Page:Letter from B. Henry Latrobe, Architect (1800).djvu/1
I do myself the honour to submit to you a design for the monument to the memory of Gen.l Washington, a sketch of which you have already seen, to request you will lay the same before the Committee of the Legislature appointed upon this subject and that you will permit me to make a few observations upon the ideas which have governed me in the choice of the plan.
It appeared desireable that a monument erected to the memory of the Founder of American Liberty should be as durable as the nation that erected it. Single statues either in marble, Basaltes or bronze, and indeed any species of sculpture is liable to injury and destruction, I believe not a single statue has come down to us from antitiquity uninjured in many of its most material parts, small projections very soon are broken off, by the wantoness of the spectators,—The statue of Wasn in the statehouse at Richmond has already lost several of its smaller parts. Bronze is not so easily broken but it has nothing but durability to recommend it, the utmost skill cannot render its appearance agreeable and the value of the material has in all revolutions devoted the bronze of ancient statues either to the purposes of money or to the manufacture of military im-