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 entrance hallway connects with a corridor, from which ascends a grand staircase built entirely of Tennessee marble. At its foot is a well-conceived though passive statue of Benjamin Franklin by Hiram Powers, whose " Greek Slave " has given him world-wide fame. Ten thousand dollars were paid for the statue. The simplicity of the dress worn by the Revolutionary diplomat recalls the amusing debate, on March 25, 1876, in the House of Representatives upon costumes to be worn by persons in the diplomatic service of the United States, and the amendment offered by Mr. Noell: " The uniform prescribed by this act shall be as follows : cocked hat looped up with the American eagle ; swallow-tail coat with the stars and stripes upon the tail, and the words marked in worsted 'Protective Tariff'; butternut pantaloons, closely fitting; yellow stockings with garters a la Franklin; round toed shoes of the latest LoweL fashions; buckskin vest, one side black and the other white, indicative of no distinction on account of color; pinchbeck breastpin with inscription, 'Economy is wealth.' "