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James Edward Kelly (1855 - 1933 )


The Monmouth Battle Monument was unveiled in Freehold, New Jersey on November 13, 1884. The designs for the monument were created by the architects Emlin T. Littell and Douglas Smythe and the sculptor James Edward Kelly. The monument is located in a small triangular park at the junction of Court and Monument Streets in Freehold.

The base of the monument base is composed of three massive spurs of Quincy granite, surmounted by a large drum-shaped block; decorating the drum are five bronze tablets, each five feet high and six feet wide, depicting battle scenes. The originals for the bronze tablets were created by the sculptor James Edward Kelly, who was not responsible for the statue at the top.

Above this is a smaller drum with a ring of bronze shields bearing the coats of arms of the thirteen original colonies. In its center is the shaft, composed of Concord granite cut in three sections of eleven feet each, joined together by rings of bay leaves cut into the granite.

(EH, Fall 2003)



Monmouth Battle Monument


Monmouth Battle Monument, 1884, bronze and granite, 100 feet tall, Freehold (Monmouth County).

Detail of drum, Monmouth Battle Monument, bronze and granite.

Council of War at Hopewell (bronze relief), Monmouth Battle Monument.

The bronze relief tablets designed by James Edward Kelly were cast at the National Fine Arts Foundry in New York City. They represent with graphic precision five scenes in the Revolutionary War battle at Monmouth: Colonel Nathaniel Ramsey Defending His Guns, General George Washington Rallying the Troops, Molly Pitcher, the Council of War at Hopewell, and "Mad" Anthony Wayne's Charge.

On top of the shaft is a capital with flying eagles, and on the capital once stood a large granite statue titled Columbia Triumphant. The statue was carved in Quincy, Massachusetts from a stock stone yard model. The statue was relocated in 2003 to a new park on Main Street in Freehold. Mary Anderson, a famous actress of the time, was once thought to have posed for the statue; it is now believed that she may have been the model for the Molly Pitcher relief instead. When the statue was located at the top of the monument, its overall height was approximately 100 feet.

References:

Examiner web site (see link below)

Monmouth Battle Monument web site (see link below).

Monmouth, New Jersey Homestead web site (see link below).

Links:
http://www.examiner
http://www.monmouth.com/~mcha3/monument.html
http://www.homestead.com/freeholdnj/monument.html
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