Why President Washington Wasn't Buried in the Capitol

George Washington's crypt is a usual stop on any good tour of the Capitol. However, as tour goers note, President Washington is noticeably absent from the crypt. He is instead buried at his home of Mount Vernon in Alexandria, Virginia.

An article posted on the House of Representatives website speaks of the history behind why the crypt remains empty today. 

218 years ago today (December 23): 

...the House and Senate resolved that “the family of General Washington be requested to permit his body to be deposited under” a marble monument “erected by the United States in the Capitol, at the city of Washington.” The resolution was sent to Martha Washington, who penned a reply to President John Adams. Despite stipulations in Washington’s will that he be buried at Mount Vernon, Martha consented to Congress’s request, “Taught, by that great example which I have so long had before me, never to oppose my private wishes to the public will, I must consent to the request made by Congress,” she wrote, “. . . and, in doing this, I need not, I cannot, say what a sacrifice of individual feeling I make to a sense of public duty.”

But Congress had difficulty moving forward with any plans that ended up being "stalled for years by wrangling in Congress about the cost and what type of memorial was most appropriate." 

Sound familiar? The inaction resulted in Washington never being moved:

As the centennial of Washington’s birth approached in 1832, Congress renewed its appeal to the Washington family to transfer the patriarch’s remains from Mount Vernon to the Capitol. Though some family members supported Washington’s enshrinement in the Capitol, John A. Washington, the owner of Mount Vernon, would not consent to disturbing what he considered Washington’s “perfect tranquility, surrounded by those of other endeared members of the family.” His disapproval effectively settled the issue: Washington’s remains stayed at Mount Vernon and his intended Capitol crypt remained empty.