The Famous Painting Of Abraham Lincoln Hangs At The Capitol

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We often talk about Francis Bicknell Carpenter here at Cortland County Historical Society. His famous painting of Abraham Lincoln hangs at the Capitol and he was born and raised in Homer. However, there is another native of Cortland County who has three important statues prominently displayed in Washington, D.C. Curious? His name was Clark Mills and he created the first equestrian statue in America and his life began in Taylor. Clark Mills was born in Taylor but the information available to us does not give us a definitive date. Suffice it to say that it was between 1810 and 1815. His father died when he was just five years old and then he was placed with an uncle. This was typical of the time as women had few options to provide…show more content…
The horse appeared perfectly balanced on his hind legs and was very lifelike. It was agreed that he would be paid $12,000 to execute the statue and the bronze would be provided. It took 2 years to make the plaster cast and a lot of trial and error. A statue of this size of bronze had not been attempted in the United States to that date. The bronze was from cannons which were captured by Andrew Jackson during the second war with England. The statue was dedicated in January 8, 1853 and placed in LaFayette Square in Washington, D.C. It is still there, directly across from the White House. Congress was so pleased with the delightfully original statue that they added $20,000 to the fee which had already been paid. With the mold already made, Mills was commissioned to make the same statue to be placed in New Orleans in 1856. A third replica was ordered for Nashville, Tennessee and dedicated in 1880. Mills’ next project was an equestrian statue of George Washington. He was also chosen to complete “Statue of Freedom” which was designed by Thomas Crawford. Crawford had gotten as far as making the plaster model but had died before having the chance to cast the statue in bronze. Mills purchased land close to Washington and built a studio and a foundry to complete the orders which he had received. The Washington statue was very different from the Jackson statue and Mills was paid $50,000 to create it. The finished product was completed and dedicated in 1860 and

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