Statue of Abraham Lincoln and a slave.

Lincoln Frees a Slave

Field review by the editors.

Washington, DC

Unveiled in 1876, on the 11th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's death, "Emancipation" (originally named "Freedom's Memorial") depicts Lincoln in his presidential frock coat, waving a hand over a slave crouching at his feet. Presto, you are free!

Designed by Thomas Ball (who later sculpted P.T. Barnum), the statue went through several conceptual revisions. One of the last was to make the slave look like Archer Alexander, a real-life slave who Lincoln never met -- and never emancipated; Alexander escaped to freedom on his own. But Alexander was a friend of one of the white civic boosters who controlled the monument's design, so his face was added to the sculpture.

The statue's plaque states that it was paid for "with funds contributed solely by emancipated citizens of the United States." The keynote speaker at its dedication was former slave Frederick Douglass, who had also escaped to freedom on his own, and who said the sculpture's design frankly could have been better.

Roadside Presidents
Roadside Presidents App for iPhone. Find this attraction and more: museums, birthplaces, graves of the Chief Execs, first ladies, pets, assassins and wannabes. Prez bios and oddball trivia. Available on the App Store.

Lincoln Frees a Slave

Lincoln Park

Address:
100 11th St. SE, Washington, DC
Directions:
In Lincoln Park, a mile due east of the U.S. Capitol, midway between E. Capitol St. NE and SE, at the intersection of 12th St. NE and SE.
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Statue of Philo Farnsworth, Father of TVStatue of Philo Farnsworth, Father of TV, Washington, DC - < 1 mi.
Grave of Lincoln's Unwitting AttendantGrave of Lincoln's Unwitting Attendant, Washington, DC - < 1 mi.
Washington Never Slept HereWashington Never Slept Here, Washington, DC - 1 mi.
In the region:
International Spy Museum, Washington, DC - 2 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in DC

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in DC.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use RoadsideAmerica.com's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

October 17, 2017

My Sights

My Sights

Map and Plan Your Own Roadside Adventure

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

DC Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Teapot Dome Gas Station, Zillah, Washington (Oct 16-22, 2017)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from RoadsideAmerica.com. Subscribe now!
RoadsideAmerica.com Hotel & Motel Finder

Special online rates for hotels & motels.

Book Online Now