Florida's Tribute to the Women of the Confederacy - Jacksonville, FL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Marine Biologist
N 30° 20.089 W 081° 39.269
17R E 437088 N 3356068
Quick Description: This lovely memorial is located in Confederate Park in the Springfield area of north Jacksonville, Florida.
Location: Florida, United States
Date Posted: 10/9/2010 6:16:50 AM
Waymark Code: WM9X4Z
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 4

Long Description:
The Monument to Women of the Southern Confederacy in Jacksonville's Confederate Park

Thousands of elderly Confederate veterans camped in tents in Jacksonville's Springfield Park and Dignan Park on May 6-8, 1914 as part of the 24th annual United Confederate Veterans Reunion. The city later commemorated this event by changing the name from Dignan to Confederate Park on October 15, 1914.

The events leading to the park’s renaming began during a Florida Reunion of the United Confederate Veterans (U.C.V.) in 1900, when its members discussed the possibility of creating a memorial to the Women of the Confederacy. The discussions continued for several years, until the Florida Division of the U.C.V. resolved in 1909 to build the memorial. Its members raised $12,000 toward the cost of a monument, with the remaining $13,000 eventually appropriated by the Florida Legislature. The U.C.V. chose Jacksonville as the site for their twenty-fourth annual reunion in 1914, and Dignan Park as the home for the Memorial Monument.

The U.C.V. signed a contract with the McNeel Marble Company of Marietta, Georgia in February 1912 for the design and installation of the monument, consisting of a granite rotunda and bronze sculptures, at a total cost of $25,000. The company commissioned Allen Newman (1875-1940) to create the sculptures. Although Newman was a Yankee from New York, he was one of the nation's leading sculptors of the time, and his selection reveals the Monument committee's desire to get the most prestigious artist possible for the memorial. Newman created many monumental patriotic memorials throughout the US. including “The Triumph of Peace” (Atlanta); monuments to Henry Hudson (New York), General Sheridan (Scranton, PA), Joel Chandler Harris (Altanta); the figures “Day” and “Night” at Harriman National Bank (New York); the statues of General Oates (Montgomery, AL) and General Sterling Price (Keytesville, MO); and the monumental figures in the North Façade of Exhibit Palaces at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. His two most famous statues are the World War I soldier, “The Doughboy” (1920-1921) and the Spanish-American War soldier, “The Hiker” (1904), casts of which were reproduced in several cities across America. The building permit was issued in July 1912, and the McNeel Marble Company started constructing the 47-foot high rotunda in Dignan Park soon thereafter.

After Allen Newman shipped the bronze sculptures from New York in March 1915, they were installed at the park by the McNeel Marble Company. Placed within the open rotunda was a six-foot high grouping of a young mother seated on a large pedestal, with an open book in her lap. Her arms encircle a child standing on each side – her young son, who stares attentively at the book, and her little daughter, who gazes openly at the viewer.

In describing his work, Mr. Newman wrote: "When the Greeks wished to honor a divinity, they made a statue of note and built a temple around it. …and I have approached the subject from this attitude of reverence. …in brief the group represents the Woman of the South instructing future generations, as well as showing her the most privileged guardian of the home ties."

Engraved at the top of rotunda on the west side is the true and historically accurate name of the this beautiful monument, "A Tribute to the Women of the Southern Confederacy."

Atop the outer dome of the rotunda, workers placed the other allegorical bronze sculpture: the heroic figure of a young woman. Clothed in Grecian drapery, she stands over thirteen feet high and clasps the fallen banner – a half-furled Confederate flag. Though the steps lead up to the rotunda from the south, both the upper and lower sculptures face west, into the setting sun. A bronze plaque mounted on the pedestal within the rotunda reads: Let this mute but eloquent structure speak to generations to come, of a generation of the past. Let it repeat perpetually the imperishable story of our women of the 60’s. Those noble women who sacrificed their all upon their country’s altar. Unto their memory, the Florida Division of the United Confederate Veterans affectionately dedicates this monument.

The formal dedication took place on October 26, 1915, amid fanfare that included a large parade through downtown Jacksonville. Large Confederate flags completely draped the monument prior to the unveiling, which was preceded by several speeches, including an oration by U.S. Senator Duncan Fletcher. General Benjamin Partridge – whose granddaughter Jessie unveiled the monument – then presented the memorial to the City on behalf of the Florida Division.

The "Women of the Southern Confederacy Monument" in Confederate Park, which features two large bronze sculptures, is among Newman's finest and most complex works, and it is one of the Confederacy's great art treasures.

-- Source

TITLE: Florida's Tribute to the Women of the Confederacy

ARTIST(S): Allen George Newman

DATE: 1914. Dedicated Oct. 26, 1915.

MEDIUM: Standing figure: bronze with green patina; Seated figure: bronze with green patina; Base of seated figure: granite; Monument base: granite, concrete foundation walls.


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

Located Confederate Park, Phelps Street, between Main & Hubbard Streets, Jacksonville, Florida 32206

The Smithsonian Inventory listing appears to be accurate.

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