Abraham Lincoln standing above crouched slave wearing manacles

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Thomas Ball


After the assassination of President Lincoln, black Americans came together to erect a monument in his honor. Henry Highland Garnet put together a committee, the National Lincoln Monument Association, whose membership included James McCune Smith, Frederick Douglass, George Downing, and others.

The Colored People’s National Monument was unveiled on the eleventh anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination. It's not the famous Lincoln Memorial located near the Tidal Basin in Washington D.C. but a much smaller statue in Lincoln Park in Southeast Washington. It depicts Lincoln standing erect besides a whipping post around which swirls a vine. With his right hand, he grasps the Emancipation Proclamation lying atop the post. As if in benediction, his left hand stretches over the body of an unshackled slave kneeling in front of him. The word “emancipation” is carved in large block letters on the base of the pedestal.



Thomas Ball, “Abraham Lincoln standing above crouched slave wearing manacles,” Black Gotham Archive, accessed July 10, 2018, https://archive.blackgothamarchive.org/items/show/54/.