The U.S. Capitol includes huge paintings, such as the Signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 (left) and the Surrender of General Burgoyne at Saratoga in 1777, both by John Trumbull. This is the continuing pictorial story of Martin Decker, a 17-year-old Frenchman, Linda and I hosted this past summer. We hosted his mother in Columbia in 1995, and his family hosted us in Nancy, France, in 2009.
The day after we picked him up at the D.C. airport we took him on a tour of the Capitol building and its National Statuary Hall.
Next Week: The Mall to Lincoln Memorial
Martin was curious about the Wyoming’s statue of Chief Washakie. A plaque explained that Washakie's prowess in battle, his efforts for peace, and his commitment to his people’s welfare made him one of the most respected leaders in Native American history. His friends included frontiersmen Kit Carson, Jim Bridger, and John Fremont.
As we walked toward the Capitol, Martin read this caution sign, then asked, “Why watch for them?”
It had just rained in Washington. The reflection of the Capitol building was awe inspiring.
Inside the Capitol, Martin followed the tour guide’s message on earphones...in English.
This statue of John Caldwell Calhoun was given to the National Statuary Hall Collection by South Carolina in 1910. I explained to Martin that Calhoun served as vice president under two presidents, J. Q. Adams and Jackson, and was the leading spokesman for the South who attempted to resolve the problems between the North and the South before the disastrous Civil War.