DC’s Emancipation Monument, target of protests, was funded by former slaves: reports

A controversial statue in Washington, DC, and replicated in Boston, has a story that many people currently opposed to the statues might not know, according to reports.

Both statues depict President Abraham Lincoln standing on a kneeling black man who has just been released from slavery. Critics of the statues claim the image communicates the subordination of the black man, and have called for the statues to be removed in both cities.

But the idea for the statue started with a formerly slave woman who wanted to pay tribute to Lincoln after he was assassinated in 1865, according to the National Park Service.


Virginia’s Charlotte Scott used the first $ 5 she earned after being freed from slavery to launch a fundraising campaign, the park service said.

The Emancipation Memorial in Lincoln Park, Washington, depicting a freed slave kneeling at the feet of President Abraham Lincoln, is seen on June 25, 2020. (Associated Press)

The Emancipation Memorial in Lincoln Park, Washington, depicting a freed slave kneeling at the feet of President Abraham Lincoln, is seen on June 25, 2020. (Associated Press)

Other funds were collected exclusively from formerly enslaved African-Americans, despite the fact that the organization managing the effort and holding the funds was a St. Louis-based white-warfare aid agency called the Western Sanitary Commission, the service said. parks.

“The campaign for the Liberals Memorial Monument to Abraham Lincoln, as it should be known, was not the only effort of time to build a Lincoln memorial; however, as the only one that solicited contributions exclusively from those who had benefited the most straight out of Lincoln’s emancipation act, it had special appeal, “the park service said.


The monument, designed by Thomas Ball, was launched in Munich in 1875 and shipped to Washington in 1876.

The Boston statue, located in Park Square, has sparked anger from some residents, prompting Mayor Marty Walsh to announce that he is in favor of removing it.

Walsh said he was “willing to engage in community dialogue about his future in Boston,” WCVB-TV reported in Boston.

Tory Bullock started an online petition for the removal of the Boston statue that has already obtained more than 10,000 signatures.

“I have been observing this man on his knees since he was a child,” Bullock writes in the petition’s description. “It is supposed to represent freedom, but instead it represents us even under someone else. I always wondered, ‘If he’s free, why is he still kneeling?’ No child should ever have to ask that question again. “

On Thursday in Washington, the park service erected a barrier and deployed police around the statue as protesters promised to hold a demonstration at the monument.

On Wednesday, Eleanor Holmes Norton, the non-voting delegate of the DC House of Representatives, announced that she will introduce legislation to remove the Lincoln Park statue, WJLA_TV reported in Washington.

“Although previously enslaved Americans paid for the construction of this statue in 1876, the design and sculpture process was carried out without their input, and it shows,” the Norton statement said.


“The statue in no way notes how enslaved African Americans pushed for their own emancipation. Understandably, they were recently freed from slavery and appreciated any acknowledgment of their freedom. However, in his opening address at the presentation of this statue, Frederick Douglass he also expressed his discontent with the statue, “he said.

Fox News’ Michael Ruiz contributed to this report.