This section is from the book "The National Capitol. Its Architecture Art And History", by George C. Hazelton, Jr. Also available from Amazon: The National Capitol Its Architecture Art and History.
The committee met, and after mature consideration it was Resolved, That the chairman appoint a sub-committee, to consider and report to the select committee . . .
Sub-committee, Mr. Burges, Mr. Drayton, Mr. Johnson, of Kentucky, and Mr. Mitchell.
March 27th, 1830.
The Committee called on the Commissioner of the Public Buildings to give them information respecting the vault heretofore provided for the entombment of General George Washington, under the central dome of the Capitol. His report will be found hereunto annexed. The committee thereupon, after a free conversation, and a full interchange of ideas on this interesting subject, directed Mr. Burges to draw up a report of their deliberations thereon, to be laid before the whole committee appointed by the House of Representatives, on the 22d day of February, 1830 ; and thereupon adjourned until the 17th of March instant, to meet in this place, for the purpose of examining said report, preparatory to laying the same before said whole committee.
March 17, 1830.
The Sub-committee met according to adjournment. Mr. Burges submitted the Following Report:
Although our country itself, and the history of the age in which he lived, are filled with testimonials of the eminent services and high character of Washington, yet will it be found that the American People have ever cherished the intention of consecrating to him some peculiar monumental memorials, to the intent that after times may perceive that the nation which was established by his valor and guided by his counsels could never cease to cherish his memory and venerate his character. The Continental Congress, Thursday, August 7, 1783. On motion of Mr. A. Lee, seconded by Mr. Bland.
• These papers arc embodied in the report of the Committee.
Resolved, (unanimously, ten States being present,) That an equestrian statue of General Washington be erected at the place where the residence of Congress shall be established.
On the report of a committee, consisting of Mr. A. Lee, Mr. Ellsworth, and Mr. Mifflin, appointed to prepare a plan of an equestrian statue of the Commander-in-chief.
Resolved, That the statue be of bronze, the General to be represented in a Roman dress, holding a truncheon in his right hand, and his head encircled with a laurel wreath. The statue to be supported by a marble pedestal, on which are to be represented, in basso relievo, the following principal events of the war, in which General Washington commanded in person, viz : the evacuation of Boston ; the capture of the Hessians at Trenton ; the battle of Princeton ; the action of Monmouth ; and the surrender of York. On the upper part of the front of the pedestal to be engraved as follows : The United States, in Congress assembled, ordered this statue to be erected, in the year of our Lord 1783, in honor of George Washington, the illustrious Commander-in-chief of the armies of the United States of America during the war which vindicated and secured their liberty, sovereignty, and independence.
Resolved, That a statue conformable to the above plan be executed by the best artist in Europe, under the superintendence of the Minister of the United States at the court of Versailles ; and that money to defray the expense of the same be furnished from the Treasury of the United States.
Resolved, That the Secretary of Congress transmit to the Minister of the United States at the Court of Versailles the best resemblance of General Washington that can be procured, for the purpose of having the above statue erected ; together with the fittest description of the events which are to be the subject of the basso relievo.
It will not be expected that the committee shall make any inquiry concerning the causes which may have prevented carrying these resolutions into effect. While the illustrious object of them lived, and, as a citizen or statesman, was disclosing to the nation and the world a character, if possible, more endeared and illustrious than that achieved by him as the first captain of the age, it would not have been singular if public opinion had changed, and the whole nation should question the appropriateness of consecrating to Washington such monumental honors as belong exclusively to the distinguished soldier.
When that event which finishes the formation of human character arrived, and the death of Washington made every dwelling-place in the land a house of mourning, the .Senators and Representatives of these United States, in Congress assembled, did, in accordance with national feelings, and in honor of the mighty dead, pass the following,, among other resolutions :
Monday, December 23, 1799. It was resolved, That the House do unanimously agree to the following resolutions, to wit:
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That a marble monument be erected by the United States in the Capitol at the city of Washington ; and that the family of General Washington be requested to permit his body to be deposited under it ; and that the monument be so designed as to commemorate the great events of his military and political life.
And be it further resolved, That there be a funeral procession from Congress hall to the German Lutheran church, in honor of the memory of General George Washington, on Thursday, the 26th instant ; and that an oration be prepared at the request of Congress, to be delivered before both Houses on that day ; and that the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives be desired to request one of the members of Congress to prepare and deliver the same.
And be it further resolved, That it be recommended to the people of the United States to wear' crape on the left arm as mourning for thirty days.