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President William Henry Harrison
THE FUNERAL CEREMONIES
Wednesday, having been set apart for the solemnities of the Funeral of the late President, some anxiety was felt, in the early part of the morning, as to the weather, for the sky was overcast, and fears were entertained lest it should come on to rain; but, as the day advanced these apprehensions were dissipated, and though it continued rather cool, this did but favor the march of the troops and of the other numerous collections of persons who formed portions of the Funeral Procession.
At sunrise, the sound of cannon from the several military stations in the vicinity of the city heralded the melancholy occasion which was to assemble the citizens of the District and its neighborhood, and minute guns were fired during the morning. In entire consonance with those mournful sounds was the aspect of the whole City, as well its swellings as its population. The buildings on each side of the entire length of the Pennsylvania avenue, with scarcely an exception, and many houses on the contiguous streets, were hung with festoons and streamers of black, not only about the signs and entrances, but in many cases from all the upper stories. Almost every private dwelling had crape upon the knocker and bell-handle of its door, and many of the very humblest abodes hung out some spontaneous signal of the general sorrow. The stores, and places of business, even such as are too frequently seen open on the Sabbath, were all closed. Everything like business seemed to have been forgotten, and all minds to be occupied with the purpose of the day.
The railroad cars approaching the city were crowded to excess, although the trains were doubled, and a large portion of the passengers stood up, from necessity, the entire way from Baltimore hither. The steamboats brought crowds of people from Alexandria, and the individuals entering the city from the adjacent country on horseback and in vehicles of every description seemed to be more numerous than even on the occasion of the late Inauguration. The great point of attraction was the President's Mansion. Toward that all steps, all thoughts were tending. There lay the Body, closed in its leaded hearse, and covered with its solemn pall seated in the deep repose which nothing shall break but the Archangel's trump. It lay on a bier in the East Room, (an occupation how different from its wont!) and ladies were admitted all the morning, who heaped upon the coffin offerings of the most beautiful flowers. The northern portico of the Mansion was hung with long banners of black, extending from column to column. The iron gates of the enclosure in front were closed, save when the carriages of the Foreign Ministers, Members of the Cabinet, and attending Physicians, the Clergy, and some other privileged persons were admitted, preparatory to their taking the places assigned them in the Funeral Procession.
The military portion of it, constituting the Funeral Escort, began to form in line on the New York avenue, immediately north of the President's House, and a most noble and imposing appearance it presented. Without undertaking to give the exact order of all the details of the military part of the procession, it must suffice us for the present to state that of volunteers, besides the Light Infantry, National Blues, and Columbia Artillery of this city, and the squadron of Potomac Dragoons from Georgetown, there were present the Eagle Artillerists, Eutaw Infantry, Invincibles, Independent Greys, National Guards, Maryland Cadets, and Military Association, of Baltimore, the Annapolis Greys, from the city of Annapolis, and a part of the York Riflemen and Washington Blues from York, Pennsylvania. Then there was a battalion of United States Marines, and a division of United States Light Artillery, commanded by Capt. Ringgold, from Fort McHenry. But one of the most impressive portions of the military part of the procession consisted of the dismounted and mounted officers of the Army, Navy, Militia, and Volunteers. Seldom has there been exhibited within a space so limited so many distinguished military men; the sight of whose well-known figures led back our thoughts to many a bloody field and many an ensanguined sea, on which the national honor has been well and nobly maintained.
The civic part of the Procession was not less striking than the military. It embraced the municipal officers of the District, the Clergy of all denominations, the Judiciary, the Executive officers of the Government, including the President of the United States and te Heads of Departments, the ex-members of the late Cabinet now in the city, the Comptrollers, Auditors, and Commissioners, Treasurer, Register, etc. with a numerous column of clerks in the several departments. Such members of both Houses of Congress as are in the city also attended, and Ex-President Adams in his place. Next followed Officers and Soldiers who had served under Gen. Harrison in the late war. Another division of the Procession consisted of public Societies and Associations, preceded by their banners, and wearing their respective badges--among whom we noticed the Society of Odd Fellows, very richly attired, the Washington Catholic Temperance Association, with their white banner displaying the Cross which is the symbol of their faith, the Typographical Society, several Schools and Lyceums, and, to close all, the different Fire Companies of the District, in their showy and picturesque uniforms of cloaks, hats, and accoutrements, and with appropriate ensigns.
The music was excellent; several fine bands playing mournful aairs, giving place, from time to time, to the muffled drums of the military, beating slow marches.
But the object of chief interest, and one which as it passed, hushed every other sound, and caused many a tear to fall, was
THE FUNERAL CAR containing the body of the deceased President. It was of large dimensions, in form an oblong platform, on which was a raised dais, the whole covered with black velvet. From the cornice of the platform fell a black velvet curtain outside of the wheels to within a few inches of the ground. From the corners of the car a black crape festoon was formed on all sides, looped in the center by a funeral wreath. On the coffin lay the Sword of Justice and the Sword of State, surmounted by the scroll of the Constitution, bound together by a funeral wreath formed of the yew and the cypress. The Car was drawn by six white horses, having at the head of each a colored groom, dressed in white, with white turban and sash, and supported by pall-bearers in black. The effect was very fine. The contract of this slowly-moving body of white and black, so opposite to the strong colors of the military around it, struck the eye even from the greatest distance, and gave a chilling warning, beforehand, that the corpse was drawing nigh.
The entire Procession occupied two full miles in length, and was marshaled on its way by officers on horseback carrying white batons with black tassels. The utmost order prevailed throughout; and, considering the very great concourse of people collected, the silence preserved during the whole course of the march was very impressive.
Before the body was removed from the Presidential Mansion, religious services were conducted in presence of the President of the United States and Ex-President Adams, with members of the late and present Cabinets, the Foreign Ministers, and the mourning household, by the Rev. Mr. Hawley. The Reverent gentleman declined making any address upon the occasion, but pointing to a bible and Episcopal prayer-book which lay upon the table, stated that they had been purchased by the deceased President immediately after his arrival in the city, and had been in daily use by him since then; that the late President had declared to him (Mr. Hawley) personally his full belief in the truth of the Christian Religion, and his purpose, had not disease intervened to prevent it, to have united himself to the Church on the succeeding Sabbath.
On the firing of the signal gun at the appointed hour, the Procession, having received into its ranks the Funeral Car and the Family Mourners who followed the remains of their relative to the tomb, moved along Pennsylvania avenue, under the fire of minute guns near the President's House, repeated at the City Hall on the head of the column arriving opposite to it, and at the Capitol on its reaching the western gate of the enclosure. Having reached the Capitol Square, passing on the South side of it, the Procession advanced over the plains eastward till it reached the space in front of the Congressional Burying Ground. Here the Car halted, while the line was formed by the Military as they arrived, and then passed slowly on, being saluted as it passed with colors lowered, the troops presenting arms, and the officers saluting it in military form. Having reached the principal entrance, the Car was again halted; the coffin was taken down and placed on the shoulders of the bearers; the Clergy advanced, and the Rev. Mr. Hawley, reciting the solemn funeral service of the Episcopal Liturgy, the Procession advanced down the principal avenue of the Cemetery until it reached the receiving vault, where a space had been kept open by sentries under arms and where a hollow square being formed, the coffin was lowered into the vault. A signal being given to the troops outside, the battalion of Light Artillery, who were placed on an adjoining eminence, fired a salute, which was immediately followed by the several military bodies in line, who commenced firing from the left to the right, and continued the salute till it had thrice gone up the whole line.
The Procession then resumed its march, and returned by the same route to the city, where the troops were dismissed, and the citizens retired to their several abodes. By five o'clock, nothing remained by empty streets and the emblems of mourning upon the houses, and the still deeper gloom, which oppressed the general mind with renewed power after all was over, and the sense of the public bereavement alone was left to fill the thoughts.
It is highly creditable, as well to the present Heads of Departments by whom the Funeral of the late President was arranged, as to the Ex-Members of the Cabinet of the late Administration now in this city, that the latter were individually and particularly invited to attend, and all did attend, the Funeral of Gen. Harrison.
That no honor might be wanting which it was possible to pay to the memory of the deceased patriot President, the Legislature of the State of Maryland, being in session, adjourning f or the purpose, came to this city in a body, attended by their officers and the symbols of their authority and joined in the Funeral Procession.
From the Legislature of Pennsylvania, too, also in session, a joint committee of both Houses arrived in the city on Wednesday morning, and truly represented the feeling of that great State on this melancholy occasion. There is something touching and morally beautiful in the merging of all party distinctions, the above instances, in the feeling of respect due to the memory of the honored dead.
The following gentlemen, as Pall-Bearers, were designated to represent the several States and Territories which are attached to their names at the Funeral of the late President:
R. Cutts, Esq. Maine
Hon. J.B. Moore N.H.
Hon. C. Cushing Mass.
M. St.C. Clarke, Esq. R.I.
W.B. Lloyd, Esq. Conn.
Hon. Hiland Hall Vt.
Gen. John Granger N.Y.
Hon. G.C. Washington N.J.
M. Williams, Esq. Pa.
Hon. A. Naudain Del.
David Hoffman, Esq. Md.
Major Camp Va.
Hon. E.D. White N.C.
John Carter, Esq. S.C.
Gen. D.L. Clinch Geo.
Th. Crittenden, Esq. Ky.
Col. Rogers Tenn.
Mr. Graham Ohio
M. Durald, Esq. La.
Gen. Robert Hanna Ind.
Ander'n Miller, Esq. Miss.
D.G. Garnsey, Esq. Ill.
Dr. Perrine Ala.
Major Russell Mo.
A.W. Lyon, Esq. Ark.
Gen. Howard Mich.
Hon. J.D. Doty Wisc.
Hon. C. Downing Fla.
Hon. W.B. Carter Iowa
R. Smith, Esq. D.C.
It must not be overlooked that among the most sincere mourners at the grave of our late President were the entire Corporate Bodies of the cities of Washington, Georgetown, and Alexandria, with their Executive officers.
The National Intelligencer, Monday, June 28, 1841
Remains of President Harrison
The mortal remains of the late venerated President Harrison were removed from the Government burial grounds, in this city, on Saturday last, at the hour and under the ceremonies prescribed by the order of Congress, to be conveyed to their final resting place on the banks of the Ohio, at North Bend. The body was attended by the son of the deceased, John Scott Harrison, Esq. and by the committee of gentlemen from Cincinnati to whom was assigned the pious duty of accompanying the remains to North Bend. The President of the United States, with the Heads of Departments, the committee of the two Houses of Congress, and a large number of citizens, attended at the place of departure from the city, to offer the last testimony of respect to the earthly remains of the lamented Chief whose memory will ever be cherished by every true-hearted American.
A detachment of Marines by order of the President, attended the body as an escort to North Bend. We understand that when the order was addressed to Col. Henderson, (commander of the Marine Corps,) to furnish the detachment, and to designate an officer to command it, he replied that, being himself the senior officer, he conceived it to be most proper and respectful that he should act on the occasion, and accordingly assumed to himself the melancholy duty of heading the escort.
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