We’ve seen pictures from the U. S. Senate, but not many of us know about the furniture in that chamber. It is an interesting story. In August of 1814, in the midst of what is called the War of 1812, the British army was marching on Washington D.C. The federal government at the time fled from the oncoming army leaving behind empty, the buildings of government. Upon arriving in Washington D.C., the British burned much of the city including the Capitol Building. The entire Senate chamber was destroyed. While the war was formally ended in February 1815 with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent, it took until 1819 for the Capitol Building to be reconstructed. To furnish the rebuilt Senate chamber, Thomas Constantine of New York was commissioned to supply 48 desks and chairs. Since that time, with the addition of new states and their Senators, desks and chairs have been manufactured for them in a similar style. In 1819, the Senate desks were arranged in a semi circular arrangement. To maintain this configuration, Thomas Constantine built desks with varying dimensions. Desks in the center of the formation were wider and more square. Desks on the ends of the rows were narrower and more angled. Modifications and additions have been made to the desks since 1819, but the original 48 desks supplied by Thomas Constantine are still being used in the Senate today.