02 Nov 2020


Lost Capitol Hill: The Rotunda as Meeting-place

Over the last two weeks, I have looked at how the old Hall of Representatives, which nowadays we know as Statuary Hall, was misused in the time after Congress moved out and before it became a museum. Today, a look at another room, just a few feet north of the former: The Rotunda. Conceived as […]

23 Mar 2020


Lost Capitol Hill: The death of Beau Hickman

Beau Hickman’s fame was such that in the run-up to the inauguration of James Buchanan (That’s him on the left) in 1857, the Washington Evening Star published an ad encouraging readers to buy their newspaper so as not to miss anything: From the most important movements in matters of state to the pressing solicitations of […]

13 Jan 2020


Lost Capitol Hill: Aaron Burr

I mentioned last week that I had looked through the books at Hathitrust.org for those that had gone out of copyright at the beginning of the year. While the reminiscences of the Civil War on Capitol Hill was obviously the more striking, there was another book that caught my eye: Rider’s Washington: A Guide Book […]

11 Nov 2019


Lost Capitol Hill: Walter Sowerbutts

Last year, in writing about the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, I wrote about the only veteran I could find at the last minute. I was told that there were, indeed, more, and this year I want to look at one of them: a young man with the mellifluous name […]

07 Oct 2019


Lost Capitol Hill: Instrument Maker John Clark

I have long been intrigued by manufacturing on the Hill, and, in particular, the scientific instruments that were built here or by locals. I came across another instrument manufacturer, though one who has remained remarkably resistant to finding out much of what he did, mainly because of his utterly generic name: John Clark. As best […]

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