National Geographic : 1964 Jan
who served in this building. In the long lobby outside the House Chamber hang portraits of 43 Speakers from Frederick Muhlenberg, who was a Member of the first Continental Congress, to the late Sam Rayburn (pages 32-3). Looking out from niches around the galleries of the Senate Chamber are marble busts of 20 Vice Presidents-beginning with John Adams-who presided over that body. "I never dreamed there was so much," sighed a friend who had joined me for a tour, as we passed a pensive statue of Benjamin Franklin and gazed up at William H. Powell's mammoth painting, "The Battle of Lake Erie," hanging over the Senate's east stairway. The turbulent lake scene is one of four paint ings at House and Senate stair landings. An eye-catcher on the House side is Emanuel Leutze's "Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way." Bought by Congress a cen tury ago, this melodramatic portrayal of pio neers battling the wilderness was a bit of super-realism from current events of the day. Probably the oddest exhibit is three mar ble ladies sitting-fully clad-in what the flippant call a snowbank or bathtub. The portrait busts, rising from an 8-ton block of marble, honor crusading suffragettes Lucre tia Mott, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Their monument, presented by Vaulted Statuary Hall Once Rang With Debates of the House Here Representative Henry Clay helped frame the Missouri Compromise. Here in one Congress sat Andrew Johnson, Horace Greeley, John Quincy Adams, and Abraham Lincoln. Abandoning the hall to cobwebs, apple cores, and hucksters in 185 7, Congress later revitalized it as a repository for statues of each state's noted sons and daughters. O U. S . CAPITOL HISTORICAL SOCIETY Capitol guide demon strates Statuary Hall's whispering gallery. Janet McCormick's "ssh" car ries to the group 45 feet away, but is inaudible in between. Poor acoustics plagued the House for decades; ghostly echoes still pervade the old room.