Columbia, South Carolina: Monument to the Father of GynecologyDr. James Marion experimented on slaves until he was satisfied that his techniques were safe.
- Assembly St., Columbia, SC
- J. Marion Sims Monument, intersection of Assembly and Gervais Sts., NW corner of state house grounds.
Visitor Tips and News About Monument to the Father of Gynecology
The monument to Dr. James Marion Simms is a life-size bust of the doctor set in the corner of the capital grounds. In front of Simms is larger-than-life bronze statue of Benjamin Tillman. He was a governor of South Carolina and apparently was very outspoken proponent of lynching minorities. So on the South Carolina Capital grounds there is a statue of George Washington (who owned slaves), a monument to Dr. Marion (who conducted medical research on slaves), a statue of Benjamin Tillman (who lobbied for lynching slaves), and a statue of Strom Thurmond (who opposed every Civil Rights and desegregation law that came before him).
To even it out, there is a really cool Civil Rights memorial on the grounds, a copper relief on both sides of a monolith.[Randall Sharp, 10/13/2012]
Benjamin "Pitchfork Ben" Tillman came to power after slavery had ended. To say that he "lobbied for lynching" is perhaps too harsh; he merely tried to make it impossible for black people to vote in South Carolina, ever. Tillman got his nickname because he once threatened to impale President Grover Cleveland with a pitchfork.
A life-size bronze head of Dr. James Marion Sims, the "Father of Gynecology," occupies a place of honor on the grounds of the South Carolina state capitol.
From the back of a postcard: "J. Marion Sims was the first Surgeon of the Ages in ministering to women, treating Empresses and Slaves alike. He was the Founder of the Science of Gynecology and was honoured in all lands. He died in 1883."[RoadsideAmerica.com Team, 02/10/2007]
Oct. 2012: Photo added.