More Info on Soldiers & Sailors Monument

Ex-slave comforts woman (Miss Liberty)?

Plaque on east side of monument with emancipation symbolism

This is a very interesting plaque on the east side of the monument that has been interpreted as sympathetic to the emancipation of slaves following the Civil War.  You will note the African American man, presumably an ex-slave, in a position of authority comforting a woman who appears to be crying.  One interpretation is that the woman is Miss Liberty who is crying over the destruction of her country.  Note the palm tree in the background, which places this scene in the South.  The smaller, younger looking person, who seems to be showing the woman the way forward may represent an angle pointing in the direction of a better future for the now reunited nation.  This is but one possible interpretation of this fresco.  It seems almost certain that it has something to do with emancipation, given the prominence of the African American man, but the exact meaning of all the symbolism seems to have been lost to the ages.  Any serious attempt at an alternate interpretation or of a refinement of the one presented here is welcome.

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