This scene from the House Chamber was featured on the front page of Harper’s Weekly and shows an animated presiding officer. Contrary to his apparent excitement, the report states that the evening was dull, with “Members . . . constantly going to and returning from the refreshment rooms, and some have retired to sofas to sleep.” The “refreshment rooms” were the cloakrooms, a comfort for the Members afforded by the 1857 Capitol extension.
History, Art & Archives, U.S. House of Representatives, “The Last Hours of Congress, March 1859,” https://history.house.gov/Collection/Listing/2004/2004-085-004/ (January 27, 2022)
Office of the Historian
Office of Art and Archives
Attic, Thomas Jefferson Building
Washington, D.C. 20515