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Grand Army Plaza

General Henry Warner Slocum map_it

History

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

This bronze statue of General Henry Warner Slocum (1827–1894) depicts the Civil War hero atop his horse with a raised saber in his right hand. The monument, unveiled on Memorial Day 1905, is located in Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza at the top of a small hill at Plaza Street East.

President Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919) was the keynote speaker at the monument’s unveiling. Sculptor Frederick W. MacMonnies (1863–1937) worked with eminent architect Stanford White (1853–1906) on the piece, which was originally located on Eastern Parkway at Bedford Avenue, and moved to its present location in the late 1920s. Architect White’s pedestal is adorned with a relief eagle on front and four medallions, two on each side.

Henry Warner Slocum was born in Delphi, New York in 1827. A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, he was subsequently trained as a lawyer and admitted to the Bar in 1858. In 1859 he became a member of the New York State Assembly and served in 1860 as treasurer of Onondaga County in upstate New York. When the Civil War began, Slocum volunteered but was severely wounded at the battle of Bull Run (1861); Slocum returned to action later that year, rising to the rank of General. He commanded the extreme right line of the Union Army at Gettysburg and was one of the first Union soldiers to enter Atlanta in September 1864.

After the war, Slocum returned to upstate New York and was nominated as the Democratic candidate for Secretary of State of New York, but lost the election. In 1866 he moved to Brooklyn and was elected to U.S. Congress in 1868 and 1870. Slocum served as Commissioner of Public Works in Brooklyn before returning to Congress in 1882.

The sculptor MacMonnies is well represented in the City’s parks, with more than a dozen pieces exhibited. His contributions are particularly noticeable in Grand Army Plaza and Prospect Park. MacMonnies’s Horse Tamers (1899), the Army and Navy groups (1901 and 1902) and Quadriga (1901) on the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Arch and Four Eagles (1898), and the bronze depiction of James S.T. Stranhan (1891), the father of Prospect Park, are major features of the adjoining sites. He worked with architect Stanford White on all of these pieces, and collaborated with him on Nathan Hale (1890) as well, which can be seen in Manhattan’s City Hall Park. Civic Virtue (1922), perhaps MacMonnies’s most controversial work, is located beside Queens Borough Hall. Depicting a scantily clad man standing on two nymphs, Civic Virtue stood in front of City Hall until Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia had it banished to Queens because he felt it too obscene.

In 1989 the monument was conserved through the Adopt-A-Monument Program, a joint venture of the Municipal Art Society, Parks and the New York City Art Commission.

General Henry Warner Slocum Details

  • Sculptor: Frederick William MacMonnies
  • Architect: Stanford White
  • Description: Equestrian figure on pedestal embellished with relief eagle on front, four medallions (two on each side)
  • Materials: Figure, eagle, and medallions--bronze; pedestal--pink Milford granite with steps of Milford granite alternating with Green's Landing granite
  • Dimensions: Statue H: 17' W: 4'8¾" D: 12'7¾"; Pedestal H: 11'10¾" W: 10'5¾" D: 18'4"
  • Cast: ca. 1905
  • Dedicated: May 30, 1905
  • Foundry: E. Gruet
  • Donor: Brooklyn City Legislature

Please note, the NAME field includes a primary designation as well as alternate namings often in common or popular usage. The DEDICATED field refers to the most recent dedication, most often, but not necessarily the original dedication date. If the monument did not have a formal dedication, the year listed reflects the date of installation.

For more information, please contact Art & Antiquities at (212) 360-8143

Directions to Grand Army Plaza

  • Grand Army Plaza Newstand
  • Arch in Grand Army Plaza
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