Explore Congressional Cemetery

A Cemetery's Slow Resurrection

Lawmakers and donors have taken notice and helped Congressional Cemetery begin to reverse the ravages of time and neglect, but the non-profit graveyard is still struggling to make ends met as it enters its bicentennial year. More »

Other Notable People Buried Here:

In addition to the luminaries highlighted above, the cemetery's denizens include more than 1,500 veterans of every war from the American Revolution to the Vietnam War, as well as these other interesting people:

Tobias Lear - Personal secretary to George Washington

William Wirt and William Pinckney - Attorneys general of the United States

Lee Dittman Shapiro and James Lindelof - Filmmakers who spent six months in Afghanistan with the mujaheddin documenting the plight of Afghans under Soviet occupation. They were ambushed and killed outside of Kabul in 1987.

Frances Doyle - First police officer killed in the line of duty after D.C. Metropolitan Police Department was formed in 1861. He was shot by a woman whose house he was to search.

Alfred Ports - Known as the "human fly" or "human spider," he was an expert rigger called into action whenever the Capitol dome or its statue of Freedom needed to be cleaned. A 1903 newspaper article said he once stood erect upon the shoulders of the statue, nearly 300 feet above the ground.

Oscar Carey - Pawnee Indian and member of "Buffalo Bill" Cody's wild West show.

William Cross - The first to die of starvation in the Artic on the ill-fated Greely Expedition of 1881.

Octavius Pruden - Assistant secretary to the U.S. president for 29 years. He was first appointed by Rutherford B. Hayes, who admired his exquisite handwriting. For years Pruden copied the presidents' annual messages to Congress and physically carried them to the Capitol in the days before the president delivered the message in person.

The public vault at the cemetery also temporarily held the remains of presidents John Quincy Adams, William Henry Harrison and Zachary Taylor.

SOURCE: Congressional Cemetery
CREDITS: Panoramic composites and photography by Whitney Shefte; reporting by Ryan Holeywell; design and Flash programming by Alyson Hurt, washingtonpost.com - December 19, 2006


© 2006 The Washington Post Company