Article on oldest public Lincoln statue published by Washington Post

The Lot Flannery Lincoln statue in Judiciary Square as it looks today. (photo by Jason Emerson)

My latest article was published by the Washington Post on May 30. “The original Lincoln memorial stands forgotten in D.C.’s Judiciary Square” discusses the history of the Lot Flannery statue, erected in 1868 in what is now Judiciary Square in Washington, D.C.

Here’s a quick taste of the opening paragraphs:

People from across the country came to the Mall last weekend for an early celebration of the centennial of the Lincoln Memorial, which turns 100 on Monday. Barely more than two miles away, the original Lincoln memorial stood lonely and ignored in Judiciary Square.

That monument, erected in 1868, is the oldest surviving public statue of Abraham Lincoln in the United States. Many consider it the best likeness of the Great Emancipator ever made in marble. The statue’s history is a story of survival: removed twice, renovated twice, damaged multiple times, abandoned for two years and replaced after a president’s intervention — yet still it stands, the tribute of the residents of the capital city to its fallen president.

The Lincoln statue as it looked around 1918. (photo courtesy Library of Congress)

“The statue forms a personal testimonial of those who knew and loved Lincoln and contains more sentiment than any other statue in the city of Washington,” said U.S. Rep. Edward J. King of Illinois in 1920, as he and others fought to restore the statue to its place in front of the D.C. courthouse after its removal the year before.

The Post‘s Retropolis section editor did a great job editing my molding my article into the size and style he needed for the newspaper, but he did have to cut the article in half. So I hope to publish the complete article one day soon in a journal or magazine. 

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