Archive for Indiana
“Clan MacNeil Connections and Hermon Atkins MacNeil”
The current issue of the Clan MacNeil Association of America magazine has a feature story on Hermon Atkins MacNeil by webmaster, Dan Leininger
The Galley edited by Vicki Sanders Corporon titles Dan’s story as “Clan MacNeil Connections and Hermon Atkins MacNeil.” The feature and photos fill 8 pages in the “Galley” issue for Spring/Summer 2014.
The featured photos include the East Pediment of the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C. (with a detail close-up of Moses, Confucius, and Salon); The George Rogers Clark monument in Vincennes, IN at the site of his victory over the British in 1779; Confederate Defenders of Charleston, SC; the Young Lawyer Abraham Lincoln in Champaign, IL; General George Washington on the Washington Arch, NYC, NY. Also in this article are photos of the grouping Coming of the White Man in Portland, OR; The WWI Angel of Peace Monument in Flushing NY; and a bust of Dwight L. Moody (who MacNeil sketched during the 1893 Chicago Worlds Fair.
Hermon MacNeil was the first president of the Clan MacNeil Association of America. This summer, the Galley will contain a feature article about him, written by Dan Leininger, webmaster of this website — HermonAtkinsMacNeil.com.
The previous posting of February 8, 2013, entitled, “MacNeil Kinsman ~ Hermon Atkins MacNeil and Robert Lister MacNeil,” tells part of the story of these two men.
Vicki Sanders Corporon, editor of the Galley, has accepted the article and accompanying photos that tell more of the story. She said in recent correspondence:
“Thanks for sending such excellent photos of Hermon’s sculptures. I know their inclusion, along with your article, will be the highlight of the upcoming issue! He really was one of America’s finest sculptors … how important is your mission to make sure he is fully appreciated!”
Sculpture photos of the Supreme Court (East Pediment); George Washington from the Washington Arch in NYC; Abraham Lincoln from University of Illinois; Ezra Cornell at Ithaca; Confederate Defenders Monument (1932) Charleston harbor, SC; and George Rogers Clark at Vincennes will illustrate the story.
On May 26, 1921, the Clan MacNeil Association of America was organized in New York City. Central to that moment were Robert Lister MacNeil, (The MacNeil of Barra – 45th Chief of the Clan), and Hermon Atkins MacNeil, the clan’s first president.
Stay tuned for more as the publication is released.
George Rogers Clark is in Vincennes, Indiana. Hermon MacNeil’s sculpture of this American Revolutionary hero stands 7 1/2 feet tall.
For over 75 years, this larger-than-life bronze celebrates the ‘Conquest of the West.’ Inside the refurbished rotunda, the proud patriot stands braced on his drawn sword with a face filled with accomplishment. Commissioned by Patrick Henry in the Virginia Militia, George Rogers Clark, a brilliant young military strategist, conceived and accomplished a near impossible mission that won the West to the Mississippi River for the 13 United States in 1779.
(For more on the story of Fort Sackville and Clark’s dedicated militia men SEE below: )
For more on this National Monument see: http://www.nps.gov/gero/index.htm
In May 2012 Donna and I travelled across Illinois on the George Rogers Clark Memorial Highway (U.S. 50), leading to the National Monument in Vincennes. These are a few of our images of this amazing monument to this “unsung hero of the American Revolution.”
Daniel P. Murphy, Ph.D., in a piece entitled, “George Rogers Clark and the West” tells the story this way: (http://www.netplaces.com/american-revolution/the-war-on-the-frontier/george-rogers-clark-and-the-west.htm)
Clark responded to the loss of Vincennes with his usual vigor. He gathered a force of 172 men, half of them French volunteers. On February 6, 1779, Clark started his men on their 180-mile march. At first the journey was a pleasant hike. The men were able to hunt fresh game to eat, and spirits were high.
On February 13, Clark’s little army was only twenty miles from Vincennes when they began to feel the full force of the floods. It took two days to get across the Little Wabash River. Game animals disappeared and the men went hungry. They were now slogging through water that was sometimes up to their shoulders. Every mile forward came at the price of almost unbearable exertion. Only Clark’s indomitable will kept his men going. He placed a party in the rear with orders to shoot any man who would not press on. Men who physically collapsed were dragged along in canoes.
Clark finally reached the vicinity of Vincennes on February 23. While his men tried to dry their clothes and ate broth made from some buffalo meat seized from an Indian woman, Clark sent word to the people of Vincennes that he was going to take the town that night. Clark intended to rely on bluff. His men were out of ammunition, and he learned that Hamilton had just been reinforced by 200 Indians. True to his word, Clark marched on the town, ordering parties of his men to parade up and down to create the illusion that he had a larger force than he actually did. The townspeople replenished Clark’s ammunition, and Hamilton’s Indians deserted him.
Clark immediately besieged the fort, pushing to within thirty feet of the wall. Clark’s riflemen picked off Hamilton’s gunners when they tried to fire artillery from the walls. Clark called for unconditional surrender and threatened to storm the place otherwise. To illustrate the consequences, he had five Indians who had been captured with American scalps tied to their belts tomahawked within view of the fort. Hamilton surrendered with seventynine men. Another forty bringing in supplies were captured soon after.
George Rogers Clark had achieved much with very little. He had rolled back British power in the region and helped his countrymen establish a solid foothold in the Ohio River Valley. Clark held the Illinois Country for the rest of the war, although he was never able to fulfill his ambition to attack Detroit. Men and supplies were always in too short supply. The British continued to sponsor Indian attacks that terrorized American settlements in the Ohio Valley. SOURCE: Daniel P. Murphy, Ph.D., in a piece entitled, “George Rogers Clark and the West” ; ( http://www.netplaces.com/american-revolution/the-war-on-the-frontier/george-rogers-clark-and-the-west.htm )
Here are a few images of Independence from Hermon Atkins MacNeil for this 237th Fourth of July Day in the United States of America.
1) From Vincennes, Indiana at the George Rogers Clark National Monument, Here is a hero of the American Revolution:
On a recent visit to the monument, the National Park Ranger commented on the pride and confidence that Hermon MacNeil placed in his rendering of Clark’s gaze and pose for this sculpture. Clark, a Virginia Militia officer, won the approval and support of Patrick Henry, Governor of Virginia, to conduct a daring attack on the British in the Western frontiers. Clark crafted, trained, and commanded a special force of two hundred frontiersman, militia, and Kentucky sharpshooters. Their loyalty to the cause and Clark’s strategy of surprise resulted in capture of the British fortifications on the Western frontiers along the Mississippi, Ohio and Wabash Rivers at Vincennes, IN; Cahokia, IL; Kaskaskia, IL Enduring severe winter hardships, starvation, and sickness their monumental military achievement resulted in British withdrawal from the West and the surrender of territories east of the Mississippi in the Treaty of Paris in 1783. These are due in part to Clark’s Victories. He was the oldest of a family of famous brothers. In 1804 his brother William Clark, along with Meriwether Lewis, would explore the Louisiana Purchase west of the Mississippi for President Jefferson.
2. From New York City, Washington Square Arch. ~ “George Washington, Commander in Chief” by Hermon A. MacNeil.
In 1916 the northeast statue pedestal received its Washington statue after being empty for over 20 years.
The other shelf of the Arch remained empty until 1918 when Alexander Stirling Calder’s “Washington as President” was installed. The installation on the right is a bit confusing. This photo was salvaged from a NYC flea market in June 2012 by John Gomez and used with his permission. John purchased this and other photos of interest to this MacNeil researcher and has graciously allowed their use by webmaster. This ‘strange’ photo shows the MacNeil statue resting on the right-hand side of the Arch where the Calder statue would be placed two years later. (The ladder, rope and pulleys suggest “Men at Work.” Compare the 2012 photo to its left.)
For MacNeil this event took place the same year as the first issue of his sculpture for the U.S. Mint’s “Standing Liberty Quarter.”
For more on the Washington Arch: CLICK HERE
3. From Philadelphia, PA. “The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Monument.” Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
The second half of the American Revolution (the preservation of the Union) is commemorated in this pair of 60 foot monuments on either side of the parkway entrance.
The back of the monuments read:
~~ “ONE COUNTRY, ONE CONSTITUTION, ONE DESTINY” ~~
~~ “IN GIVING FREEDOM TO THE SLAVE,
WE ASSURE FREEDOM TO THE FREE.” ~~
HEAR & VIEW PHILADELPHIA’S PRIDE IN THIS MACNEIL ART AT:
CLICK HERE and THEN run video by VIMEO.COM
FOR MORE INFO ON THESE MacNeil works see:
Today June 14th, 75 years ago, MacNeil’s statue of George Rogers Clark was dedicated by President Roosevelt:
Timeline of the Monument:
- 1928 – May 23 — President Calvin Coolidge signs bill establishing the George Rogers Clark Sesquicentennial Commission.
- 1930 – February 14 — Frederick C. Hirons is selected as architect of the memorial.
- October 2 — Commission selects Erza Winter to paint the memorial murals.
- December 1 — Hermon MacNeil is selected to sculpt statuary.
- 1933 – May 26 — Contractor W R. Heath informs George Rogers Clark Sesquicentennial Commission that memorial is complete.
- 1934 – April — Heath Construction Company arranges to have workers make first in a series of repairs of structure to try and stop leakage.
- 1936 – June 14 — President Franklin D. Roosevelt participates in dedication of George Rogers Clark Memorial.
President and Mrs. Franklin Delano Roosevelt En route to the dedication of the George Rogers Clark Memorial in Vincennes, IN, on June 14, 1936 (Knecht 4878)
- Click to view enlarged image.
- [Photo Credit: Willard Library at http://www.willard.lib.in.us/online_resources/photography_gallery_detail.php?ID=22 ]
- Enansville (IN) Courier & Press article : http://www.courierpress.com/news/2009/may/25/vincennes-memorials-restoration-is-75-years-in/
The Clark Memorial is more than 80 feet high and is 90 feet across at the base. The walls are two feet thick. The exterior is composed of granite from Vermont, Minnesota, and Alabama. Towering over the entrance is an eagle with outspread wings. Above the 16 Doric columns is an inscription which reads: “The Conquest of the West – George Rogers Clark and The Frontiersmen of the American Revolution.”
Inside the rotunda are seven murals, each created on a single piece of Belgium linen 16 feet by 28 feet. They were painted by Ezra Winter during a period of approximately two and a half years. Hermon Atkins MacNeil, designer of the Standing Liberty quarter, sculptured the bronze statue of Clark. Three of Clark’s quotations are inscribed in the memorial: “Great things have been effected by a few men well conducted;” “Our cause is just . . . our country will be grateful;” and “If a country is not worth protecting it is not worth claiming.” There are Roman numerals at three locations. Left of the steps are the numerals, 1931, the year construction of the memorial began.
Above the memorial’s entrance door are the Roman numerals for the years, 1779 and 1933. In 1779, Clark captured Fort Sackville from the British and in 1933, the memorial was completed. Clark’s birth and death years of 1752 and 1818 encircle the statue’s base. [ from: http://www.stateparks.com/george_rogers_clark.html ]
It is highly fitting that the nation honors the great individuals and deeds of the past. Certain things do not change. The virtues that Clark and his men exhibited transcend an era. A memorial such as this serves as a reminder that courage, fortitude, and valor do not go out of style. The truly great heroes of history age well and provide guidance for the future.
This glistening bronze of Colonel George Rogers Clark after a sculpture by Hermon Atkins McNeil stands in the rotunda of the National Memorial in Vincennes, Indiana to his frontier vistory over the British in 1779 during the American revolution.
For more on the monument check out the National Park Service link below:
1. More story and photos at:
2. And Videos On Construction and Reconstruction
3. Reinactment Videos:
4. Wabash River Flooding at Clark Monument:
5. Rededication Ceremony 2009: