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

    Bust of Matt Whitaker Ransom, State Capitol, Raleigh

  • Type

    Sculpture

  • Subjects

    Historic Political Figures

    Historic Military Figures

  • Creator

    Frederick Wellington Ruckstull, Sculptor

  • City

    Raleigh

  • County

    Wake

  • Description

    This marble bust of the former Confederate general and North Carolina state senator, Matt Whitaker Ransom, wears a shirt with a high collar, coat, and suit. The bearded Ransom turns his head slightly to the left, appearing to look into the distance. The bust was commissioned by the North Carolina Historical Commission and is situated in the rotunda of the State Capitol building in Raleigh, North Carolina.

  • Inscription

    NO MAN IS FIT TO BE ENTRUSTED WITH CONTROL OF THE / PRESENT WHO IS IGNORANT OF THE PAST; AND NO / PEOPLE WHO ARE INDIFFERENT TO THEIR PAST NEED / HOPE TO MAKE THEIR FUTURE GREAT

  • Custodian

    North Carolina Historical Commission

  • Dedication Date

    January 11, 1911

  • Decade

    1910s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.780350 , -78.639100 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "Bust of Senator Ransom Unveiled and Presented," News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), January 12, 1911, 1

      "First Floor and Rotunda of the Capitol," North Carolina Historic Sites, (accessed December 9, 2011) Link

      "M. W. Ransom Bust in Rotunda," Flickr, (accessed May 16, 2012) Link

      Bishir, Catherine W. "State Capitol Memorials," Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina, (accessed May 16, 2012) Link

      Burgwyn, William Hyslop Sumner. An Address on the Military and Civil Services of General Matt W. Ransom, (Raleigh, NC: 1907), (accessed May 16, 2012) Link

      Folder 64 in Joseph M. Morehead Papers, #523, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, see scans 3-5 Link

      North Carolina Historical Commission. Addresses at the Unveiling of the Bust of Matt W. Ransom by the North Carolina Historical Commission in the Rotunda of the State Capitol at Raleigh Delivered in the Hall of the House of Representatives, January 11, 1911, (Raleigh. NC: Edwards & Broughton Printing Co., 1911), (accessed April 4, 2011) Link

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Marble

  • Sponsors

    Hon. R.W. Winston (Raleigh Bar); North Carolina Historical Commission.

  • Monument Cost

    Between $900.00 and $1,000.00.

  • Subject Notes

    Matt Whitaker Ransom (October 8, 1826 – October 8, 1904) practiced law and was the attorney general for North Carolina from 1852-1855. During the American Civil War he served as a general in the Confederate States Army. After the war, he was a Democratic U.S. senator from the state of North Carolina between 1872 and 1895. He later served as the ambassador to Mexico from 1895 to 1897. He died on October 8, 1904.

  • Location

    The bust is located in the southeast part of the rotunda inside the State Capitol on the first floor of the building. The bust of Matthew Whitaker is near a plaque, an open passageway into the rotunda, and the bust of John Morehead.

  • Landscape

    The bust is located inside the State Capitol building in Raleigh.

  • Approval Process

    The plan to include busts in the rotunda of the Capitol building began with the bust to honor William Graham in 1910. The North Carolina Historical Commission adopted a resolution on October 23, 1907 to begin the construction of the first marble bust in the rotunda which contained eight niches intended for potential busts and statues honoring renowned North Carolinians. The second bust to be placed in the Rotunda was the Matthew Whitaker bust.

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