Restricted Sacajawea, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark Sculpture Charlottesville, Virginia

Jan 28, 2021
Their First View of the Pacific

Sacajawea, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark Sculpture

Charlottesville, Virginia

By Norman Dasinger, Jr​

Once located in Midway Park, a prominent historic and geographic position in Charlottesville that predates the settlement of the town, the figures of Lewis, Clark and Sacajawea were sculpted by Charles Keek and were positioned to face west on a pedestal made of Balfour pink granite. Their arrangement was considered historically accurate per Armistead Gordon, the historian who spoke at the monument’s unveiling. “She [Sacajawea] was the expedition’s dauntless guide across the Rockies, the pathfinder,” he told the crowd in 1919. The bronze statues were eight feet four inches tall with ‘lovely proportions and beautiful details’ conveying the general ‘themes of exploration, national purpose and the conquest of the wilderness of North America.’

The monument was removed July 10, 2021.

The New York Post in an article by Mary Linge wrote, “In an emergency [Zoom] meeting called with 20 minutes notice, the Charlottesville City Council voted unanimously to cancel another piece of public art . . . within minutes, a city work crew . . . arrived with ropes, a crane and pry bars to wrench the artwork off the plinth where it had stood on Charlottesville’s West Main since 1919. “

In a Charlottesville Tomorrow article dated July 10, 2021 by Charlotte Woods, Rose Abrahamson – a descendent of Sacagawea- was quoted as saying, “In my personal opinion, I feel it [the monument] should be melted down.” She continued, “The statue was erected in 1919. We all know it was during a time period of intolerance, misinformation and discrimination. This was around the same time that Charlottesville’s Confederate monuments were put up by the same benefactor, Paul Goodloe McIntire. “

McIntire was born in Charlottesville in 1860. As an adult, he moved to Chicago and became a coffee trader. By 1901, he was in New York and his company was part of the NY Stock Exchange. He was a generous philanthropist. He is best remembered for his $200,000 gift establishing the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia. He also was the first donor to endow a Fine Arts chair at the University of Virginia. He wrote that he hoped, “the University will see its way clear to offer many lectures upon the subject of art and music so that the people will appreciate more than ever before that the University belongs to them.” The McIntire Department of Music and the McIntire Department of Art were subsequently named in recognition of his gift. He donated the funds to construct the McIntire Amphitheatre at the University of Virginia and donated $50,000 for the University Hospital, $100,000 for psychiatry research, $100,000 for cancer research, a gift of a rare books collection to the University Library and over 500 works of art to the University of Virginia Art Museum. McIntire died in 1952.
Sep 17, 2011
This one has been in semi local news, St Charles Mo is trying to get it, as it considers itself a starting and ending point together with St Louis for the expedition.

It mentioned some find it somehow objectionable as Sacagawea is protrayed kneeling pointing the way west. Objection seemed bit absurd to me. Hope they get it, be a nice addition to the city, and actually on a stop for Lewis and Clark buffs.
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