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

    Moores Creek Women's Monument, Moores Creek National Battlefield

  • Type

    Sculpture

  • Subjects

    Revolutionary War

    Historic Women Figures

  • Creator

    Wilmington Stone and Granite Works, Unspecified

  • City

    Currie

  • County

    Pender

  • Description

    On top of a tall granite base, approximately 9’ 6” x 5’ 7", rests a marble sculpture 5’ 8” tall of a pensive young woman in a classic contrapposto stance. She wears a loose dress reminiscent of a Greco-roman style, and her cascading curls of hair are partially pulled back. Her arms are crossed and she grasps in her left hand a laurel wreath, a symbol of victory and eternity. A column beneath the figure bears an inscription, and the top of the column above the inscription is adorned with a double band of oak leaves and acorn sprigs. These are a traditional mourning symbol of longevity, strength, and courage.

    During the dedication ceremonies, Charles R. Thomas, a native North Carolinian and U.S. Congressman, referred to the shaft of the monument as “white and pure and stainless as the good women it commemorates,” which symbolically aligns the virtue of the eighteenth-century women of North Carolina’s Lower Cape Region with the monument’s material. In 1929 the bodies of Mary and Ezekiel Slocumb were re-interred at the base of the Women’s Monument each marked with both head and foot stones on the grave beds.

    Images: Figure | Southwest View | Inscription Southwest Face | Inscription Southeast Face | Inscription Northeast Face

  • Inscription

    Northwest face: TO THE HONORED MEMORY / OF THE HEROIC WOMEN / OF THE LOWER CAPE FEAR / DURING THE / AMERICAN REVOLUTION / 1775-1781

    Southwest face: MOST HONORED OF THE NAMES / RECORDED BY THIS HISTORIC / ASSOCIATION, IS THAT OF / MARY SLOCUMB, / WIFE OF LIEUTENANT SLOCUMB, / RIDING ALONE AT NIGHT / 65 MILES TO SUCCOR THE / WOUNDED ON THIS BATTLEFIELD / HER HEROISM AND SELF-SACRIFICE / PLACE HER HIGH ON THE PAGES OF / HISTORY AND SHOULD AWAKEN IN / SUCCESSIVE GENERATIONS, TRUE / PATRIOTISM AND / LOVE OF COUNTRY / VIRTUTES MAJORUM FILIAE CONSERVANT

    Northeast face: UNSWERVING IN DEVOTION, / SELF-SACRIFICING IN / LOYALTY TO THE CAUSE / OF THEIR COUNTRY, THEIR / WORKS DO FOLLOW THEM; / AND THEIR CHILDREN RISE / UP AND CALL THEM BLESSED.

    Southeast face: THIS MONUMENT / WAS ERECTED BY THE / MOORE'S CREEK / MONUMENTAL ASSOCIATION / IN THE YEAR 1907.

  • Custodian

    National Park Service, Moores Creek National Battlefield

  • Dedication Date

    August 15, 1907

  • Decade

    1900s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    34.472200 , -78.155000 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "Moore's Creek Battleground - Patriot Women's Monument - Erected 1907," in the Louis T. Moore Collection 430, New Hanover County Public Library Digital Archives. Link

      Blakenship, Jamie. "Background Study on Fences and Monuments at Moores Creek National Battlefield," (Currie, NC: National Park Service, 1989), accessed December 6, 2012 Link

      Capps, Michael A., and Davis, Steven A. "Moores Creek National Battlefield: An Administrative History," (Atlanta, GA: U.S. Dept. of the Interior, National Park Service, Southeast Regional Office, Cultural Resources Stewardship, 1999), accessed December 6, 2012 Link

      Carraway, Gertude Sprague. [Scrapbook of clippings and other material dealing with the Moore's Creek battleground celebration and North Carolina's part in the Sesqui-Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia], (1926), accessed December 6, 2012 Link

      Hatch, Charles. "Moores Creek National Military Park, North Carolina: the Battle of Moores Creek Bridge," (Washington, D.C.: Office of History and Historic Architecture, 1969), accessed December 6, 2012 Link

      Hawes, E. A., Moore, J. F., and Thomas, Charles R. "Ceremonies at the unveiling of the monument upon Moore's Creek battle ground to the women of the Revolution, August, 1907," ([Pender County, N.C.: Moore's Creek Monument Association, 1907]), accessed December 6, 2012 Link

      United States Department of the Interior National Park Service. "National Park Service National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form [Moore's Creek National Military Park No. 66000070]," ([1976]), accessed December 6, 2012 Link

      Wright, Joshua G. "Address delivered at the celebration of the battle of Moore's Creek Bridge, February 27th, 1857: by Joshua G. Wright, Esq.," (Wilmington, N.C.: Fulton & Price, Steam Power Printers, 1857), accessed December 14, 2012 Link

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Marble statue, granite base

  • Sponsors

    Moores Creek Monument Association

  • Monument Cost

    $2,000

  • Monument Dedication and Unveiling

    Dedicated on August 1907 through the likely acquisition of federal funds, the Women’s Monument commemorated the strength and vitality of eighteenth-century women in North Carolina’s Lower Cape Region. In particular, Mary (Polly) Slocumb was singled out for her act of bravery, riding 65 miles in the night to the Battle of Moores Creek after having a dream that her husband, Ezekiel Slocumb, was wounded. However, the story is almost certainly pure legend based on the fact that Mary and Ezekiel were only fifteen and sixteen years old at the time of the battle and Ezekiel did not enlist until 1780.

    Edmund Alexander Hawes, a member of the North Carolina State House of Representatives, James F. Moore, the president of the Moores Creek Monumental Association, and Charles R. Thomas, a prominent North Carolina attorney and politician and member of the U.S. House of Representatives, spoke at the dedication ceremony on August 1907. The ceremony began with a prayer by Rev. A. D. McClure before Hawes and Moore spoke a few words. Then Lillian Colvin and Kate Bonneman unveiled the monument to the crowd as thirteen young women, representing the thirteen original states, decorated the monument. Thomas then gave his speech recounting the battle and the virtuosity and courage of Mary Slocumb and the loyalist, Flora MacDonald, whose husband and one of her sons fought in the Battle of Moores Creek. The defeat forced Flora and her husband, Allan, to return to Scotland for the remainder of their lives. Thomas referred to the shaft of the monument as “white and pure and stainless as the good women it commemorates,” which symbolically aligns the virtue of the eighteenth-century women in North Carolina’s Lower Cape Region with the monument’s material.

  • Nickname

    Slocumb Monument

  • Subject Notes

    The story of Mary and Ezekiel Slocumb is almost certainly pure legend based on the fact that Mary and Ezekiel were only fifteen and sixteen years old at the time of the battle and Ezekiel did not enlist until 1780. The Battle of Moores Creek was fought on February 27, 1776.

  • Controversies

    There has been historical debate regarding the authenticity of the Mary Slocumb legend.

  • Location

    The monument is located on the south side of the walking trail and a few hundred feet from the visitor’s center.

  • Landscape

    The monument sits on a low sloping hilltop near a walking trail and wooded area.

  • Death Space

    Yes

  • Post Dedication Use

    An annual ceremony of the Battle of Moores Creek is held in February with historic military demonstrations and reenactments.

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