Soon after the bill for the removal of the seat of government was defeated and all chances in that direction made hopeless, at least for the present, measures were taken for the restoration of the public buildings. Latrobe was recalled from Pittsburg, where he was building steamboats in conjunction with Fulton, Livingstone and Roosevelt, his son-in-law, to inspect the ruins of the Capitol and superintend its reconstruction.

In the report of the committee, communicated to Congress November 21, 1814, the following is found to be the condition of the walls after the conflagration : " From the suggestions of the architects consulted and also from the observations of the committee, they are of the opinion that parts of the walls, arches and columns of the late buildings are in a state requiring a small expense for workmanship and materials, to preserve them from injury by the weather, and from falling down, thereby endangering the vaulting, which supports some of the floors, and which, at present, is very little if at all, weakened by the burning".

North And South Wings

From Latrobe we obtain a more specific knowledge of the damage done by the English, and of the process of rebuilding. In a letter written at the Capitol, November 28, 1816, but not communicated to the House of Representatives until February 18, 1817, he says: