Leaflet calling for funds to help complete the Washington Monument by John Carroll Brent in 1854 (Library of Congress)

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By 1854 the Washington Monument was about a third complete when the Washington National Monument Society ran out of funds and had to halt construction. John Carroll Brent called upon Americans to support the effort with a donation of funds and appealed to their patriotism with the upcoming Fourth of July celebrations.

The leaflet below was distributed in an attempt to solicit enough money to complete the project.

Leaflet calling for funds to help complete the Washington Monument by John Carroll Brent in 1854 (Library of Congress)
Leaflet calling for funds to help complete the Washington Monument by John Carroll Brent in 1854 (Library of Congress)

They were unsuccessful in their attempt to raise enough money to finish the monument. It would be twenty-five more years until the U.S. Government would take over and fund the remaining two-thirds of the monument. For a quarter of a century, the monument looked like the photo below, a stub of the planned monument.

Washington Monument under construction

Washington Monument under construction

When you look at the monument today, you’ll see that the color of the bottom third is slightly different from the top. When they started construction again, they had to use stone from a different quarry and couldn’t quite match the color.

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