The White-House at Washington — an interesting description.
A Washington correspondent of the New York Herald
, thus describes the White-House
, its furniture, &c. It will be seen that strong suspicions are thrown out in the article against Mr. Buchanan
's honesty, in appropriating to himself property which belonged to the Rump Government
Our readers will find it very interesting:
The President's house
once more assumes the appearance of comfort and comparative beauty.
Two coats of pure white paint on the outside renew its right to be designated the ‘"White-House
."’ The interior, during the last six months, has been thoroughly cleansed and almost entirely re-ornamented.
Very little new furniture has been introduced, as much of the old is substantial, having been procured in the time of Monroe
, and is not only valuable on that account, but is really very handsome, from its antique style.
Much of this old furniture, however, has been revarnished, and the chairs have been cushioned and covered with rich crimson satin brocatelle, tufted and laid in folds on the backs, rendering a moderate appearance.--Upon entering the great East Room
, two prominent things strike the eye — the paper on the walls and the carpet on the floor.--The first is a Parisian style of heavy velvet cloth paper, of crimson, garnet, and gold, gives a massive appearance to the room, and is quite rich.
In the daytime it seems rather dark; but when the soft light of the great chandeliers illuminates the room, it develops its full richness, and harmonizes to a shade.
The carpet is an ingenious piece of work, not because of its rich quality or exquisite design, but because of the fact that it is in one piece, and covers a floor measuring one hundred feet long and forty-eight feet wide.
There is nothing flashy or extravagant about its appearance.
The admiration of the beholder is not suddenly excited by a view of the whole surface, so ingeniously and beautifully, are the various figures and colors harmonized.
It is like a constellation of stars, where the beauty of one star is lost in the combined grandeur of the whole.
It is a very heavy Axminster
, with three medallions gracefully arranged into one grand medallion.
As we walk over its velvet surface from centre to sides, or from corner to corner, the most chaste and beautiful surprises of vases, wreaths and bouquets of flowers and fruit pieces excite our love of true art. The carpet, in its mechanical construction, as well as in its artistic design, is a wonder.
It was made in Glasgow, Scotland
, upon the only loom existing in the world capable of weaving one so large.
Mr. W. H. Carryl
, of Philadelphia
, went to Europe
, and, after examining various patterns in different cities; including Paris
, proceeded to Glasgow
and designed this.--His mission was a success.
The next attractive features among the ornamental in the East Room, are the curtains and drapery at the eight windows.
The inner curtains are of the richest white needle-wrought lace, made in Switzerland
Over these, and suspended from massive gold gilt cornices, are French crimson brocatelle, trimmed with heavy gold fringe and tassel work.
or curtain pin, at the side of each window, is of solid brass and covered in gold gilt.
The design is a commingling of banners, arrows, swords, an anchor, chain, &c., interwoven behind the American
shield, upon the front of which is a raised figure of an eagle.
Opposite the great east window of the room is the door leading to the promenade.
In order to harmonize the interior appearance of the great East Boom
, this door has been curtained with lace and crimson brocatelle, trimmed with gold fringes and tassel, to match the window opposite.
The eight mirrors in the East Room are the same that have been there for years.
Passing from the East Room, we enter the Green
or conversational room.
It has been newly papered, carpeted, and curtained; and greatly improved.
Next is the Blue
's reception room.
This is the only room, when Mr. Buchanan
left the house, that was very well furnished.
A new carpet has been placed upon the floor; otherwise the room is in the same condition it was when Mr. Lincoln
Next we come to the Red Room
This is properly Mrs. Lincoln
's reception room.--Everything in it is new except the splendid old painting of Washington
The fine pictures of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and other members of the royal family, presented to the President
of the United States
for the Presidential Mansion
by the Prince
, that hung upon the walls of this room, are missing.
I learn that they were removed to Wheatland
with Mr. Buchanan
He also took away from the White House
a large number of Chinese
or Japanese curiosities, intended, upon presentation, for the mansion.
All these are missing.
Nevertheless, under the general direction of Mrs. Lincoln
, (to whose excellent good taste we are chiefly indebted for the beautifying of the President's House
,) this room does not need those pictures.
It is a model of elegance and modesty combined.
The most perfect harmony prevails throughout.
The sofas, chairs, &c., are covered with rich crimson brocade satin.
The guests' room, now known as the Prince
' room, since that youth occupied it, has been thoroughly ornamented
This carpet is a beautiful Wilton
The paper is a light tinted purple, with a golden figure of a moss rose tree in bloom.
The principal feature of the room is the bed. It is eight feet wide and nine feet long, of solid rosewood.
The sides are cushioned and covered with purple figured satin.
The head board is a piece of rich carved work, rising eight feet above the bed, and having an oval top. Twenty feet above the floor, overspreading the whole, is a magnificent canopy, from the upper carved work of which the drapery hangs in elegant folds, being in the form of a crown, the front ornament up on which is the American
shield, with the Stars and Stripes carved thereon.
The drapery is a rich purple satin fringe, and otherwise ornamented with the finest gold lace.
The carved work is adorned with gold gilt.
The curtains to the room are made of the finest purple satin damask, and trimmed to correspond with the canopy.
The centre table is of solid carved rosewood, is quite costly and exceedingly beautiful.
The private apartments of Mr.Lincoln
and Mrs. Lincoln
are more modestly but very beautifully ornamented and furnished.
The President's library is chastely and not extravagantly refurnished.
is the color that predominates in this room.
The room where the Cabinet
meetings are held, and where the President
is usually to be found, is very neatly papered, but should be better furnished.
All the furniture is exceedingly old, and is too rickety to venerate Mr. Lincoln
don't complain, because it resembles so very much the dingy old room he occupied and familiarized himself with in the State House
, from the time he was elected until he left for Washington
The rooms of Secretaries Nicolay
are ‘"near, but not gaudy."’ They are newly painted, carpeted, and curtained.
The principal ornament in Mr. Nicolay
's room is a war weapon used by the Vikings.
It is about five feet long, with at least fifty prongs, and resembles very much the weapon used by the aborigines of this country before it was much settled by the white.--This instrument of death is a great curiosity, and employs the time of the office-seekers who wait for hours in the lobbies of the Cabinet
to obtain a hearing.
This weapon is finally to be transferred to the Smithsonian institute.
's room contains some valuable parchment and several elegant pieces of wax-work.
The bas relies on the mantle, and the engravings upon the wall, exhibited a taste for the beautiful and artistic.
There is also an extensive law library in this room, which the Secretary
has frequent occasion to explore, especially with reference to our international affairs.
So much for the White House
and its new decorations.