Main Stairwell

Architect John Rague originally designed the building with a circular staircase like the one he included in the Iowa Territorial Capitol. Structural problems resulted in replacing it with one like this. Here you can see the second floor with stairways leading to the balconies of the House and Senate chambers. Behind the chandelier is a portrait of Governor Oglesby, a supporter and friend of Abraham Lincoln.

John W. Bunn recalled passing Salmon P. Chase on this stairway after Lincoln became a presidential nominee. When Bunn reached Lincoln's temporary office, he told him he hoped Chase would not enter his Cabinet, saying, "He thinks he is a great deal bigger than you are." Soon after, of course, Lincoln appointed Chase as Treasury Secretary, and learned the truth of Bunn's remark.

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