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

Emancipation Group, 1865 Small Bronze
[Thomas Ball | Colby]

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.

Emancipation Group Marble, c.1870
[Thomas Ball | Chazen]


What began as a seemingly insurmountable task to grapple with a challenging object in our collection has developed into an initiative with wider reach and deeper impact than we imagined. This exhibition is one component of the larger project and is designed to bring forward work done to date, highlight artistic engagement and response, and inspire conversation and introspection. Join us at the Chazen from February – June 2023 to experience the re:mancipation exhibition in person. In the meantime, visit the exhibition through this immersive interactive virtual tour.

  • 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”

Emancipation Group, 1879 10ft Bronze,
[Thomas Ball | City of Boston]