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stained the marble of the sarcophagus. A hand was laid upon the head and instantly removed; the leaden lid was restored to its place; the body, raised by six men, was carried and laid in the marble coffin, and the ponderous cover being put on and set in cement, it was sealed from our sight. The relatives who were present, consisting of Major Lewis, Lorenzo Lewis, John Augustine Washington, George Washington, the Rev. Mr. Johnson and lady, and Mrs. Jane Washington, then retired to the mansion."
The remains of Mrs. Washington being placed in the other marble sarcophagus, they were both boxed, so as to prevent their being injured during the finishing of the vestibule in its present form.
WASHINGTON'S MARBLE coffin.
Mrs. Washington's coffin is perfectly plain. That of her husband has a sculptured lid, on which is represented the American shield suspended over the flag of the Union. The latter is hung in festoons, and the whole group is surmounted with a spread-eagle as a crest.
The new tomb, in design and structure, is offensive to good taste, and its appearance justifies the description of it by an English nobleman, who said, "It is a glaring red building somewhat between a coach-house and a cage." It stands at the bottom of a steep
hill, on the edge of a deep wooded glen that extends to the river, and through which flows a choked brook.
The spacious vault is built of brick, with an arched roof. It is entirely overgrown with shrubbery, brambles and vines, which gives it an antiquated appearance. Its iron door is entered from the spacious vestibule; and over it, upon a stone panel, are the words:
“I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE; HE THAT BELIEVETH IN ME, THOUGH HE WERE DEAD, YET SHALL HE LIVE!"
The vestibule is also built of brick, and is twelve feet in height. The iron picketed gateway, through which the marble sarcophagi may be seen, is flanked by two brick pilas
ters, surmounted by a stone coping, which covers a gothic arch. Over this arch is a white marble tablet inscribed
66 WITHIN THIS ENCLOSURE REST THE REMAINS OF
On the east side of the tomb, beneath marble monuments, lie the remains of Eleanor Parke Lewis and her daughter, Mrs. M. E. Conrad. In front of the tomb are two stately obelisks of marble. One of them was erected in memory of Judge Bushrod Washington, and the other of John Augustine Washington, father of the last proprietor of Mount Vernon of the Washington name.
Very few articles of the personal property of General Washington, except the library of books, remain at Mount Vernon. After Mrs. Washington's death, the devised personal property was distributed according to the directions of his will, and the remainder was sold. The purchasers consisted chiefly of members of the family, the grandchildren of Mrs. Washington taking nearly all of the family plate, and furniture. Many of these things have been described and delineated in these pages; and many others have been scattered over the country, and since lost.
While this very page was in preparation, I received from Mr. George Livermore, of Cambridge, an account of a most precious relic of Washington's earlier life, which is now in possession of the venerable Josiah Quincy, of Boston. It is the silver gorget of General Washington, which composed a part of his uniform while in the colonial service, and is seen suspended from his neck in Peale's portrait of him, painted in 1772, and printed on page 82 of this book.
"This precious relic," says Mr. Quincy in a letter to Mr. Livermore, "came to my possession under the following circumstances: from 1805 to 1813, I was one of the representatives of the state of Massachusetts, in the Congress of the United States, from Suffolk District. During these years I had the happiness, with my wife, to form an acquaintance with Mrs. Martha Peter (formerly Custis), the wife of Thomas Peter, Esq., of Tudor Place, in the District of Columbia. There sprang up between both families-particularly between Mrs. Peter and my wife-a great intimacy, the result of mutual respect and also coincidence in political feeling and opinion, which, at that period, constituted a bond of great strength. She was a woman of great personal beauty, highly accomplished, intellectual, elevated in spirit and sentiment, and worthy of the relation which she held of granddaughter to George Washington.
"When, in 1813, on resigning my seat in Congress, I called at Tudor Place to take leave, Mrs. Peter, after stating the interest she felt in me and Mrs. Quincy, asked my acceptance of the gorget of Washington, with the ribbon attached to it, which' she said she had received at the division of her grandfather's estate.' About that time, there had been formed in Boston a political association bearing the name of the Washington Benevolent Society, having for its object the support of the views and principles of Washington, of which I was one of the vice-presidents; and I immediately suggested the propriety, and asked her leave, to present in her name that precious relic to that society. She expressed her gratification at the suggestion, saying 'that she knew of no place where the principles of Washington had been more uniformly
cherished, or were likely to be more highly prized or preserved longer, than in the town of Boston.'
Accordingly, on my return in April, 1813, I made a for mai statement of the above circumstances to the Washington Benevolent Society, and presented the gorget, in her name, to that society. The gift was gratefully and cordially received and acknowledged by a vote of the society, signed by Arnold Welles, president; and William Sullivan, Josiah Quincy, Samuel Messinger, John C. Warren, and Benjamin Russell, vice-presidents. A record of the gift, of the vote of thanks, and of all the proceedings, was written upon parchment, and deposited in a box especially adapted for its preservation; and an account of the doings of the society was officially transmitted to Mrs. Peter.
"The gorget remained in that situation, under the care of the society, for five or six years, until its final dissolution, when, by a vote of the society, it was formally placed in my custody; and I immediately wrote to Mrs. Peter a statement of the circumstances, offering to return the gorget to her. She was pleased to reply, that it was her wish that I should retain it in my possession, and make such disposition of it as I saw fit."
When I last visited Mount Vernon, in the autumn of 1858, I saw there a few articles, not already mentioned, that belonged to Washington. These were a liquor-chest, two mirrors, some tissue paper, one of his ordinary address cards, several diagrams and memoranda from his pen, and a number of engravings.
The liquor-chest was in a closet adjoining the dining-room, and was used by the family when I was there. It is made of