Andrew Jackson - Washington, DC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Marine Biologist
N 38° 53.967 W 077° 02.193
18S E 323394 N 4307589
Quick Description: A statue of Andrew Jackson as he appeared following the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812 is located in Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House, in Washington, D.C., USA.
Location: District of Columbia, United States
Date Posted: 10/19/2009 1:47:14 PM
Waymark Code: WM7FJB
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member txoilgas
Views: 13

Long Description:
This statue is in a prime location near the White House. It is located in the center of Lafayette Park, where four other statues are located, one on each corner of the park. The most interesting thing about this statue for me is that before I saw this original version, I had seen a replica of it many, many times before in Jacksonville, Florida, where I live. Jacksonville was named after Andrew Jackson.

The following information about this statue is from the Smithsonian Art Inventory website:

This sculpture, the first equestrian statue made in America, was commissioned by the Jackson Monument Association in 1847. The self-taught sculptor, Clark Mills, received the commission though he had never seen an equestrian statue. After accepting the commission, Mills not only studied pictures of Jackson, but also bought a horse he thought would be spirited enough to help him model Jackson's rearing horse caught up in the heat of battle on the morning of January 8, 1815. Mills trained the horse to pose on its haunches so that he could thoroughly study the horse anatomically from its bone and muscle structures to the exact position of its legs and body as the horse balanced itself on it haunches. Mills' strategy for portraying the horse on two legs was to have the center of gravity positioned over the horse's rear legs. After more than two years of study, Mills completed his plaster model, and since there were no bronze foundries in America, Mills studied metallurgy and started a foundry.

The dedication took place on January 8, 1853, the 38th anniversary of Jackson's victory over the British at New Orleans. Stephen Douglas made an address at the dedication. During the dedication, questions were raised regarding the sculpture's ability to remain standing. To demonstrate the stability of the sculpture, Mills climbed up in front of the sculpture and threw all 156 pounds of his weight against the horse's front legs. The horse did not wobble an inch.

IAS files contain related articles from Impresario, Magazine of the Arts 8 (Oct. 1968): pg. 10, 41; Antiques (March 1942); and Washington Star, Jan. 17, 1937.

The following information about this statue is from the Kitty Tours website:

Subject: Andrew Jackson
Year: 1853
Sculptor: Clark Mills
Location: Lafayette Park
(Pennsylvania Ave. & 16th)

Jackson (1767-1845) is shown here as he appeared following the Battle of New Orleans (fought, unfortunately, two weeks after the treaty to end the War of 1812 was signed). The United States was reluctant to send military support to protect the "western" lands (Tennessee and Kentucky), so Jackson paid for the Tennessee militia out of his own funds. (He was later reimbursed by Congress, although not without great difficulties). Jackson went on to defeat the Spanish occupying Florida and served for a brief while as governor of the Florida Territory. The cannon surrounding the memorial are four rare Spanish cannons he captured in Pensacola.

This is the first equestrian statue ever erected in the United States. It was cast less than a mile from its current location at the foundry of its sculptor, Clark Mills. Mills had never seen an equestrian statue before and practiced making many little wooden models in order to get the balance just right. He was justifiably proud of his accomplishment.

The only text on the statue is on one side of its base. It reads:

Jackson
"Our Federal Union:
It Must Be Preserved."

TITLE: Andrew Jackson

ARTIST(S): Mills, Clark, 1810-1883, sculptor.

DATE: Commissioned May 1847. Cast 1852. Dedicated January 8, 1853.

MEDIUM: Sculpture: bronze; Base: granite.

CONTROL NUMBER: IAS 76007203

Direct Link to the Individual Listing in the Smithsonian Art Inventory: [Web Link]

PHYSICAL LOCATION:
Located Lafayette Square, Pennsylvania Avenue between Jackson Place & Madison Place, N.W., Washington, District of Columbia.


DIFFERENCES NOTED BETWEEN THE INVENTORY LISTING AND YOUR OBSERVATIONS AND RESEARCH:
None.


Visit Instructions:
Please give the date of your visit, your impressions of the sculpture, and at least ONE ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPH. Add any additional information you may have, particularly any personal observations about the condition of the sculpture.
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