Yorktown in York County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
— Colonial National Historical Park —
“Resolved, That … Congress … will cause to be erected at York, in Virginia, a marble column, adorned with emblems of the alliance between the United States and his Most Christian Majesty; and inscribed with a succinct narrative of the surrender of Earl Cornwallis to his excellency General George Washington … to his excellency the Count de Rochambeau … and his excellency the Count de Grasse ….” Journals of Congress, October 29, 1781
Just 10 days after the victory at Yorktown, the Continental Congress directed a monument be built to commemorate the siege and the American-French alliance. However, funds were not legislated for its construction until 1880, as the continental anniversary of the battle approached.
A congressional committee of legislators from the original 13 colonies delegated oversight of the project to the Secretary of War, who in turn, chose architects, Richard M. Hunt and Henry Van Brunt, and sculptor John Quincy Adams Ward to design the new monument. The country’s spirit of reconciliation in the aftermath of the Civil War affected the design, as evidenced by the
On October 18, 1881, the cornerstone for the monument was dedicated during events commemorating the 100th anniversary of the siege.
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Topics. This historical marker and monument is listed in these topic lists: Notable Events • War, US Revolutionary. A significant historical date for this entry is October 29, 1864.
Location. 37° 13.972′ N, 76° 30.3′ W. Marker is in Yorktown, Virginia, in York County. Marker is on Main Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Yorktown VA 23690, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Yorktown (within shouting distance of this marker); Ratification of the Treaty of Paris (within shouting distance of this marker); Yorktown Campaign Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Yorktown Victory Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Bicentennial of the Treaties of Paris and Versailles (within shouting distance of this marker); Monument to the Alliance and Victory (within shouting distance of this marker); French American Revolutionary War Memorial (within In Memory of the Men of the French Fleet (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Yorktown.
More about this monument. The marker contains several photographs. The largest is of the Yorktown Centennial Ceremonies and has the caption, “President Chester Arthur was present for the cornerstone laying ceremony. The monument was completed three years later in 1884.”
The right of the marker contains two photos, one of the monument with a headless Statue of Liberty on the top, and the other of the statue’s head. These have the caption, “On the night of July 29, 1942, lightning decapitated the Statue of Liberty and destroyed her arms. The damaged statue was replaced with a redesigned statue 15 years later.”
Also see . . .
1. Yorktown Battlefield, Yorktown Victory Monument. National Park Service. (Submitted on August 23, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.)
2. The Battle of Yorktown 1781. A British perspective of the Battle of Yorktown from BritishBattles.com. (Submitted on August 23, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.)
Credits. This page was last revised on March 1, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 23, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,184 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on March 1, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 23, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.