Over the course of three years, historian Kathryn Grover examined African Americans’ involvement in the Shaw/54th Regiment Memorial’s creation, reactions to its completion, and feelings about this unique Civil War memorial over time. The extensive Special History Study spans from accounts of Black military service during the Revolutionary War to the memorial’s role in recent racial justice protests. Her research describes advocates for the memorial’s creation like Black businessperson, Joshua Bowen Smith, and demonstrates the pride, sacrifice, and inspiration Civil War veterans found in the sculpture.
This scholarship centers Black perspectives and supports the park’s responsibility to share more inclusive histories with visitors, students, and community members. Stayed tuned for additional programs that strive to broaden the stories and lives that converge at Saint-Gaudens NHP and feel free to reach out directly with questions or comments.