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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Plymouth in Plymouth County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
 

The National Monument to the Forefathers

 
 
The National Monument to the Forefathers Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bryan Simmons, March 22, 2012
1. The National Monument to the Forefathers Marker
Inscription.  The National Monument to the Forefathers was added to the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service, the Department of the Interior in September 1974. The monument, designed by Hammet Billings of Boston, was erected by the the Pilgrim Society in 1889. It processes exceptional value in commemorating and illustrating the history of the United States
 
Erected 1974 by National Park Service.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical month for this entry is September 1974.
 
Location. 41° 57.608′ N, 70° 40.551′ W. Marker is in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in Plymouth County. Marker is on Allerton Street, on the left when traveling north. It is set off the road a little bit but the statue is over 80 feet tall so impossible to miss. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Manomet MA 02345, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Old Powder House (approx. half a mile away); Powder House (approx. half a mile away); Mr. Thomas Clarke (approx. 0.6 miles away); Major William Bradford (approx.
The National Monument to the Forefathers Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bryan Simmons, March 22, 2012
2. The National Monument to the Forefathers Marker
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0.6 miles away); James Warren (approx. 0.6 miles away); Robert Cushman (approx. 0.6 miles away); First Fort (approx. 0.6 miles away); Tercentenary Cannons (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Plymouth.
 
Regarding The National Monument to the Forefathers. (From Wikipedia)
Located on Allerton Street in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the 81-foot-tall (25 m) monument was commissioned by the Pilgrim Society. The original concept dates to around 1820, with actual planning beginning in 1850. The cornerstone was laid August 2, 1859 by the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts, under the direction of Grand Master John T. Heard. The monument was completed in October 1888, and was dedicated with appropriate ceremonies on August 1, 1889.

Hammatt Billings, Boston architect, illustrator and sculptor, originally conceived the monument as a 150-foot-tall (46 m) structure comparable to the Colossus of Rhodes. Shortly before his death in 1874, Billings reduced the size of the monument, which was to be made entirely of granite. The project was then passed to Billings' brother Joseph who, along with other sculptors including Alexander Doyle,
The National Monument to the Forefathers Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bryan Simmons, March 22, 2012
3. The National Monument to the Forefathers Marker
Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by His hand that made all things of nothing and gives being to all things that are; and as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many, yea in some sort to our whole nation; let the glorious name of Jehovah have all praise. Governor William Bradford
Carl Conrads, and James Mahoney, reworked the design, although the basic components remained. The monument, which faces northeast to Plymouth Harbor (and, roughly, towards Plymouth, England), sits in the center of a circular drive, which is accessed from Allerton Street from the east. The plan of the principal pedestal is octagonal, with four small, and four large faces; from the small faces project four butresses. On the main pedestal stands the heroic figure of "Faith" with her right hand pointing toward heaven and her left hand clutching the Bible. Upon the four buttresses also are seated figures emblematical of the principles upon which the Pilgrims founded their Commonwealth, each having a symbol referring to the Bible that "Faith" possesses; counter-clockwise from the east are Freedom, Morality, Law and Education. Each was carved from a solid block of granite, posed in the sitting position upon chairs with a high relief on either side of minor characteristics. Under "Liberty" stand "Tyranny Overthrown" and "Peace;" under "Morality" stand "Prophet" and "Evangelist;" under "Law" stand "Justice" and "Mercy;" and under "Education" are "Youth" and "Wisdom." On the face of the buttresses, beneath these figures are high reliefs in marble, representing scenes from Pilgrim history. Under "Freedom" is "Landing;" under "Morality" is "Embarcation;" under "Law" is "Treaty;" and under
The National Monument to the Forefathers Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bryan Simmons, March 22, 2012
4. The National Monument to the Forefathers Marker
National Monument to the Forefathers. Erected by a grateful people in remembrance of their labors, sacrifices and sufferings for the cause of civil and religious liberty
"Education" is "Compact." Upon the four faces of the main pedestal are large panels for records. The front panel is inscribed as follows: "National Monument to the Forefathers. Erected by a grateful people in remembrance of their labors, sacrifices and sufferings for the cause of civil and religious liberty." The right and left panels contain the names of those who came over in the Mayflower. The rear panel, which was not engraved until recently, contains a quote from Governor William Bradford's famous history, Of Plymouth Plantation:

"Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by His hand that made all things of nothing and gives being to all things that are; and as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many, yea in some sort to our whole nation; let the glorious name of Jehovah have all praise."
The overall scheme was designed by architect Hammatt Billings, with subsidiary statues executed by area sculptors including William Rimmer, Alexander Doyle and others.
 
The National Monument to the Forefathers Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bryan Simmons, March 22, 2012
5. The National Monument to the Forefathers Marker
Morality image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bryan Simmons, March 22, 2012
6. Morality
Education image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bryan Simmons, March 22, 2012
7. Education
Law image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bryan Simmons, March 22, 2012
8. Law
Passengers of the Mayflower image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bryan Simmons, March 22, 2012
9. Passengers of the Mayflower
The National Monument to the Forefathers Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bryan Simmons, March 22, 2012
10. The National Monument to the Forefathers Marker
Signing of the Mayflower Compact image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bryan Simmons, March 22, 2012
11. Signing of the Mayflower Compact
Mercy/Youth image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bryan Simmons, March 22, 2012
12. Mercy/Youth
Tyranny Overthrown image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bryan Simmons, March 22, 2012
13. Tyranny Overthrown
Liberty image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bryan Simmons, March 22, 2012
14. Liberty
Liberty the Warrior with the marble plaque of the pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock
Faith image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bryan Simmons, March 22, 2012
15. Faith
Faith, standing 36 feet tall on the Plymouth Rock while holding the Bible. The statue took a full year to carve.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 2, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 6, 2012, by Bryan Simmons of Attleboro, Massachusetts. This page has been viewed 2,734 times since then and 181 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. submitted on June 6, 2012, by Bryan Simmons of Attleboro, Massachusetts. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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May. 26, 2022