Revolutionary Leaders in the US Capitol Statuary Hall Collection

The United States Congress authorizes each state to place statues of two people in the Capitol. These statues form the National Statuary Hall Collection. Most statues are placed in the National Statuary Hall (former House of Representatives) with others in the Crypt, Hall of Columns and the Capital Visitors Center.

US Capitol

US Capitol – Statuary Hall

Revolutionary War soldiers and politicians figure prominently in the selections of the thirteen original colonies with half (13) of the selections. Ten of the thirteen states devote at least one statue to a Revolutionary War leader (Georgia, North and South Carolina do not) and three states devote both statues (Connecticut, New York and Maryland). In addition, two states subsequently admitted to the Union devote a statue to a Revolutionary War Leader (Tennessee and Vermont).

Key attributes of the selections include:

  • Four Continental Army generals and 3 state militia officers
  • Nine Members of the Continental Congress
  • Four Signers of the Declaration of Independence
  • Four served in the US Congress, three Governors and one President
  • All are men

Interestingly, two of the leaders are thought by historians today to be traitors to the USA.

  • Ethan Allen – Allen is best known for capturing the British Fort Ticonderoga in 1775. However, in the later stages of the war, Allen opened negotiations with the British to return Vermont to the British Empire in exchange for recognition of the Vermonter land claims. For a more complete description of Allen’s traitorous activities and motivations, see https://allthingsliberty.com/2013/11/ethan-allen-patriot-land-promoter-turncoat/
  • Richard Stockton – A New Jersey political leader, Stockton signed the Declaration of Independence. However, the British in their 1777 invasion of New Jersey, captured Stockton. In exchange for his freedom, Stockton signed an oath to remain neutral and not further participate in the Revolution. For a more complete description of Stockton’s actions, see https://allthingsliberty.com/2016/07/was-richard-stockton-a-hero/
US Capitol

US Capitol – Ethan Allen

 

While there are many Confederate soldiers and politicians in the statuary collection, it is ironic that two of the fifteen Revolutionary era leaders participated in traitorous activities.

The following table provides information on the Revolutionary War Leaders with statues in the US Capitol.

Leader Military Service Continental Congress Declaration of Independence US Congress State
Jonathan Trumbull CT Governor CT
Roger Sherman Yes Yes Yes CT
Caesar Rodney Yes DE
GA
Charles Carroll Yes Yes Yes MD
John Hanson Yes MD
Samuel Adams Yes Yes MA
John Stark Bgr. Gen. NH
Richard Stockton Yes Yes NJ
George Clinton Militia Gen. Yes Governor NY
Robert Livingston Yes NY
NC
John Muhlenberg Bgr. Gen. Yes PA
Nathanael Greene Maj. Gen. RI
SC
George Washington General Yes President VA
John Serier Lt. Col. Militia Yes, Governor TN
Ethan Allen Militia General VT

The US Capitol Visitors Center publishes a report on the Statuary Collection that provides overview information on the two statues selected by each state. It that can be accessed on-line at: https://www.visitthecapitol.gov/sites/default/files/documents/content/brochure/2759/guide-state-statuesen.pdf

3 responses to “Revolutionary Leaders in the US Capitol Statuary Hall Collection

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