William Rufus King Memorial, Clinton
Cast in 1930, the monument commemorates William Rufus King. The bronze bust measures approximately 3 feet and 1 inch by 2 feet and 3 inches by 1 foot and 7 inches. Its granite base measures approximately 5 feet and 9 inches by 2 feet by 2 feet.
Granite base: WILLIAM / RUFUS / KING / 1786-1853 / NATIVE OF / SAMPSON COUNTY / CONGRESSMAN / MINISTER TO FRANCE / SENATOR AND / VICE PRESIDENT OF / THE UNITED STATES
Back, lower right corner: KARL GRUPPE SCULPTOR 1930
34.998130 , -78.324000 View in Geobrowse
"King Monument Dream Realized," The Sampson Independent, November 6, 1930
"King Monument to be Ready Soon," The Sampson Independent, October 23, 1930
"King, William Rufus de Vane, (1786-1853)," Biographical Directory of the United States Congress (accessed June 6, 2014) Link
"Rufus King Memorial Plans Now Underway," The Sampson News, June 4, 1930
"William Rufus King, (sculpture)," Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museum, SIRIS, sirismm.si.edu, (accessed June 6, 2014) Link
"William Rufus King," Smithsonian Sculptures on Waymarking.com, (accessed June 6, 2014) Link
Bronze (bust), Granite (base)
William Rufus King was born in Sampson County, North Carolina in 1786. Throughout his long and successful career as a politician, the Sampson native worked as a lawyer, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Senator, Minister to France, and Vice President of the United States. Unfortunately, King's role as Vice President was short lived as he died just weeks after his inauguration.
Within Clinton, attorney Captain Fitzburgh Whitfield sought for many years to have the memory of King honored by his fellow Sampsonians and Clintonians.
[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 https://aahc.nc.gov/programs/africa-carolina-0. To read more about slavery and its history in North Carolina, visit https://www.ncpedia.org/slavery. - Government and Heritage Library, 2023.]
The monument is located in front of the Sampson County Courthouse centered in front of the two stairways leading into the courthouse. The bust faces northwest towards Vance Street.
The monument is surrounded by foliage as well as the stone, brick, and metal of the stairways nearby.