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THE SUNDAY STAR. Washington, D. C. M NDAY FCBRIARV 37. I»SA The Treasury's Cornerstone, Like New York City Hall's, Is Missing By Herbert Brotter The other day in New York City an expedition of engi neers, architects, city officials, museum people and historians was sent to uncover the re portedly missing City Hall cor nerstone, which records say was laid in 1803. The United States Treasury Building in Washington is in a similar fix. History records that its cor nerstone was laid in the pres ence of President Andrew Jackson, but no one today seems to have any idea where the cornerstone is. A careful inquiry among various Government agencies and a search of archives has failed to disclose the Treasury cornerstone's whereabouts or even the exact date of its lay ing. That the cornerstone has been covered up is not too sur prising, in view of the fact that the Treasury Building—one of the Government's oldest—was constructed in stages years apart. Certain portions which were disintegrating had to be replaced during the Taft Ad ministration. Begun in 1836 Construction of the present Treasury Building started in 1836. The first portion was in the form of a T with its top along Fifteenth street. It is probably in this portion that the cornerstone, covered by additions to other wings and changes in the street level, now lies concealed. When the Government moved to Washington from Phila delphia in 1800 a small two atory building on the present site was adequate for the of fices, although Treasury rec- m I loveseot, from 195. with skirt lounge choir, ,from 98. 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All prices quoted are based on y -'' >1 foam rubber cushions but almost all of the group is available with .— 1 nJ \\ J I convenient credit • customer parking (1 V j \ as law «i 10% down, II monthi to poy tKa Ring garogo on M Stroot ■ _i_ Ip. ——- —~ — TREASURY BUILDING obviously bos a cornerstone lying around*somewhere, but Its precise location has long been forgotten. ords had to be stored across Fifteenth street In Sear’s Store, where the Washington Building now stands. A fire partly destroyed the first Treasury Building in 1801. The venerable John Adams took his place in the bucket line. Rebuilt, the struc ture was burned down by the British in 1814. The successor structure was badly damaged by an arsonist named Harry White* and his brother. They tried to burn incriminating records about them. It was then that Rob ert Mills, one of the most fa mous architects, was commis • No relation to Harry Dex ter White.—Ed. sioned to design a fireproof building. But there was much contro versy over where to erect the large edifice Mills designed. Many objected to blocking the direct view between the Capi tol and the White House. Whether, as legend has it, President Jackson stuck his cane into the ground and de clared, “Let it be here,” there is no record. But beyond doubt it was the testy Ten nesseean who determined the present site. The day after the Congress appropriated the money. Presi dent Jackson gave Mr. Mills 24 hours in which to finish his plans. By working fever ishly through the day and night, the architect waa able to do It In 25 hours. Work started at once, although the controversy continued. By 1839, even before the roof was finished, the structure was occupied. When it rained the officials and clerks, wrapped in greatcoats, sat under um brellas. For the cornerstone cere mony Mr. Jackson was asked to make tq speech and also to donate something to be placed within the stone. “I’ll give something that is very precious to me,” he said. So, during the ceremony. President Jack son handed the mason a small box containing a copy of one of his messages to the Con gress along with a lock of hair. The lock wai from the head of Mary Donelson, small daugh ter of the President's adopted son. The tot had been born In the White House. “I am plac ing part of my heart In this building,” Mr. Jackson is quoted as remarking. While we don’t know what happened to the cornerstone and its precious contents, we do know something about what happened to little Mary Don elson. She got a job in the Treasury. Yfears after the cornerstone laying, at which it is not un likely that she was present, Mary Donelson married John A. Wilcox, Mississippi Con gressman, whom she survived. Impoverished due to the Civil War, Mary Wilcox in 1875 re turned to Washington to seek Government employment. Un able to afford a cab. she walked the mile from the railroad station to the White House. President Grant, touched by her history, named her to a position in the Auditor’s office in the Treasury. There she worked for many years, close to the lock of her baby hair. She continued a resident of Washington until her death in 1905. From T to E Over the decades following the Jackson Administration the Greek-revival Treasury temple gradually took its pres ent shape. Although the first part built was T-shaped, Mr. Mills had intended an E shaped building. These plans were later amplified to include a wing facing the White House and two court yards with foun tains, grass and shrubbery. The terraces and collonades were to “form ample and agreeable promenades for the healthful exercise of the officers of the department during leis ure moments," Congress was advised. Work on the newer wings went on even during the Civil War when President Lincoln, wandering about as was his wont, often would visit his friend, L. E. Chittenden, the Treasury Register. Slouched in his chair the lanky Lincoln would swap yarns with his pal. The last wing to be built, that at the north end, was not quite finished when President Grant's Inaugural Ball was held in the marble-lined Cash Room in 1869, an event un matched in Washington social history. 'Dear John Secretary of State Watches His Mail For Clues to Grass Roots Thinking By Lee Lorick Prina The execution of American foreign policy may be in the hands of more or less profes sional diplomats, but that doesn't mean the American taxpayer has yielded one iota of his right to kibitz what the State Department is doing. Each week, nearly 1.500 Americans write the Secretary of State. Their letters vary in salutation from “Your Excel lency” to “Dear John,” and in closing sentiments from “May the Lord bless you” to “That's all for now, Buster; get on the ball.” The bodies of these let ters, as might be imagined, are equally varied, as are the sub jects covered by these amateur diplomats. The State Department con siders these letters an impor tant clue to grassroots opinion about the conduct of foreign affairs. A special staff in the Public Service Division reads them all and with a few excep tions, replies. Last fiscal year, they handled more than 70,000 communications from John Q. Citizen. Each week, a report on all the mail goes to the desks of policy officers. A special sum mary of this report and some of the correspondence is sent to the Secretary, for Mr. Dulles likes to draft a few of the re plies himself. Orchids and Scallions As inevitably as our weather moves from west to east, cer tain events stimulate Ameri cans to take pen in hand. A major policy speech by the President or Secretary of State, for instance, always gets a salvo of commendation and a barrage of criticism. Any international incident which threatens war produces a large amount of advice. Right now, writers are con cerned over the protection of Formosa. In January, topic A was Costa Rica. Individual outrages particu larly inflame the letter writers. The shooting-down of a B-29 off Japan brought in a flood of Indignation and demands for firm action. So did the im prisonment of American flyers by the Red Chinese, which topped the list of subjects dealt with by letter writers in December. “I for one am ashamed to be an American,” a Califor nian declared. "We can turn the proverbial cheek just so much and then no more.” Another Westerner wanted to send Mr Dulles to the lock up: "When a soldier deserts his post of duty, he becomes dis ciplined at hard labor. That's exactly what should happen to you for deserting our flyers held captive in China.” And a wag from Ohio drily remarked that the Peiping regime had been given "an other beating over the wrist with a wet noodle.” MacArthur Incident Despite the outpouring on these subjects, it has been only a trickle compared to the weeks In 1952 when Presi dent Truman recalled Gen. Douglas MacArthur from the Far East. The Rosenberg atomic spy case also brought in thousands of letters daily. Usually the amount of mail is proportionate to the size of the headlines. Following Senator Joseph McCarthy's repeated front-page accusa tions of disloyalty, hundreds of envelopes contained de nunciations of department personnel. (Today such criti- ; cisms hardly ever appear.) Department officers point out that correspondence never I produces a valid opinion poll. Review of the Week (Continued From Page A-25.) development of the hydrogen bomb. In previous AEC hear ings and in published articles it had been charged that Dr. Robert Oppenheimer had dragged his feet while Dr. Edward Teller had pushed ahead with the job. There were urgent dissents, but Dr. Oppenheimer lost his “Q-clearance," which had per mitted him to work on atomic projects, and Dr. Teller was established as the “father of the hydrogen bomb." Last week, however, Dr. Teller said in a journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science that the picture given the public was not accurate. Actually, he said, paternity of the bomb could not be fixed so patly. More than a score of nuclear scientists had key roles. And Dr. Oppenheimer, he said, helped push the project. The article obviously was written in an attempt to end the fight among physicists and popular writers over credit for the bomb. But as Dr. Tel ler was one of those who tes tified again Dr. Oppenheimer in his security hearing, it was . doubtful that the last word had been heard. Liars' Club A 'Changed Man' Tells Senate Group Others Falsified About Reds “God and Christian char ity” have changed Harvey Matusow, the self-confessed professional liar told the Sen ate Internal Security Subcom mittee during a two-day hear ing last week. He had falsely accused ■cores of persons of having pro-Communist leanings, he ■aid, but then Insisted his pres ent testimony was the truth. Those who are Incensed aro generally the ones who write, they say. Another thing, pressure groups may interest thousand* of persons in a paper bom bardment of the department. These form letters are dis counted as such and not an swered. Instead of commenting, some persons offer specific suggestions on foreign policy. In this type of letter the United Natipns remains a fa vorite. Recently Secretary Dulles asked educational, re ligious and prolessional or ganizations to conduct studies of the United Nations Charter before it comes up for review this year. Many of thesa groups have adopted resolu tions on charter revision to guide the U. N. policy men. Moil From School Probably the most appealing letters come from children. A boy's penciled scrawl spelled out: “Are people allowed to be underground workers behind the Iron Curtain and if so, how is it arranged?” (The Depart ment sent him a list of public library books.* After a United Nations ad dress by the Secretary, a fifth grade girl confessed; “Before your speech, I did not think the world was very exciting. Now I realize different. I think you have a lot of cour age ” (Mr. Dulles wrote her thr t he was "deeply moved ”) Another very young lady in formed the Department; “You have gotten into a lot of hot water. I wish you luck In the future, and I hope you do better.” Some persons simply want to encourage the Secretary. "Being in the limelight,” a group of Methodist ministers begau, “means that you get many repercussions—some un just, some ill thought out , some bitter. If this letter will help to make any of the hard-to take ones any easier, then it will have achieved its pur pose.” The Department is asked to fill a variety of requests. “Please send me some infor mation to counteract the Dec laration of Human Rights,” and ”1 sent a letter dated De cember 4 to your office. Please see that it gets to Premier Malenkov at once.” (The De partment advised that it doesn't forward mail.) Potatoes and Artichokes A form reply answers the teasers like "Please tell me about Idaho potatoes” and “Has the sugar in California artichokes ever been isolated and if so, where can I get some?” by referring the writer to one of the 48 State govern ments, not the State Depart ment. An inquiry about “some lit erature on France and Ger many” brings a referral to the embassy of each of the coun tries. State Department publi cations concern only American foreign policy. The staff routinely tells such things as the “name of the Consul General in Geneva” and the "location of Blago veshchensk." But department personnel were stumped when the Eneyslopedie Britannica asked “the name of the per son who said while visiting there in January, 1954. 'You people talk democracy but do no*, practice it’?” Why do so many people take an interest in international relations? Mr. Dulles answered this question when he said; “Under our form of society, foreign policy is not a matter just for diplomats.” His testimony was that other ex-Communist “expert” wit nesses had lied, including Whittaker Chambers. Eliza beth Bentley and Paul Crouch. And he said he, himself, had been paid by “Republican front organizations” to charge dur ing the 1952 campaigns that Democratic senatorial candi dates Mike Mansfield of Mon tana and Henry M. Jackson of Washington were linked with communism. Nearby Votes The votes of the Maryland and Virginia legislators on the major roll calls in Congress last week. Senate On raising congressional salaries by $7,500 and increas ing salaries of Federal judges, Speaker and the Vice Presi dent. Passed, 62-24. For: Beall <R . Md>. Butler <R . Mil i. Against: Byrd (D.. Va). Robertson <D . Va.). On returning the congres sional and judicial pay raise to a Senate-House conference committee with instructions to knock out a $1,250 expense allowance for members of Congress, written into the bill by the committee. Motion adopted. 62-7. For: Beall. Butler. Byrd Announred for: Robertson. House On a motion by Representa tive Daniel A. Reed, Repub lican, of New York to strike out provisions for a S2O per person income tax cut from a bill extending corporation in come and excise taxes. Re jected. 205-210. For: Hyde iR.. Md 1. Broyhlll (*.. Va \ Smith 'D, Va '. Against: Lankford <D.. Md ). On passage of a package bill to cut income taxes S2O per person and extend cor poration Income and excise taxes to April 1, 1956. Passed, 242-175. Fnr: Lankford. Smith. Against; Hrde. BroyhlU.