BRONZE – 1865

The first version of the statue cast in bronze may be the one currently located at Houghton Library, Harvard University, Boston, MA. It was donated in 1924 by William Whiting Nolen of Boston who collected Lincolniana. It may be the statue mentioned in Ball’s autobiography as cast in bronze “for Mr. —- of Boston.”

Henry Lewis Clay of Michigan acquired a bronze version during his 1867-68 trip to Italy (now at the University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, MI).

Other bronze versions are currently in the collection of the 
  • Montclair Museum of Art, NJ
  • Colby Museum of Art, Waterville, ME.
  • Shield with wreath, X stars, 13 stripes
  • Scrolled document atop books, impaled by shield point
  • Shield is in between freedman and scrolled document
  • 4 Books
33 in. x 24 in. x 16 in. (83.82 cm x 60.96 cm x 40.64 cm)S

MARBLE 1870-1878

Between ca. 1870 and 1878, Ball produced at least five half-life-size versions of the Emancipation Group in marble. Unlike the bronze versions, the marble copies feature a column rather than a shield. The marble Emancipation Groups are essentially the same design that Ball submitted for consideration for the Philadelphia Lincoln monument and the Freedman’s Memorial.
  • Oral tradition states that it was once in San Francisco’s City Hall until the 1906 earthquake, then in a private estate before being purchased in Utah
  • Catalog
  • 3D Interactive View
  • Column in place of shield + book stack
  • scrolled document placed atop column and into Lincoln’s right hand
  • Shield moved to front of column (stars + stripes)
  • Stars added at bottom (13) + top of column (35)
  •  1 Book set atop column (3 books removed)

45 1/2 in.  x  27 9/16 in.  x  21 1/4 in.

23sp small chazen mobileMasterAt3x


The Committee requested that Ball alter the posture of the kneeling figure so that he was not so passive and had some agency in breaking his chains. It also requested that the figure be modeled on a real person. Eliot sent Ball photographs of Archer Alexander, a formerly enslaved man, to use as a model. Ironically, because Alexander had been enslaved in Missouri, he did not benefit from the Emancipation Proclamation. Alexander emancipated himself by running away. Eliot provided Alexander legal assistance and work in St. Louis until Missouri ended slavery in 1865.

  • Freedman’s face re-modeled after Alexander Archer
  • Liberty Cap Removed, and full afro hair exposed
  • Freedman’s Gesture turned into fist clenching manacles and arm pointed forward and downward
  • Base statement changed to EMANCIPATION
    • A plaque on the monument names it as “Freedom’s Memorial in grateful memory of Abraham Lincoln” and reads: “This monument was erected by the Western Sanitary Commission of Saint Louis Mo: With funds contributed solely by emancipated citizens of the United States declared free by his proclamation January 1 A.D. 1863. The first contribution of five dollars was made by Charlotte Scott. A freedwoman of Virginia being her first earnings in freedom and consecrated by her suggestion and request on the day she heard of President Lincoln’s death to build a monument to his memory”