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.
Near the northern exit to the terrace are frescoes of the great American jurists, Kent and Story. Above some of the committee room doors Brumidi has painted scenes suggestive of their occupants at the time. Over the door leading to the Committee on Foreign Relations, which was then devoted to Post-Offices and Post Roads, is Benjamin Franklin, the father of the postal system in this country, seated in his laboratory. Above the door directly opposite is John Fitch, hard at work upon his model of a steamboat. Above the door of the Committee on Post-Offices and Post Roads, then the quarters of the Committee on Foreign Relations, the artist has painted in fresco the scene of the signing of preliminary articles of peace between the United States and Great Britain, at Paris, November 30, 1782, by Richard Oswald on behalf of Great Britain and by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay and Henry Laurens on behalf of the United States. On the walls within are medallion portraits of Clay, Allen, Cameron and Sumner, former chairmen of the committee.
Over the door of the room occupied by the Committee on Territories is a fresco commemorative of the cession of Jxmisiana to the United States by France in 1803. The entrance, walls and ceiling of the room devoted to the Committee on military Affairs are graced by some of Brumidi's good work. Here is portrayed in fresco Generals Washington and Iafayette in consultation during the dark days of Valley Forge. The storming of Stony Point by Mad Anthony Wayne, the death of General Wooster at Danbury, Connecticut, the Boston Massacre of 1770, and Major Pitcairn at the battle of Lexington, ordering the rebels to disperse, also are graphically told. The panels made of small-arms are noticeably fine. General Logan, as chairman of the committee, many times presided in this room. The adjoining chamber, which was at one time the home of the Committee on Naval Affairs, is richly decorated, the frescoes on its ceiling representing Thetis, Venus, Amphitrite and America. The room at the opposite end of the corridor, formerly occupied by the Committee on Agriculture and now the headquarters of the Committee on Indian Affairs, bears vine and fruit pieces, with roguish cupidson its walls and ceiling. Above its entrance is a fresco of Columbus and an Indian maiden, one of Brumidi's most unworthy contributions. Bartolome de Las Casas, the apostle of the red man, is pictured on the wall facing the foot of the western stairway.
In the room of the Senate Committee on Rules hang a number of portraits of rare interest. The most attractive of these is probably the one of Henry Laurens, president of the American Congress. This portrait, painted in 1781, was purchased for the government by the Joint Committee on the Library. At the time its purchase was under consideration, Mr. Hoar stated that the picture was painted by John Singleton Copley in the Tower of London, and that he thought it ought to be owned by the government. He said that it could be purchased for #1,200. A portion of a letter is visible in Laurens's hand: " I have acted the part of a faith subject; I now go resolved still to labor for peace at the same time determined in the last event to stand or fall with my country. I have the honor to be Henry Laurens".
A portrait of General Grant by Cogswell (1868) hangs on the same wall. This was bought from the family of Henry D. Cook for #500. Here, also, at present, hangs a portrait of Pocahontas. This interesting picture was sent to the World's Fair by its owner in London with the purpose of presenting it to the government after the exposition. It is still in custom-house bond, however, never having been presented to nor accepted by Congress. The inscription on the picture reads : " Matoaks ats Rebecca daughter to the mighty Prince Powhatan Emperor of Attanoughkomonck ats Virginia converted and baptised in the Christian faith and wife to the Worh. Mr. Tho : Rolff." In a circle about the portrait we read : " Prince Powhatan imp : virginiae. Matoaka als Rebecka Filia Potentiss. Aetatis suae 21. Ao. 161.6".