Reading Room: Cornerstone, 1864

The cornerstone of the new Foundry Church at 14th and G Streets, N.W., was laid on July 20, 1864. A variety of items were placed in it before the ceremonies took place that day. Among documents important in the history of the United States were the Declaration of Independence, electrotyped in copper, the Constitution, Washington's Farewell Address and Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. Wash­ington and Lincoln were honored in another way. There was a medallion of Washington on copper, encased in a frame made of wood from Mt. Vernon, and a picture of Lincoln with his autograph.

Pictures and autographs of Richard Wallach, Mayor of Washington, and the Rev. W. M. D. Ryan, pastor of Foundry, were also in­cluded. Washington newspapers, silver and copper coins, and internal revenue and postage stamps were other items placed in the cornerstone.

Methodism and Foundry were perpetuated by several things. There was a ring made of wood from old John Street Church in New York City; a Methodist discipline; a Methodist hymn book; the names of all officers and trustees of Foundry and contributors to the new building, including Sunday School pupils; an abridged history of Foundry; and a piece of the pulpit from the Old Foundry meeting house.


This article, originally titled "Cornerstone, 1864" is provided and used with permission from Papers of Homer Calkin, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.