7 December 2015
WASHINGTON MONUMENT. BROADSIDE, “To the People of the United States.” Washington: C. W. Fenton, n.d. [ca. 1835]. 1 page, folio (18 ¾ x 12in.).
“THE GREAT WORK HAS BEEN COMMENCED. The corner-stone of the Washington National Monument has been laid with imposing ceremonies, and the sublime structure…will now be advanced to completion…” But finishing it would require a huge financial investment by the American people, which this broadside exhorts them to make. “It cannot be that the countrymen of Washington, to whom under heaven they are indebted for all the political blessings they enjoy, will suffer a structure which…will commemorate their own gratitude, to remain unfinished or unworthy of his fame and their patriotism…” It was a hard slog, but the people eventually complied. In spite of Congressional stinginess, and a Civil War, the monument was eventually funded and completed fifty years after the laying of the cornerstone, in 1885.
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