Lincoln Emancipation Monument - Boston, MA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
N 42° 21.087 W 071° 04.083
19T E 329671 N 4690869
Quick Description: This bronze replica of a Thomas Ball sculpture in Washington, DC, was cast in 1877 and sits in Park Plaza in Boston. It depicts Abraham Lincoln symbolically liberating a slave in chains. The sculpture stands about 12 feet from the base.
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Date Posted: 9/22/2009 9:31:55 PM
Waymark Code: WM79D5
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Mark1962
Views: 10

Long Description:

From the Smithsonian Art Inventory - Emancipation Group

Ball, Thomas, 1819-1911, sculptor. Royal Foundry, founder.

Modeled 1874. Cast 1877 or 1879

This sculpture is approximately 12 x 8 x 8 ft. with a base of approximately 12 x 10 x 10 ft.

The inscriptions read

(Base of figure group) EMANCIPATION
(On back of base) Given to the City of Boston/by Moses Kimball/1879 signed Founder's mark appears.

A portrait of Abraham Lincoln standing by a kneeling male slave, his proper left hand raised as he is about to emancipate the slave. In his proper right hand, which rests on a bronze podium, Lincoln holds an unrolled copy of the Emancipation Proclamation. To the rear of the figures is a whipping post, chains, shackles, and a frayed whip. On each corner of the podium are faces and around the base of the podium are thirteen stars. A bas-relief of George Washington decorates the angled face of the podium and a Union shield decorates the inner face of the podium.

This sculpture is a copy after the original sculpture commissioned by the Freedman's Memorial Society and erected in Washington, D.C. in 1874. The 1877 casting was a gift to the city of Boston from Moses Kimball, the proprietor of the Boston Museum theater.

Control Number IAS 76008840

Additional information on the original sculpture from Smithsonian Art Inventory - Emancipation Monument

The head of the slave was modeled from a photograph of Archer Alexander, the last African American to be recaptured under the Fugitive Slave Act.

The monument was erected by the Western Sanitary Commission of St. Louis at a cost of $18,000 which was raised solely by emancipated slaves. The idea for the monument came from Charlotte Scott, a freed slave from Virginia. She thought of the monument after hearing of Lincoln's assassination and was the first to make a contribution toward funding the piece. She contributed the first money she earned in freedom, five dollars, following the enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863.

The sculpture was dedicated on the eleventh anniversary of Lincoln's assassination. The dedication ceremony was attended by President Grant and his cabinet and Frederick Douglass spoke.

IAS files contain a excerpt from F. Lauriston Bullard's "Lincoln in Marble and Bronze," New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1952, pg. 64-72 which describes in detail the circumstances surrounding the establishment of the monument. The sculpture was so popular that a duplicate was ordered for the city of Boston in 1877.

URL of the statue: [Web Link]

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