Louisiana's Old State Capitol
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
The Old Louisiana
State Capitol was used as a prison
for Confederate Soldiers during the
Civil War. Prisoners were kept
in the "dungeon" beneath the
Old State Capitol
1850 - 1862, 1882 - 1932
This Gothic Revival structure was
designed by James Harrison Dakin.
The Louisiana Secession Ordinance
was adopted here in January 1861.
The interior was burned in December
1862 while the building was occupied
by Federal troops.
Reconstructed by William Freret in
1882, it served as the Capitol until
1932. The east iron fence dates from
Henry Watkins Allen
in the Confederate Army and was a
Governor of Louisiana under the old
Prince Edward Co., Virginia 29th
In the City of Mexico 22nd April
To the Memory of Governor Allen
This last memorial of love and
respect is erected by an association
of his friends:
Jno. M. Sandridge
Ali H. Isaacson, Committee
Statue of George Washington
By Hiram Powers
A magnificent statue of George
Washington once stood in this
building. The sculptor, Hiram
Powers, was one of the most
celebrated artists of the 19th
century. The state of Louisiana
commissioned the statue in 1848 and
Powers dedicated the next six years
to crafting the likeness of
In 1855, the finished statue finally
arrived from Powers' studio in
Italy. But the great statue's tragic
journey had just begun.
Craftsman took four years to prepare
General Washington's pedestal inside
the building while the statue
weathered the elements outside. On
January 5, 1859, Powers' work was
finally unveiled in the rotunda.
It remained her a scant three years.
In 1862, Federal Troops seized it,
ostensibly to prevent
"secessionists" from vandalizing it.
Louisianans were enraged by this,
but powerless to stop its transfer.
One prominent citizen called the
act, "...the most outrageous act of
spoliation that ever made an
American cheek tingle with shame."
And thus the journey continued.
The statue was shipped from Baton
Rouge to New Orleans, then to New
York and Washington where it was
finally able to rest.
Seven years after leaving Baton
Rouge, the statue was on the move
again. In 1869, Louisianans hailed
the return of the beloved statue. It
was to be displayed at a fair in New
Orleans and the returned to its
rightful home in this rotunda.
Fate intervened. A fire raged
through the New Orleans fair
building, destroying the statue.
Historians surmise that workers
probably dumped the scorched remains
of this glorious artwork into the
The statue is no long with us, but
its spirit continues to reside in
this building and will always be
remembered and missed by