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An authentic history of Its origin and construction,
and Q comDlete description of Its
Thk Caroline Publishing Co,
1521 Caroline Street, \A ashinfton, D. C.
Two Copies Received!
I SECOND copy.
JUL 18 1900
TWO COPIES HECEIVEO.
Library of (^GRg^res^
Office Gf tii«
KesftUr of Cop^rl^filft
Washington, D» C,
this day visited the Washington Monument.
' 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
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 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
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 :
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
First to Adopt Will Be the Last to Desert the Con-
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."
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.
A Union of Equality as Adjusted by the Con-
11. The State of Louisiana Ever Faithful to the Consti-
tution and the Union.
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.
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
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."
29. Massachusetts. " Ense Petit Placidam Sub Liber-
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
[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-
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.
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.
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
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
74. Company I. 4th Regiment Infantry U. S. A. 1st
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-
77. Masonic Grand Lodge of III. 1853.
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
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.
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.
" Freedom and Unity "
90. Sicut Patribus Sit Deus Nobis.
Civitatis Regimine Donata A. D. 1822
A. D. 1630.
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 "
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
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."
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
[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.,
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."
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
Kansas Territory, Organized May 20, 1851.
State admitted January 29, 1861
320 feet height. TWENTIETH LANDING. West.
122. All for our Country
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
127. Holiness to the Lord
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-
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
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
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-
Foreign Countries 10
Societies, Lodges, Asso-
ciations, military and
otherwise • 90
Private individuals 9
Totally decayed and il-
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-
" 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
" 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
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
In the advertisements inviting designs for the Monu-
ment from American artists, it was recommended that
they should " harmoniously blend durability, simplicity,
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
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 \
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^^
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
Which States and peoples piled the stones upon,
That from its top the very winds might waft
To distant shores the name of Washington."
f «f#^ ssaHONOD JO AH VHan