The Destruction of the Washington Monument

Although officially known as the Washington Monument since plans for the magnificent obelisk were underway while the first President was still alive, the name is something of a misnomer as the currently standing tower is actually a replica. The first Monument, completed in 1862, was attacked and destroyed soon after by “Potomac Patty,” the local river monster who had been won over to the secessionist side of the Civil War by promises of “fresh fish flesh” from the Confederate Army. As photography was scarce during the war, this is actually a photo of the re-completed Monument with an artist’s likeness of Patty grappling with the tower.

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A Portrait of the Presidents

Created for the Inauguration of President Abraham Lincoln (notice the rare pre-beard portrait), this selection of past Presidents emphasizes the unity of the Union, as well as providing excellent representations of all the heads of state. In addition to stalwarts like Washington & Jefferson, this picture includes several rare and now-forgotten figures like William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, John Adams and Zombie John Adams (who served non-consecutive terms), Zachary Taylor, Metallo the Mechanical Man, Mallard Fillmore, and Rondo the Amazing!

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Map of Washington DC

The location of the Nation’s capital was a point of great contention for years, with advocates of Southern states insisting that the Capitol not be located in Philadelphia or New York City. The unlikely compromise on the District of Columbia was an unsatisfactory choice for many involved, due to the swamp-like conditions of the city, the incessant mud that made construction and troop movements difficult, and the meddlesome River Monster of the Potomac, affectionately nicknamed “Patty.”

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The Original Lincoln Memorial

This rare photo shows the original sculpture and inscription in the Lincoln Memorial. It features the enraged 16th President demanding subservience from the visitor, which is a departure from the conciliatory tone that many Northern government officials tended to strike when portraying Lincoln. After complaints from visitors that the statue’s cold, lifeless eyes “seemed to follow you wherever you go,” the statue and inscription were altered accordingly.

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