Landmark of the Month (March): The Lincoln Memorial (Part III)

The giant sculpture of Lincoln was carved by Daniel Chester
French, an American sculptor who found his greatest fame with his statue of Lincoln. In the years since he carved Lincoln, a bit of controversy
has arisen over the statue.
Daniel Chester French (1850-1931 ). Obviously, I didn't take this photo.

There is a popular legend (urban myth) in America that claims
that Abraham Lincoln is shown using sign language to represent his
initials, with his left hand shaped to form an "A" and his right hand to
form an "L".

The National Park Service flatly denies both stories. Classical artists
and French historians also claim that this is not true, but consider
these facts:

Daniel Chester French was born deaf at birth. He developed the
ability to read lips later in life, but he was profoundly and
permanently deaf.

In 1889, French created a statue of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and
his first pupil, Alice Cogswell. The manual letter "A" is the whole
point and focus of the statue. This statue portrays Gallaudet teaching
Alice the first letter of the manual alphabet; it's the moment in which
she begins her education. It also led to the creation of Gallaudet

French's 1898 statue of Thomas Galluadet and Alice Cosgrove.

Gallaudet University is a federally chartered,
quasi-governmental university for the education of the deaf and
hard-of-hearing, located in Washington, D.C. It was the first school for
the advanced education of the deaf and hard-of-hearing in the world, and
is still the world's only university i
n which all programs and services
are specifically designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing

Now for the Big Question? Guess who signed the federal
legislation that created Gallaudet University in 1864? If you guessed
Abraham Lincoln, proceed to the head of the class. Daniel French had
often expressed his gratitude that Lincoln had signed the legislation to
promote deaf education.

It's also interesting to note that this was not the first
sculpture French had done with a deaf connection. In 1881, President
James A. Garfield (a good friend and supporter of the "National
Deaf-Mute College", first as a Congressman and then as President) had
been assassinated. The College commissioned a marble memorial bust of
Garfield and a young, not-yet-famous sculptor, Daniel Chester French,
was selected to execute it. The Garfield bust is on display at Gallaudet

It's not exactly a conspiracy theory, but I'd say there are too
many coincidences for this to be an accident.

Next time you are at the Lincoln Memorial, check it out for


gwadzilla said...

I have always believed that the hands of Lincoln were intentionally in those positions for the said reasons

who can deny that?

the NPS is sleeping on the job

Anonymous said...

Daniel Chester French was not deaf and did not have a deaf son.