Newspapers of this period inform us that a scene such as this was not uncommon during night sessions of the House. “However faithful members may be in the performance of their duties during the day sessions, they are very apt to recognize the claims of “society” in the evening.” Here, the Sergeant at Arms, with the House Mace held aloft, led Members retrieved from dinners, receptions, and other social events back to the Chamber in order for the House to achieve a quorum.
History, Art & Archives, U.S. House of Representatives, “Washington, D.C. - The National Legislature - The Sergeant-at-Arms Bringing in Absentee Members,” https://history.house.gov/Collection/Listing/2008/2008-033-005/ (September 25, 2022)
Office of Art and Archives
Attic, Thomas Jefferson Building
Washington, D.C. 20515