Wendell Phillips - Boston, MA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
N 42° 21.155 W 071° 04.111
19T E 329635 N 4690996
Quick Description: This 8-foot bronze statue by noted American sculptor, Daniel Chester French, in Boston Public Garden, depicts abolitionist Wendell Phillps standing at a podium. His eloquence and passion earned him the title of "The Abolitionist's Golden Trumpet.
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Date Posted: 3/25/2012 9:19:52 PM
Waymark Code: WME2HD
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 10

Long Description:

1811 - 1884

There are many statues in the Boston Public Garden and the Boston Common, including the famous equestrian statue of George Washington, and the memorial to Gen. Robert Gould Shaw. This larger-than-life statue of cast bronze, shows Wendell Phillips standing, with his right fist resting on a speaker's podium, while his left hand grips a few links of a broken chain. It is mounted on a granite base against a granite wall approximately 12 feet high and four feet wide. There is an a quote from Phillips at the top of the wall, and inscriptions on the base.

The sculpture was commissioned by the city of Boston at the cost of $20,000 and was dedicated July 4, 1915. The sculptor was noted local artist Daniel Chester French whose best known work is probably the statue of Abraham Lincoln which rests in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Both French was good friends of Ralph Waldo Emerson and the Alcotts of Concord, and quite possibly knew Phillips so it is fitting that he designed this memorial.


Wendell Phillips was was born in Boston, November 29, 1811, the son of Boston's first mayor, John Phillips. He graduated from Harvard and began his practice as a lawyer, probably not foreseeing the pivotal role who would play in the course of the nation and the causes he would champion. But, this all changed on October 21, 1835, when Phillips heard the passionate speech of abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, and witnessed a frenzy crowd seize him, dragging him through the streets of Boston, rescued at the last minute from a prompt lynching. Wendell Phillips abruptly left his law practice and devoted all of his passion and resources to the abolitionist cause.

His skill at oratory became renown, and his writings were printed and widely distributed. Fiery oratory and reasoned arguments were not his only weapon. Phillips, along with many others boycotted products known to have been produced by slave labor, such as can sugar and cotton clothes. Finally, Wendell Phillips actual argued for the right of the secession of the Confederacy and opposed President Lincoln and the other nationalists. He thought this solution would at least rid the United States of slavery, thinking that a war would never gain the support of the free states or ever succeed.

After the Civil War, Wendell Phillips took up other causes of civil rights, including the rights of native Americans to vote, women's rights, temperance, and other issues of peace and freedom.

Wendell Phillips died in Boston on 2nd February, 1884, leaving a legacy of advocacy for universal civil rights.

Biographical Resources:

All Biographies
The Concord Magazine
Spartacus Educational
Wikipedia: Wendell Phillips

URL of the statue: [Web Link]

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