The Robert Gould Shaw Memorial is an important part of Boston’s Freedom trail and an essential part of abolitionist history. If you have seen Denzel, Morgan, and Mathew in Glory, than you are familiar with the story of Massachusetts 54th Regiment. In light of the passing of January 6, it seemed apt to post an example and celebration of real patriots.
The recruitment and mobilization of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, the second African-American regiment in US history was authorized by the Emancipation Proclamation (1863).
Led by Col. Robert Gould Shaw, the 54th was the result of efforts of both black and white abolitionists, including Frederick Douglas, Wendell Phillips, Massachusetts Governor, John A. Andew, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and many more.
The sculptor, Augustus Saint-Gaudens took nearly 14 years to complete the bas-relief. Though not as controversial as some monuments, there has been discussion about the juxtapostion of Shaw (a white man) and his troops in this piece.