Skip to main content

Hans Christian Washington

May 2024
1min read

Since 1913, U.S. Capitol antiquarians have had a small embarrassment on their hands. It was in that year that a handsome bronze bust was discovered squirreled away in a room under the Capitol building’s crypt in Washington, D.C. You don’t throw something like that away, obviously, even if you have no place to keep it; even, in fact, if you don’t know who the bust is supposed to represent. And so far, no one does, though, as the New York Times reported on July 17,1979, “hundreds of people have studied it, some becoming convinced it was of Thomas Jefferson, Hans Christian Anderson, Abner Doubleday, or even George Washington.” Well, there it sits, on top of a filing cabinet in room HB28 of the Capitol building, under the watchful eye of researcher Florian Thayn. If any of our readers can provide clues, we will be happy to pass them along.

We hope you enjoy our work.

Please support this magazine of trusted historical writing, now in its 75th year, and the volunteers that sustain it with a donation to American Heritage.

Donate