Discover the rich heritage of “the People's House” and its central role in U.S. history since 1789. Explore its unique story and the men and women who have shaped it. Browse its collections. Access historical data and other research resources.

From The Blog

October 16, 2014

Leave No Forwarding Address: When Congress Almost Abandoned D.C.

It was a low moment. When the 13th Congress (1813–1815) trickled into Washington, D.C., in September 1814 for a third session, they found a terrorized community, most public buildings destroyed, and a humiliated army on retreat. Once the grandest building in North America, the unfinished Capitol resembled a charcoal briquette. And though the invading British forces had departed more than three weeks previously, the damage they inflicted—both physical and emotional—very nearly convinced the shocked legislators to abandon Washington for good.

October 6, 2014

Take a Seat

For more than a century, a desk in the House Chamber was a Member’s office. He stowed his hat beneath his chair, wrote and stored papers in the writing desk, and occasionally propped his feet up to listen to debate. Why did picking one's desk matter?

About The Offices

This site is a collaborative project between the Office of the Historian and the Clerk of the House's Office of Art and Archives. The offices preserve, collect, and interpret the heritage of the U.S. House, serving as the institution’s memory and a resource for Members, staff, and the general public.