To the student and lover of architecture, it is hoped that these pages may light the way the builders took from the first foundation stone to the last and crowning piece upon the dome; to the lover of art and to the student of history, oratory and statesmanship, that they may serve as a key of intelligence by which to read the story of the nation upon the walls of her classic edifice, and to unravel its mysteries and reveal its hidden glories. But, above all, it is most desired that the volume shall present a somewhat comprehensive view of the grandeur of the National Capitol and its true character as an expression of the development of free government and the progress of American civilization.

Manuscript correspondence between the early Presidents, Commissioners, architects and contractors, in the archives of the War Department, plans in the Architect's office and files of old newspapers in the Library of Congress, have been examined by the author, and are the authority for much of the text; Annals, Globes, Records, Secret Journals, American State Papers, and manuscript letters also in the possession of the government and of individuals have been assiduously sought and read. An effort has been made to tell the story of the Capitol, its architecture and art, so far as possible, through the light of historical events and individual biography, as more likely to reveal correctly the human side of the great national structure ; and if the author has allowed a little moss to cling to the old stones, it is because he believes that in romance and tradition much of their most delightful truth lies hidden.

Washington, D. C, 1897.

G. C. H., Jr.