By: Wes Cunningham, University of Louisville Graduate Student and KHS Winter Intern
While researching one of our lantern slide collections for digitization we stumbled across this monument. This image was mixed in with pictures of some of Kentucky’s most famous individuals and sites, including portraits of Daniel Boone and a snapshot of the Henry Clay monument, and yet no one here at KHS can identify where this monument stands or what it represents. First, it might be necessary to outline the collection it belongs to; The Colonial Dames Lantern Slide Collection. The Colonial Dames of America (CDA) is an international society of women whose direct ancestors held positions of leadership in the Thirteen Colonies. Their goals include preserving and educating others about American history. Between 1910 and 1930, the CDA collected lantern slides of significant historic people and historically relevant locations for the purpose of education. Participating states then created collections which could be loaned to various public schools to instruct children on the colonial history of their state. This particular collection consists of eighty-three hand colored lantern slides, ca. 1910s-1920s. The slides depict portraits of prominent people and places throughout Kentucky. There are pictures of unidentified forts, structures that are no longer in existence, and buildings that have since been modified, along with portraits of some of the most famous Kentuckians, such as Henry Clay, Abraham Lincoln and Isaac Shelby. Many of the slides show the houses of prominent people of the time and monuments that have been erected to honor others. With images of some of the most recognizable sites in the Commonwealth it was a shock when we came across a monument that is unidentifiable. The monument appears to be made of white marble with a bronze plaque depicting a man. When we zoomed in on the image many of us thought that the man bore a likeness to Henry Clay but this is only speculation. Can anyone out there help us? Has anyone seen this monument? Does anyone have information to help us solve this history mystery?
To view this item in the Digital Collections Catalog, visit: Graphic 19_Box1_40
About the Author: Wes Cunningham is a graduate student at the University of Louisville, currently studying Public History. During our Winter Hours, December-March, he served as an intern in the library, assisting with processing photographic collections. To read more about his adventures while working as an intern at KHS, be sure to check out his blog post on the main site: http://history.ky.gov/the-life-of-a-library-wintern/
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