Edmonson Sisters Memorial Statue

  • Edmonson-Sisters-Memorial-Statue-WWP

Place Category: Memorial & StatuePlace Tags: Places in WDC and WDC Metro Area Places

  • Description

    The Edmonson Sisters Memorial Statue is commemorating the unique story of Mary and Emily Edmonson. The sisters, daughters of a free black man and an enslaved woman, were born into slavery and worked as servants in Washington, DC. On the night of April 15th, 1848, the sisters, along with 4 of their brothers and 71 other slaves, tried to escape to their freedom. They planned to sail on the Potomac River to the Chesapeake Bay to the Delaware River to New Jersey, where slavery was illegal. But the ship, “The Pearl,” was caught at Maryland and towed back to DC.
    The Edmonson sisters, who were 13 and 15 at that time, were sold to a slave trader in Alexandria. Because of their escaping attempt, it was hard to find buyers who would take the risk of purchasing them, and until then, they were held in a slave jail. Their father and their older brother, both free men, worked tirelessly to free them, and with the help of preacher Henry Ward Beecher and his church members, they raised enough funds – a sum of $2,250 – to buy the sisters and free them. On November 4th, 1848, the Edmonson sisters were emancipated. Beecher’s congregation continued to support the sisters and contributed money to send them to school and get an education.
    The 10-foot-tall bronze statue, created by Erik Blome and dedicated on June 25th, 2010, in Duke St., Alexandria, VA, depicts Mary and Emily Edmonson holding hands while emerging from the shadow of slavery. The sisters, who became an icon in the abolitionist movement, are looking towards the African American Heritage Park, while the statue itself is standing next to the site that once was the slave-holding facility that the sisters were held in. A nearby plaque is describing their story, which was also included in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s book A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

    Slave Descendants Remember Escape on the Pearl - CBN.com

    On April 15, 1848, about 70 slaves made their way down the dark streets of the nation's capital trying to escape to freedom... The Christian Broadcasting Network CBN http://www.cbn.com
  • More Info
    Address: 1701 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

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  • Photo credit - WWP team