Matt Whitaker Ransom, State Capitol, Raleigh
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.
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
North Carolina Historical Commission
January 11, 1911
35.780350 , -78.639100 View in Geobrowse
"Bust of Senator Ransom Unveiled and Presented," News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), January 12, 1911, 1
"Visit the North Carolina State Capitol," North Carolina Historic Sites, https://historicsites.nc.gov, (accessed November 9, 2019) Link
Bishir, Catherine W. "State Capitol Memorials," from “Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina”, http://docsouth.unc.edu/commland/, (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
Hon. R.W. Winston (Raleigh Bar); North Carolina Historical Commission.
Between $900.00 and $1,000.00.
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.
[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 bust is located in the southeast part of the rotunda inside the State Capitol on the first floor of the building.
The bust sits in a niche inside the rotunda. The interior of the rotunda houses other State Capitol memorials including statuary, paintings, and plaques commemorating significant events and individuals in North Carolina's history. A 1970 copy of Antonio Canova's original statue of George Washington stands in the center.
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.