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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Springfield in Sangamon County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Acts of Intolerance

A Commemorative Sculpture

 
 
Acts of Intolerance Sculpture image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, June 16, 2011
1. Acts of Intolerance Sculpture
Inscription. Two charred chimneys rising from the smoldering rubble of burned-out buildings---these stark images from an old photograph were the inspiration for this unique sculpture by acclaimed artist Preston Jackson. The sculpture commemorates the centennial of the brutal Springfield Race Riot of 1908.

During two sweltering August days, an angry white mob attacked black residents, looting and burning many of their homes and businesses upon learning that two black men---one accused of raping a white woman and the other of killing a white man---had been secretly transported out of town by the sheriff for their protection. In protest, white rioters lynched two innocent black men, murdered five other citizens, and injured many more before state troops arrived to quell the violence. Following the riot, the white woman, Mabel Hallam, admitted that she had been involved in an affair with a white lover and had lied about being assaulted by George Richardson, the accused black man. The other black prisoner, 17-year-old Joe James, was eventually convicted by a jury for murder and executed.

News of the vicious race riot in Abraham Lincoln's hometown, which occurred only blocks from the Lincoln homestead, shook the nation and became the catalyst for the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in New York City

Acts of Intolerance Sculpture image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, June 16, 2011
2. Acts of Intolerance Sculpture
in 1909 on Lincoln's birthday.
The numerous relief images on the surface of the chimney columns depict scenes that suggest themes of intolerance and others that suggest themes of redemption. "Confronting our past strightforwardly is the only way we can learn to develop our future together," said sculptor Preston Jackson. "The imagery leaves the viewer to contemplate their meaning and the long-term effects on how we stand socially today and will stand tomorrow."
Historical markers placed along the mob's pathway of destruction throughout downtown Springfield provide a fuller telling of the tragic race riot story.

Dedicated: August 6, 2009
Pat Quinn, Governor State of Illinois
Timothy J. Davlin, Mayor City of Springfield
R. Beverly Peters, Chairwoman Mayor's 1908 Race Riot Commemoration Commission
Archie Lawrence, President NAACP Springfield Branch
Kenneth L. Page, Immediate Past President NAACP Springfield Branch
Preston Jackson, Artist
 
Location. 39° 48.209′ N, 89° 38.881′ W. Marker is in Springfield, Illinois, in Sangamon County. Marker is on N. 6th Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Springfield IL 62701, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The History of Union Station (within shouting distance of this marker);

Acts of Intolerance Sculpture Detail image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, June 16, 2011
3. Acts of Intolerance Sculpture Detail
Surveyor Presidents (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Stuart and Lincoln Law Office (about 600 feet away); The Wedding of the Rose and the Lotus (about 600 feet away); Streetscape 1859 (about 700 feet away); Lincoln's Last Law Office (approx. 0.2 miles away); Joshua Speed's Store (approx. 0.2 miles away); Brunwick's Billiard Hall (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Springfield.
 
Also see . . .
1. Preston Jackson Biography - The History Makers. (Submitted on October 27, 2011, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.)
2. History of the NAACP. (Submitted on October 27, 2011, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.)
3. The Springfield Race Riot of 1908. (Submitted on October 27, 2011, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.)
 
Categories. African AmericansCivil RightsNotable Events
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 522 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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