Members of the House of Representatives sit in unassigned armchairs arranged in a semicircle on tiered platforms that face the Speaker's rostrum. Behind the rostrum is a frontispiece with Ionic columns made of black Italian marble with white Alabama marble capitals. An American flag occupies the center and is flanked by two bronze faces. The chamber's lower walls are walnut paneled with intervening light grey Genevieve Sheldorado marble pilasters. A gallery for visitors and the press corps rings the chamber
The House Chamber, also known as the "Hall of the House of Representatives,"...


The Summerhouse on the Capitol Grounds surrounded by pink azalea flowers.
A few ideas to help you in planning a visit to Capitol Hill.


Photo of Stephen T. Ayers, FAIA, LEED AP, Architect of the Capitol in front of the Capitol Building
On February 24, 2010, President Barack Obama nominated Mr. Ayers to serve as...


AOC's Theon Parker teaches students about electrical circuits at Phelps ACE High School.
Courses taught by AOC employees help communicate business culture and...

Explore Capitol Hill

Henry Clay

Charles H. Niehaus

Given by Kentucky in 1929
National Statuary Hall
U.S. Capitol

Henry Clay bronze statue

Henry Clay was born in Hanover County, Virginia, on April 12, 1777. His only formal education was three years at a small school. After his father died, his mother remarried and Clay moved to Richmond. His stepfather secured him a position with the clerk of the High Court of Chancery. Inspired, Clay began law studies in 1796, finished a year later, and quickly earned a reputation as a skillful lawyer. In 1797 Clay moved to Lexington, Kentucky, a city with a reputation for culture and influence.

He was elected a U.S. senator for a short term in 1806-1807. He then returned to serve in the Kentucky legislature from 1808 to 1809. He returned to the United States Senate from 1810 to 1811; he also served in the Senate from 1831 to 1842 and from 1849 to 1852. Henry Clay had the distinction of also serving as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1811 to 1821 and from 1823 to 1825; he was Speaker of the House from 1811 to 1820.

Clay also served as a member of the Ghent Peace Commission. President John Quincy Adams appointed him secretary of state from 1825 to 1829, and he ran as the Whig nominee for President in 1832. Clay was author of the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and the Compromise of 1850. Henry Clay died on June 29, 1852.

Download pdf of this article.

Last Updated: October 14, 2014