Documenting the American South

Doc South header logo Home
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes banner
  • Monument Name

    Charles Duncan McIver Statue, Raleigh

  • Type

    Sculpture

  • Subjects

    Historic Educational Figures

  • Creator

    Frederick Wellington Ruckstull, Sculptor

  • City

    Raleigh

  • County

    Wake

  • Description

    The 7.5-foot bronze statue with a 3.5-foot granite pedestal is a monument to education pioneer Charles McIver, a founder and first president of the State Normal and Industrial School for Women (now known as UNC Greensboro). It depicts McIver standing in a dignified manner with a book in his left hand; his right hand rests on his waist. There are four plaques, one on each side of the pedestal.

    Images: Contemporary view | Front inscription | Right inscription | Rear inscription | Left inscription

    A duplicate statue stands in Greensboro.

  • Inscription

    Front: CHARLES DUNCAN / MCIVER / EDUCATIONAL STATESMAN / BORN 27TH SEPTEMBER 1860 / DIED 17TH SEPTEMBER 1906

    Right: "PEOPLE - / NOT ROCKS AND RIVERS / AND IMAGINARY BOUNDARY / LINES - MAKE A STATE: AND / THE STATE IS GREAT JUST / IN PROPORTION AS ITS / PEOPLE ARE EDUCATED."

    Left: FOUNDER AND FIRST / PRESIDENT OF THE / STATE NORMAL / AND / INDUSTRIAL COLLEGE / FOR WOMEN

    Rear: ERECTED BY / THE SCHOOL CHILDREN, / THE TEACHERS / AND HIS OTHER FRIENDS / AND ADMIRERS / A.D. 1911

  • Custodian

    The State of North Carolina

  • Dedication Date

    May 15, 1912

  • Decade

    1910s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.780110 , -78.638650 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "Charles Duncan McIver Whose Statue Will be Unveiled in Raleigh on the Capitol Square This Morning at Eleven O'clock [photo]," The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), May 15, 1912, 1 Link

      "M'Iver Statue Goes to State," The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), May 15, 1912, 1 Link

      "The McIver Monument," The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), May 12, 1912, 4 Link

      "The Monument of Chas. D. M'Iver," The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), May 12, 1912

      "Thousands Paid Tribute to Charles D. M'Iver," The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), May 16, 1912, 1 Link

      The Carolinian, Edited by the Senior Class, 1909., (Greensboro, N.C.: North Carolina State Normal and Industrial College, 1909), (accessed July 31, 2013) Link

      Berent, Irwin M. The Monuments and Statues on the Capitol Square of North Carolina, (Greenville, NC: East Carolina University Press, 1985)

      Bishir, Catherine W. "North Carolina’s Union Square," Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina, (accessed May 15, 2012) Link

      Connor, Robert Digges Wimberly. Program of Exercises for North Carolina Day (McIver Day): Friday, December 14, 1906, (Raleigh, NC: State Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1906), (accessed February 8, 2012) Link

      Coon, Charles L. "Charles Duncan McIver and His Educational Services, 1886-1906," in Advance Sheets United States Bureau of Education, 1907, (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1908), (accessed May 29, 2012) Link

      Gilliam, Steve. "Come to the McIver Statue Oct. 5 to Observe Founders Day," (accessed December 28, 2011) Link

      Smith, Alphonso C. "Charles Duncan McIver, the Educational Statesman," Dissertation, University of North Carolina, 1912

      Smith, William. "Charles Duncan McIver," (Greensboro: J.J. Stone & Company, 1907), (accessed February 8, 2012) Link

      The First Graduating Class of the North Carolina State Normal and Industrial School, University Archives Photograph Collection, UA 104.4.005, University Archives and Manuscripts, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, (accessed December 28, 2011) Link

      Waymarking.com. "Charles Duncan McIver," (accessed December 29, 2011) Link

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Bronze statue, bronze plaques, and a granite base.

  • Sponsors

    Schoolchildren in North Carolina collected $3,000 for the construction of the monument by North Carolina Day in 1911. The remainder of the monument costs were paid for by the North Carolina Historical Commission. The committee appointed to commemorate McIver, which was led by Chairman James Y. Joyner and included Francis Preston Venable, Col. William H. Osborn, Mrs. Lindsay Patterson, and Josephus Daniels, began to work on creating a monument in honor of McIver soon after his death in 1906.

  • Monument Dedication and Unveiling

    May 15, 1912

  • Subject Notes

    Beginning in 1881, Charles Duncan McIver devoted a quarter of a century to educational reform in North Carolina. After his death on September 17, 1906, friends and fellow educational reformers organized to raise funds for a monument in McIver's honor. The committee chairman, James Joyner, started corresponding with Mrs. McIver and sculptor Frederic Wellington Ruckstuhl about a proposed monument in honor of McIver by August 1910. The North Carolina General Assembly approved the monument's construction and location in the Capital Square on March 7, 1911.

  • Controversies

    The monument in Capital Square was criticized for inaccurately portraying McIver and for the monument’s representation of the educator. Even the committee felt the monument was more of an embarrassment than an accomplishment.

  • Location

    The monument stands close to the border of the square so that pedestrians and drivers are reminded of McIver's lifework as an educator in North Carolina whenever they pass Capitol Square. The original pedestal raised the sculpture of McIver above spectators; the newer pedestal renders the sculpture more approachable. The monument is located near the monument honoring Charles Brantley Aycock and the George Washington monument.

  • Former Locations

    The McIver monument originally faced Fayetteville Street; it was relocated to face Morgan Street in the late 1920s.

  • Post Dedication Use

    At the UNC Greensboro location, the monument is a gathering place to commemorate Institutional Founders Day at the university.

  • Approval Process

    The North Carolina General Assembly approved of the monument's location on March 7, 1911. It took Ruckstuhl two years to complete the statue and original monument.

Know anything else about this monument that isn't mentioned here? If you have additional information on this or any other monument in our collection fill out the form at the Contact Us link in the footer. Thank you.