Lithograph portrait of William Costin. [1842?] Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

William Costin: A Tribute to Worth by His Friends.

November 7, 2022
A fascinating early resident of Capitol Hill, William Costin, was honored at his sudden death in 1842 by a large funeral procession and the commissioning of a remarkable lithograph portrait labeled "A tribute to worth by his friends."

The funeral procession included Francis Scott Key; the death was reported by the Baltimore and Washington newspapers and a tribute was included in a speech by John Quincy Adams in a debate in the House of Representatives.  He owned and lived with his family in one of the houses built right next to the Capitol.    

But there are no records of his birth, and only a contradictory oral history of his background. And that is an interesting story involving a famous family and a recent acknowledgement of a most remarkable relative they should be proud of.  This is just one small story from Creating Capitol Hill: Place Proprietors and People, developed and published by the US Capitol Historical Society.

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