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

    Colonel Ben Cleveland Statue, Wilkesboro

  • Type


  • Subjects

    Historic Military Figures

    Revolutionary War, 1775-1783

  • Creator

    Robert Mayer, Sculptor

    Ralph J. Williams, Sculptor

    Noah Boland, Sculptor

    Bobby Foster, Sculptor

  • City


  • County


  • Description

    Standing portrait of Col. Ben Cleveland in his Revolutionary War uniform holding a steel sword in his raised proper left hand and a horn in his proper right hand. He is dressed in a three-cornered hat, a knee-length coat, breeches, white stockings, and laced, ankle-length, cuffed boots. The figure is painted gray. The sculpture rests on a square base atop a low foundation.

    Images: Inscription

  • Inscription

    Marker in front of foundation: COLONEL BEN CLEVELAND / 1738 - 1806 / WILKES COUNTY MILITIA

  • Custodian

    Wilkes County Commissioners

  • Dedication Date

    November 23, 1975

  • Decade


  • Geographic Coordinates

    36.148880 , -81.152140 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      Waugh, Betty Linney, 1979. "Cleveland, Benjamin," (accessed September 2, 2014) Link

      "Col. Ben Cleveland, (sculpture)," Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museum, SIRIS,, #IAS NC000304, (accessed April 16, 2013) Link

      "Colonel Ben Cleveland - Wilkesboro, North Carolina,", (accessed September 2, 2014) Link

      “Wilkes County Courthouse, Wilkesboro, N. C,” in Durwood Barbour Collection of North Carolina Postcards (PO77), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Link

  • Public Site


  • Materials & Techniques

    Powdered clay mixed with concrete over chicken wire and metal rod, painted, and steel, concrete base

  • Monument Cost


  • Subject Notes

    Colonel Ben Cleveland (1738-1806) was a resident of Wilkes County. During the Revolutionary War he organized a militia and led an attack against British troops on King Mountain. As a result of his heroic action he received a field promotion to the rank of Colonel. The statue was a Bicentennial project of the sculpture class at Wilkes Community College.

    [Additional information from NCpedia editors at the State Library of North Carolina: This person enslaved and owned other people. Many Black and African people, their descendants, and some others were enslaved in the United States until the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in 1865. It was common for wealthy landowners, entrepreneurs, politicians, institutions, and others to enslave people and use enslaved labor during this period. To read more about the enslavement and transportation of African people to North Carolina, visit To read more about slavery and its history in North Carolina, visit - Government and Heritage Library, 2023.]

  • Location

    The statue is located on the 100 block of North Bridge Street, Wilkesboro, NC. Several historical makers and monuments can be found nearby, including the Wilkes County Confederate memorial, Cannon Circle, Veterans Memorial, Daniel Boone’s Trail marker, Time Capsule and two Tory Oaks markers.

  • Landscape

    The statue stands on the side of a street, near a parking lot, behind the Wilkes Heritage Museum building.

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