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Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    Clio, The Muse of History [Removed], Guilford Courthouse

  • Type

    Statue

  • Subjects

    Historic Women Figures

    Removed Monuments

  • Creator

    The W.H. Mullins Company, Supplier

    Bureau Brothers, Bronze Statuary and Founder, Foundry

  • City

    Greensboro

  • County

    Guilford

  • Description

    A cast statue of a classically-clad Clio sits with her right leg crossed over her left. Her left hand holds a text in the air; next to her sits a container filled with scrolls.

    Morehead explained the need for the monument thus "The propriety of erecting a monument to Clio on our grounds suggested itself to me from these reasons: The necessity of a knowledge of history by every truly wise man and the importance of teaching the same. The Battle Ground enterprise has proven not only a Mecca wither the patriotic assemble, but also a source whence a tremendous influence has gone forth arousing our people to study of and pride in the State’s Revolutionary history."

  • Inscription

    As sinking silently to night, / Noon fades insensibly, / So truth’s fair phase assumes the haze / And hush of history. / But lesser lights relieve the dark, / Dumb dreariness of night, / And o’er the past historians cast / At least a stellar light.

  • Dedication Date

    July 3, 1909

  • Decade

    1900s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    36.132520 , -79.844640 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "Arrangement for the Big Celebration at the Battle Ground," Greensboro Patriot Weekly (Greensboro, NC), June 17, 1903, 1 Link

      "Clio," Wikipedia, (accessed May 22, 2012) Link

      "Guilford Battle Ground Affairs," Greensboro Patriot Weekly (Greensboro, NC), June 1, 1903, 1-2 Link

      "Guilford: The Only Revolutionary Battlefield Now a National Park," Greensboro Patriot Weekly (Greensboro, NC), July 7, 1909, 1-3 Link

      "Patriots Today Will Gather on Historic Grounds of Battle," Greensboro Daily News (Greensboro, NC), July 4, 1912 Link

      "Regulars For Guilford," Greensboro Daily News (Greensboro, NC), June 28, 1912, 1 Link

      "Statue of Clio, the Greek Muse of History," Greensboro Patriot Weekly (Greensboro, NC), July 5, 1905, 4 Link

      "The Battle Ground Celebration," Greensboro Patriot Weekly (Greensboro, NC), July 5, 1905, 6 Link

      "The Battle Ground Company," Greensboro Patriot Weekly (Greensboro, NC), September 1, 1902, 1-2 Link

      "The Fourth at Guilford Battle Ground," Greensboro Patriot Weekly (Greensboro, NC), July 9, 1902, 1 Link

      "The Glorious Fourth," Greensboro Patriot Weekly (Greensboro, NC), July 1, 1901, 1 Link

      "Two Big Celebrations," Greensboro Patriot Weekly (Greensboro, NC), June 30, 1903, 1 Link

      Folder 52 in Joseph M. Morehead Papers, #523, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, see scan 65 Link

      Folder 57c in Joseph M. Morehead Papers, #523, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, see scans 1-6, 8, 14, 15, 22, 26-28, 42-44, 78 Link

      Folder 58a in Joseph M. Morehead Papers, #523, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, see scans 21, 44, 86-89 Link

      Folder 58a in the Joseph M. Morehead Papers, #523, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, see scans 86, 87, 90 Link

      Folder 58b in Joseph M. Morehead Papers, #523, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, see scans 10, 24, 72 Link

      Folder 62a in Joseph M. Morehead Papers, #523, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, see scan 48 Link

      Folder 62b in Joseph M. Morehead Papers, #523, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, see scans 17-25 Link

      Folder 83a in Joseph M. Morehead Papers, #523, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, see scan 110 Link

      G. E. Sisson, “Guilford Courthouse Battlefield National Military Park,” (Washington, DC: United States Geological Survey, 1934) Link

      Grimes, J. Bryan. "Why North Carolina Should Erect and Preserve Memorials and Mark Historic Places: Address Before the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association, Raleigh, N.C., November 4, 1909," ([Raleigh, NC: The News and Observer, 1909]), (accessed May 18, 2012) Link

      Smith, C. Alphonso. The Significance of History in a Democracy, (Greensboro, NC: The North Carolina Historical Commission, 1909), (accessed February 6, 2012) Link

      Van Noppen, Addie. The Battle Field of Guilford Court House, (Greensboro, NC: Jos. J. Stone & Company, 1927), (accessed February 6, 2012) Link

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    The sculpture was cast in 32 ounce copper with an oxidized antique bronze finish by the W. H. Mullins Company. The company also produced the plaque below her.

  • Monument Cost

    The statue itself cost $550; the plaque was $60. Both are from Bureau Brothers, Bronze Statuary and Founder.

  • Monument Dedication and Unveiling

    On July 3, 1909, Professor of Literature Charles Alphonso Smith (1864-1924) gave the dedication speech on "the significance of history in a democracy."

  • Subject Notes

    Clio, the muse of history, was one of the nine muses. She was the daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne. Her name is derived from the Greek verb kleô, which means 'to make famous' or 'celebrate'. Clio was typically represented as holding an open scroll, or seated beside a chest of books. Their was consideration of having her standing at one point.

  • Controversies

    The original plaque was missing the "r" in stellar. Bureau Brothers sent a letter to insert if possible.
    The statue was deemed in bad taste and removed by the National Park Service.

  • Landscape

    Clio was the first in a line of seven monuments that once stood along a line along the Old Battle Ground Road (now a walking path). In under 500 feet visitors would have passed seven monuments. Only one of the original seven remains. To the east of Clio one would have walked down the road past the Battle of Alamance monument, the James Hunter Monuments, The Battle of Kings Mountain Monument, the David Schenck monument and Joseph Morehead statue before finally reaching the Caldwell marker. Of these seven monuments only the Caldwell remains in its original location. The others have since been moved or destroyed. The former location of many of these monuments is now overgrown. This main-street of monuments would have been the center of memorization in an American "Mecca" the creators hoped to build. Before 1937, when Clio was removed, at least 13 monuments were within 500 feet of the Muse's location.The Battle Monument, the Davidson and Nash Arches (all since removed) as well as the Greene Monument would also have been visible from Clio's location. For the original locations of all the removed and relocated monuments see G.E. Sisson's map.

  • Former Locations

    Clio was removed in 1937 as she was unrelated to the park. On September 1, 1942, the statue was donated to be melted down for the war effort. Multiple other monuments, including the Davidson and Nash Arches, were also removed at the same time.

  • Approval Process

    James Morehead contracted the statue.

  • Materials & Assembly Cost

    The actual statue of Clio cost $550.

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