February 7, 2019

Massachusetts Senate Chamber

The Massachusetts Senate Chamber is an interesting place to visit. A lot of history has been made in this room. When the Senate is not in session you can walk on part of the Senate floor.

The Senate Room

Some interesting things about the Senate Chamber

The Senate Chamber is located directly below the Massachusetts State House Gold Dome.

There are 39 chairs around the circle of desks. The Senate President sits at the rostrum under a golden eagle and American Flag.

There are nine busts in the Senate Chamber

  1. George Washington - the Oldest bust in the Chamber - created in 1810
  2. Abraham Lincoln - Purchased in 1867
  3. Marquis de Lafayette - the only non-American bust. He was an American icon who help the Thirteen Colonies defeat the British in the American Revolution. Marquis de Lafayette visited the chamber in 1825 - the bust wasn't installed until 1898. He was on his way to lay the Bunker Hill Monument cornerstone.
  4. Charles Sumner - Donated by A. A. Lawrence in 1869. Senator from Massachusetts. (Read more on a previous Blog Post.)
  5. Ben Franklin - Donated by Horatio S. Greenough in 1898.
  6. George S. Boutwell - Acquired in 1871. Initialed to be installed in the State Library.
  7. Henry Wilson - Donated by William Whiting in 1872. He was the 18th Vice President of the United States.
  8. Col. Gardiner Tufts - Acquired in 1892. Massachusetts Colonel in the Civil War
  9. Rev. Samuel F. Smith - Purchased in 1896. He was an American Baptist minister, journalist, and author. best known for having written the lyrics to "My Country, 'Tis of Thee."

Guns in the Gallery

There are two guns that are hanging in the gallery - both from the early days of the American Revolutionary War:

  • "Parker Firearm" - An original Musket used by Captain John Parker at the Battle of Lexington, April 19, 1775.
  • "Kings Arm" - A Musket used by the 43rd (Monmouthshire) Regiment of Foot at the Battle of Lexington, April 19, 1775. (The British's soldiers that fought at Lexington/Concord) The sign underneath the gun indicates that this was the first firearm captured in the War of .

Misc

If you look at the arches above you can see pendants with emblems for Commerce, Agriculture, Peace and War.

From January 1798 to June 1896 all the Senate meetings were held in the Old Senate Chamber - now the Senate Reception Room.

In 2017, the Massachusetts Legislator approved a $23 million renovation. This will be the first major renovation to support the standard of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The project was completed last month.

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