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Newspaper Clips (1930-1939)
Apr. 11, 1930: Body of Pioneer Patriot Exhumed From Grave Here
June 25, 1933: Restoration of Congressional Cemetery Recalls Memories of Early Statesman
May 31, 1936: Architects Pay Tribute to Mills
Feb. 19, 1937: Congressional Oversight
July 17, 1937: Old Cemetery Restoration is Pushed
Sep. 10, 1937: Graves of Signers To Be Decorated
Jan. 31, 1938: Tombstone Falls on 6-Year Old Girl
Feb. 13, 1938: Records of Cemetery Disclose Interesting Facts on Notables
Nov. 8, 1938: D.A.R. United Unveils Marker
May 15, 1939: Hallowed Dust of Giants of Old Reposed Therein
The Washington Post, April 11, 1930
Body of Pioneer Patriot Exhumed From Grave Here
The body of James Pinckney Henderson, first Governor of Texas, which has lain in a Congressional Cemetery grave for 72 years, was exhumed yesterday upon request of the Lone Star State and will be shipped to Austin tomorrow for burial on April 21, the anniversary of the State's independence.
Machinery has been in operation for some time to have the body of the Texan returned to his home for interment in the State cemetery. Senator Connally has been instrumental in obtaining permission for transfer. Although buried in a lead casket, it was found yesterday that the coffin was in such a state of decay that a new one had to be substituted before the remains could be shipped.
Although a native of Lincolnton, N.C., Henderson was a Texas patriot. He recruited a company for service in behalf of the Republic of Texas in 1836. Shortly afterward, upon being commissioned brigadier general, he returned to the United States and raised another company of volunteers at his own expense.
After Texas had won its independence, he served successively as attorney general and secretary of state and later as a diplomatic representative in negotiations with the United States for annexation. He was elected the first governor in 1846.
After serving as major general in the Mexican War and being given a sword by Congress for bravery, he was appointed to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Thomas J. Rusk.
Washington Post, June 25, 1933
Restoration of Congressional Cemetery Recalls Memories of Early Statesman
Cenotaphs, Memorials to Famous Men of Nearly Century Ago, Are Receiving First
Cleaning and Painting in More Than 50 Years.
Memories of many great and near-great statesmen of nearly a century ago are being revived out at the Congressional Cemetery, 1801 E street southeast, where about a hundred cenotaphs of former members of Congress are being cleaned and painted for the first time in more than 50 years.
A cenotaph marks no grave but is merely a memorial. It is defined by Webster as "an empty tomb."
Rumors of governmental graft back in the 40's and 50's are whispered as the vestry of Christ Church, which operates Washington's oldest cemetery, conducts the renovation of these grim old reminders of long-dead legislators.
According to Congressional appropriations for the erection of the tombs, they were to be made of the best granite. Superintendent Lewis B. Taylor has found during the work of painting the memorials that the cheap sandstone of which they were constructed, is rapidly crumbling away.
Painting of the cenotaph of Henry Clay, great Kentucky senator and Secretary of State, brought to light the puzzling fact that space beside the word "born" in the epitaph is blank. Clay was born April 12, 1777.
Taylor's only explanation for this omission is that records of that sort were so rare at the time of the cenotaph's erection, in 1852, that if the builders didn't have the date handy they didn't bother to look it up.
One old story about this historic cemetery, built in 1807, is that the iron grill fence which surrounds the grounds was the original fence around the Capitol Building. This must be classed as legend as there is no record confirming the story.
Many long-forgotten American statesmen are buried in isolated graves in the old cemetery.
Vice President Elbridge Gerry, who died in 1814 on the way to his duties at the Capitol, lies buried there. His famous statement: It is the duty of every citizen, though he may have but one day to live, to devote that day to the good of his country," appears in the epitaph on his tomb.
Commodore Thomas Tingey, first commandant of the Washington Navy Yard, is buried there. His tomb was erected in 1829. John Philip Sousa, the great bandmaster, was buried there about a year ago.
The cemetery is remarkably full of historical reminders to be so little known ass a place of interest.
The present work of beautifying the cemetery is being carried rapidly forward by the Christ Church vestry with appropriations entirely from church funds.
The Evening Star, May 31, 1936
Architects Pay Tribute to Mills
Monument at Grave is Dedicated-Roosevelt Letter Read
Tribute to the memory of Robert Mills, first Federal architect, was paid at Congressional Cemetery yesterday when a monument erected at his grave by a group of architects, was dedicated in the presence of Mills' descendants and many interested architects and admirers of his work.
A message from President Roosevelt, lauding Mr. Mills' work, was read.
"Every visitor who comes to Washington," wrote the President in a message to Edwin B. Morris of the Monument Committee, "is impressed with the classic beauty of the Treasury, the Patent Office and the Land Office, notable among the structures designed by Mills.
"Of all the monuments in our National Capital, the one outstanding in silent, solemn grandeur is that which Mills designed and which the Nation erected in memory of Washington. None but a very great genius could have evolved in his mind such a lofty conception of the greatness of a man and of a great Nation's love for that man. I am truly glad that belated tribute is to be paid to Mills' memory."
The message was read by Francis P. Sullivan, who presided.
The memorial was unveiled by Mrs. Robert Mills Evans of this city, great granddaughter of Mr. Mills. Other members of the family present included a great-grandson, Robert Mills Dimitry, of Brookly, N.Y., with his wife, and a great-great-grandson, Richard X Evans, of this city. A letter of appreciation was read from Mills' surviving grandson, Thomas Dabney Dimitry, of New Orleans, unable, on account of age, to be present.
Rear Admiral Christian Joy Peoples, director of procurement for the Government, was the principal speaker. He praised the work of Mills, declaring he was an "inspiration and example" to his successors.
Louis A. Simon, supervising architect of the Treasury's Procurement Division, said Mills' work "breathes the spirit of all that is universal and permanent in beauty, undimmed by the passing of years."
David Rankin Barbee, author and historian, reviewed the life and works of Mills comprehensively, declaring his buildings here "express the majesty, the dignity and the beauty of our country."
The grave of Mills had remained unmarked by monument for more than 80 years. The memorial was designed by P.G. Golden and Harry Cunningham.
The Washington Daily News, February 19, 1937
In a little-known plot near 19th and B streets se, almost a hundred of the country's once illustrious sleep the last sleep. The Congressional Cemetery was set apart by the founders because of the difficulties presented in those times of transporting the body of a member who might die on duty here to his native soil. It was the intention then that burial in such a place would put the honored deceased in a position to be remembered forever by a grateful nation.
Rep. Edith Nourse Rogers, in the gloom of a dying day of Congress recently, called attention to how shamefully this hallowed spot had fallen into the decay of neglect.
She was mindful that the little church situated there had done all its meager funds would permit. But she charged her colleagues: "If we do not honor our own, no one else will."
She referred, without rancor, to the magnificent preparations made at Arlington to care for the war dead. Glad of this, she was unhappy that the meager sum which would be required to renovate and provide perpetual care for the congressional plot had been overlooked by Congress.
And when she was thru with her speech on the floor she told a story:
"My husband and I," she said, "used to explore out-of-the-way places near town in our auto whenever the weather was pleasant and his duties would permit." (He was a Massachusetts congressman then.) "Passing Congressional Cemetery one day he said, "There's where you can bury me without a cent of cost."
"We laughed about it then, because the idea of death was furthest from our thoughts. Bud he did die. And I succeeded him in Congress . . ."
"He's buried at home, of course. But I think of those who went before, under other conditions than ours, and whether we who succeeded them in Congress might not remember . . ."
The Washington Daily News, July 17, 1937
Old Cemetery Restoration is Pushed
"The white stones soon grew yellow with neglect. Jails and almshouses moved in as neighbors. As a part of official Washington the Congressional Cemetery passed out of public thought. But the names on many of its forgotten headstones are those of men who played big roles in the development of this country.
"There, for instance, lies Tobias Lear. Tobias was buried on the hillside by the Anacostia River after he killed himself in his garden pavilion. Tobias, so the words on his tombstone say, 'was the private secretary and familiar friend of the illustrious Washington.' . . . The inscriptions on the old tombstones are fascinating reading . . . On the monument of Vice President Elbridge Gerry, who died suddenly in his carriage on his way to ---"
Essary Was Pioneer
Back in February, Helen Essary, whose column appears daily in The Washington Times as one of its most widely followed features, sat down and wrote about Congressional Cemetery, of the existence of which few contemporary members of Congress had ever even heard.
She told how Representative Edith Nourse Rogers of Massachusetts, had introduced a bill in the House to provide for its maintenance.
Meanwhile on the hill above the sleepy river the grass grew long above the graves, the tombstones crumbled and wore smooth in the rains of many years, and there were few to know or care, as a restless age and a careless Government passed it by for problems of greater urgency or more imminent interest.
Mrs. Essary's article attracted attention at the Capitol. It was reprinted in the Congressional Record. Mrs. Rogers read it to the members of the House. Senator Theodore Green (D), of Rhode Island, introduced a companion bill in the Senate to restore the historical burial plot and maintain it as a national shrine.
Rider on War Bill
And today Mrs. Rogers called Mrs. Essary to tell her the measure had been attached as a rider to a War Department Appropriation bill, carrying with it the money necessary to enable the department to keep up the cemetery as it does Arlington.
Mrs. Essary called The Times to ask that Mrs. Rogers particularly be given credit for her good work in persuading Congress to look after its own.
Mrs. Rogers, for her part, wants Mrs. Essary to be given credit for stirring up the subject and presenting it in pictorial language which helped make it possible for her to persuade her fellow legislators to do something about it.
Both seemed to think that Senator Green, being a man, could look after himself, and see that he gets a bit of credit too.
The Evening Star, September 10, 1937
Graves of Signers To Be Decorated
Honor Planned for Abraham Baldwin, Also Gerry, Who Was Delegate
Two graves in the old Congressional Cemetery here--those of Abraham Baldwin, one of the 39 who signed the Constitution of the United States 150 years ago, and of Elbridge Gerry, one of the 1 other deputies to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia who did not sign that document--are to be decorated on September 17, anniversary of the signing. Similar services are to be held in the 13 original States represented at the convention. Fifty-two known graves are to be decorated.
The central ceremony is to be at the Mount Vernon tomb of George Washington, who was one of the signers from Virginia, while four other deputies from that State who did not sign will also be honored in local services at their respective graves. Representative Sol Bloom, director general of the Constitutional Sesquicentennial Commission, will personally direct the services at Washington's tomb, which will be broadcast over a coast-to-coast network.
Abraham Baldwin was a native of North Guilford, Conn., and graduated from Yale both as a lawyer and preacher. He was chaplain in the Revolutionary Army from 1777 to 1783; practiced law in Georgia, was author of the charter of the University of Georgia and president of that institution for many years. He was a member of the Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention, a member of the first four Congresses and twice elected president pro tempore of the United States Senate. He was first buried in Rock Creek Cemetery, but reinterred in the Congressional Cemetery.
Gerry Was Senator's Ancestor
Elbridge Gerry, great grandfather of Senator Peter Goelet Gerry of Rhode Island, was a native of Marblehead, Mass. He was a member of the Colonial House of Representatives and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. As a delegate to the Constitutional Convention he refused to sign the instrument, insisting it gave the President too much power, but subsequently gave it his support. He served in the first two Congresses, was sent to France on a diplomatic mission, was twice Governor of Massachusetts and Vice President during the administration of Madison. His grandson and great grandson also served in Congress.
Three graves in Maryland are to be decorated--those of Daniel Carroll in Forest Glen and James McHenry in Baltimore, both of whom signed the Constitution, and that of J.F. Mercer in West River, Anne Arundel County, who did not sign.
Virginia Graves to Be Decorated
The Virginia graves to be decorated, in addition to that of Washington, are: James Madison at Montpelier and John Blair, Williamsburg, both of whom signed, and the deputies who did not sign--George Wythe and James McClurgt, both in Richmond; Edmund Randolph, Millwood, and George Mason, Gunston Hall.
The other graves to be decorated are distributed as follows: Connecticut, 3; Delaware, 4; Georgia, 1; Massachusetts, 2; New Jersey, 3; New York 9; New Hampshire, 2; North Carolina, 2; Pennsylvania, 9; South Carolina, 4; Tennessee, 1.
Two graves apparently cannot be located, those of Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer, a deputy of Maryland, who signed the Constitution, and of William Houstun, a deputy from Georgia, who did not sign. He died in Savannah in 1833.
Another delegate who attended the convention, but did not sign, was John Lansing of New York, and eminent jurist. Judge Lansing left early in the convention, considering that it was exceeding its powers. In 1829, while on a visit in New York City from his home in Albany, he disappeared, creating a mystery that never was solved.
In most instances the States where the deputies are buried will have charge of the ceremonies. The services will be attended by representatives of State and local governments, officials of patriotic and fraternal societies and of similar local groups.
The Evening Star, January 31, 1938
Tombstone Falls on 6-Year Old Girl
Child Walking Through Cemetery With Mother
Is Injured by Marker
A tombstone believed to have been loosened by wind and rain, fell on 6-year-old Louise McAlerr at Congressional Cemetery yesterday, inflicting scalp cuts and possible internal injuries.
Louise was walking through the cemetery with her mother, Mrs. Lula McAlerr, 1634 G street S.E., her younger sister and two other girls, after placing flowers on the grave of a friend.
At a turn in the path, Mrs. McAlerr heard Louise scream. She faced around to see her daughter crushed to the ground under a gravestone as long as her body. Only the child's feet protruded. Mrs. McAlerr lifted the stone off her and ran to her nearby home with the injured child. Louise was treated at Gallinger Hospital.
The Evening Star, February 13, 1938
Records of Cemetery Disclose Interesting Facts on Notables
Discoveries Made by Superintendent of Congressional Grounds
In Check-up on Tombstone Repairs
By Jessie Fant Evans
Repairs to tombstones marking the graves of dead Congressmen in Congressional Cemetery, America's first national cemetery, have resulted in the unearthing of long-forgotten items about Dolly Madison and other historical notables, it was revealed yesterday.
The discoveries were made by William M. Heinline, cemetery superintendent, in a check-up of ancient files in connection with the War Department's supervision of the repairs ordered by Congress for the stones marking the burial sites of Congressional dead.
Faintly lined pages in musty records reveal the burial and subsequent transfers of the remains of Dolly Madison, who as the wife of Jefferson's Secretary of State and later during the eight years of James Madison's Presidential tenure, dominated the activities in the White House social whirl.
Orphan Asylum Director
It was during this latter period that she became the first director of the City Orphan Asylum, contributing both time and money to the service of the orphaned youth of the Capital.
"I never enjoyed anything so much," she said of this activity.
As the widowed "venerable" Mrs. Madison she lived on the northeast corner of Lafayette Square with her beloved niece, Anna Payne, who married James H. Causten of this city.
Philip Hone, a New York merchant after a Washington visit, wrote concerning her in his journal for March, 1842: "She is a young lady of fourscore and upwards, goes to parties and receives company like the queen of the new world."
Upon her last public appearance in February, 1849, at a White House reception, Mrs. Madison received an overwhelming ovation, according to the diary of President Polk upon whose arm she made a triumphal tour of the lower rooms of the White House.
Impressive "Public" Services
When she died the following July there were impressive "public" funeral services at St. John's Church, attended by the President, his cabinet, foreign government representatives and other prominent officials and friends. Mrs. Madison's remains were placed in the public vault at Congressional Cemetery "on July 16, 1849."
This further transcript from the Congressional Cemetery records tells its own story:
"Journal III, 1849-1856," under date of "February 10th, 1852." "Mrs. Dolly Madison Est. Dr. to removing the remains of Mrs. Madison from Public Vault to Mr. James Causten's family's Vault, $1.50."
The $1.50 is crossed through with two lines to indicate that the bill was paid.
The Causten vault near that of John Gadsby of Gadsby's Tavern fame, is of red brick with white marble entablatures which bear the heading, "Inexorable Death's Doings." It has the date 1835 over its entrance. Among those whose remains now repose there according to the inscription on the entablature on the right hand of the entrance is Mary Elizabeth Carvallo, wife of Manuel Carvallo, one-time Minister of Chile at Washington, and daughter of James H. and Elizabeth Causton.
According to Mr. Heinline, a descendant, Luis Amenbar, special commissioner of the government of Chile, while on a mission to America last fall, paid his respect to his maternal forbear.
Transfer of Body
This extract from the Day Journal of the Congressional Cemetery of January 12, 1858, ends Dolly Madison's connection with it and its burial vaults. "Permission given L. Williams to remove the body of Mrs. Madison, Causten's family vault to Virginia." At Montpelier it was interred by the side of her husband and a simple white monument erected over the grave, her name being misspelled "Dolley" by the marble worker in charge of the task.
It is thought that her son, Todd, by her first marriage, who was always lacking in filial devotion to his mother and who repaid repeated efforts in his behalf by nearly reducing her to penury in her declining years, lies in an unmourned grave in the Congressional Cemetery.
An unusual transcript is that of a personal letter from President Polk to the superintendent of the cemetery concerning the burial there of Henry Stephen Fox, British envoy to the United States from 1835 to 1843. It will be remembered that President Polk, during the course of the Oregon boundary dispute with Great Britain, in his administration, said to our commissioners, "The only way to treat John Bull is to look him straight in the eye. I consider a bold and firm course the pacific one."
In his letter dated September 16, 1847, to the cemetery sexton, Mr. Polk said: "You are hereby requested to set apart in the Congressional Burial Ground an appropriate spot for the interment of the late Mr. Fox, formerly Envoy Extraordinary and Ministry plenipotentiary of her Britannic majesty to the United States.
Other recods indicating the Congressional Cemetery use as a national place of burial prior to the Civil War include the following notations on many of similar station in public life:
"April 7th, 1841, General William Henry Harrison, Public Vault. Removed to Ohio, June 10th, 1841."
"Lund Washington, son of General Washington's half-brother and first organist of Christ Church, April 7th, 1841."
"February 2, 1848, Honorable John Quincy Adams, Public Vault. Removed March 6th, 1848, to Massachusetts."
"October 24, 1850, by Sam'l Kirby, Remains of General Zachary Taylor removed from Public Vault to Lexington, Kentucky. $1.00"
Congressional Cemetery is located at Eighteenth and Pennsylvania avenue S.E., adjacent to the Anacostia River or "Eastern Branch of the Potomac," as it is often familiarly referred to by Capitol hill residents.
A number of the old tombstones in the Congressional Cemetery date back to 1804 and 1805, and are an indication of its early association with the establishment of the national seat of Government here in 1800.
Ingles Among Founders
Henry and John Ingle, who were among the founders of the cemetery, are buried there. Henry Ingle was the great-grandfather of Miss Ella Moore of 180 Thirty-first street, in what was once old Georgetown.
March 30, 1812, Henry Ingle, who since 1807 had been a registrar of Christ Church, the oldest Episcopal parish in the District, established by act of the Maryland Legislature in 1794, deeded to its vestry the nucleus of what has since come to be universally known as Congressional Cemetery.
In 1817 the vestry of Christ Church set aside 100 burial sites for the interment of deceased Government officials, and in 1823 deeded 300 more to the United States for the same purpose.
For over 50 years thereafter this cemetery became recognized as a national burying ground for all Government officials who died holding Government office and for other famous men and women whose careers or official connection justified placing their bodies in graves set aside for public use and deeded to Congress.
Shortly after the Civil War this practice was very generally abandoned.
There also grew up the placing of memorial markers over the last resting places of Congressmen and other Government officials. Some 85 of these "bee-hive" markers of sandstone still remain in the cemetery and are receiving belated care from the United States Government.
Two Vice Presidents of the United States, Gerry and Clinton, were at one time buried in Congressional Cemetery. Gov. Clinton was later removed to New York State.
For a time after the tragic explosion of the ill-fated S.S. Princeton, on the Potomac River during President Tyler's administration, Secretary of State Abel Upshur of Upshurs Neck, Accomac County, Va., was buried in Congressional Cemetery in the same grave with his devoted aide, Capt. Beverly Kenyon, both having lost their lives in this catastrophe. Both were afterwards removed.
It is also the last resting place of Secretary of War, John O. Rawlins, Tobias Lear, secretary to Gen. Washington, and of Robert Mills, the first Federal architect. His white marble monument erected by the architects of America commemorates his genius in giving to us the Washington Monument and the Treasury Building.
The Washington Herald, November 8, 1938
D.A.R. United Unveils Marker
D.A.R. chapters in the District yesterday had a banner day with three chapters holding special meetings.
National and State officers attended the unveiling of a marker in honor of a revolutionary soldier by the Elizabeth Jackson Chapter in Congressional Cemetery.
Early in the morning, seven members of the Livingston Chapter, led by their regent, Mrs. John W. Edwards, went to historic Christ Church, Navy Yard, and began the patient work of copying records from the parish register and other books. The Rev. Edward Gabler and the vestry of the parish had given consent for this work under the supervision of Mrs. Robert E. Holm, chairman and Mrs. Frederick Sparrow.
The work is being done for the genealogical department of the D.A.R. and, as Christ Church dates to 1790, its records contain many valuable items.
Among those engaged in the task yesterday were Mrs. J. Albert Mears, Mrs. Miller V. Parsons, Mrs. R.J. Franklin, Mrs. G.M. Brumbaugh and the regent, Mrs. John W. Edwards.
Mrs. Marie L. Bochover, national chairman of press relations of the D.A.R., spoke on "Contacts with the Press," at the meeting of the Major L'Enfant Chapter, held at the home of its vice regent, Mrs. Joseph D. Reich, last night. The assisting hostesses were Miss Margaret Bloomfield and Mrs. Ethel Cotton. Mrs. Edwin S. Bettelheim, jr., regent of the chapter, presided. A program of early American songs was given by Oscar Kuldell, accompanied by Miss Helen Kuldell.
Washington Daily News, May 15, 1939
Hallowed Dust of Giants of Old Reposed Therein
By Charter Heslep
If you want to find out whether or not some ancestor of yours rests in the 132-year-old Congressional Cemetery in southeast, you should go-of all places-to the House Appropriations Committee.
There you will find a 177-page typewritten report made by the War Department giving burial records as complete as it was possible to compile from cemetery records, and the vast military data of the War Department, yellowed newspaper files and other data. Actually, Congressional is the first national cemetery created by the Government.
The historic 30-acre tract, first resting place of the remains of Presidents John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson; Henry Clay and some 50 senators of an earlier day and upward of 150 representatives, has been completely rehabilitated after years of neglect.
How It Came About
The renovation and the burial record compilation are the result of a chance visit of two Rhode Island senators some years ago.
The present Sen. Francis Green was visiting Sen. Peter G. Gerry. His host asked one Sunday morning what his guest would like to do. Sen. Green said his great grandfather, James Burwell, was buried in Congressional Cemetery and he would like to visit his grave.
Sen. Gerry recalled that his great grandfather, Elbridge Gerry, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, also was interred there. They found the cemetery in a sad state. Rank weed growth covered the acres where rest the bones of many heroes. Cenotaphs and headstones, many provided by a thoughtful Government, were crumbling and falling.
It took hours to find the Gerry grave and as for Sen. Burwell, well, the keeper said he just wasn't buried there.
Defied His Doctor
The circumstances of Sen. Burwell's death in December 1820, were too well known to his descendant to take the caretaker's word. Ill with a cold, the tart old legislator defied doctor's orders to vote on a bill during that month. He caught pneumonia, as his doctor feared, and died. It would have taken a week to get his body back to his native Rhode Island then, so he was given a state funeral at the Capitol and interred in Congressional. Sen. Green was much perturbed not to be able to find the Burwell grave.
Sen. Green was elected in 1936 and was put on the Senate Appropriations Committee and had language written in the 1937 War Department bill to include Congressional with Arlington and other cemeteries cared for by the Quartermaster General.
The persistent Green a few months later inquired how the work was progressing. When told it could not be done because there was not enough money, the Rhode Islander cited the specific authorization in the bill and demanded action. He got it.
Adding to the pressure on the House side was the interest of Rep. Edith Nourse Rogers who prepared a supporting resolution, later found unnecessary.
And so, after two years and expenditure of a relative small sum, the old cemetery has been renovated to a par with other national cemeteries.
The Government's interest in this plot dates to 1807, when it was known as the Episcopalian Burying Ground and comprised 4 ½ acres. The Government sold part of its property there to the Washington Parish but in the succeeding years, gradually took over the property. About $50,000 was spent over the first 100 years of its existence to enlarge the grounds, build a chapel no longer existent, erect the receiving vault which has held the remains of many famous men and put up the now ancient iron picket fence around the place.
To recount all the public figures interred there would be tedious but the wide range of burials is interesting. Many bodies years later were removed by kinsmen and taken back to their native states.
One interesting group of graves marks "happy hunting ground" of many Indians who died while in Washington negotiating treaties for their tribes. Among them were Prophet, a Winnebago; Scarlet Crow, a friendly Sioux chief who was famed as a scout, Little Bee and others.
Among the early giants of Capitol Hill whose bodies were to be found there, were Commodore Daniel Todd Patterson, the gallant officer who subdued the pirate, Jean Lafitte in 1814, destroying his raiding flotilla; Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, Thaddeus Stevens, Pennsylvania's "great commoner," and many others.
The Civil War is reflected there also. There were numerous burials following the Battle of Bull Run in 1861. There is a monument to "21 girls who lost their lives in the Arsenal explosion in 1864" and graves of a number of Confederate prisoners.
Tobias Lear, secretary and trusted friend of George Washington, was buried in Congressional in 1816 and the record on President Adams is "President John Quincy Adams, later a Representative."
Several victims of "poison secretly put in food served in Washington during the inauguration of President Buchanan" lie there, including Mississippi's Gov. John Anthony Quitman. There also rest several secretaries of state, U.S. treasurers, and other high officials who died in office.
Interments fell off rapidly after the turn of the century. They ceased almost entirely after 1920. But in 1932, the cemetery gates opened again to receive the pall of a great musician who had lived his entire life within sight of the old burial ground. John Philip Sousa, the "band king," then was buried there.
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