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Who Is That Man, Anyway?
Subject: Albert Gallatin
Sculptor: James Earle Fraser
Location: Lafayette Park
( Pennsylvania Ave. & 15th )
Born in Switzerland, Gallatin (1761-1849) emigrated to the United States at the age of nineteen. He served in the U.S. Senate from 1793 to 1794, representing Pennsylvania, and later served in the U.S. House of Representatives, 1795-1801. He served Presidents Jefferson and Madison as the fourth Secretary of the Tresury (1801-1814) and paid off the public debt.
He negotiated the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812 and served as minister to France, 1816-1823. In his spare time, he co-founded New York University.
Twenty years elapsed between the proposal for the statue and its ultimate dedication. Democrats were tired of hearing that Hamilton (a rival of Democrat Thomas Jefferson) was the best Secretary of the Treasury and, in 1926, proposed that a statue be placed on the north side of the Treasury Building to balance the statue of Hamilton on the south side.
The Republican-controlled Congress authorized the statue only if it were paid for with private funds. By the time the funds were available and the design of the statue approved, World War II had begun and there was a ban placed on the use of bronze by civilians.
It was finally dedicated on October 15, 1947.
Photos and text copyright © 2001 Jean K. Rosales and Michael R. Jobe, All Rights Reserved
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