Object Record

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Catalog Number 01.C.11
Object Name Fragment, Marble
Title Stone from the First American Capitol
Artist Unknown
Date 1814-18
Description Rectangular marble slab. Inscription: "From the first American Capitol. Conflagrated by the British Gen. Ross. August 24th 1814." "METIT OMNIA JANUS PATULCIUS TEMPUS" around outer rim. "Spero-custralis" on reverse. Split diagonally in half, drill hole in center.
Label Ground was broken on the U.S. Capitol building in Washington in 1793, and by 1814, although not yet completed, the building had been used for Congressional sessions for several years. On August 24, 1814, during the War of 1812, British troops invaded Washington, setting fire to a number of significant buildings, including the President’s Mansion and the U.S. Capitol. Only a rainstorm stopped the Capitol from being completely destroyed, but left it, according to architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe, "a most magnificent ruin." Congressional business took place in other Washington locations until 1819, when the building was restored and the House and Senate could return.
Material Marble
Dimensions W-10.478 L-8.89 D-1.905 cm
Credit line American Philosophical Society. Gift of Captain Riley, 24 August 1818.
Search Terms 19th century
nineteenth century