Black Patriots Monument, Washington

Sharing the Washington town square with the Confederate monument is this unique memorial to the African-American veterans of the Revolutionary War, dedicated in 2012. It’s estimated that over 5,000 black patriots served in the Continental army and though efforts have been made to place a similar remembrance in Washington, D.C., this is thought to be the only such work of this scale and prominent placement in the country. The bust is meant to represent the best known black patriot of Georgia, Austin Dabney. Dabney and his master, Richard Aycock moved from North Carolina to Wilkes County in the late 1770s and to avoid service himself, Aycock sent Dabney to serve in his stead. He was present at the Battle of Kettle Creek on 14 February 1779, among Georgia’s most important engagements in the war. Dabney was granted his freedom, as well as land in Wilkes County and a pension in reward for his service. As there is no contemporary image of Dabney, sculptor Kinzey Branham used an image of James Armistead Lafayette, a better-known African-American patriot who also gained his freedom after the war.

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