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1834 United States Senate special election in Pennsylvania

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The 1834 United States Senate special election in Pennsylvania was held on December 6, 1834. Future President of the United States James Buchanan was elected by the Pennsylvania General Assembly to the United States Senate.[1]

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>> From the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. [ Silence ] >> Susan Mordan White: All right, ladies and gentlemen. So welcome to our 11:00 session of docent training today. We are very happy to have with us Janice McKelvey, who is a longtime volunteer with the Library of Congress, and also was a volunteer over the Capitol Visitor Center. And one of the things that Janice took upon herself was to find more out about what the Library was like when it was housed over in the Capitol Building. So she's done an immense amount of research on her own. She's spoken with historians, and spent hours over in the archives at the Capitol putting all this great information together for us. So we thank Janice for being here today, and sharing a Capitol tour of the Library of Congress. >> Janice McKelvey: Thank you, Susan. >> Susan Mordan White: Thank you. >> Janice McKelvey: So I have spoken with many of you all. As you all know, I'm a coordinator, so I'll be working with all of you. And I really, really look forward to that. This is one of the best times of year at the Library with the new class graduating. It's just very exciting, lots of fun, very festive. So, as Susan mentioned, I was a volunteer, still a volunteer also here, but a coordinator, an employee as well. And I did volunteer at the Capitol Visitor Center for several years. And actually I'm doing that again a little bit in January. So, yes, I became really interested in the spaces that where the Library was in the Capitol during that time. The main point of my presentation, which I'll go into in just a moment, is that the Thomas Jefferson Building did not spring from the head of Zeus. There is a very rich architectural tradition behind the Thomas Jefferson Building. And, so, that is my main goal. I want you to understand that tradition. Maybe or maybe not share it with your groups. That's fine. But it's just important to understand that there's a context for this building. So let's get right to it. I acknowledge this, as I mentioned, let me just go through the aims of my presentation, and also to mention that, if it's possible, if we can hold questions until the end, unless I am so unintelligible that you really need to clarify something, or if I make no sense. Okay? But just for time's sake that we can do that. And then I'm happy to stay afterwards to answer questions. And, of course, you will be seeing me regularly in your job, your newly minted jobs, as docents. So here's the thing. The main points of my presentation are that the Library of Congress that Benjamin Latrobe, as you all know, who was the first architect of the Capitol, started a century-long process with Thomas Jefferson. They started architectural and iconographic traditions which continued through the innovative designs of Charles Bulfinch and Thomas Walter, eventually resulting in our magnificent Thomas Jefferson Building today. These traditions include homage and tribute to ancient cultures' advancements in, and methods of, the transmission of learning. Okay? The Library became a symbol of patriotism and accomplishment early. And I'm talking 1808. And we are going to look at that in detail in just a moment. Careful attention to storing and preserving printed materials in beautiful and majestic, as well as very functional spaces. Okay? The adaptation of neo-classical design conventions to American themes and landscape, including the introduction of Roman gods and goddesses to celebrate American achievement, and the use of the allegorical female to represent noble human attributes. The use of innovative and cutting edge technology not only to preserve the collections and safeguard them from fire, in particular, but also to make the space as noteworthy architectural achievements. And also to provide as much natural light as possible. There are many, many artistic continuities between the Capitol and the Thomas Jefferson Building. And many of the same artists, particularly in the late 19th century, early 20th century, that worked on the Jefferson Building went on to work at the Capitol, or worked at the Capitol, worked at the Jefferson Building, and went back and forth. So I will talk about that as I go along, too. So those are the main aims of my presentation. Let's start on in. Okay. Thomas Jefferson brings neo-classical architecture to the United States. This is, again, as he did this in the early 1800s, this is a tradition that, of course, we live with today. He designed the very first expression of neo-classical architecture, which is the Virginia State Capitol right here. And indeed he ripped off this design completely from the Maison Cafe, which is in Nimes, France. So he just took the Maison Cafe and lifted it, and put it in Richmond, Virginia as the Virginia State Capitol. In a letter to Pierre L'Enfant, 1791, Jefferson expressed a desire for a Capitol building designed after, quote, "One of the models of antiquity which have had the approbation of thousands of years." Jefferson believed that American taste could improve by exposure to copies of classical Roman architecture adapted to our new country. He also believed that the Capitol could provide the premier example of architecture in the United States. And he hoped this style would be copied throughout the country. And, of course, as we all know, it was to a certain extent. He put a huge amount of care and attention to detail in the design of the Capitol. Some scholars say as much as he did to Monticello. I'm not sure. But it's important for you all to know that that he was extremely detail oriented in making those decisions. In 1807, Benjamin Latrobe writes to Thomas Jefferson, and I quote, "It is no flattery to say that YOU," and the caps are Latrobe's, y, o, u, in caps, "have planted the arts in your country. The works already erected in this city are the monuments of your judgment and of your zeal and of your taste. The first," and again the caps are Latrobe's, "sculpture that adorned an American public building perpetuates your love and protection of the arts." Okay? So Thomas Jefferson has a role in our Jefferson Building that is quite apart from the Library. What he is doing is establishing a tradition which then is carried through into our building today, and its design and construction. Okay. So let's start at the beginning. William Thornton is the very first architect of the Capitol. In 1797, much of the central facade of Thornton, today central facade particularly on the east side, is Thornton's other works in our area, of course, and by Thornton our Octagon House and Tudor Place and Woodlawn Plantation. By the way, he was born in 1759 in Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands. He was a physician, an inventor, a painter and an architect. And his design for the Capitol was indeed accepted in 1793. He was inspired by the Louvre and also by the Pantheon. And this is his original design. This dome, as you know, is definitely not the dome we have today. But this facade is the facade that really remains today. Can everybody see my cursor? Okay. So the original north wing of the Library. You may be familiar with this print. This is the William Russell Birch drawing. Very, very famous. I think it's even still on display and opposite Jefferson's Library. So here we are. This is the east front, northeast front, where the Senate is today. This is the Senate wing looking west. So this is down the mall. Are we clear? Okay. Now here this photograph was taken by me in January of 2016. So the Library of Congress was originally located in these offices. And just to orient you, you can see the dome. We are now looking west. So this is the west front. Excuse me. We're looking east. This is the west front that faces the mall. Is everybody okay? So the Library of Congress was originally located in this space. And it is indeed difficult to overstate the importance of that space. By the way, today, and for many years, it has been the offices of the Republican Senate leadership. Of course, today is Senator McConnell. Okay. So here we have a floor plan. This is a configuration that was done by Bill Allen and his seminal work on the Capitol. So, again, this is that west Senate front where the Library of Congress was located, the Clerk of the House, and so forth, the Senate gallery level, [inaudible] hall, et cetera. Now, again, it is hard to overstate the importance of these rooms. First of all, the House of Representatives first met here, gaveled to order, on November the 17th 1800 by Theodore Sedgwick of Massachusetts. The Library of Congress was established there. The election of 1800, the very famous election of Thomas Jefferson as president, was decided. Remember that election was thrown to the House of Representatives. So these rooms not only home to the Library of Congress, but many, many important historical events happened there. And also the Supreme Court and the Senate shared this space as well. Okay? Senator McConnell's staff very graciously let me in their reception area. I took these pictures before the inauguration. So actually in the reception room looking down the mall. This is the construction of the bleachers for the inauguration. This is the reception area. The staff, bless their hearts, said that this fireplace that's there was original, and survived the burning of the Capitol in 1914. Not totally clear on that. But that's what they told me, so I'll just go with that not. Not sure though. Next, we have Benjamin Latrobe becomes architect of the Capitol, indeed before the fire. Benjamin Latrobe an absolute genius architect, engineer, artist, absolutely brilliant man. He was born in Yorkshire, England. One of the first formally trained architects in the United States. He was also a painter, by the way. He traveled widely throughout Europe, mastered German, French, ancient and modern Greek, and Latin. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1796, designed the Bank of Pennsylvania, as you see here, the first example of Greek Revival architecture in the United States. He also designed the Baltimore Basilica, the first Roman Catholic cathedral in the United States. You can see similarities with Jefferson-- that education, that travel in Europe. All of those things. You just know immediately that these two are going to become friends. And, indeed, their partnership lives with us today. Their partnership, as we will see, affects a lot of the decisions that went into the Thomas Jefferson Building. He worked on the Capitol from 1803 until the war of 1812, and then again starting in 1815. Other notable buildings by Latrobe in our area include St. John's Episcopal Church on Lafayette Square, St. Paul's in my hometown of Alexandria, of course, the Baltimore Basilica, which I just referenced. This is widely regarded as his real masterpiece in this country. And then also I love the gate to the Navy Yard, right down the street from us. Next. All right. So this is the picture, this is the rendering, this is the drawing that really inspired so much of my research. This is Benjamin Latrobe's original design for the Library of Congress space in the Capitol. So where I showed you where I oriented you to Senator McConnell's offices, this is Latrobe's vision of what the Library would be in the Capitol. It is a grand space referencing a great culture of the past. In this case, ancient Egypt. This room is the first Egyptian revival proposal in the United States. [inaudible] Latrobe brings which becomes, by the way, very popular after this. This is the first example of an Egyptian revival room in the United States. Its innovative and unusual architectural design features exotic Papyrus columns. Look at these blade columns. Papyrus. This is referencing ancient Egypt, but also Egypt's contribution to writing, and to the written word. And, of course, we see that in the Jefferson Building in our beautiful Blashfield mural. So here we have these exotic Papyrus columns. Note the sunlight coming in. So he's all about natural light coming into the Library. He's got meticulous detail. Look at the fireplace with the map over it, the alcoves of books. Latrobe designed this Library to fit 40,000 volumes. Okay? He was probably inspired by Napoleon's conquest of Egypt, but also perhaps by the architecture of Freemasonry. Anybody who is familiar with Freemasonry architecture, particularly, I would cite the George Washington National Masonic Memorial in Alexandria, and, of course, the temple on 16th Street. A lot of Egyptian architecture and references in Freemasonry. So according to Pamela Scott in an article for, actually, the Library of Congress magazine, this was in 1995, and the title of the article is called "Temple of Liberty: Building a Capitol for a New Nation." And I quote Pamela Scott, "During the first five years of Latrobe's tenure he established that the Capitol was to be a living catalog of Western European architectural traditions, including American contributions. The most exotic was his Egyptian revival Library of Congress. Latrobe's curiosity about ancient Egyptian architecture was probably both stimulated by Napoleon's Egyptian campaigns of 1798 and '99, had the Library been finished. This room was never built. Sadly it was never built. Latrobe's north wing, so that whole north wing that I showed you in my photograph, would have housed Greek Doric columns in the old Supreme Court below, Ionic columns in the Senate, columns, caryatids, three American orders of columns, exotic lotus and Papyrus columns of the Library. So what Latrobe was doing was mixing and matching American themes along with ancient architectural traditions. According to ancient Renaissance architectural theory, and I'm quoting Pamela Scott again, "Columns represented peoples. Perhaps Latrobe intended his variety of columns as a symbolic statement about America's diverse population. "Okay. So cavetto cornices, this is one architectural feature, again, had not been done. These are his cavetto cornices. I had no idea what a cavetto cornice was, so I looked it up. And here are some in the Temple of Isis in Egypt. So this is what this looks like. And, of course, he's also paying homage to the Ancient Library of Alexandria in Egypt. Okay. Now these are some very beloved features that are in the Capitol still. As a matter of fact, what Benjamin Latrobe does is taking ancient architectural traditions, and Americanizing them. Very famously, the Corn Cob Capitals, which you can see in the Senate foyer. We also have tobacco leaves right here. This is in the Senate Rotunda. And we have Water Leaf Capitals in the Senate gallery. These were never built. But what I'm trying to show you is how Latrobe has taken ancient traditions and Americanized them in his vision. Now this is his, I love this, this is his west front design for the Capitol, and with the propylaea, again, sort of referencing ancient Greece. And this is the very first rendering that I can find of Minerva-Athena on Capitol Hill. This is Latrobe's vision of what Athena, and what she was to be done, she was to be placed right here on the west front. So this begins the very long tradition, as you know, of Minerva appearing on Capitol Hill, or Athena, depending on how you look at it. So moving. Now let's go to the fire. Indeed. I am going to quote the architecture, excuse me, the architect of the Capitol website in a description of the fire. This is the best I found. And this dispels a lot of myths that, indeed, a lot of us were taught, a lot of us who have been docents for a while, a lot of us were taught. So just take careful attention on the order in which the British go through the Capitol. If you hear, which I still do, Capitol guides and other tour guides say that the Library of Congress books were transported to what it's now Statuary Hall and used as kindling, that is absolutely false. Absolutely false. So it's up to you as to whether you want to correct our colleagues or not on that. So I am going to quote the architect of the Capitol website. "The British focused their destructive work on the principal rooms forgoing the lobbies, halls and staircases. Thus securing their escape route. In the south wing, soldiers ignited a giant bonfire." So here we are, the south wing, "Giant bonfire of furniture slathered with gunpowder paste in the Hall of the House of Representatives," now Statuary Hall. "The heat from the fire grew so intense that it melted the glass skylights, and destroyed much of the carved stone in the room, including Giuseppe Franzoni's life-size marble statue of Liberty," which we'll talk about in a moment. It's located above the speaker's rostrum. "Downstairs the Clerk's office was transformed into an inferno of burning documents and furniture. The fire produced a heat so great that it forced the British to retreat from the south wing, leaving half the rooms on the first floor unscathed." Okay? "In the Supreme Court chamber, on the first floor of the north wing, which is right here, troops piled up furniture from nearby rooms to create another great bonfire severely damaging the Doric stone columns. Upstairs the large room, that then housed the Library of Congress," which remember this is looking west, so the Library of Congress we can't see from here, because this is the eastern rooms, "Upstairs the large room, that then housed the Library of Congress's collection of over 3,000 books, served as ready stockpile of fuel. The space burned so fiercely that it endangered a portion of the exterior stone wall. From the Library wind spread from the flames to the Senate chamber," which was essentially right in here, "where damage to the art and architecture was severe." So clearly, as you know, the fire was obviously extremely destructive. But it could have been much worse. And I would need to pay tribute to Benjamin Latrobe, also to the rainstorm. You all may know that a rainstorm within 24 hours helped to put out the fire. But Latrobe insisted on marble and stone for the Capitol, at great expense, by the way. But that was an insistence on fireproof materials for the Capitol, too, in the eventualities of fire. So, as you know, surviving the 1814 fire in the Capitol, the old Supreme Court technically did survive. This is, again, one of Latrobe's masterpieces. This ceiling is unbelievable. It survived, but he deemed it unsafe. And, so, it was rebuilt. Also these columns, as we've seen. And then this is the foyer as you walk into the north wing, that Senate foyer. This all survived the fire. And actually this was an escape route for the British. After the Capitol burns, of course, Congress relocates to Blodgett's Hotel, I'm sure you all have studied about that, which wasn't a hotel at all. And then eventually, in July 1815, the cornerstone is laid for the old brick Capitol, which is located where the Supreme Court is today. Okay now. So rebuilding the Capitol after the fire. This statue is magnificent. And it is still in the old Supreme Court. It is representative of a decision that was made in 1805 after a particularly generous appropriation from Congress. Latrobe and Thomas Jefferson decide that the Capitol, they decided together, that the Capitol would indeed incorporate themes from ancient Greece and Rome. Okay? And, so, in doing so what they did was they wrote a friend of Jefferson's, a man named Philip Mazzei, who was in Italy, and they arranged for the transportation of a number of sculptors from Italy to the United States, including the Franzoni brothers. Now Giuseppe Franzoni came up with a plan for a statue like this before the fire of 1814. But, unfortunately, it was not executed. After the fire he had passed away. So his brother Carlo, actually, finishes this statue. It is called "Justice." It is in 1817. And it's still in the old Supreme Court. Now a lot of elements in this statue, or this group of figures I should say, carry through to the Thomas Jefferson Building. So right away there are a number of innovations that Giuseppe Franzoni decides to incorporate. Number one, here we have Justice as a seated female figure, or as a female figure with her scales. Heretofore, Justice had had, as you've probably seen, a blindfold. But Franzoni decides to turn this around completely on its end, and clear-eyed Justice. This is one of the first examples that we can find, certainly in the United States, where Justice is clear-eyed. And scholars have interpreted this as in America Justice's clear-eyed, she doesn't need a blindfold to be impartial. She is clear-eyed. She knows what she's doing. She will always be fair and execute justice clear-eyed without a blindfold. Also, heretofore, here we have before, as you all know, Minerva, or Athena Minerva, is usually depicted with an owl. But here the owl is seated with Justice. The owl is with Justice. And, indeed, the books, Wisdom, has an American Eagle. So, again, we are taking ancient Greek and Roman traditions and Americanizing them. So in this statue the learning and education is really the property, if you will, of America. In other words, we're taking that and mixing up those metaphors. So here we have Justice with her new clear-eyed fashion, with her scales. She also has the sword, which we see later. She's looking towards a [inaudible]-eyed figure, a genius figure. And we all I'm sure know about Philip Martiny's magnificent genius figures in the Great Hall. Here is a male genius figure with wings with a of the United States Constitution, and the light of truth. So this statue begins so many icons that are present in Capitol Hill and America, and certainly in the Thomas Jefferson Building. This is 1817. Next, we have Liberty by Enrico Causici. The original Liberty statue burned during the fire of 1814, but it was rebuilt. This is in Statuary Hall today. It's almost 14 feet high. This is an allegorical female representing liberty, holding the Constitution in her right hand, and an American Eagle to her right. The serpent representing wisdom on her left wrapped around a column section. This replaced Giuseppe Franzoni's seated Liberty, as I mentioned, that was destroyed by fire. And this isn't plaster, by the way. There were always intentions to make this in marble, or to copy it and make it in marble. But it never happened. However, Clio, if you go to Statuary Hall, one of the most beloved statues, actually, in the building. I love Clio. And we owe a lot to Clio for the Thomas Jefferson Building. Here we have Clio, the muse of History, standing on her winged chariot, or car. That's why it's called the "Car of History." The car stands on a marble globe, where the signs of the zodiac are carved in relief. The chariot wheel is the face of a clock. The workings of which were installed by the very famous clock maker Simon Willard in 1834. She's turning the pages of a book, representing the importance of learning throughout history. I hope these themes are sounding familiar to you. George Washington is on here on relief, one of the very first examples in the United States of a real historic figure connected to an allegorical one. And, again, I hope this sounds familiar. Clio was commissioned for the House chamber. And she stays there today. So here we have Charles Bulfinch who is hired to redesign the Capitol after the fire. He is most famous for the Massachusetts Statehouse, you may know. He was born in Boston in 1763. He died in 1844. His most famous commission, as I mentioned, the Statehouse of Massachusetts of 1795 to 1798. That's quite a bit before when he comes to Washington. He's hired by President James Monroe and the Commissioner of Public Buildings in 1818 to replace Benjamin Latrobe as the architect of the Capitol. He continued the restoration of the two wings, which were reopened in 1819. He designed the domed center of the Capitol, and oversaw its construction between 1818 and 1826. Andrew Jackson terminated his employment and the position in 1829. And, so, here we have Charles Bulfinch's finished Capitol design as of 1832. Now here we have the east front of the U.S. Capitol. This is by John Rubens Smith. So today our Library would essentially be right here, the Thomas Jefferson Building. This is the east front. And then, of course, here is the west front. Now, 1832, notice that there's cows and pigs grazing, and the trees, and the bucolic setting that the Capitol was in. What I'm about to show you is Bulfinch's design for the Library of Congress, which is now moved from here, from this north wing, it's moved to the center, to the center. And here is his design. Now this is the only extant drawing of Bulfinch's Library. The only extant drawing. Note it's a grand magnificent space. In its day it also was a tourist destination. It is finished in 1824. Bulfinch is very, very aware of fire and how books provide excellent kindling. So he designed a stove, this is his drawing, a stove that is vented, actually, out through the floor, that has no flames, here it is, for warmth. And I'm going to quote William Allen right now, who wrote, as I said, the seminal work on the construction of the Capitol, or one of the seminal works, actually, the most recent." These columns were designed after the Tower of the Winds in Greece. Each Capitol took over 40 days to carve. The Library was designed to hold 40,000 books arranged in deep alcoves off the main level, and shallow alcoves here." George Waterston, who, actually, was Librarian of Congress, one of our Librarians of Congress, but he then, this is afterwards, in 1842 he writes a guide to Washington, like a travel guide. And I'm quoting him. Quote, "Several presents have been made to the Library since its origin. Among these there was a splendid and valuable collection of medals designed by [foreign name], and executed by order of the French government. The series commences in 1796, and ends in 1815, and embraces all the battles and events which occurred during the reign of Napoleon." "Marble bust of Washington, Jefferson, Lafayette, Judge Marshall, John Quincy Adams, Van Buren, and plaster busts of Jackson and [inaudible], and a medallion of Madison, most of them standing on pedestals, are placed in different parts of the room." So the key point that that account gives you is the Library is a space to receive gifts from foreign governments, it's a space, which we heard about a little bit with Elizabeth [inaudible] presentation, it's a space to receive gifts and to display important statues and icons and art, particularly related to American patriotism. Okay? Now another first-hand account, Robert Mills, architect of, I hope you know, the Treasury Building, so many buildings in Washington. And I'm quoting Robert Mills. "A melancholy reminiscence, over the mantelpiece at the south end of the room, a fine portrait of Columbus and America's Vespucci. On each of side door leading to the balcony are two beautiful marble busts, one of Thomas Jefferson by the celebrated Giuseppe Ceracchi." The Jefferson bust had on its pedestal cherub heads and the signs of the zodiac, and an inscription in Latin saying, quote, "To the supreme order of the universe under whose watchful care the liberties of North America were finally achieved, and whose tutelage the name of Thomas Jefferson will descend forever blessed to posterity." I love that quote. Can you tell? Important to note that in Bulfinch's Library volumes were arranged according to Thomas Jefferson's original scheme. Okay? Memory, reason and imagination. Very important to understand by his original scheme and classification. Okay. And another date, I'm hoping you all remember in your tours, is 1851, the major fire that, just for the record, it had nothing to do with Thomas, excuse me, Charles Bulfinch. It was caused by a chimney that backed up onto the Library that was not properly maintained by Congress. There's a lot of documentation about writing letters-- this chimney is dangerous, there's a hole, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And sure enough sparks flew through the hole in the chimney, entered the wall of the Library, and things went on from there. Okay. So, as you all know, two-thirds of Jefferson's books are burned, two-thirds of the library is burned, Charles Bulfinch's magnificent structure is gone. Enter Thomas Ustick Walter, again, an architectural genius, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He received early training in masonry. His father was a Mason, and he was also a Freemason, as was Benjamin Latrobe. He apprenticed in the Office of William Strickland. He was fourth architect of the Capitol from 1851 to 1865. Next to the Capitol, his most famous and acclaimed building is Girard College, among the last and grandest examples of the Greek Revival movement in the United States. He was one of the founders and the second president of the American Institute of Architects. He was architect of the Capitol when the 1851 fire consumed the Library. And, so, he is tasked with rebuilding the Library of Congress. So here is his floorplan that he comes up with. And, so, just to orient you all, here is the Capitol Rotunda. He designs a Library here. This is the central section, so this is the very center where Bulfinch's Library was located. He also designs a north wing and a south wing, and then with reading rooms and committee rooms for Congress. Are we oriented? So this is the west center, west facade of the Capitol. Are we clear? Okay. Excellent. Okay. Here are some of his renderings. So this is south looking north. So this is a cross-section, south looking north. This is that main central space that I'm just about to show you. And here is another one. The main central space, north wing and south wing. Now, just to clarify, the main central space was constructed, as we'll see finished in 1852, actually in 1853. The north and south wings were not done until after the Civil War. Okay. So moving right along. All right. Get comfy for a moment because we are looking at Walters' design for the Library of Congress as it was built up. But these are original drawings. We are looking at one of the greatest architectural masterpieces in the United States at the time. No question about it. It took him only three weeks after the 1851 fire to design one of the most extraordinary examples in American architecture. And I'm going to quote Bill Allen again. Quote, "A sparkling incombustible cast iron Library free of any wood, except for might be used for furnishing." So while this was not the very first iron room in the United States, it was one of the very first. It also had the very first iron roof in the United States. The entire thing is iron. Okay? It is open to great acclaim to the general public on August the 23rd, 1853, and was an amazing feat of design and construction. Finished in 18 months. In a letter to the Secretary of the Interior at the end of 1852, Walters describes the color scheme. And I quote. "All of the plain surfaces of the ceiling, both horizontal and vertical, to be gilded in three shades of gold leaf, so disposed as to give effects to the depth and effects to the panels. All the ornamental moldings, pendants and drops of the ceiling to be finished in gold bronze, and the prominent parts to be tipped with gold, burnished so as to produce decided and sparkling effect against the dead gold surfaces." By the way, these are all skylights here. So the ceiling he's referencing is this. "The large consoles," each of which, by the way, weighed three tons, they're here, okay, "The large consoles to be painted in light bronze green, tipped with gold bronze, and burnished gold for the purpose of giving relief to the fruits and foliage. All of the cases, railings and remaining iron were to be finished with light gold bronze, tipped on all the parts which received the strongest light with burnished gold." Have you counted the number of shades of gold? Eleven. Okay. It must have looked like Eldorado. It must have looked, seriously. And here is a picture of the finished product. Most of the photographs I'm going to show you are maddeningly undated. This has been a real challenge to me as a researcher, very, very difficult. In general what I have done is I'm assuming that the more pristine the photograph, like this one, the less clutter, the less stuff, is before 1870. And you all know why. After 1870 things clutter up very quickly. Okay? So the photographs you're going to see I culled from New York Public Library, from Architect of the Capitol, from the U.S. Capitol Historical Society, and our own collections. So it opens, as I mentioned, in 1853 to great acclaim. Let's look at some of the contemporary accounts of what people are saying about Walters' masterpiece. The Daily National Intelligencer, August 15th, 1853. Quote, "The Congress Library will be in order for the Tuesday opening when the public will be admitted to one of the most gorgeous and beautiful halls in the world. At first view of this enchanting room, thousands will experience, as we did, a glow of rapturous delight, not unmixed with something of a selfish sentiment of congratulations that as citizens of Washington we are endowed with so great a privilege as this Library affords, a source of national pride and patriotism." Sound familiar? I hope. Next, the evening star. Quote, "The Congressional Library room, a grand affair, this morning the newly built and splendid reorganized Library of Congress was thrown open to the public. And a large number of ladies and gentlemen availed themselves of the opportunity to take a look at it. It is a gorgeous hall indeed. And it is fitted up in a style of unequaled magnificence. Every article of furniture and other workmanship is of American manufacture." Again, source of pride and patriotism. And, next, "Life in Washington, Life Here and There" by Mary Jones [inaudible]. So, again, we're back in the travelogue mode. "Life Here and There." This is October of 1857. "There is hardly any object in our city more suggestive or more frequented than the magnificent reading room of the Library of Congress. Designed by eminent architecture Mr. Walter, whose glass ceiling veined by cornicing, fluting in garlands, seems bright like burnished gold mingled in wreaths of gilded leaves and lilies. When we paid our last visit, we found it gaily peopled as usual. Couch is filled with groups conversing in customary library under tone, which is, of course, a drowsy murmur. In spite of the early hour, we saw in the various alcoves scores of mute readers who sometimes lifted up a glance as we passed, and then like Dante's ghosts relapsed into their penance." Now I love that. "Dante's ghost relapsed into their penance." Note what is missing here. And note the differences between this, the Bulfinch Library and, indeed, some of like the Thomas Jefferson Building today. Note the absence of lots of decoration. You are not seeing statuary here. Clearly the Walters' Library the stars of the show are the iron and the books. The iron and the books. He is not going into that ancient Roman and Greek tradition. We do have the lilies and the garlands, and all those kinds of things. But we don't have representational sculpture. We don't have displays here. It's a masterpiece in and of itself. The star of the show-- the iron and the books. Now here are other photographs. This, indeed, is the north wing after the Civil War. I know that it's north wing. I'm surmising that, oh, I know it's after the Civil War, because the north wing wasn't done then. But I believe this was taken probably on the opening of the north wing, because it was the first to open, because it's empty. It's totally empty. And note, this is very important, Walters' original drawings only had three stories. But things are already starting to happen, because we have a fourth story here, okay, that was built out. And this, I am 99% sure, I've done a lot of research on this, this is the south wing. This had not been identified. This was not identified as the south wing. But, as we'll see later on, I took other photographs that I know were the south wing after it's demolished, and, indeed, I matched up the windows. So this is the south wing. Okay? This is as we move along. You will see there's a reference to Librarian Spofford's table here. And note all the books underneath. So this is Spofford's desk. And we'll see in photographs as we go along. Okay? There's a long story with this, which I won't go into. The point of this though is I thought this was later. I thought this was probably around 1870 or 1869. But what's really interesting, and important from my research, is that the Library is now, for the first time, a display. There's this painting randomly on display. So I started researching, "What in the world is this? Who did it? Why is it there?" So I'll shorten the story. Happy to go into it in more detail. But here's the deal. It's Albert Bierstadt's Mount Hood. And this was painted in 1865. Albert Bierstadt, you may or may not know, has two paintings in the Capitol, which I'm going to skip ahead for a moment, two paintings in the Capitol-- the "Discovery of the Hudson" and "Entrance into Monterey." And if you go to the Capitol on the east side, the south east steps, that magnificent staircase, these two paintings are on display. It's a long story. But Albert Bierstadt had a ten-year-long campaign to get commissioned to do art in the Capitol. What he was trying to do was follow in the footsteps of his mentor Emanuel Leutze's "Westward Course Empire Takes Its Way," which was commissioned in 1862, this is Montgomery Meigs helping this, and William Henry Powell's "Battle of Lake Erie." Both of these are also still on display. And those two artists received really expensive commissions. So Bierstadt decides, Well, of course, I should get one, too." So there's wonderful correspondence. He becomes friends with congressmen at that time and Senator Rutherford B. Hayes, which we all know what happens to him. So Bierstadt goes on a campaign to get commissioned. So it is my theory that, as part of his campaign, he has Mount Hood displayed in the Library so to give Congress the opportunity to see and sample his work. Fortunately, I've done a lot of research. The Portland Museum of Art, by the way, now has this painting. I was in touch with the curators. And, so, now I can date this photograph to 1866, because that is the time Bierstadt was here and after the painting was done. So an interesting story. And, actually, there's some further research to be done on that. So, as we have talked about, the Library is a destination. It's a tourist destination. Harper's Weekly has several renderings taken from photographs. This one I just love in 1871. This is right before, of course, the march to declutter happens. I love this. This is undated. But there's a handwritten note on the photograph. Thank heavens. It's adorable. It says, "Charge Desk Librarian Spofford's Table." Sure enough. So Librarian Spofford apparently, and I'm sure you all have read accounts or that [inaudible] to, that Librarian Spofford, if anybody told him, "I need to see a copy of this book," he would be able to find it immediately at his charge desk. Here we have a painting that then becomes a print. It's very famous. It was done in 1897. It's a colored reproduction that was done in 1839. So we have here Spofford. The man on the left holding a lamp is, where is he, he's right here, David Hutcheson, Assistant Librarian. And then Robert Tharin is identified, I can't see my, right here, the bearded man, the sixth Auditor of the Treasury. So we can see the clutter. This is 1897. So this was done right before the Thomas Jefferson Building opened. And this could very well be the very last photograph taken before Librarian Spofford moves across the street. Note here he is. Here everything is packed up, ready to go. Nothing is in the alcoves anymore. So I think this is one sort of last grand photograph before the Library moves to the Jefferson Building. Now what do you think, who knows, what happens to one of the greatest architectural masterpieces in American history-- Thomas Walters' iron Library? What happened to it? Anybody know? Summarily destroyed. Completely. And this was by design. Congress decided that they wanted committee rooms. And, so, they completely demolished the iron Library. And it was all sold for scrap. Not one piece survives to even document the eleven shades of gold that I talked about earlier. Not one piece. I found this photograph and its companions in the Kiplinger collection, actually, of the D.C. Historical Society. And this is 1801. Very, very sad. So you can see that now. This is before and after. This is the Library before the demolition, and after the demolition. And then this is the photograph that I matched things up to identify the south wing. So here we have an unidentified photograph. But I took the demolition photograph that I found through the Architect of the Capitol's Office, I matched up the windows. So here we have window, which is different than the north wing. So this could be the very first time that a photograph is identified as the south wing. John Cole was very excited about that. Here we have the north wing again. Sort of the transition when it was pristine, the March to Declutter right before the move, and then the demolition of the north wing. The only thing that survived they moved the tile. I took this photograph myself. So if we're off the Rotunda of the Capitol today, I took this photograph, if you go out the center west exit door of the Rotunda, and you look, you will see these Hall of Columns. Speaker Ryan's office is off here. And then, of course, as I referenced, the Senate leadership is off here. So, essentially, Speaker Ryan's office, I went and had nice chats. Oh, I did want to point out, too, a little tangential, but the Law Library of the Library of Congress was housed in the old Supreme Court, in Latrobe's old Supreme Court chamber until the 1940s, actually. So you can see here's Latrobe ceiling. But everything is chockfull of books. And, apparently, the Supreme Court was very intent on the Library staying in the Capitol. So moving right along. Here we have our magnificent Jefferson Building. And, as you know, I just thought it's fun to understand that this is the [inaudible] façade. And this is the Opera Garnier. And enter, as you all know, are Casey brothers. So Thomas [inaudible] Lincoln Casey, I don't need to describe who he is as I have another presentation, but I do want to point out. This is very important. Some of you all may or may not know. Thomas Lincoln Casey comes from a very, very renowned artistic family, not only himself, but also his wife. His wife's father was Robert Weir, who, indeed, painted the "Embarkation of the Pilgrims" that you see in the Capitol Rotunda. Edward Pearce Casey, of course, his son, as you all know, decorate the Thomas Jefferson Building. So I found an essay in our beautiful Library of Congress coffee table book called "The Decorators." And I quote. "The Library of Congress, Thomas Casey's wife was the daughter of Robert, [inaudible] a well-known 19th-century painter and professor of drawing at West Point between 1834 and 1876, where he instructed artist James Whistler, many generals of the Civil War, by the way, including Ulysses S. Grant, who was a very, very fine sketch artist and drawer himself. This is Robert Weir's most famous work. "General Casey undoubtedly paced the Capitol corridors, especially those of the Senate wing with its walls and ceilings of mural decoration by Constantino Brumidi. In fact, the aged artist, Brumidi, was still at work on the Rotunda frieze in the Capitol that bears his name when General Casey arrived in Washington. The General must have known that it was Montgomery Meigs who first commissioned Brumidi." So it's really important to understand there's connections here. Montgomery Meigs is supervising the construction of the extensions to the Capitol and the Capitol dome. They're designed by Thomas Walter. Montgomery makes the decision to decorate the Capitol very, very highly with the work of Constantino Brumidi with lots of Greek and Roman architecture. It's like we have Montgomery Meigs with Brumidi in the same way that Thomas Jefferson partnered with Latrobe. It's a very similar relationship. Meigs new Thomas Casey. They served together. They went to West Point. Okay. So the connections, you have the Thomas Jefferson Building built out and decorated by the Casey family in the tradition of high decoration of the Capitol. Unlike what Thomas Walter wanted. As you saw, he was not about lots and lots of decoration. So here Thomas Casey, as you all may or may not remember, he supervised the construction of the old Executive Office Building, the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Here we have the State Department Library, the law Library and the Indian Treaty Room. General Casey was undoubtedly familiar with Walters' iron Library. He was in charge of this building. And he was there for 11 years. So maybe it's a romantic assumption on my part, but I would like to think that Casey was influenced by the iron Library in building out these spaces. Of course, Casey was not the original architect. That was Alfred Mullet of the old Executive Office. It's the Eisenhower. I grew up with it as the old Executive Office. The Eisenhower Executive Office Building. But I'd like to think that in building it out, he is using, because all of this material is iron, all three of these spaces are completely iron. So let's look at some other similarities. Constantino Brumidi was told by Montgomery Meigs that he wanted the halls of the Capitol to be based on the Loggia of the Vatican decorated by Raphael. So here we have the Loggia of the Vatican. Here we have the very famous Brumidi corridors of the Capitol. And then, of course, here's our northwest corridor in the Library of Congress. And then here we have Justice again. Here is our clear-eyed view of Justice looking towards her Genius and the copy of the Constitution. And here we have Elihu Vedder's Justice, although in here it's "Government," in Elihu Vedder's fantastic [inaudible] series "Good Government, Bad Government," that we refer to. So here's Justice clear-eyed in that same tradition established by Franzoni all those years ago. Next we have Clio, our "Car of History." My favorite. Of course, she's all about the importance of learning and history through time, and how the flight of time and the importance of books and education, all of those things in time. Here we have our own "History" done by Daniel Chester French, and a very similarly themed "Fight of Time" by Paul Flanagan, the Flanagan clock. So Clio, in one magnificent piece of sculpture, in our Thomas Jefferson Building, she has two with those very similar themes. And next we have the Americanization of design elements. Here I've gone through Latrobe's Americanization of classic architecture, in particular the the Corn Cob Capitals and the tobacco water leaves, et cetera. And, of course, our Putti. This is taking a very classical icon and Americanizing it with the jobs that are popular in the late 19th century. And, of course, Minerva. Here we have Latrobe's Minerva. Here we have Brumidi's "Apotheosis" in the Apotheosis of Washington. Here we have Minerva instructing many of the founders of our country. Nobody did it better than Brumidi in taking classical Roman and Greek themes, and putting them with American counterparts and merging the two. Absolute genius. And then here we have our Minerva. And, of course, our Minerva she's won the war against ignorance. So she's helmetless. And, by the way, this is one of the only portrayals of Minerva I have found where her helmet is off. So this is really a kind of innovation I think that Vedder introduced. But she's all ready with that helmet just in case that darkness of ignorance is going to descend again. And then, of course, we have Brumidi's Neptune in the Apotheosis of Washington, and our Neptune fountain out front, which, in my own opinion, is one of the most magnificent pieces of sculpture in the city, and people don't really refer to it particularly. But I never tire, I'm sure you all don't either, of just gazing at it. It's amazing. So next things are changing. So Thomas Crawford did the pediment called, excuse me, "The Progress of Civilization." And this is the north Senate pediment on the Capitol. So it's the northeast pediment. You see it when you walk into the Thomas Jefferson Building. In Crawford's depiction "Native Americans" the progress of civilization really is the conquering of Native American peoples. And I won't go into all of the figures that do that. But that's the point. Things change in the Thomas Jefferson Building. So, of course, Philip Martiny's Native Americans are portrayed very differently. And Olin Levi Warner's "Tradition" with Chief Joseph at the feet of oral tradition. So Capitol art is evolving over into the Thomas Jefferson Building, and really creating different messages. Next, since this is the entire pediment, Thomas Crawford's "Progress of Civilization" as the northeast pediment, and, basically, it is about the conquering of peoples. Here we have, of course, you know Edwin Blashfield's vision is very, very different. But the titles of the two pieces really do invite comparison. "Progress of Civilization," "Evolution of Civilization." So I think it's very clear that a statement is being made by the decorators of the Thomas Jefferson Building that they are going in a very different direction. Okay. And then, of course, you all may or may not know, the Statue of Freedom on the roof of the Capitol was originally designed with a Liberty Cap. This is, of course, an ancient Roman symbol of manumission, of freeing slaves essentially. But Jefferson Davis nixed that design. He said, "Absolutely not. Period. End of story." So Crawford was forced to redesign the headdress that exists today on the Statue of Freedom. Now as Ford Peatross in our docent training, is Ford going to be doing? Yes. Oh, okay. At least in our docent training, he pointed out the Liberty Cap is in the Thomas Jefferson Building in a place of honor. And I'm quoting, from memory, but I'm quoting him saying, "If we think that that's a coincidence, or if there's no connection. No, no, no, no, no," Again, the decorators of the Jefferson Building are making statements that are very, very different than what we found at the Capitol. And, interestingly, who is in charge of decorating the space of the iron Library, those committee rooms and what is now Paul Ryan's office, et cetera, but our own Elmer Garnsey. We all know Elmer Garnsey. Here is his magnificent "NE Pavilion" painting. Of course, Elmer Garnsey, just to refresh your memory, was tasked with installing the art here in the Jefferson Building, or across the street. So I went over to Paul Ryan's suite of offices, and the first thing the staffer pointed out to me, this we used to be the House District Committee room, the first thing he pointed out was, "Here's the Liberty Cap. Do you know about the Liberty Cap? Yeah. It was nixed by Jefferson Davis, but here it is back again in the Capitol." And, of course, this is post-Thomas Jefferson Building. So here we have Elmer Garnsey, who is clearly annoyed about what happened with the Liberty Cap, his icon at the Capitol, it's in a place of honor in the Jefferson Building, and, good heavens, he's going to bring it back to the Capitol after the iron Library is demolished. I think this is fun. The "Pompeiian Maidens." So Montgomery Meigs instructs Constantino Brumidi to model Pompeiian maidens on the House of the Vetti in the Ixion Room in Rome, or in Italy I should say. So Brumidi takes it and adapts it for the Naval Committee. All of a sudden the Pompeian maiden is floating in the water, because it's the Naval Committee Room. So he adapts that. Here is George Willoughby Maynard, our "Pompeiian Maiden" in the Jefferson Building. And then sure enough George Willoughby Maynard goes back across the street, and puts "Pompeiian Maidens," and I took this right outside of Paul Ryan's offices. So we have four incarnations of our maidens. The only reason I put this in is finally these wood doors were done in 1908, and Thomas Casey, it's all different icons and different subjects that it's celebrating, but Thomas Casey is included in these doors. These were never installed formally in the Capitol. But I think it's interesting that Casey has made it, and a nice tribute to his engineering prowess. I'm finishing with Kenyon Cox and his son Allyn Cox. Oh, before that. I'm sorry. Paul Wayland Bartlett. Excuse me. Paul Wayland Bartlett, as you all know, "Michelangelo" and "Christopher Columbus" some view that he goes across the street to the Capitol to do the "Apotheosis of Democracy" in 1911 to 1914. Highly recommend you take a very good look at it. This is considered to be Paul Wayland Bartlett's masterpiece. Many, many, many of the sculptors, or several I should say, several of the sculptors that you find who had done work in the Jefferson Building, you will find their work also represented in the Statuary Hall collection, and also in art throughout the Capitol. And, lastly, now we get to Kenyon and Alan Cox. You all, I hope, are familiar, of course, with Kenyon Cox's "Science" and "Art." And then Cox had one of the finest muralists of his day his son, Allyn Cox, painted the Cox corridors, which are on the House side. In other words, they're the counterparts to the Brumidi corridors on the Senate side. And they're fantastic. They're all different scenes of American history. And I found it very touching and wonderful that, indeed, he pays homage to Walter's iron Library in the Cox corridors. Remember Allyn Cox did this in the 1970s, in the 1970s. The Cox corridors are relatively recent. Okay. So that's finishes up. I'm sure you thought this would never end. So just to summarize. The Thomas Jefferson Building has a magnificent historic context starting with Benjamin Latrobe's 1808 vision of what this Library could be as a symbol of patriotism, as a symbol of greatness, the symbol of the importance of learning. Charles Bulfinch's, I would say underrated, Library has that same vision, and also ties it to ancient cultures. And then, of course, Thomas Walters' magnificent iron Library. Incredibly functional, an absolute architectural masterpiece, as is our magnificent Thomas Jefferson Building. So that concludes my presentation. And I can take questions I hope. Thank you. I apologize. I'm sure I'm over the hour. But, anyway, questions? Yes? >> Janice, in the Walter design of the Library-- >> Janice McKelvey: Yes, sir? >> Were the north and south wings connected to the west front, or were they actually separate rooms? In other words, if I were alive then, and were on the second floor level in the [inaudible] of books-- >> Janice McKelvey: Right. >> And I wanted to find, I was say in the north wing-- >> Janice McKelvey: Right. >> And I discovered that there was a volume I needed in the west front-- >> Janice McKelvey: Yes, there were. >> So you could just walk [inaudible]-- >> Janice McKelvey: Yes. But not, I don't believe, the fourth, because the fourth floor of those north and south wings was not in Walter's original plan. So if you were up on that fourth floor, you would have to go downstairs, and then-- [ Inaudible Speaker ] Yeah. >> Thank you. >> Janice McKelvey: Yes. Other questions? Yes, sir? [ Inaudible Speaker ] Yes. [ Inaudible Speaker ] Yes. [ Inaudible Speaker ] Yes. [ Inaudible Speaker ] Absolutely. And Tom Hoban, who is one of my colleagues, does a wonderful presentation on the construction of the building. And also, according to Tom, who's done extensive research on this, Edward Pearce Casey, the interior of our magnificent Jefferson Building is Edward Pearce Casey's. And what I want to do more research on myself, personally, is to look at how Casey is going back to Brumidi, or not, because the decision was made to highly decorate the Capitol, and to highly decorate the Jefferson Building. They are all together. They know each other's work. So that's my own personal, more scholarship needed. Other question? Yes? [ Inaudible Speaker ] Yes. [ Inaudible Speaker ] Yes. [ Inaudible Speaker ] And is a tourist destination. [ Inaudible Speaker ] Yes. [ Inaudible Speaker ] Yes. It is my understanding that is true. I've spoken with John Cole about this. But, yes. Yeah. That's the best answer I know. And the Bulfinch Library I know that it was accessible. To what extent that was open to the public. But, again, there wasn't very much here, particularly in the Bulfinch years. So that is a space that was a destination in and of itself, because it's one of the only in Washington at the time. I mean so much of the construction happened. Yes? Again. [ Inaudible Speaker ] Yes. [ Inaudible Speaker ] Yes. [ Inaudible Speaker ] Yes. [ Inaudible Speaker ] No. [ Inaudible Speaker ] No, they don't. And that's not their fault, because most tours of the Capitol, who's been on one lately? Okay. Most tours of the Capitol only include three spaces-- the Crypt, the Rotunda and Statuary Hall. And, so, it's not in their purview to go to where the Library was. I have heard some of them say things like, and this is a few years ago, I've heard them make reference saying that Thomas Jefferson gave his Library to start the Library of Congress. You may have heard that, too. They're still a little murky, I think, some of those guides on those details. But, no, their reference is very, very minimal. But, again, that's not their fault. That's just because they're not in those spaces. The interns I know they have more accessibility to the building. But I don't believe they mention it either. Yeah. Yes? [ Inaudible Speaker ] I have it in my notes. I can't remember exactly. But it was well over 40,000 books. That's a good question. I know it's in here somewhere. But, yes. I mean huge, huge. Other questions? Okay. Thank you so much. Enjoy your lunch. [ Applause ] >> This has been a presentation of the Library of Congress. Visit us at



Democrat William Wilkins was elected to the United States Senate by the Pennsylvania General Assembly, consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate, in 1830. Sen. Wilkins resigned on June 30, 1834, after being appointed U.S. Minister to Russia by President Andrew Jackson.[2]


Following the resignation of Sen. William Wilkins, the Pennsylvania General Assembly convened on December 6, 1834, to elect a new Senator to fill the vacancy. Four ballots were recorded. The results of the fourth and final ballot of both houses combined are as follows:

State Legislature Results[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic James Buchanan 66 49.62
Anti-Masonic Amos Ellmaker 31 23.31
Democratic James Clarke 26 19.55
National Republican Joseph Lawrence 6 4.51
Democratic Joel Sutherland 1 0.75
N/A Not voting 3 2.26
Totals 133 100.00%

See also


  1. ^ a b "U.S. Senate Election - 6 December 1834" (PDF). Wilkes University. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
  2. ^ "WILKINS, William, (1779 - 1865)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 22 December 2013.

External links

Preceded by
Pennsylvania U.S. Senate election (Class III)
Succeeded by
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