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Who Is That Man, Anyway?
Subject: John Witherspoon
Sculptor: William Couper
Location: Dupont Circle
( N Street & Connecticut Ave. )
John Witherspoon (1722-1794) was born in Scotland and served as a Presbyterian minister in New Jersey. He was the only clergyman to sign the Declaration of Independence and said that America "was not only ripe for the the measure, but in danger of rotting for the want of it." He also served in the Second Continental Congress. After the war, he worked to build the academic standing of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University).
The statue originally stood on the grounds of the Natinal Presbyterian Church and was a gift of the Witherspoon Memorial Association. The statue didn't move, but the church did. The church leaders argued that the statue should be moved to their new location since Witherspoon was a Presbyterian minister and their pastor was a moving influence in the raising of the statue. The Federal Government countered that the statue was placed there with permission of Congress and could not be moved without an act of Congress.
Photos and text copyright © 2001 Jean K. Rosales and Michael R. Jobe, All Rights Reserved
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