. G. M. Com. to 
procure this stone : Chas. H. Ohr, M. D., J. N. 
McJilton, D. D., Alex. Gaddess, D. A. Piper, R. W. 
P. S. G. W., Wm. Bayley. 1850. 

65. Oakland College, Mississippi. 1851. 

66. Corporation of the City of New York, 1852. 

67. From The Alumni of Washington College, at 

Lexington, Virginia. The Only College Endowed 
By The Father Of His Country. 

68. From the Grand Division, Sons of Temperance, 

State Of Connecticut. A Tribute To The Memory 
Of Washington. " Love, Purity, Fidelity." 

69. Union Society, Hillsborough, North Carolina. 

70. American Institute of the City of New York. 

Incorporated For The Purpose Of Encouraging 
And Promoting Domestic Industry In Agriculture, 
Commerce, Manufacture, And The Art. 

71. American Whig Society, College Of New Jersey, 

Princeton. A Tribute to Washington. [Stone 
in bad shape.] 
73. I. 0. 0. F., Massachusetts. 

140 feet height. TWELFTH LANDING. West. 

73. From AValter Gwynn, D. S. Walton, E. Lorraine, 
Was'n Gill, John C. McRae, J. M. Harris, W. G. 
Turpin, Engineers 2nd Divis'n Jas. River and 
Kana. Canal. 


74. Company I. 4th Regiment Infantry U. S. A. 1st 

March 1851. 

75. From Otter's Summit Virginia's Loftiest Peak To 

Crown A Monument To Virginia's Noblest Son. 

76. From Fort Greene, Battle Ground Of Loug Island. 

A Tribute From The Fort Greene Guard of Brook- 
lyn 1854. 

77. Masonic Grand Lodge of III. 1853. 

[Slightly mutilated. 

78. New York. Presented By Masterton And Smith, 

Morgans Marble Westchester County. 
\^ 79. " Prosunt Omnibus " Grand Lodge op Georgia 
Founded A. D. 1785. " Fratrem Meminisse" 
1852. Georgia marble. 

80. Anno 1850. By the City op Baltimore. May 
Heaven To Tiiis Union Continue Its Beneficence ; 
May Brotherly Affection With Union Be Per- 
petual ; May The Free Constitution Which Is 
The Work Of Our Ancestors Be Sacredly Main- 
tained And Its Administration Be Stamped With 
Wisdom And With Virtue. 


81. Grand Lodge of Alabama. A. D. VDCCCXXI. 

Alabama Marble. Presented by the Most Wor- 
shipful Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and 
Accepted Masons of the State of Alabama to The 
National Monument Society, Dec. 6th A. L. 5849. 

82. Pennsylvania. From D. 0. Hitner's Quarry, Mont- 

gomery County. F. Derr, Norristown. 

150 feet height. THIRTEENTH LANDING. East. 

[There are no memorial stones inserted at this 

1 60 feet height. FOURTEENTH LANDING. West. 

83. Presented by Eureka Lodge 177 L O. 0. F. 

City of New York. 

84. New York 
^' Excelsior." 

85. Newark, N. J. 

[Ornamental sculpture mutilated in several places.] 

86. Presented by Athenian Lodge 268, I. 0. of O. F. of 

Troy, N. Y. 

87. Warren 

R. L 

88. Our Tribute 

Lafayette Lodge No. 64 F. A. M. New York City 
Sep. 16 A. L. 5853. A. D. 1853. 

170 feet height. FIFTEENTH LANDING. East. 

89. Vermont 

" Freedom and Unity " 

90. Sicut Patribus Sit Deus Nobis. 
Civitatis Regimine Donata A. D. 1822 


A. D. 1630. 

91. Salem 

92. Charlestown 

The Bunker Hill Battle Ground. 


93 New Bedford Mass. 


94. Washington Lodge of F. and A. M. Roxbury, 

180 feet height. SIXTEENTH LANDING. West. 

95. " Liberty Independence Virtue " 


Founded (1681) 

By Deeds Of Peace 

-96. Declaration of Independence Philadelphia July 4th 

1776. Corporation of the City of Phila- 


.97. Grand Lodge of Penna A. Y. M. " Ad Majorem 
Supremi Architecti Gloriam." Holiness lo i he 
Lord. From The Key Stone State A. D. 1851. 
A. L. 5851. ' [Slightly mutilated. 

•98. The Surest Safeguards Of The Liberty Of Our 
Country Total Abstinence From All Ihat in- 
toxicates. Sons Of Temperance Of Pennsyl- 
•99 I. O. 0. F. [The inscription, on account of the 
peculiar color and veins of the stone, and in- 
sufficient illumination, cannot be deciphered.] 
190 feet height. SEVENTEENTH LANDING. East. 
100. To The Memory Of Washington. The Free Swiss 

Confederation. MDCCCLII. 
101 Greece. [Greek inscription translated ] : "George 
Washington, The Hero, The Citizen Of The 
New And Illustrious Liberty: The Land Ot 
Solon, Themistocles and Pericles— The Mother 
Of Ancient Liberty— Sends This Ancient Stone 
As A Testimony "Of Honor And Admiration 
From The Parthenon." 

102. Siam. 

103. Brazil, 1878. 

104. Washington Dem Grossen, Guten Und Gerechten. 

Das Befreundete Bremen. , ^ , ^ -, 

[Translation :] " To Washington The Great, Good 
.and Just, By Friendly Bremen. 


105. Turkey. [Turkish inscription translated :] " So 

As To Strengthen The Friendship Between The 
Two Countries, Abdul-Majid Kahn Has Also 
Had His Name Written On The Monument To 
Washington. 1269-1779 of the Hegira. Ab- 
dul-Majid, son of Mahomet Kahn. Written By 
The Court Poet Mustapha Izyt." 

106. Presented By The Governor and Commune of 

the Islands of Paros and Naxos, Grecian Archi- 
pelago Aug. 13th 1855. 

200 feet height. EIGHTEENTH LANDING. West* 

107. From The Templars of Honor and Temper- 

ance. Organized Dec. 5th 1845. " Truth, Love,. 
Purity and Fidelity." Our Pledge. "We will 
not make, buy, sell or use as a beverage, any 
spirituous or malt liquors. Wine, Cider, or any 
other Alcoholic Liquor ; nnd will discountenance- 
their manufacture, traffic and use, and this 
pledge we will maintain unto the end of life." 
Sujirerae Council of the Templars of Honor and 
Temperance. 1846. 

[Sculpture mutilated in several places. 

108. By the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted 

Masons of Virginia. Lo ! She gave to this re- 
public the Chief Corner Stone. Aug. 4 A. L. 5754. 

109. Grand Lodge of Maryland L 0. 0. F. " Friend- 

shi}), Love and Truth." 
Officers for the year 1850. I. H. T. Jerome M. W. 

G. M., S. McGeogh R. W. G. M., S. H. Wentz R. 

W. G. W., G. D. Tewkesbury R. W. G. S., W. 

Bayley R. W. G. F., J. Stockbridge W. G. M. 
Committee. R. Marley P. G. M., E. P. Holden P. 

G. M., N. T. Dushane P. G. M., ^Y. Bayley P. G., 

J. C. Ninde P. G. [Slightly mutilated.. 

110. Presented by the G. L. of the U. S. We command 

you to visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury 
the dead, and educate the Orphan. Grand 
Lodge of the United States of the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows. [Rust stains. 


111. Presented by St. John's Lodge No. 36, F. A. A. M., 

liichmond, Va. 

112. Richmond, Virginia. 

113. West A^irginia. " Tuuni Nos Sumus Moniimen- 

tum." [Rust stains. 

210 feet height. NINETEENTH LANDING. East. 

114. Grand Lodge of Iowa A. F. and A. M. 1876. 

115. Michigan. An emblem of her trust in the Union. 

[Lettering and coat of arms mutilated. 

116. Grand Division of Ohio, Sons of Temperance, 

" Love, Purity, and Fidelity." 

117. Presented by the Grand Division on behalf of the 

Sons of Temperance of Illinois, January 1st, 
1855. Grand Division, State of Illinois, S. of T. 
Inst. Jan. 8, 1847. " Love, Purity, and Fidelity." 

[Slightly mutilated. 

118. I. 0. 0. F. Grand Lodge of Mississippi. 

119. The Grand Lodge of the State of Mississippi To 

Their W. Brother George Washington. 

120. The Grand Lodge of Ancient Free Masons of the 

State of Arkansas. "Ad gloriam fralris nostri et 
patris patriae." 

121. Kansas. 

Kansas Territory, Organized May 20, 1851. 
State admitted January 29, 1861 

320 feet height. TWENTIETH LANDING. West. 

122. All for our Country 

Nevada 1881 

123. Nebraska's Tribute 

" Equality Before the Law." 

124. (Chinese inscription translated :) 


" Su-Ki-Yu, by imperial appointment, Lieut. Gov- 
ernor of the Province of Fuh Kun, in his univer- 
sal Geography says : It is evident that Washing- 
ton was a remarkable man. In devising plans, 
he was more decided than Chin-Shing or Wu- 
Kwang , in winning a country, he was braver 
than Tsau-Tsau or Lin-Pi. VVielding his four 
footed falchion, he extended the frontiers thou- 
sands of miles, and then refused to usurp the 
regal dignity, or transmit to his posterity, but 
first established rules for an elective administra- 
tion. Where in the world can be found such a 
public spirit ? Truly, the sentiments of the three 
dynasties have all at once unexpectedly appeared 
in our day. In ruling the state, he promoted 
and fostered good customs, and did not depend 
on military merit. In this he differed from all 
other nations. I have seen his portrait, his air 
and form are grand and imposing in a remark- 
able degree. Ah, who would not call him a hero ? 
The United States of America regard it promo- 
tive of national virtue generally and extensively 
neither to establish titles of nobility and royalty 
nor to conform to the age, as respects customs 
and public influence, but instead deliver over 
their own public deliberations and inventions so 
that the like of such a nation one so remarkable 
does not exist in ancient or modern times. 
Among the people of the Great West can any 
man, in ancient or modern times, fail to pro- 
nounce Washington Peerless? 

^" This Stone is Presented by a Company of Christ- 
ians and engraved at Ningpu in the Province of 
Che Heang, China, this Third Year of the Reign 
of the Emperor Heen Fung, Sixth Mouth and 
Seventh Day " (July 12th, 1853.) 


125. (Translation of the Japanese memorial stone :) 

" Exported from the harbor of Simoda, in the pro- 
vince of Isu, the fifth month of the year Ansey 
Tora." " April, 1853." 

126. Tribute of Wyoming Territory 

To The Memory Of Him Who By Universal 
Consent Was Chief Among The Founders Of 
The Republic." 

127. Holiness to the Lord 


128. Minnesota 

129. Cherokee Nation 1850 

130. Montana. " Oro y Plata " 

131. State of Oregon The Union 


230 feet height. East. 

132. The Grand Lodge of I. 0. 0. F. of Kentucky. 

" In Union there is strength." 

[Some of the letters are mutilated 

133. Under the Auspices of Heaven and the Precepts of 

Washington, Kentucky will be the Last to give 
up The Union. " United we stand, divided we 
fall." [Some of the letters mutilated, 

134. Georgia Convention 1850. 

" Wisdom, Justice, Moderation." 

135. From Hawkins County, Tennessee. 

136. Presented by the Grand Lodge of the State of 


137. Tennessee. "The Federal Union, it must Be 


240 feet height. West. 

138. American Medical Association Instituted 

MDCCCXLVII Vincit Amor Patriae. 

[Symbolical figures mutilated. 


139. The Grand Assembly of the Presbyterian Church 

in the United States of America in Session in 
Washington City, May 1852. 

140. Presented by Tuscarora Tribe No. 5. To Pater 

Patriae 7th Sun, Hunting Moon Grand Sun 5615. 
Improved Order Red Men D. C. 

141. From the Battle Ground Long Island 1776. Kings 

County, N. Y. 1853. 

142. Wales. Fy laith, Fy Ngwlad, Fy Nghenedl. 

Cymory am byth. 

143. Presented by the Association of the Oldest Inhabi- 

tants of the District of Columbia, July 4th, 1870. 

144. Presented by the United American Mechanics, 


145. From Braddock's Field. 


250 feet liei^lit. East. 

146. Wilmington, North Carolina. Thalian Association. 

/7 r^f^^S^mrf l( Y/, 




147. Philadelphia Engine Companies : Hibernia, 

Northern Liberty, Vigilant, Delaware, Har- 
mony, Reliance, Assistance, America, Diligent, 
Kensington, Franklin, Washington of Frank- 
ford, Humane, Washington, Friendship, Colum- 
bia, Hope. 
Hose Companies : Good Intent, Resolution, Hu- 
mane, Perseverance, Neptune, Hope, Columbia, 
Southwark, Washington, Phoenix, Diligent, 
United States, Niagra, Northern Liberty, 
America, William Penn, Robert Morris. 

148. Presented by the Department of Philadelphia. 

1854. [Slightly mutilated. 

149. Engine Companies: Philadelphia, Weccacoe, Good 

Will, Decatur, United States, Fellowship of Ger- 
mantown, Good Intent, Globe, Fair Mount, South- 
wark, Mechanic, Western. 

Hose Companies : Independence, Pennsylvania, La- 
fayette, Marion, Schuylkill, Good Will, Western, 
Moyamensing, Franklin, Weccacoe, Kensington, 
Shiffler, Fair Mount, Ringgold. 

Hook-and-Ladder Companies : Empire, Relief. 

Committee of Superintendence : Peter G. Ell- 
maker, Francis Reilly, .John S. Vance, William 
F. Smith, Samuel Floyd. 

[Tablet comi)letely bi'oken into pieces; some of the 
letters broken off. 

150. From the Citizens of the United States of America 

Residing in Foo Chow Foo, China. Feb. 22, 1857. 

151. The Citizens of Stockton, San Joaquin Co., Califor- 

nia. A Tribute ot Respect to the Father of Our 
Country, George Washington, 1859. 

152. Presented to the Washington National Monument 

bv the Proprietors of the " Cincinnati Commer- 
cial." J. W. S. Browne and L. G. Curtiss. 1850. 

153. From the [words illegible]. Lowell, Mass. 

154. A Tribute from the Teachers of the Buffalo Public 


155. The Young Men's Mercantile Library Association of 

Cincinnati. Organized A. D. 1805. A. D. 1853. 


2,400 Members. Proud to Honor Washington 
Contributes its Humble Quota to the Swelling 
Tide of National Gratitude. Ohio— First Born 
of the Ordinance of '87.— Every pulsation of the 
heart beats high, beats strong. For Liberty and 
the Union. 

260 feet height. West, 

156. The Memory of the Just is Blessed. Prov. 10 : 7. 

Presented by the Children of the Sunday Schools 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in the City 
of New York, Feb. 22, '55. 

157. Fire Department of the City of New York. Incor- 

porated 20th March, 1798. 

158. From the Sabbath School Children of the Methodist 

E. Church in the City and Districts of Philadel- 
phia. 4th July, 1853. A Preached Gospel. A 
Free Press. Washington. We revere his mem- 
ory. " Search the Scriptures." Suffer little chil- 
dren to come unto me and forbid them not, for 
of such is the kingdom of God. Luke XVHI 
16, V. Train up a child in the way he should 
go, and when he is old, he will not depart from 
it.— Prov. XXII 6, 5. 

[Lettering slightly mutilated. 

159. Washington Erina Guard. Newark, New Jersey. 
160 By The Pupils Of The Public Schools Of The City 

Of Baltimore. A. D. MDCCCLI. . . (indistinct 
word) . . qui meruit ferat. 

161. Cincinnati Company. Our War Is With The Ele- 

ments. Roveb. (The inscription is m such 
small letters that it is very difficult to decipjier. 

162. The Sons Of New England And Canada To Wash- 

ington. [Follows an inscription, which on ac- 
count of insufficient illumination, small letters, 
and the water having defaced the surface of the 
tablet, cannot be deciphered.] 

270 feet height. East. 

163. From The Cliosophic Society, Nassau Hall, N. J. 

To The Memory Of Washington, Instituted A. 
D. 1705. [Syrnbolic figures slightly mutil8.ted. 


164. Continental Guard of New Orleans, La. To tlie 

Washington Monument, 22nd February, 1856 
(Follow 163 names.) Continental Guard, Organ- 
ized February 22nd 1855. [Inscription on ac- 
count of small lettering indecipherable.] 

165. Presented by The Employees of R. Norris and Son, 

Locomotive Works, Philadelphia. Feby. 22nd 
1856. [Ornamental part mutilated. 

166. From The Home of Stark, By The Ladies Of Man- 

chester, N. H. 

167. From the Alexandria Library in Egypt. Brought 

to this country by G. G. Baker. 

168. From the Jefferson Society of the University of Vir- 

ginia To The National Washington Monument 
Jan. 7, 1850. 


280 feet height. "West. 

169. To The Father Of His Country. The Addison 

Literary Society of the Western Military Insti- 
tute, Drennon, Kentucky. " Non nobis solum, 
sed patriae et amicis." [Slightly mutilated. 

-170. Honesdale, Wayne County, Pennsylvania, 1853. 

171. First Regiment of Light Infantry Mass. Vol. 

Militia. Boston, 1853. 

172. To Washington An Humble Tribute From Two 

Disciples of Daguerre. 

173. Hibernian Society of Baltimore. Hugh Jenkins, 

Pres., Jacob G. Davies, 1st V. P., William Gwynn, 
2nd V. P. Rev. James Dolan, Chap'n. S. I. 
Donaldson, Counsel'r. Dr. J. H. O'Donovan, 
Dr. D. O'Donell, Physicians. Daniel J. Foley, 
Treasurer. Chas. M. Dougherty, Sec'y. Tim- 
othy Kelly, John McColgan, Edward Boyle, 
Chas. Pendergast, Robert Barry, James Kernan, 
Peter A. Kelly, Will Browne, James Mullen, 
Managers. Michael Roche, P. A. Kelly, J. Mul- 
len, Committee. " Memor et Fidelis." 

174. From the Citizens of Alexandria, Va. The Descend- 

ants of the Friends and Neighbors of Washington. 

175. Froan Jefferson Medical College. By the Class of 


FE5SJ0N 6r 

176. " All that Live Must Die." A Tribute of Respect 

from tlie Ladies and Gentlemen of the Dramatic 
Profession of America. J 853. 

330 feet height. East. 

177. Marble block with the following inscription: Top 

OF Statue on Capitol. 

There are altogether 176 memorial tablets; of 
these Tvere contrihuted by 

States 39, whereof 9 are in a mutilated 

or decayed con- 


Counties 7 

Foreign Countries 10 

Cities 20 

Societies, Lodges, Asso- 
ciations, military and 

otherwise • 90 

Private individuals 9 

Totally decayed and il- 
legible 1 









With the aid of a little imagery, one can trace in the 
peculiar grain and apparently accidental happy laying 
of the marble blocks on the exterior at a height of about 
150 feet on the east side of the Monument, the outlines 
of a semblance of an immense eagle with wings out- 
stretched, as if protecting the Landmark of Liberty 
against all danger and evil. 

tii5T0R:T or the Aonument. 

The Continental Congress, on the 7th day of August, 
A. D. 1783, unanimously resolved (ten States being rep- 
resented) : 

" That an equestrian statue of General Washington 
be erected at the place where the residence of Congress 
shall be established, in honor of George Washington, the 
illustrious commander-in-chief of the armies of the 
United States of America during the war which vindi- 
cated and secured their liberty, sovereignty, and inde- 

On December 19, 1799, the day after the mortal re- 
mains of George Washington had been committed to the 
tomb, a committee of both Houses of Congress was ap- 
pointed "to report measures suitable to the occasion and 
expression of the profound sorrow with which Congress 
is penetrated on the loss of a citizen first in war, first in 
peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen." 

In pursuance of the foregoing resolution, both Houses 
of Congress passed the following resolution on December 

" That a marble monument be erected by the United 
States in the Capitol, at the City of Washington, and 
that the family of General Washington be requested to 
permit his body to be deposited under it, and that the 
monument be so designed as to commemorate the great 
events of his military and political life." 

President Adams was authorized to correspond with 
Mrs. Wasliington, asking her consent to the removal and 
interment of her husband's remains beneath a monu- 
ment, to be erected by the Government in the Capitol. 


Mrs. Washington consented in the following beautiful 
words : 

" Taught by the great example I have so long had 
before me, never to oppose my private wishes to the 
public will, I must consent to the request of Congress 
which you had the goodness to transmit to me ; and in 
doing this I need not — I can not — say what a sacrifice 
of individual feeling I make to a sense of public duty." 

In 1800 a bill passed one House of Congress " to 
erect a mausoleum of American granite and marble, in 
a pyramidal form, 100 feet square at the base, and of 
a proportional height." 

In 1816 the subject was again discussed, but without 
effective results. 

Congress again made an application in 1832 to the 
proprietors of Mount Vernon for the removal and de- 
posit of the remains of Washington in the Capitol, in 
conformity with the resolution of 1799. The legislature 
of Virginia protested against the movement, and John 
A. Washington declined the proposal. 

In September, 1833, a paragraph appeared in the 
"National Intelligencer" of the City of Washington, call- 
ing a meeting of the citizens of Washington to take the 
matter in hand. In response to that call a meeting of 
citizens was held at the Ci'ty Hall on September 26, 1833, 
It was at this meeting that the Washington National 
Monument Society was formed. Chief Justice John 
Marshall, then seventy-eight years of age, having been 
elected its first President, and Judge Cranch the first 
Vice-President. George Watterston, who deserves to be 
signalized as the originator of the movement, was the 
first secretary. 

In the advertisements inviting designs for the Monu- 
ment from American artists, it was recommended that 
they should " harmoniously blend durability, simplicity, 
and grandeur." 

The design originally selected for the Monument was 
that submitted by Robert Mills, comprising, in its main 
features, a vast stylobate, surmounted by a tetrastyle 
pantheon ; circular in form, and with an obelisk 600 
feet high rising from the center. 


In January, 1848, Congress passed a resolution grant- 
ing a site on any of the unoccupied public ground of the 
City of Washington, to be selected by the President of 
tlie United States and the Washington Monument 
Society. The site on Reservation 3 was accordingly 
selected, and title to the land was conveyed to the 

On January 29, 1848, it was decided to postpone the 
laying of the cornerstone until the 4th of July 1848. 
Objections in the mean time having been made to the 
plan for the Monument as proposed bj^ sculptor Mills, 
the Society, pursuant to a report from its committee, in 
the month of April of that year fixed upon a height of 
500 feet for the shaft, leaving in abeyance the surround- 
ing pantheon and base. 

The cornerstone was laid in accordance with this 
decision of the Society on July 4, 1848, in the presence 
of the members of the executive, legislative, and judicial 
branches of the Government, foreign ministers and offi- 
cers, and a vast concourse of citizens from all sections of 
the Union. 

In 1854 the shaft had reached a height of 152 feet 
above the level of the foundation. Subsequently an 
addition of four feet was put upon the shaft, making its 
total height; 156 feet the whole executed at a cost of \ 
about $300,000. 

The treasury of the Society having been exhausted, 
and all efforts to obtain further sums having proved un- 
availing, the Society presented a memorial to Congress, 
representing that they were unable to devise any plan 
likely to succeed, and, under the circumstances, asking 
that Congress should take such action as it might deem 
proper. An appropriation of |200,000 was recom- 
mended to be made by Congress " on behalf of the people 
of the United States to aid the funds of the Society," but 
complications of a political nature arose in the manage- 
ment of the affairs of the Society, the appropriation 
recommended was not made, and, for the same reason, 
a stop was put to the active prosecution of the work on 
the Monument for a number of years. 

On February 26, 1859, Congress gave to the Society 
a formal charter of incorporation, and President Bu- 


chanan presided at the first meeting of this new board, 
which was held in the City Hall, March 22, 1859. The 
Society again went vigorously to work, but the condition 
of, the country during the decade from 1860 to 1870 
rendered their efforts futile. 

In 1873 the Society again presented a memorial to 
Congress, recommending the Monument to its favorable 
consideration. In the meantime the Society continued 
their appeals to the country for a certain gross sum 
deemed sufficient to complete the Monument. A meas- 
urable success met these efforts, and the Society discon- 
tinued these efforts only when, on August 2, 1876, an 
act of Congress appropriating $200,000 to continue the 
construction of the Monument had become a law of the 

On July 5, 1876, Senator John Sherman moved the 
adoption of a joint resolution, declaring, after an appro- 
priate preamble, that the Senate and House of Represent- 
atives in Congress assembled," in the name of the people 
of the United States, at the beginning of the second cen- 
tury of the National existence, do assume and direct the 
completion of the Washington Monument in the City of 
Washington." A bill in pursuance of this joint resolu- 
tion was passed unanimously in the Senate on July 22, 
1876, in the House of Representatives without opposition 
on the 27th of July, and was signed by President Grant 
on August 2, 1876. By this act, which gave a Congres- 
sional expression to the national gratitude, a joint com- 
mission was created, to consist of the President of the 
United States, the Supervising Architect of the Treasury 
Department, the Architect of the Capitol, the Chief of 
Engineers of the United States Army, and the First 
Vice President of the Washington National Monument 
Society, under whose direction and supervision tiie con- 
struction of the Monument was placed. According to a 
provision in the same act, the Washington National 
Monument Society transferred and conveyed to the 
United States, in dae form, all the property, rights, and 
assessments belonging to it in the Monument, the con- 
veyance being legally recorded in the proper court reg- 


From the early days of the construction tliere had 
been apprehension that tiie foundation of the Monument 
was not of sufficient size to sustain the column if carried 
to the height originally designed. On the 10th of April 
and 15th of June, 1877, a Joint Commission of Congress 
reported that the existing foundation was of insufficient 
spread and depth to sustain tlie weight of the completed 
structure, but that it was feasible to bring the foundation 
to the required stability by hooping in the earth upon 
which it stood. The weakness of the old foundation lay 
in the fact that it was too shallow and covered an area 
of ground insufficient to sustain the pressure of the com- 
pleted work. The strengthening consisted in the en- 
largement of the foundation by spreading it over a 
greater area and sinking it a greater depth into the 
earth. The work of excavating beneath the Monument 
was commenced January 28, 1879, and the new founda- 
tion was finished May 29, 1880. The cost of the new en- 
larged foundation amounted to ^94,474. 

The cornerstone of the Monument was laid July 4, 
1848 ; the first marble block under Government super- 
vision was set in the shaft August 7, 1880, and the last 
stone was placed at the level five hundred, August 9, 
1884, thus consuming four seasons finishing the shaft. 
The topmost stone of the pyramidon was set December 
6, 1884, tiius essentially completing the obelisk. 

On February 21, 1885, in the presence of the execu- 
tive, legislative, and judicial officers of the Government, 
officers of the Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, and 
the Volunteers, the Diplomatic Corps, eminent divines, 
jurists, scientists, and journalists, venerable citizens rep- 
resenting former generations, the National Monument 
Society, and the Masonic fraternity, the Washington 
Monument was dedicated. Senator Sherman, in the 
course of his oration, said : 

"The Monument speaks for itself, — simple in form, 
admirable in proportions, composed of enduring marble 
and granite, resting upon foundations broad and deep, 
it rises into the skies higher than any work of human 
art. It is the most imposing, costly, and appro priate, 
monument ever erected iii/frhe hmi-^ ' . f uTt ut e ffl i^^ 

9 1900 


Prayer was offered by the Rev. Henderson Suter,. 
Rector of Christ Church, Alexandria, Va., where Wash- 
ington worshiped. . ^ , i • 

James C. WelHng, LL. D., President of Columbian 
University, read an address which had been prepared by 
W. W. Corcoran, First Vice President of the Washington 
National Monument Society, comprising the full history 

of the Monument. ^i, at 

The reading of this address was followed by the Ma- 
sonic dedicatory ceremonies, which were performed by 
the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the 
District of Columbia. . 

Col. Thomas Lincoln Casey, of the Corps ol Lngi- 
neers, United States Army, the Chief Engineer and 
Architect of the Monument, then formally delivered the 
structure to the President of the United States, making 
a short address, in which he reviewed the structural work 
of the Monument. 

President Arthur accepted the Monument, making a 
short dedicatory address, after which a procession formed 
and moved to the Capitol. Here orations were delivered 
by Robert C. Winthrop of Massachusetts, and John W. 
Daniel, Senator of Virginia. -, i t> • 

After the benediction had been pronounced the Presi- 
dent of the United States, the members of the Supreme 
Court, and the invited guests retired from the hall at 5 

"Yonder shaft, 
Which States and peoples piled the stones upon, 
That from its top the very winds might waft 
To distant shores the name of Washington." 


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