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Reerection of statue of Lincoln ... Report online

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67th Congress,) HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. ( Report

1st Session. \ 1 No. 98.


May 25, 1921. — Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the
Union and ordered to be printed.

Mr. Gould, from the Committee on the Library, submitted the


. ^,^ ^ REPORT.

2. I - ^ o / [To accompany H. J. Res. 127.]

The Committee on the Library, to which was referred House joint
resolution 127, to reerect the statue of Abraham Lincoln upon its
original site in front of the courthouse of the District of Columbia,
having considered the same, report thereon without amendment and
submit the following in explanation thereof:

President Lincoln died on April 15, 1865. A few days later, on
motion of Mr. N. D. Larner, of the city councils of the District of
Columbia, a joint committee was appointed to take action in reference
to the erection of a monument in the city of Washington to the
memory of Abraham Lincoln. This committee met at the mayor's;
office on the 28th of April, 1865, and formed itself into an association
to be called the Lincoln National Monument Association, to carry out
the objects proposed by the formation of the committee. Subse-
quently the following officers were elected for the association: Presi-
dent, Richard Wallach, mayor; secretary, Crosby S. Noyes; treasurer^
George W. Riggs; directors, Joseph F. Brown, Asbury Lloyd, John B.
Turton, Dr. W. G. H. Newman, George H. Plant, Z. Richards, N. D.
Larner, E. C. Carrington, John P. Pepper, S. J. Bowen, George F.
Gulick, B. B. French, George R. Ruff, Charles C. Morris, John G.
Dudley, John H. Semmes, James Kelley, William P. Ferguson, S. P..
Brown, Dr. C. H. Nichols, Henry Addison, W^illiam H. Tenney.

To these were added a number of honorary directors, mostly
Mem.bers of Congress, one from each State, as it was hoped at that
time to secure a national subscription to the end of raising a monu-
ment at the National Capitol, the most suitable place, properly
commemorative of the life and character of the lamented deceased.
Owing, however, to the springing up of kindred associations in almost
every State and city in the country, this hope was not realized,
and with the exception of some contributions from Baltimore, among
which was a handsome sum from John T. Ford, Esq., the proceeds of


a benefit for the monument fund, given at his Baltimore theater,
little, if anything, was contributed outside of Washington. The
money raised was, however, carefully husbanded, and was invested
by the treasurer, IMr. Riggs, in Government registered bonds. The
sum raised was, of course, inadequate to erect a monument on any-
thing like the scale originally proposed, but was yet sufficient to raise
a monument in the shape of a shaft and statue, creditable to the
city; and it was determined by the association that tliis was the best
course to pursue. Mr. Lot Flannery, of this city, who had achieved
a number of successes in his art, among wliich is the admired monu-
ment over the victims of the arsenal explosion at the Congressional
Cemetery, was the successful competitor for the work.


The monument was about 40 feet in height to the top of the statue.
It rested on a solid foundation of blue rock, G feet in depth. The
base was an octagon, 6 feet in height and about 7 feet from side to
side, on which the base of the column rests, the lower part corre-
sponding with the base, and the upper part with the shaft, being
circular and molded. The shaft wa« 18 feet in height, with an
average diameter of 3 feet (tapering), and surmounted by a molded
cap, 4 feet square and two feet thick, on which rested the base of the
statue, and the statue itself. The figure at this height looked to be
about life-size, and stood facing south. It represents Lincoln
standing with his left hand resting on the emblem of Union — the
Roman facile — his head erect, with a slight inclination forward, and
right hand partially open, as in the attitude he was wont to take in
addressing an audience. The design was first made in clay by j\'Ir.
Flannery and was subsequently cast in plaster. The model attracted
much attention as a spirited design and excellent likeness. The
encomiums bestowed upon his design induced him to submit it to
the managers of the Monument Association, and the result was that
it was unanimously selected from the various designs and models
before the committee as the best ofi'ored. A contract was entered
into withliim by which he agreed to have the monument ready by
the 15th of April, 1868, the anniversary of Mr. Lincoln's death.
He devoted himself to the work, and the reproduction in marble
was held to be greatly superior to the model.

The statue was dedicated on the third anniversary of the death
of Lincohi. Department business was suspended as well as that of
the municipal offices, and the public schools were closed to afi'ord
oppoituuity to all to witness the dedicaliou. Flags wei'o displayed
at half-mast, and the heavy l)oom of half-hour guns reminded of the
solemnity of the occasion.

The procession formed at the corner of Ninth and D Streets, and
about \.'M) o'clock the line of march was taken up, when some of the
menil)ers of No. 2 Steam P^ngine ('ompany commenced to fire a
salute, from a lieldpiece in front of the engine house. The right of
the liiu^ was by the Grand Lodge of Masons, with members of the
subordinate lodges, marshaled by A. M. Howard, and headed by the
Marine Band. The Sons of Temperance and (iood Temj)lars followed,
Mr. .John S. ilollingshead maishalling the former, assisted by George
D. Kgleston, of Metiopolitan Division, W. H. Gonzalves, W. H. Har-
rison, C. li. Frost, J. S. Erly, J. W. Roberts, of Good Samaritan, and
W. n. Chase. The l^nnrPof ili.. M>v(.lf<ji jlni t_ed States Infantry

JUN1 fi1<i2t


headed the Sons, the Grand Lodge having the right of the hne, fol-
lowed b}^ delegates of all the subordinate divisions. The beautiful
flag of Federal City and line banner of Good Samaritan divisions
were in line.

The Temple of Honor followed, marshaled by J. S. Stokes.

The Good Templars came next, the Grand Lodge being at the right
of the line, followed by a number of the members of the subordinate
lodges, marshaled by W. P. White, C. T. of Harmony Lodge, headed
by Heald's Band of 17 pieces.

The Grand Lodge of the United States of the Knij^hts of Pythias,
which was holding a session at Odd Fellows' Hall, Navy Yard,
formed at the hall, and with members of the subordinate lodges
marched direct to the City Hall, reaching the grounds before the
main procession arrived.


During the forenoon workmen were busily engaged in erecting a
stand between the monument and the curbstone, 52 by IG feet,
capable of seating about 400 persons. From the flagstaff on the
City Hall the national colors were displayed at half-mast, and the
corporation offices were all closed at 12 o'clock. The large derrick
had been removed from over the monument, and everything in
readiness for the ceremony before 1 o'clock. The crowd began to
gather about 12 o'clock, and in less than an hour the steps and
portico of the City Hall were densely packed.

By 2 o'clock the entire space in front of the City Hall was crowded,
while the housetops and windows of the houses opposite were filled
with human beings. All the sanitary police, under Lieut. Noonan,
were on duty. No one was allowed upon the stand except those who
had been invited by the committee. About 400 invitations were
issued by Mayor Wallach and the committee to Cabinet ministers,
heads of bureaus. Army and Navy officers, members of the Diplomatic
Corps, and other distinguished persons. Invitations were also issued
to the Senate and House of Representatives, but owing to the
impeaclmient trial it was impossible for them to attend.

Among those present were President Johnson, accompanied by
Col. Rives and Mr. Kershaw; Baron Gerolt, Mr. Rangabee, the
Grecian Minister; Maj. Gen. Hancock and Gen. Mitchell, Gen. Emory,
Col. Capron, commissioner of agriculture; Ambrosio Abeita, xVlezan-
dro Padilla, governor of the Pueblos of Isleta (one of the 19 villages
of the tribe in New Mexico); John Ward, agent; Gen. O. O, Howard,
Mr. Cantazalli, secretary Italian Legation; Admiral Radford, Assistant-
Attorney General Binckley, Gen. Charles Thomas and Gen. Morris S.
Miller, Gen. Carr, of Gen. Emory's staff; Gen. S. F. Care}^, of Ohio;
John Hitz, Esq., Dr. John B. Blake.

Gen. Grant was present, and occupied a position on the sidewalk
in front of Mr. Bradley's office, declining to take a seat upon the


The assemblage was very large, and commenced to assemble in
front of the city hall long before the hour for the ceremonies. At
2 p. m. the crowd, despite the rain, had so increased as to extend
down Four-and-a-half Street below the Presbyterian Church, down
Louisiana Avenue, beyond Fifth Street, and an equal distance down


Indiana Avenue. The open space at the intersection of these streets
was densely packed, and the steps, areas, roof, and windows of the
City Hall Building were closely occupied. The roofs and windows
of all the buildings in the neighborhood were thronged, and the boys,
as usual, secured eligible positions in the tree tops. The attendance
of colored people was very large, filling the space in the rear of the
stand. There were probably from 15,000 to 20,000 present. It was
undoubtedly the largest gathering of people ever assembled in Wash-
ington on such an occasion.


The following was the program of the ceremonies : Prayer by Rev.
Dr. Hamilton; music, by the Twelfth Infantry Band; dedication of
the statue by the Masonic fraternity; music by the Marine Band;
address by B. B. French, Esq.; music by Twelfth Infantry Band;
unveiling of the statue by the President of the United States; music
by the Marine Band; introduction of the artist; benediction.


After the arrival of the procession on the ground and order had been
restored. Mayor Wallacn presiding, Rev. Dr. William Hamilton
offered up a fervent prayer. After the band of the Twelfth United
States Infantry had performed The Heart Bowed Down from the
Bohemian Girl, the dedication ceremonies followed.


The Masonic Order proceeded to perform the dedicatory services of
the craft, as follows :

Grand Masteu (Benjamin B. French). Right Worshipful Junior (Jraud Warden,,
what is the jewel of your office?

Junior Grand Wardkn (Joseph B. Will). The plumb, Most Worshipful.

Grand Master. Have you applied the plumb to such parts of the base of this
pedestal as sbould be plumb?

Junior Grand Warden (applying the plumb). I have, Most Worshipful, and the
craftsmen have done their duty.

Grand Master. Right Worshipful Senior Grand Warden, what is the jewel of
your office?

Senior Grand Warden (John IT. Russell). The level, Most Worshipful.

Grand Master. Have you applied ttie level to such parts of the base of this ped-
estal as should be level?

Senior Grand Warden (applying tfie level). I have, Most Worshipful, and the
craftsmen have done their duty.

Grand Master, liiglil \V()rshi|)ful l)c'i)uty Grand Master, you will now apply the
proper architectural inslruiin'iit \n the base of this pedestal and see if the several
angles thereof are duly and pmpcrly i\)rmcd.

Deputy Grand Masteij (John Lockie) (api)lyiiig the bevel). Most Worslui)ful
Grand Master, I have aj^pliccl tlie bevel to the several angles of the l)ase of tliis ped-
estal and find that the craftsmen have done tlieir duty.

Grand Master. As the imj)lemeuts of architecture, in the hands of the skilltul
operative mason, enable liim to i)r('i)are and adjust the sundry materials of which
the com])lcte strufture is com])ose<l, so do they, in the hands of enlightened and
accepted spccuhitivc Masons, teach them to prei)ar(' their minds as living stones
for tliat spirit iial building, that "house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."

(Tlie deputy gran<l master i)resi'nted the corn.)

Grand Master. Brethren, the corn, wine, and oil. which you carry in your pro-
cessions and which are the <'onRe(Tating elements iised on occasions like this, are to
remind us that in the j)ilgriinage of lif<' we are to im])art a ])ortion of our bread to the
hungry, to send a cup of our wine to cheer the sorrowful, and to pour the healing oil


of consolation into the wounds wliich sickness hath made in tlie bodies or affliction
hath rent in the hearts of our fellow men.

In placing the corn u])on the foundation of this statue I invoke the blessing of
plenty on the people of this city and u])on the people of our whole country. Especially
may they never want for that bread for which to eat is life eternal.

(The senior grand warden presented the wine.)

Grand Master. In pouring the wine u])on it, I do it in the fervent hope that the
wine of joy may ever gladden the hearts of the people everywhere.

(The junior grand warden presented the oil.)

Grand Master. In pouring oil upon the foundation of this statue, I hope and
pray that its healing element may spread all over the face of this land and, like oil
upon the trouliled waters, calm the waves of discord and be conducive to that peace,
harmony, brotherly love, and sincere affection, assuring hap})iness to all, that we
believe "would have rejoiced the heart of the good man whose semblance it supports
had the will of God been that he should havelived to look once more upon a united

May the consolation of the gospel of the Prince of Peace accompany us all through
life and illumine our pathway as we pass through the dark valley of the shadow of

The grand master gave three raps with his gavel on the foundation
and made the announcement: "I now pronounce this foundation
properly prepared, well laid, true and trusty; and this statue, erected
by the citizens of Washington to the memory of Abraham Lincoln,
duly and fully dedicated to the American people." [Applause.]

The Marine Band then performed the Miserere from Trovatore. .


B. B. French, Esq., the orator of the day, then addressed the
assemblage, as follows:

We have met here this day, my fellow citizens, to dedicate to the people of the
United States here, in the ceiitralpart of their own Capital, the form and semblance
of one who they dearly loved in life, and whose memory they can never cease to
revere; who three years ago this day yielded up his life a martyr to his love of his
country, his love of his fellow men, and his unshaken confidence in the affection and
reverence for his person of all around him.

The statue which we now inaugurate is emphatically the offering of the citizens of
Washington to the memory of the man whose form and features it represents.

In April, 1865, tlie councils of the city adopted a resolution unanimously appoint-
ing a committee to consist of the mayor and three members of each board for the pur-
pose of forming a Washington Lincoln Monument Association. That committee, in
conformity witli the resolution, elected a large number of their most respectable
citizens, who, with the orginal committee, formed the association, with the Hon.
Richard Wallach, mayor, as president; C. S. Noyes, Esq., as secretary; and George W.
Riggs, Esq., as treasurer. Subscriptions were solicited from the citizens of Washing-
ton and a sum sufficient to secure the erection of the statue was obtained. A contract
was entered into with Mr. Lot Flannery, of Washington, to furnish the statue, and it
now stands before you the Avork of his hands.

Who can ever forget that night of horror when the awful intelligence was borne by
the telegraphic wires all through the land that Abraham Lincoln had been struck
down by the hands of an assassin.

Oh, night of woe,
How arc you joined with hell in triple knot.

And that day of grief which followed, when the me-ssenger of death weTit forth
with the sad tidings that our good President was no longer on earth — can it be for-
gotten? There is not one within the reach of my voice — and I think I may truly
add, there is not one in this broad land — to whom it is not a wonder and a mystery
how the people bore up as they did under so terri1)le, so appalling a calamity. But
they did bear up, and although the President whom they almost adored was dead,
the"^Nation lived. And let me say here, that I believe nothing savotlie final dis-
ruption of "the great globe itself" can destroy this Nation. The pro-\iden(;e of God
watches over us, sustains us through all our trials, and will preserve us as a free and
independent people through all time.


It does not require any monument or any words to perpetuate the memory of that
great and good and pure man. Monumental marble may crumble into dust: bronze
may melt away, granite may perish from the earth: but the memory of Abraham
Lincoln shall live in human bosoms and be perpetuated on the li^dng pages of his-
tor\^ as long as any nation or people shall exist on earth. [Applause.]

But it is a satisfaction and a pleasure, tinged svith melancholy, to look upon that
venerated form and to view those features which, whatever else they may indicate,
if true to the life, will glow \vith goodness, kindness, ana love, and whereon never
rested for a moment a single characteristic other than such as gave outward proof of
a good and lo^'ing heart, a conscience void of offense, and charity toward all mankind.
Oh, heaven, that such a man should have died in such a time and in such a manner!

I hardly know, my fellow citizens, where to begin on an occasion like this. Al-
though the field is ample it has been thoroughly gleaned by the pen of the historian
and the harvest has been garnered in the bosoms of a lo^dns: people. Still I am aware
of j'our affection for his memon,', and that you never tire in listening to a rehearsal of
his virtues. [Cries of "'Never."]

Abraham Lincoln was unlike any other man. He seemed to be born to fill the
very station he occupied for tlie last five years of his life, and the faith that was in us
stands firm to this day that he alone could have carried the countrj^ safely through
the awful perils that beset it while he fdled the responsible and dangerous position of
Chief Magistrate. [Cries of "That's so."] We can say of him M-ith as much truth
as it was said of one of the greatest and best of English statesmen, he was, indeed —
"The pilot weathered the storm."

Let us attempt to analyze the man. He was possessed of a heart as pure as the
snowflake as it falls from above. Although of great simplicity of mind and manner,
there was in that mind a penetration which seemed to read the very thoughts of
others, and which spoke through the eye in language more powerful than could be
uttered in words, a defiance to anyone who sought to deceive him. I have heard it
called "shrewdness." It was more than shrewdness, and I hardly know how other-
wise to characterize it, but in the strong language of the Apostle, as the "sword of the
Spirit, " for as 1 have myself seen the seanhing, powerful, inqui'^itive expression of that
remarkable eye when turned upon one whose statement the President had cause to
doubt, it has seemed to me to pierce the buckler of deception through and through,
and that the wearer was conscious of his discomfiture before a word was uttered.

With a dis])osition as genial as a bright May morning, with a temjier that could hardly
be ruffled by the most untoward circumstances, mth a soul absolutely beaming
through the eyes, with an affection that < aptivated everyone, he was possessed of a
firmncs.s of purpose, in his determination to do right, that could not be overcome.

Pride of plac e was unknown to his character. To him that spark of the eternal
whi( h gleamed in the bosom of the most humble shone as bright as if it animated the
breast of tht; proudest and highest in the land; and the widow and the fatherless ever
found a ready listener to the tale of distre.ss, and never left him without words of con-
Bolation aiul ai ts which sjjoke louder than words.

Even the language he used was as peculiar to him as was any other peculiarity of
his nature — ter.se, pointed, plain; never wandering among the ma/.es of rhetoric after
adornment, but simple as the man himself, and going as straight to the mark at which
he aimed as an arrow from the bow of Tell. Solomon, in all the glory of his pnnerbs,
might have envied him had he lived in these days of diffusive writing and still more
diffusive speaking!

That single sentence in his last inaugural coming up undefiled from the pure well
of his noble heart — "\\'ith malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness
in the right, as God gives us to see l,he right, let us strive on to finish the work we are
in" — spoke the character of the jiian, aQ<l will live among the sayings of great and good
men as long as human li|)s can sjjeak or types can print; and as we read it now, we
can scarcely repress a tear as we refiect how soon after it was said the voice that said
it was silenced forever, and tlie work that he was in was finishe<l.

The first we know of Abraham LiTicoln as a national man is that he came into the
IIouBC of Representatives of the United States, as a Member fmm Illinois, at the first
session of the Thirtieth Congress on the first Monday of December, 1S47. He served
through that Congress without any ixTrticular distinction, exce]it that he was regarded
as an horu-st, kind hearted, genial, mirth-loving man, popular with all who knew
him, an<l the few 8i)e(^(hes he then made indicated a man of no inconsiderable talent.
iJut no one, as 1 think, mistrusted the hidden mine of ability which existed under
the unjiretendin',' exterior.

In tlie spirited canvass between him and the lamented Douglas, in 1S5S, he so
conducted his i)art in the controversy, as to convince his eloquent and talented
comj)etitor that he had "a foeman worthy of his steel," and the eyes of the whole
people were turnc'l upon him as "the rising man."


Wlienever the people he^in really to love a man, when he has fairly stolen away
their hearts, they invariably bestow upon him a pet name. I believe I mav sa>' that
the homelier the name the better the individual is beloved. So we find in the annals
of those davs that "Honest Old Abe," as a synonym for Abraham T.incoln, be<ran to
be a household phrase. There is probably no better indication of the loves of the peo-
ple — the real genuine affection of the masses — for men, than in this pet nomenclature
that they give. We can readilv call to mind "The Father of His Coimtrv," "The
Mill Bov of the Slashes." "Old Hickory." "The Defender of the Constitution,"
"Old Zack," with his "little more grape Oapt. Brags:," "Old Ironsides," and many-
more. But we must return to the subject of our remarks.

In 1860, Abraham Lincoln was nominated as the Republican candidate for Presi-
dent of the United States, and the nomination was hailed throughout the loyal portion
of the Union with an enthusiasm that gave assurance that he was trulv the candidate
of the friends of the Federal Government. He was triumphantly elected: and his
election was, as we all know, the signal for the commencement of that dreadful effort
to dissolve the Union, that ended in foiu- years of disastrous war. and the final triumph
of the old flag, but at a terrible sacrifice of human life, and an immense expense of
national treasure. Through this fratricidal war. Abraham Lincoln stood at the head
of the Government, calm, cool, firm, and determined. Ever hopeful, in the darkest
hours of the struggle, and never for a moment ceasing to place his trust in that —

Divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough hew them how we will.

But the historv of those dreadful years has been so many times UTitten and is so
familiar to you all that it would be a trespass upon vour time and patience to repeat
it here. I shall therefore content myself by sa^ang that President Lincoln was found
grandly equal to the great trust reposed in him and performed every duty with a

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Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Committee on the LReerection of statue of Lincoln ... Report → online text (page 1 of 3)