ST. LOUIS – The cover lifted to reveal the life-size statue of Dred and Harriet Scott at its new location just outside af the Old Courthouse in St. Louis, where the legal journey began for the Scotts. This statue is the realization of a dream for Lynn Jackson, member of Cross Keys Baptist Church in Florissant and the great-great granddaughter of the Scotts.
“This statue displays their strength and dignity,” Jackson said at the dedication June 8. “I’m thankful that the sculptor, Harry Weber, was able to understand their true spirit and to portray it in their expression and stance.” Weber is known in St. Louis for statues celebrating Albert Pujols and Lou Brock.
Jackson described the blind evaluation of selecting the sculptor for the project. “We had proposals submitted from all over the country,” she said, “and we didn’t know which sculptor it was when we selected Harry. He was able to capture the love and resolute commitment of my grandparents.”
The statue is on Fourth Street, recently renamed Dred Scott Way, facing the Arch. The Old Courthouse and the Arch both are owned and operated by the National Parks Service. Thomas Bradley, superintendent, National Parks Service, accepted the statue on behalf of the American people.
“This statue of Dred and Harriet Scott is a tribute to both their courage and perseverance,” Bradley said.
A quote from Booker T. Washington was printed in the dedication ceremony program: “Success is to be measured, not so much by the position that one has reached in life, as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.”