Skip to Main Content
United States Military Academy Library

Jefferson Hall Tour Guide

Points of Interest

Thomas Jefferson's Cabinet Replica


A replica of Thomas Jefferson's cabinet at Monticello, presented by the Monticello Foundation on the occasion of Jefferson Hall's dedication on September 24, 2008. The replica was made possible by the generous support of Thomas A. Saunders Ill, former Foundation Chair and VMI Class of 1958. The replica was made to honor Jefferson's role as the founder of the United States Military Academy.


The revolving chair is attributed to New York City cabinet maker Thomas Burling. Jefferson is said to have purchased the chair while he was Secretary of State. The table and bookstand, also revolving, were most likely made to Jefferson's design in the Monticello joinery. The bookstand can hold books on each side of the four sides as well as the top, allowing the reader to view up to five books at once. The stands on the sides can be folded down to form a cube. The polygraph, invented by Englishman John Isaac Hawkins, duplicates with a second pen the action of the writer's hand. Jefferson called this machine "the finest invention of the present age" and made suggestions to perfect its design.


Class of 1925 Geophysical Globe

Next to Jefferson's Cabinet Replica is the Class of 1925 Geophysical Globe. It is a replica of the globe used in the 1960s by the National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) in their astronaut training program. The globe is 6'3" at the center and is 1" to 100 miles to scale. The globe was presented to the Library in 1965 as a gift from the Class of 1925.


According to the Rand McNally literature accompanying the globe, the globe was the largest (75 inches in diameter) and most accurate and detailed relief globe ever made at the time of production. The prototype was painstakingly created over a period of two years at the cost of nearly half a million dollars. When the globe was gifted to the library, there were 42 others on display at various notable institutions around the nation and the world.


The globe was fabricated of epoxy reinforced with fiberglass laminations, the most stable and durable casting medium available at the time. The sphere was cast in two hemispheres which fit precisely at the equator relying solely on gravity rather than fasteners to keep the globe intact.


The mirrored base has a motor drive that can rotate the globe at a speed of one revolution every three minutes. The globe's axis is inclined at 23 ½ degrees from vertical to correspond to the tilt of the earth's axis. Geophysical features are vertically scaled approximately 40 times horizontal dimensions to detail their configuration. Mt. Everest, for example, is ¾" high.


The engineering and artistic effort put into this globe expresses its value and longevity as an educational tool.



Tadeusz Kościuszko (1746-1817) Bust by Tracy Sugg

Artist Tracy H. Sugg created this bust of Tadeusz Kościuszkocy H. Sugg in 2006. It was gifted to West Point by Philip G. Harris (USMA 1970), Tracy H. Sugg's father. The work was conceived to honor the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and Tadeusz Kościuszko, who were close friends. Jefferson said Kościuszko was "The truest son of liberty I have ever known."


It is purposely located at a vantage point in Jefferson Hall, where it is also possible to view the Kościuszko Monument, reminding the viewer that Kosciusko has had a place of honor at West Point since the Academy's earliest days.


Before creating both the full-length sculpture and the bust, Sugg researched her subject in historical archives and obtained copies of all known portraits of Kościuszko done in his lifetime. Sugg retained a seamstress specializing in creating historical costumes for films and museums to create an exact replica of his uniform.


Initially crafted in clay, the bust displays close attention to detail. Using the intricate cire perdue (or "lost wax") method of bronze casting, liquid bronze was poured into a mold derived from the original clay figure. Once cooled and out of the mold, the bronze was finished to an amber-brown patina.


On loan from the West Point Museum.


Napolean Bonaparte Bust


A marble bust of Napolean Bonaparte, on loan from the West Point Museum.



Next, head down the stairs or take the elevator to the 3rd floor and go to the 3rd Floor tab of this guide.

Footer Library Logo How Do I?
USMA Library Terms of Use