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A Race Set Free: 1906

A Race Set Free: 1906

Boston circa 1906. "Lincoln statue, Park Square." An interesting juxtaposition of Emancipation and Plumbing Supplies. 8x10 glass negative. View full size.


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The Emancipation Group

King's Handbook of Boston, 1881.

The Lungs of the City.

Boston Common, Public Garden, Parks, Squares, Monuments, Statues, and Fountains.

The Emancipation Group, erected in Park Square in front of the Providence Railroad passenger-station, is by Thomas Ball, and was a gift to the city by Moses Kimball. Its cost, exclusive of the curbing, which was furnished by the city, was $17,000. It is of bronze, on a granite pedestal, and is a duplicate of the "Freedman's Memorial" statue in Lincoln Square, in Washington, D.C. It represents the erect form of Abraham Lincoln spreading out his right hand over the head of a kneeling freedman with his shackles broken. On the pedestal is the word "Emancipation." On the base are these words: "A race set free ⋅ and the country at peace ⋅ Lincoln ⋅ rests from his labors." It was unveiled Dec. 6, 1879; Mayor F.O. Prince delivering the oration.

L Peretti Still continues business in Park Square.

The cigar factory from the photo is still open about a block from this statue 100+ years on as L.J. Peretti Tobbacconists.


The effect is that the Black man is rising up, as, if you look closely you see that his hand chains have been broken. To have him standing, shaking hands, would make it appear they'd just met.

The model

Archer Alexander (1828-1880?) was a former black slave who served as the model for the slave in the statue, variously known as Freedom Memorial and the Emancipation Memorial located in Lincoln Park.

Stand up

It's a lovely statue, but I would like it better if the black man was standing and Lincoln was shaking his hand.

I get what you mean, Big Mike. I wasn't criticizing the statue or its creator. Guess I was just wishing that the black man would have been seen as an equal and portrayed as such.


A powerful piece of work. Beautifully done.

Emancipated says

"What's the deal with the hair, man?"

Gotta love that faux-hawk.


The Emancipation Group statue is indeed a copy of the one on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. Sculptor Thomas Ball designed and sculpted it. The Boston copy has held court in Park Square since 1879 when it was donated by politician Moses Brown, a friend of Mr. Ball.

My fathers family has roots way back in New England

Could be a relative of mine was in the Plumbing supply business.

D.C. Copy

I'm pretty sure there's a copy of this statue in Lincoln Park on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

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