Courtroom One

Courtroom One

Prosperity Under the Law

In a sunlit valley, through which flows a placid river, a scene recalling the situation of Wilkes-Barre upon the Susquehanna, the figure of a young Indian girl, representing the Wyoming Valley, is seated amidst the bloom of the mountain laurel, which is profuse in this region. Behind her, classically robed in white, stand two figures of women, who, by appropriate symbols, typify Justice and Civilization.

One hand of the Indian maiden holds a vase, from which water, falling in a thin stream, suggests the river flowing through the valley; while the other hand is extended in welcome to a miner, kneeling at the left of the composition, whose gesture indicates the coal at his feet, typical of the mineral wealth of the district. 

The figure of a youth, who proffers a sheaf of wheat, indicative of the agricultural resources of the fertile valley; while behind him advances a figure of Prosperity, bearing a horn of plenty. A cherubic Mercury, typifying the commerce of the transportation companies, completes the group at the side of the miner, behind whom is seen the entrance to a coal mine, and a characteristic “breaker” crowns the hill rising to the left.

The whole composition seeks to embody the sentiment of the following legend: ‘Under the benign influence of Justice and Civilization, the Wyoming Valley receives the tribute of Prosperity from the earth and from under the earth.’

Written by Walter Wakeman. Summary of Expenditures of the New Court House at Wilkes-Barre, 1905 to 1911. Universal Audit Company, New York, 1912.