Saturday, December 1, 2012

Abraham Lincoln: Equality - East Hartford, CT

Interesting Places I've Photographed
East Hartford, CT
Topic: Abraham Lincoln
GPS: N41° 45.569; W 072° 39.547

Quick Description: 

Equality is the title of an abstract sculpture located at the Lincoln Financial Sculpture Walk at Riverfront in East Hartford, CT.

Long Description:

Sixteen abstract and traditional sculptures related to the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln are installed along the Lincoln Financial Sculpture Walk at Riverfront in Hartford and East Hartford. Lincoln Financial is an insurance company based in Philadelphia with offices in Hartford.

Lincoln's views on equality evolved throughout his presidency. Although anti-slavery he did not support equality among the races. His attitude changed during the Civil War and during his second presidency he strongly supported the 13th Amendment and voting rights for black men.

An abstract sculpture by Del Geist, entitled Equality, is located at the entrance to Riverfront Park in East Hartford. A metal tripod has three clasps, each holding a vertical stack of slate slabs. The three stacks balance suggesting the concept of equality.

A plaque, adjacent to the sculpture, contains the opening lines of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and is inscribed: 

{Profile of Lincoln}


Walk at
{five wavy lines}

Del Geist, 2007

"Forescore and seven years ago our fathers
brought forth on this continent, a new nation,

conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the

proposition that all men are created equal"
Although Abraham Lincoln considered himself anti-
slavery, he did not really embrace social and intellectual
equality between the races. Lincoln was, however, a man
who was open to change and over the course of his 
presidency his opinion on race evolved. He was so
impressed with the role black troops played in winning
the Civil War that as the war ended he reversed his original
position and advocated on their behalf for retroactive
equal pay. He proudly and publicly acknowledged his
friendship with and admiration of Fredrick Douglass, who
had actively recruited black soldiers. Early in his
political career Lincoln had spoken out against granting
citizenship to former slaves. He launched his second term
as president by supporting the 13th Amendment
which abolished slavery and set the stage for the 15th
Amendment which gave African American men the right
to vote. 

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