'Seated Lincoln', Newark's Memorial Day Treasure

May 29, 2017

Newark historian Guy Sterling and 'Seated Lincoln'
Credit Ken Downey Jr. / WBGO

When Newark manufacturer Amos Van Horn died in 1908, his will ordered to set aside part of his fortune for erecting three sculptures in Newark.  One of those, the iconic 'Seated Lincoln'.

"This statue was the dream of Amos Van Horn, who owned a store right down the street on Market Steet where the statue stands," said city historian Guy Sterling.

The Seated Lincoln was dedicated on Memorial Day 1911. John Taliaferro, author of Great White Fathers: The Story of the Obsessive Quest to Create Mount Rushmore, says the Seated Lincoln may not have been possible without the support of President Theodore Roosevelt.  

"There was Lincoln, the greatest of American presidents, Theodore Roosevelt, the next great American president, and there was Gutzon Borglum who brought them together," Taliaferro said. 

They would end up together again on Mount Rushmore years later, but on Memorial Day, their spirits live in downtown Newark.  

"What the Eiffel Tower is to Paris, the Lincoln staute us to Newark.  I hope that is sits here for hundreds of years more and families come, kids come, they play on it and touch it, and enjoy it.  It's a great treasure for Newark, the state of New Jersey, and really a treasure for America as well."

The statue is situated in it's original location in front of the Essex County courthouse.