A cenotaph for Senator Tracy


The Congressional cemetery in Washington DC is located within walking distance of the US Capitol building. The government purchased the property to bury US officials who died while in the performance of their duties in the city. Its first resident was Uriah Tracy, Senator (and former member of the House of Representatives) from Connecticut, who died in April 1807. He had been a major general in the revolutionary army, and when he died Congress appropriated money to pace a cenotaph over his remains. (A cenotaph is a tomb or a monument from the Greek words Kenos meaning empty and taphos meaning tomb) The Tracy cenotaph created a precedent, and from that time until 1861 a cenotaph was placed in this burial ground in memory of every Senator or Representative who died whether he was buried at the Congressional cemetery or not.