RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Visitors to the Valentine Museum will soon be able to see a bronze statue of the 16th president during a crucial moment in Richmond history.
The statue, loaned from Richmond National Battlefield Park, is a life-size depiction of the president and his 12-year-old son, Tad, resting on a bench, with a quote from Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, “to bind up our nation’s wounds” written in carved granite stones behind the two figures.
This scene is particularly notable to local history, as it depicts the Lincoln and Tad’s visit to Richmond on April 4 and 5, 1865, when the father and son toured Union-occupied former capital of the Confederacy. This tour was shortly before the Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s surrender, and just ten days prior to Lincoln’s assassination.
While it is on loan, the statue will be displayed on the Valentine’s 10th Street terrace between Clay and Marshall Streets. However, it will not include its surrounding stone elements.
“We are grateful to the Valentine Museum for ensuring that this significant work of art will remain accessible to the public,” Doyle Sapp, Superintendent of Richmond National Battlefield Park and Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site, said. “The loan will enable the statue and its story to continue to educate and inspire people while the National Park Service and its partners explore options for a new, permanent location.”
Twenty years ago this April, the National Park Service accepted the statue as a donation from the United States Historical Society 20 years ago. It is usually installed outside the main entrance of the National Park Service’s visitor center at Tredegar’s Pattern Building.