The Basics

Oil on Canvas

At his March 4 inaugural on the steps of the newly completed Capitol, Lincoln expressed his hopes for reconstruction of the Union after the Civil War. He urged moderation, humility, and humanity in dealings with the South. Shown in the center of the scene (from left to right) are Vice President Andrew Johnson, President Lincoln, and Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase.

Left: The soldier symbolizes the nation reunited.

Right: "Emancipation Proclamation" vignette, an emancipated African American casts a vote, symbolizing the extension of this basic right to all male citizens by the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution, regardless of "race, color, or previous condition of servitude."

About the Cox Corridors Murals

The first floor of the U.S. Capitol's House wing is elaborately decorated with wall and ceiling murals by artist Allyn Cox. The central east-west corridor is referred to as the Great Experiment Hall because it chronicles in 16 murals the legislative milestones of three centuries, from the signing of the Mayflower Compact in 1629 to the enactment of women's suffrage in 1920.