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THE TOPEKA DAILY STATE JOURNAL- -
1 he HduoGn ocBclue iC on ROW dirt Gronte Washington really ap pear ID the flesh? This Is a question which Is tonnd to oortir repeatedly to every person who feels any Interest In tne lire and personality of America's greatest hero. The vast majority of the existing rortralr of the Father of His Country are manifestly so Idealized as to hot add to this natural curiosity, Fortunately for the citizens of the United States, however, there Is In ex istence one. or rnther two, presentments of the leader of the Revolution which are so marrelonslv accurate thct Washing ton's closest frlecds pronounced them "fac-slmlles" of the nation's first Presi dent. These nntque and faithful portrayals sre the white marble statne of Washing ton which stands on the Virginia State Capitol, at Richmond, and the plaster cast, or reproduction, which has the place of honor In the National Statuary Hall, at the United States Capitol, at Wash ington. D. C. Even had photography been a known art In George Washing ton's time. It could have banded down to posterity no representation of the great est American half so satisfactory as these reproductions of the man, which are accurate not only In pose, dress mrt expression, but Id every physical pro portion. This Imperishable record of the per sonal appearance of the greatest rebel of all time as he appeared In the days when be won independence for his native land Is the work of Jean J -itolne Hondon. a Frenchman and the most famous sculp tor of his time. Hondon. who was born In 1741 and died in 1828, was educated In Farts and Rome, and early In life won ex ceptional fame on both sides of the At lantic The State of Virginia was always Justly proud of Its most distinguished citizen, ad the Virginia Assembly was one of the first legislative bodies to take action, after the dose of the Revolution, looking to the provision of a fitting memorial. A statue was decided upon and Thomas Jefferson, who was then our minister to France ar ranged with Hondon to undertake the work. In 1785 the sculptor crossed the Atlantic with Benjamin Franklin and Journeyed to Mount Vernon to obtain at first band knowledge and Inspiration for bis task. At Washington's home every facility was afforded the visitor. He resided for weeks as a member of the family at Mount Ver non and during this time not only did he have opportunity to study bis subject most closely, but General Washington permitted him to make detailed measurements of his person and to obtain a plaster cast of bis face- With this data In his possession Houdon went to Italy and there chiseled the original statue, which is life size and represents Washington in the military cos- i The General Alscml.lv of the Commonwealth : of .Virginia have r a used (hi Statue to he erected ;. : as a monument .of. affection and (fret nude to feEORCR Washington. V : who, urtmtj H th(! endow merits of the Hero : the virtues of the Pjfrio?.and exerting-both in establishing- the Liberties of his Country has rendered his name dear to hi Fellow Citizens . and given the world An immortal example ; of true Cf orw.Donr.in the ear of . CHRIST -rOne thousand seven hundred and eighty eigjit and in iheyearor the Commonwealth the twelftl i 5.- rSw;; .AJfar-. -ii S3. I fYi.1 - tii III! v. 3 JieeM4TubA4i I I ? ' r i I If Sw: 1 r7ir vp; A Vr-v ;',"V ' f: I t'iM4q&i tlm:- Mil i IK li v iiJ. I I 4 . L V WASHincr-TON in Capitol. JPT . - A. V" Ir-L .BIET OiV Or 3TA.TCSi: 6 ill' In J tume of the Revolution. The Virginia Assembly passed the act providing for this testimonial In 17S4, but the statue was not erected until 1706. Its completion came only a few years prior to the death of Washington, but sufficient time intervened to allow to many mends and admirers close comparison be tween the First Gentleman of America and his marble prototype, and it Is the testi mony of these contemporaries as to the marvelous accuracy of the likeness that makes the statue of such exceptional in terest. Lafayette pronounced It to be "a fac-slmlle of Washington's person" and the great John Marshall said: "It represents the original as perfectly as a living man could be represented in marble." George Washington was 54 years of age when Houdon made the mould of bis face, head and chest, which so aided him In the "faithful delineation of bis subject, and It should be a matter of satisfaction to the present and future generations that this peculiarly authentic portrayal reflecta the personal appearance of the hero of Valley Forge and Yorktown as ne appeared at the very climax of bis fame. It is also a matter of interest that Washington him self suggested the costume which is the continental uniform which he was accus tomed to wear as commander-in-chief and In which be was attired when he resigned bis commission at Annapolis. 4 On the base of the Houdon stntue Is chiseled a feeling' tribute to the founder of the republic which Is rendered doubly Interesting by the fact that it was penned off-hand by James Madison, afterward president, who Is said to have rested a sheet of paper on his knee while he wrote this graceful eulogy. The inscription rends, "The General 'Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia bare caused this stntue to be erected as a monument of affection and gratitude to George Washington, who uniting to the endow ments of a hero the virtues of the pa triot, and exerting both in establishing the liberties of his country, has rendered his name dear to his fellow citizens nud given the world an Immortal example of true glory. Done In the year of Christ one thousand seven hundred and eighty eight and In the year of the Common wealth the twelfth." . It has been frequently suggested that the original marble statue, the only one ever mnde from Washington's person should for sentimental reasons have the place of honor in the White House at Washington, and It is possible that at sometime , In the future this State of Virginia may show a disposition to trans fer the marble figure to the home- of the presidents, but for the present it stands as It has for many decades past in the rotunda of the state canitol at Richmond, Va. This historic building affords a worthy setting for the most valuable piece of sculpture In the new world. The structure has recently been enlarged by the addition of wings, but the mnin por tion or original structure remains Just as It was designed by Thomas Jefferson, while minister to France.. The general Idea of the capltol was suggested to him by a famous Roman temple of antlqHlty. and he sent home a model and plan from which the building was constructed. Work began In 1785. and the edlflce was completed In 1792. - The duplicate in plaster of the Houdon statue, which is to be found In Statuary Hall at the United States Capitol at Washington cost $2,000, and came Into possession of the nation through the good offices of Thomas Jefferson. Statuary Hall. In which it occupies a conspicuous place, and which has been aptly termed the American Westminster Abbey, Is semicircular In shape and was designed after a Greek theater. It Is universally regarded as one of the most beautiful rooms In the home of the legislative branch of our government. At the north side of the hall is a colonnade of marble columns with white capitals and a screen of similar columns on the south side fur nishes a support for a noble arch. The domed ceiling Is decorated In accordance with - the plan followed In the Roman Pantheon. This room, now filled with statues, some contributed by various states and others deposited by the national government, was formerly the ball of representatives, and here occurred the memorable debates of Webster, Clay, Adams, Calhoun and other giants of early Congresses.. A plate set in the marbie floor marks the spot where John Quincy Adams fell stricken with paralysis as he was about to address the House.- The statue of Washington has as a near neighbor the only statue of n woman to be found In ' this great collection, namely the marble tribute of the State of Illinois to the memory of Frances E. Willard, the great temperance worker. The creation of Statuary Hall In Its present form as a place for memorials to the nation's heroes was due to Senator Morrill, of Vermont, who, when a mem ber of the House of Representatives In 1864, made the suggestion that i-e room be set apart as a national statuary ball to which each state might send "the effigies of two of her chosen sons In marble or bronze to ,e placed perma nently there." As yet not nearly all of the states of the Union have accepted this Invitation of the national govern ment, but ndditlons are constantly being made to the country's most significant collection of statues. The ball has ex traordinary acoustic properties, whispers become shouts and persons may converse with one-another, although stationed at opposite sides of the vast chamber and speaking In the lowest andlble tones. The rarlegnted marble columns which form so admirable a background for the statue contain many astonishing natural pictures, embodying not only the forms of birds and animals, bnt even human facet ' among which many grave senators have been amused to find likenesses of themselves or i .ilrassoclates. Thecastof Houdon 'sstatns of Washington may be said to have been the nncleus of the present great col lee- . tion of sculpture In Statuary Hal' It was owned by the federal government when Statuary Hall was first created and was immediately placed In the new shrine of patriotism. ffALDON FAWCRTT. Thefdlpniod Hornet oPhe r a s iM m m t . . ss m b ';' '' ' '" ' if iK"; atAudley z pr x . -sre rtsi " "ant r ? - 'j - C'v? ii H rJ f ' " ' - -zzj- j. t m 111 O n'v tiff JX. II " -Uj;! us T-:? "m fi a mi TTuiwiiri wiiiimmi rriti-iifiriMiriijfiaMliriiig'fiTnr-ri rrt-r --1r---.-- i,:'-:(l T ""iBtiUfwif n nt K1- if i . mfii irf1efs " i wmnni'i'ii ' hi "vi . . . CLArncxjNT a jpmoTOD copyieiG-rfT sir The approach of George Washington's Birthday, with the growing disposition ou the part of the American people to commemorate the oc casion with befitting ceremonies, makes more apparent than ever before the good fortune which has preserved to the pres ent generation In an almost perfect state of preservation the ancestral homes of the family of the "Father of His Country." This Is especially fortunate by reason of the fact thct the homes of the Washing tons are. aside from their historical asso ciations, among the most Interesting and Impressive examples of colonial archi tecture In America. There Is a really surprising number of these Washington family habitations in the designing of many of which George Washington him self bad a hand and they are scattered for the most part In the matchless Valley of the Shenandoah and elsewhere In Vir ginia and West Virginia. - Ib colonial homes of ths Washington family which are located In the Shenan doah Valley are the most Interesting of these houses, with the single except: -i of Mount Vernon, which, of course, will always hold first place in the affections of the American people. The whole ter ritory of which Cbarlestown, W. Vn.. Is the center Is of especial Interest, for George Washington mnde the original surveys of all this land for Lord Fair fax, and here, on a commanding site fao Ing the Blue Ridge Mountains, be built Harewood Mansion for bis eldest brother, Samuel. George Washington spent fully three years in the Valley of the Shenan doah and the adjacent country, constantly extending his surveys and gradually be came the largest landed proprietor in what was then Virginia. Moreover, ap preciating the value of the land about Charlestown. the man who was to rank as the greatest American Induced bis brothers, Samuel, John and Charles, to purchase immense tracts of - the land, which was then obtainable at ridiculously low prices. The. mansion above mentioned. Hare wood House, Is situated about three miles northwest of Charlestown. and was built la 1756-1758. the construction extend ing over the three years. . Not only was historic Harewood built hy George Wash ington and long used as bis summer home, but It was here that James and Dolly Madison were married and the stately structure repeatedly sheltered Marquis de Lafayette nnd Louis fhllippe. afterward King of France. However, from the standpoint of the present day visitor the house, now In the possession of John An gustlne Washington, a lineal descendant of Samuel Washington, is not qnite so satisfying as some of the other homes of the WasblngtoDs - by reason of the fact that It has practically fallen Into decay and has lost niauy of Its historic furnish ings. . The best memento of Washington and the most vivid reminder of the glories of bygone days Is fonnd In another Wash ington home Claymount, situated two miles sooth of Harewood, on . the Win chester read, and which Is In a perfect state of preservation and suggestive of both the architecture and furnishings of colonial days. The estate at Claymount. comprising land which once belonged to the Father of His Country, originally In cluded several thousand acres, bnt was divided and subdivided among Washing ton's heirs nntil the tract now comprises only about 150 acres, more than one-third of which Is covered with a magnificent forest. Claymount mansion was built In 1820 by Bushrod Washington, a son of the gen eral's nephew,, to whom the property had been left, but the building was construct ed In accordance with plans drawn by George Washington himself. The de scendants of BnsLrod Washington occu pied Claymount for more than half a century, but In 1809 the historic estate passed Into the possession of Frank R, Stockton, the well-known novelist, who resided there on til his death, a abort time ago. - The hall la this mansion, as In most of the manor houses in-the designing or con-, structlon of- which George Washington bad a hand. Is very spacious. At Clay mount the apartment Is parallel with the front' of the house and 40 feet in length by 20 feet In width. The walls are wainscoted In' oak. ' the '. elaborately " carved panels extending t the ' celling. which Is finished In the same wood. Open ing from the hall opposite the main en trance are the library and drawing-room and through an arch under a graceful staircase a passage leads to the-dining-room, adjoining which Is an ante-room known as the tea-room. The - masterpiece of the bouse, and a great tribute to Washington's skill as an architect. Is the study which adjoins the library. This apartment occupies the full width of the building nnd conse quently has windows. on three sides. A large fireplace occupies either end of the room. A novel arrangement of this bouse Is found In the arrangement of the doors, almost all of whl i are made to slide into apertures In the walls Instead of being hinged. Claymount also has Its "mys tery." known as the "cell of the sunken cupboard." The .'cell la a dungeonlike apartment In the basement, or rather several feet below the level of the base ment, and It has no window or opening of any kind save one narrow doorway. Almost the entire space In the cell Is taken up by aa Immense sideboard, elab orately carved. Obviously, this massive piece of f nrnitnre could never have been taken through , tie narrow doorway, but must have been placed !n its present position and deliberately' encased by the construction of tte solid walls which sur round it. Just over the Virginia - line, about a dozen miles from Claymount, stands And ley, another of the historic homes of the Washlngtons. The bouse was built by a member of the Washington family, but was later transferred to Lawrence Lewis, who married Nelly Cnstls, the adopted daughter and favorite of General Wash ington. Mrs. Lewis, nee Custls, spent most of the time prior to the death of her husband at a manor honse near Mount Vernon On the Potomac, but when she was widowed she removed to Audley. The house at Audley Is a one-atory struct ure, with a "round-floor plnn suggestive of the letter H. The entire front of tho house Is given over to drawing-room and dining-room, while athe sleeping apart ments are in the other section of the house, the two sections being connected by a long, broad hall. Other Washing ton bouses In this neighborhood Include Blakeley House, originally owned by John Augustine Washington, grent nephew of George Washington, and Meg ville Place, which was once a part of Harewood. Kenmore. famous as the home of Betty Washington Lewis, the only sister of George Washington. Is at Fredericksburg. Vn. Inasmuch as Kenmore was built In 1749 by Col. Fielding Lewis with the express purpose of enabling bis bride, Betty Washington, to realize her ambition to have for her home the most magnifi cent residence In the Old Dominion, It may readily be imagined that the house Is a most exceptional one In many re spects. Years were-, devoted to the build ing of this homestead. Indeed, no Interior decorations were provided until after the Revolutionary War. when all the rooms were beautifully ornamented, by a British soldier, a prisoner on parole. The ceilings of all the rooms on the first floor were embellished with delicate nnd Intricate decorations In plaster, and these are today apparently in as perfect condition as the day they were completed. The same treatment was employed In the ornamentation of the open fireplaces in the bouse. in .the library the plaster decoration of the Hreplace. represents one of Aesop's fables, and this subject was suggested by George Washington. After the death of. Mrs. Lewis, Kenmore passed into the hands of the Gordons and was by them transferred to. the Howards, in the possession of which latter famlly.lt has remained- up to the present time. Mary Washington, the mother of the American liberator, died at Kenmore, but she maintained her own home In Freder icksburg and Insisted upon remaining un der her own roof nntll stricken with her last Illness, when her daughter bad ber removed to Kenmore. However, Mount Vernon, located c ' the Mrglnla shore of the Potomac River. Id miles south of the city of Washington, is the most Interesting of the Washing ton homes. The mansion was bnllt In 1743 by Lawrence, half-brother of George Wasnington, and on the death of Law rence and his only daughter, George Wash ington Inherited the estate and made It bis permanent home almost from the tlruo of his marriage In 1759. The mansion which, while not originally built by the Fttber of His Country, bears th Im press of his band in Innumerable Improve ments and additions to the initial struc ture, is now In charge uf the Mount Ver non Ladies' Association, it ha ring been purchased hy the nation In 1SO0, when the sum of f2bu,0CC was raised tor the purpose by popular subscription Infinit care and work and a liberal expenditure of money has resulted in the admirable preservation of the historic structure, and even the decorations and furnishings of tLe various rooms have been restored as nearly ns possible to the condition of Washington's time. Arlington, on the rotomac, may niso oe rightfully classed ns one of the Washing ton homes. This estate was long famous as the home of Gen. Robert K. I.ce. of the Confederacy, and Is now our greatest national cemetery. The mansion at Arlington, which stands today In a per fect state of preservation, was bnllt in 1S02 by Washington Parke Cnstls, son of John Parke Custls, whose wldawed mother married George Washington. When Col. John Parke Custls died at ths siege of Yorktown. Washington adopted as his own the two children, one of whom became the builder of Arlington. This adopted son was a mem er of ths Mount Vernon household until after the death of Mrs. Washington In 1802, when b removed to bis Arlington estate. In his long and Intimate association with General Washington he adopted many of the hitter's pronounced architectural Ideas which were embodied lu the plans for Arlington. Yet another of the colonial homes ot the Washlngtons. and from a sentimental standpoint certainly one of the most In teresting, Is the historic old Woodlawn mansion, - located only a short distance from Mount Vernon, and built by Oeorgo Washington for his beloved adopted daughter Nellie Custls, who married Law rence Lewis. The main bouse Is two stories and a half high and the Interior finishings are very beautiful. Including mantels of Cora -a marble. A few years ago Woodlawn - was purchased by Paul Kester, the dramatist, and here be made his borne until a short time ago, when be sold the estate to Miss Elizabeth Sharp, Of New Jm VifaON H-AWIfTT.