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

    Presidents North Carolina Gave the Nation, Raleigh

  • Type

    Equestrian Statue

  • Subjects

    Historic Political Figures

  • Creator

    Charles Keck, Sculptor

  • City

    Raleigh

  • County

    Wake

  • Description

    A shield bearing the stars and stripes is flanked by James K. Polk, holding a map, and Andrew Johnson, holding the Constitution. Behind them, Andrew Jackson sits proudly on his horse and holding his hat to his right side.

    Image: Contemporary front view | Rear view

  • Inscription

    Under James K. Polk: 1795 1849 / JAMES KNOX POLK / OF / MECKLENBURG COUNTY / PRESIDENT / 1845-1849 / HE ENLARGED OUR / NATIONAL BOUNDARIES

    Under Andrew Jackson: 1767 1845 / ANDREW JACKSON / OF / UNION COUNTY / PRESIDENT / 1829-1837 / HE REVITALIZED / AMERICAN DEMOCRACY

    Under Andrew Johnson: 1808 1875 / ANDREW JOHNSON / OF / WAKE COUNTY / PRESIDENT / 1865-1869 / HE DEFENDED / THE CONSTITUTION

    Rear: PRESIDENTS NORTH CAROLINA GAVE THE NATION

  • Custodian

    North Carolina State Capitol

  • Dedication Date

    October 19, 1948

  • Decade

    1940s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.780370 , -78.638530 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "Monument to Presidents Born in North Carolina: James K. Polk, Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnson," Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museum (accessed June 30, 2011) Link

      "President Harry S. Truman," in the Hugh Morton Collection of Photographs and Films (P081), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Link

      "President Harry S. Truman," in the Hugh Morton Collection of Photographs and Films (P081), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Link

      "President Truman at Presidents Monument Dedication," in the Hugh Morton Collection of Photographs and Films (P081), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Link

      "President Truman at Presidents Monument Dedication," in the Hugh Morton Collection of Photographs and Films (P081), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Link

      Commission for a Memorial to the Three North Carolina Presidents. Addresses and Papers in Connection With the Unveiling of a Monument to the Three Presidents North Carolina Gave the Nation, (Raleigh, NC: The Commission, 1949), (accessed May 10, 2012) Link

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Bronze, granite

  • Sponsors

    North Carolina General Assembly

  • Monument Dedication and Unveiling

    President Truman gave an address at the dedication ceremony of the monument. N.C. Governor R. Gregg Cherry, Secretary of the Army Kenneth Royall, and Senator Clyde Hoey attended as well. Descendents of each president participated in the unveiling.

  • Nickname

    “Three Presidents”

  • Subject Notes

    The statue honors the three presidents that were born in North Carolina: Andrew Jackson, from Union County, was the seventh president of the United States from 1829-1837; James Knox Polk, from Mecklenberg County, was the eleventh president of the United States from 1845-1849; and, Andrew Johnson, from Wake County, was the seventeenth president of the United States from 1865 to 1869. Although all these men were born in North Carolina, they were all elected president while living in Tennessee.

  • Controversies

    All of these men were elected president while living in Tennessee, so there is some dispute as to the actual “home” states of these three presidents.

  • Location

    The monument is located on the East side of Union Square, the State Capitol grounds in Raleigh.

  • Former Locations

    None; however, two coastal mortars displayed near this monument were originally displayed at Fort Macon, and were moved to their current location in 1903.

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