The Public Vault

PANORAMA: Built with funds from Congress in 1832, the cream colored structure is the cemetery's public vault. Since then, the public vault has been used to hold the remains of more than 3,000 people awaiting their final burial, including presidents William Harrison, Zachary Taylor and John Quincy Adams, as well as first ladies Dolley Madison and Louisa Adams. The red vault is that of the Causten family. Madison's adopted daughter, niece Annie Causten, was married to Dr. James Causten. Madison's remains were moved to the Causten vault for a time after her son spent all her money, leaving none left to transport her remains to the family home in Montpelier, Va. The Caustens ultimately arranged for her body to be transported back home. The grey vault is that of the John Gadsby and his family. Gadsby operated a tavern and hotel from 1796 to 1808 in Alexandria that served some of America's founding fathers.

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