A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

History: Monmouth Battle Monument Commission Accepts Design (1883)

 The 10 Mar 1883 edition of The Matawan Journal discussed the approval of a monument celebrating the Battle of Monmouth,which would be erected in Freehold in a little over a year.

Monumental - The Monmouth Battle Monument Commission had a meeting in Trenton on March 2d. They accepted a design for the monument as submitted by Maurice J Power, of the National Fine Art Foundry, of New York.  The monument is to be 100 feet high, made of New England granite, with 5 large bronze tablets illustrative of incidents of the Battle of Monmouth, and designed by James E Kelly, artist of Harper's Monthly. The monument is to cost $35,000 and to be finished by May 1, 1884.

The Welcome to Freehold website has an assortment of local Freehold history articles, including the text of an undated News Transcript article that provides a timetable of the Battle of Monmouth Monument's existence. Reading that page, I was surprised to learn that the statue of Columbia Triumphant, which stood atop the memorial, was struck by lightning during a major storm and seriously damaged in August 1894, just before the monument's tenth anniversary. A replacement statue was purchased and installed in May 1896.

The monument includes a series of plaques with the following depictions:
  • (Relief one:) RAMSAY DEFENDING HIS GUNS/LT. COLONEL OSWALD LT. COLONEL RAMSAY/3rd REG. MARYLAND LINE  
  • (Relief two:) WASHINGTON RALLYING THE TROOPS 
  • (Relief three:) MOLLY PITCHER/TENNENT CHURCH/KNOX 
  • (Relief four:) COUNCIL OF WAR AT HOPEWELL/(illegible) SCOTT/STEUBEN LORD STERLING JUNE 24,1778. WASHINGTON WAYNE WOODFORD/POOR KNOX LAFAYETTE SCAMMELL PATTERSON GREENE LEE 
  • (Relief five:) WAYNES CHARGE/TENNENT PARSONAGE/LT. COL. HENRY (illegible)/M. J. POWER signed
See the Smithsonian Institution's Art Inventories Catalog for the most thorough discussion of the components of the Monmouth Battle Monument and their history.

2 comments:

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  2. Looks like a fine lightning rod.

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