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Summers with LincolnLooking for the Man in the Monuments$
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James A. Percoco

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780823228959

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823228959.001.0001

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Charlotte's Seed

Charlotte's Seed

Thomas Ball's Emancipation Group / Freedman's Monument (1876), Washington, D.C.

(p.1) 1 Charlotte's Seed
Summers with Lincoln

James A. Percoco

Fordham University Press

By the end of the Civil War, the Sanitary Commission began to focus its energies on caring for black orphans. As a final tribute to the people they had served, the commission undertook sponsorship to see a fitting tribute raised to Abraham Lincoln and the Freedman. The plaque affixed to the front of the pedestal of the monument relates the moving story of Charlotte Scott's role in the history of the monument and the seed money she contributed that jump-started the project. Scott's deep sense of loss and respect for the slain president provided an impetus for the monument's seed money as the first financial contribution. The apocryphal story, most likely comfortable to paternalistic whites and retold on the bronze plaque, tells how Scott, a former slave, employed in 1865 as a washerwoman in Marietta, Ohio, scraped up her first few meager savings—five dollars—upon hearing about the assassination “to build a monument to good Massa Lincoln”.

Keywords:   Sanitary Commission, orphans, tribute, Abraham Lincoln, Freedman, monument, Charlotte Scott, history

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