Image courtesy of the Library of the Congress
Representative Thomas Bouldin was briefly buried at Congressional Cemetery before being moved to his home state of Virginia.
On this date, the House held a funeral
for Representative Thomas T. Bouldin
of Virginia. The Members of the House and Senate, along with the President and Supreme Court Justices, gathered in the House Chamber for the service, donned black armbands, and processed to Congressional Cemetery. Although Bouldin was no legislative titan, his death affected the Congress greatly, since most of the House witnessed it. Just two days earlier, in the very same room, Bouldin had been making a speech on the floor. “Within a few minutes after having commenced his address, he fell suddenly to the floor, and immediately expired,” according to the House Journal
. Bouldin’s body did not rest permanently in Congressional Cemetery – he was re-interred at his home in Virginia – but his cenotaph is among the 169 raised in memory of fallen Members of Congress in the first half of the 19th century.