U.S. Capitol Visitor Center

Welcome to the U.S. Capitol

U.S. Capitol Visitor Center Statues

King Kamehameha I of Hawaii is one of the 24 state statues on display in the Capitol Visitor Center.

Statues from the National Statuary Hall Collection

Twenty-four statues from the National Statuary Hall Collection are on display in the Capitol Visitor Center, the latest addition to the United States Capitol. The collection began in 1864 when the Congress invited each state to donate a marble or bronze statue of a distinguished citizen. The one hundredth statue was unveiled in 2005.  The statues represent the diversity of the country as well as the diversity of the contributions made by its citizens. They are among those most recently donated by the states; the most recent will be Helen Keller, donated by Alabama. Six depict female subjects and five depict Native Americans (including one Pacific Island native), two of whom are women. The statues were created by both male and female sculptors. Twelve of the statues represent persons who lived in or into the twentieth century, several of whom were citizens who did not hold government or military office. They include many of the most visually striking sculptures in the collection. At least one statue from every state remains on display in the historic part of the Capitol.

The statues on view in the Capitol Visitor Center, with the dates they were placed in the Capitol, are listed below:

William Edgar Borah (1865-1940) - Idaho
Bronze by Bryant Baker, 1947
Emancipation Hall

Lawyer, U.S. senator 1907-1940. As Chairman of Committee on Education and Labor, sponsored bills that created the Department of Labor and the Children's Bureau. Chairman of Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Outstanding orator, known at the "Lion of Idaho."


James P. Clarke (1854-1916) - Arkansas
Marble by Pompeo Coppini, 1921
Upper Level

Lawyer, state legislator and attorney general, governor, and U.S. senator 1903-1916. Twice elected president pro tempore of the Senate. Supported the Panama Canal project and Philippine independence. As Chairman of the Committee on Commerce, worked toward employer's liability and workmen's compensation legislation.


John M. Clayton (1796-1856) - Delaware
Marble by Bryant Baker, 1934
Upper Level auditorium lobby

Lawyer, state legislator, U.S. senator 1829-1836, and chief justice of the state supreme court. As secretary of state under President Zachary Taylor, negotiated the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty to build a canal linking Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Known for oratory and hatred of corruption.


Philo T. Farnsworth (1906-1971) - Utah
Bronze by James R. Avati, 1990
Emancipation Hall

Inventor. Called "the father of television" for invention of an early electronic television system, which he first visualized in high school. Early televisions used 100 of his patents. Received over 160 patents for inventions used in the development of radar, infrared night lights, electron microscope, baby incubator, gastroscope, and astronomical telescope. Shown holding an electronic camera tube that he invented in the 1920s.


James Z. George (1826-1897) - Mississippi
Bronze by Augustus Lukeman, 1931
Lower Level auditorium lobby

Soldier, lawyer, justice, and U.S. senator 1881-1897. Served in Mexican War. Reporter of the Supreme Court of Mississippi for 20 years. Signed the Ordinance of Secession. Confederate colonel during the Civil War; captured twice and spent two years in prison. Appointed to the Mississippi supreme court and made chief justice before being elected to Senate. Member of Mississippi Constitutional Convention.


Ernest Gruening (1886-1974) - Alaska
Bronze by George Anthonisen, 1977
Upper Level 

Journalist, governor of the Territory of Alaska, and U.S. senator 1959-1969. Graduated from medical school but pursued journalism, becoming reporter, editor, and managing editor in Boston and New York. Appointed to political positions, including the Alaska International Highway Commission. One of first two senators from Alaska. Called "the father of Alaska statehood."


Wade Hampton (1818-1902) - South Carolina
Marble by Frederic W. Ruckstull, 1929
Lower Level auditorium lobby

Planter, state legislator, governor, U.S. senator 1879-1891, and U.S. railroad commissioner. Hero of the Confederacy, raising a legion of infantry, cavalry, and artillery; fought at Gettysburg; rose to lieutenant general of the cavalry. Known as the "Savior of South Carolina."

Mother Joseph (1823-1902) - Washington
Bronze by Felix W. de Weldon, 1980
Emancipation Hall

Missionary and architect. Born Esther Pariseau near Montreal, Canada; became a Catholic nun at age 20. Led missionaries to the U.S. Pacific Northwest Territories, including the future state of Washington. Designed, oversaw construction, and raised funds for 11 hospitals, 7 academies, 5 Indian schools, and 2 orphanages. Shown on the pedestal are drafting instruments and images of her buildings. 


King Kamehameha I (1758?-1819) - Hawaii
Bronze and gold, replica of 1879 statue by Thomas R. Gould, 1969
Emancipation Hall

Warrior and king. Unified all the inhabited islands of Hawaii under his rule. Encouraged trade and peaceful activities, and opened Hawaii to the rest of the world. Also called Kamehamea the Great. Shown wearing gilded clothing, including regal helmet of feathers and cloak made of yellow bird feathers. Kamehameha Day is celebrated by Hawaiians each year on June 11. 


Helen Keller (1880-1968) - Alabama
Bronze by Edward Hlavka (to be placed in 2009)
Emancipation Hall

Author, lecturer, and activist for the disabled and for other social causes. Blind and deaf following an illness in infancy; learned sign language, speech, and Braille. First blind and deaf person to graduate from college. Wrote autobiographical books. Known as "America's good will ambassador to the world." Shown as a 7-year-old child at the pump at her home in Tuscumbia, Alabama, where she first understood the signed word "water" and learned to communicate.


Eusebio Francisco Kino (1645-1711) - Arizona
Bronze by Suzanne Silvercruys, 1965
Emancipation Hall

Missionary, explorer, and cartographer. Jesuit born in Italy; led mission to Mexico and lower California and worked with Pima Indians in southern Arizona. Built missions, ranches, and roads in California and Arizona. Shown holding an astrolabe, used in calculating latitude from the stars.


Ephraim McDowell (1771-1830) - Kentucky
Bronze by Charles H. Niehaus, 1929
Upper Level auditorium lobby

Surgeon and college founder. Helped draft the Kentucky constitution. Pioneer in abdominal surgical techniques, performing first ovariotomy in United States. Member of Philadelphia Medical Society. Founder of Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. Known for charity work. Shown behind him is a table with instruments and a bowl with a natural sponge used in surgery. 


Doctor John McLoughlin (1784-1857) - Oregon
Bronze by Gifford Proctor, 1953
Lower Level auditorium lobby

Physician and trader. Physician for British North West Company fur-gathering post on Lake Superior; as partner, instrumental in merger with Hudson Bay Company. Became head of the department having authority over the Northwest from California to Alaska. Settled in Oregon City and became an American citizen in 1849. Called "Father of Oregon" because of his generosity to American pioneers. 


Julius Sterling Morton (1832-1902) - Nebraska

Bronze by Rudulph Evans, 1937
Upper Level pedestrian corridor

Journalist, farmer, legislator, and cabinet member. Staked a claim in Nebraska before it was a territory. Member of territorial legislature and appointed secretary of the territory. Served as President Cleveland's secretary of agriculture. Began to edit the multivolume Illustrated History of Nebraska. Shown with book and next to tree trunk, sapling, pruning shears, and shovel, symbolic of his founding Arbor Day, celebrated on April 22, his birthday. 


Po'pay (1630?-before 1692) - New Mexico
Marble by Cliff Fragua, 2005
Emancipation Hall

Pueblo religious and spiritual leader. Born in San Juan Pueblo, now New Mexico. Organizer of the Pueblo Revolt against the Spanish in 1680, which helped ensure the survival of the Pueblo culture and shaped the history of the American Southwest. Shown next to a pot, symbolic of Pueblo culture, holding a bear fetish and the knotted rope used to coordinate the timing of the uprising. 


Jeannette Rankin (1880-1973) - Montana
Bronze by Terry Minmaugh, 1985
Emancipation Hall

Social worker, lecturer, and U.S. representative elected in 1916 and 1940. First woman elected to U.S. House of Representatives. Noted lobbyist for peace and women's rights. Voted against America's entry into World Wars I and II. Only Member of Congress to oppose declaration of war on Japan, saying, "I cannot vote for war." Shown wearing the dress she wore on her first day in Congress and a sheet of paper with a prayer she wrote in 1942. 


Sakakawea (1788?-1812) - North Dakota
Bronze, replica of 1910 statue by Leonard Crunelle, 2003
Emancipation Hall

Interpreter and guide. Assisted northwest expedition headed by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, carrying her newborn son born in 1805 in what is today North Dakota. Her presence was a sign to tribes that the expedition was peaceful. Honored as traveler, translator, diplomat, wife, and mother. Named Sakakawea, or "Bird Woman," by Hidastsa tribe. 


Maria L. Sanford (1836-1920) - Minnesota
Bronze by Evelyn Raymond, 1958
Emancipation Hall

Educator and champion of women's rights. Supported suffrage for women and the education of blacks; pioneered the concept of adult education and parent-teacher organizations. Graduated from Connecticut Normal School. Professor of history, Swarthmore College. Taught for 20 years at University of Minnesota. One of first women to become college professor. 


Gen. E. Kirby Smith (1824-1893) - Florida
Bronze by C. Adrian Pillars, 1922
Lower Level auditorium lobby

Soldier, businessman, and educator. Graduated from United States Military Academy; resigned from the army to join Confederate forces; surrendered last military force of Confederacy. Last surviving full general of either army. Telegraph company president, university chancellor, and professor of mathematics.


John L. "Jack" Swigert, Jr. (1931-1982) - Colorado
Bronze by George and Mark Lundeen, 1997
Emancipation Hall

Pilot and astronaut. Air Force combat pilot in Korea and test pilot. One of three crew members aboard 1970 NASA Apollo 13 moon mission, aborted after an oxygen tank ruptured. Crew spent almost 6 days in space. Executive director of House Committee on Science and Technology. Elected to House of Representatives in 1982 but died one week before taking office. Shown in space suit modeled after one from NASA.


Joseph Ward (1838-1889) - South Dakota
Marble by Bruno Beghé, 1963
Emancipation Hall

Missionary and educator. Leader in movement for South Dakota statehood. Ordained in Yankton, capital of Dakota Territory. Opened Yankton Academy and was instrumental in founding Yankton College. Drafted state constitution, and composed state motto and description for the state seal. Shown holding a scroll. 


Chief Washakie (1800?-1900) - Wyoming
Bronze by Dave McGary, 2000
Emancipation Hall

Warrior and spokesman for Shoshone tribe. Fluent in French, English, and several Native American languages. United Shoshone bands. Negotiated with army to ensure preservation of more than three million acres in Wyoming as home to the Shoshone. Only known Native American to be given a full military funeral. Details of clothing are finely painted in color.


Edward Douglass White (1845-1921) - Louisiana
Bronze by Arthur C. Morgan, 1955
Upper Level pedestrian corridor

Lawyer, state legislator and supreme court justice, U.S. senator 1891-1894, U.S. Supreme Court justice and chief justice of the United States for 27 years. Enlisted in the Confederate Army at age 16, but later as justice supported rights of blacks to vote. Appointed to Supreme Court by President Cleveland; appointed chief justice by President Taft, first justice to be so elevated. Shown wearing judicial robes.


Sarah Winnemucca (1844-1891) - Nevada
Bronze by Benjamin Victor, 2005
Emancipation Hall

Interpreter, educator, and author. Negotiated between her Paiute people and the U.S. Army. Started a school for Native American children, teaching in both the native language and in English. Second marriage to Lewis H. Hopkins. Her autobiography, Life among the Piutes: Their Wrongs and Claims, was first book written by a Native American woman. Holds a shellflower, her name in the Paiute language.


For more information about the Capitol Visitor Center, go to www.visitthecapitol.gov.  January 2009.