Saturday, March 28, 2009

Celebration Of The One Hundredth Anniversary of the Establishment Of The Seat Of Government In The District Of Columbia

I had been on the hunt for sometime trying to purchase an original edition of the book, Celebration Of The One Hundredth Anniversary of the Establishment Of The Seat Of Government In The District Of Columbia-1800-Washington-1900. Compiled by William V. Cox. Washington: Government Printing Office. 1901. Finally snagged one.

The book is somewhat difficult to find for purchase and often rather expensive (I got this one for a song) as only 8,000 copies were printed in 1901. It is available at various libraries and through inter-library loan services.

Yes, I had a particular interest since Governor Steunenberg attended these events. However, this is a wonderful book for anyone interested in the history of the nation's capital.

The copy I have is in nice shape, includes the fold out maps of Washington D.C. in the back and quite a few period illustrations and photos. However, it does have a rather weak binding and, for that reason, I am not going to attempt any scanning except for the front cover above. I will include a couple of excerpts and you can find a link below to view the full volume online at Google books.

There are a couple of previous blog posts that will show the very colorful program that was developed for the Centennial. It is printed on heavy stock and bound within the book. I now know that the separated pages of the program that I had acquired previously were most likely removed from a volume of this book and are hence originals, not copies. I got those for next to nothing too, as neither me or the seller had any idea what they were (well okay, so I kind of knew what they probably were!).

There is also a section with pictures and information on the very nice commemorative medals given to participants. You
will want to click on the links at the bottom of this post to see the medal and how it relates to these events and Governor Steunenberg. This blog post and the others will give you a better of understanding of the centennial events and why I had an interest in acquiring an original edition of this commemorative book.

Excerpts (Chapter headings in bold)

Proceeding Of The Meeting Of The Joint Committee
The members of the joint committee assembled at II o'clock, February 21, 1900, in the parlor of the Arlington Hotel. The meeting as called to order by Hon. John B. Wright, chairman of the citizen's committee. After welcoming the members to the capital of the nation, he briefly presented a history of the movement to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the establishment of the permanent seat of Government in the District of Columbia since its inception, in October, 1898, referring especially to the deep interests shown by the President, and to his suggestions, all of which had been carried out. The members of the committee from the country at large, as appointed by the President, were read as follows:

I will not type the whole list but includes "Idaho..F. Steunenberg".

The chair then directed the roll be called, whereupon the following named gentlemen responded:
...F. Steunenberg, governor of Idaho;....

Reception And Exercises At The White House
The ceremonies of the day commenced with a formal reception to the Governors of the States and Territories and the Commissioners of the District of Columbia by the President of the United States. Shortly after 10 o'clock, accompanied by members of the Cabinet, he entered the Blue Room, while the Marine Band, under the leadership of Lieut. William H. Santelmann, stationed in the large hallway, played "Hail to the Chief."

Their excellencies the Governors meanwhile assembled in the Red Room, attended by their chiefs of staff, having been escorted to the Mansion by members of the committee in charge of exercises. The Commissioners were also present. The President, being ready to receive them, they were then ushered into his presence and were presented by Col. Theodore A.Bingham, U.S.A. The President cordially greeted his distinguished guests and some little time was spent in conversation. At the close of the reception, the guests with the members of the Cabinet proceeded to the East Room where they were seated by members of the committee.

The Governors who attended the reception were their excellencies....Frank Steunenberg of Idaho......

Parade, And Review By The President Of The United States
At half past 10 o'clock, the President, accompanied by Senator Hale, chairman of the joint committee, and other members of the Cabinet, entered their carriages in Front of the Executive Mansion, proceeding to Pennsylvania Avenue, being immediately proceeded by the Fifth United States Calvary. They were followed by the brigade of the District of Columbia National Guard. The signal for the parade to start was given by a detail from the guard under the command of Capt. C. Fred Cook.

Governor of States, In Order Of Admission Of States To The Union [With staffs and military escorts.] 43. Idaho

...Idaho, Governor Frank Steunenberg, escorted by Dr. D. Percy Hickling.

Exercises At The Capital (Frank should be somewhere in this crowd)
At 3.30 o'clock, the hour appointed by law for a joint convention of the Senate and House of Representative to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the establishment of the permanent seat of Government in the District of Columbia and of the first session of Congress held in the permanent capital, the President of the United States with the members of his Cabinet, the president pro tempore and members of the United States Senate, the Chief Justice and associate justices of the Supreme Court, the foreign ambassadors and ministers to the United States, the governors of the States and Territories, the Commissioners of the District of Columbia and those entitled to admission to the floor, entered the Hall of the House of Representative, which body was already in session.

Personnel Of Committees
Committee From The Country At Large
Hon. F. Steunenberg

Check out these related links:
12/29/2007 - Never Know What Might Pop Up On eBay

12/29/2007- Commemorative Medal Given To Governor Steunenberg on 12/12/1900

4/14/2008 - National Capital Centennial-Program from 1900

Celebration Of The One Hundredth Anniversary of the Establishment Of The Seat Of Government In The District Of Columbia

I am sure Governor Steunenberg was immensely impressed with the pomp and circumstance and the distinguished guests at this momentous event. I have searched but to date not seen any photographs that include his presence. I can't help but wonder if at some point the Governor longed to be back in Caldwell, Idaho, away from the formality of Washington D.C. and the controversy over the events that had occurred in the Coeur d'Alene. That event had followed the Governor to the nation's Capital earlier in 1900 when Congress had conducted hearings into the Idaho mining wars. No doubt some of those conversations still lingered during this later visit.

Did he or didn't he? We all know that Frank Steunenberg had an aversion to wearing a necktie, as does his great grandson. The Centennial was a rather formal event what with receptions at the White House and the parade. The winter cold of December was firmly entrenched in Washington D.C. and everyone had on their top hats and warm overcoats. The question is, would the Governor have worn a tie on this occasion or did he keep that coat collar buttoned up tight so no one could see? Above "Personals" appeared in The Chicago Tribune, 8/29/1899.

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