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Meet Philip Reid The Black Slave Who Built The White-House And The Statue Of Freedom

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Philip Reed also Philip Reid (c. 1820 – February 6, 1892) was an African American master craftsman who worked at the foundries of self-taught sculptor Clark Mills, where historical monuments such as the 1853 equestrian statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square, near the White House in Washington, D.C., the 1860 equestrian statue of George Washington in Washington Circle, and the 1863 Statue of Freedom in Washington D.C., were created. He was born in c. 1820 into slavery in South Carolina's historic city of Charleston and was emancipated on April 16, 1862, under the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act After his emancipation, he assisted Mills in installing the Statue of Freedom atop the United States Capitol, which was completed on December 2, 1863. Reid began working as an enslaved apprentice to Mills in 1842, as a young man in his twenties, who was already recognized for his talents in the foundry industry. In the 1860s, after having worked at the foundry for almost two decades, Reid's skills in working with bronze casting were recognized. In 1928, Tennessee Representative, Finis J. Garrett presented a paper honoring Reid for his "faithful service and genius", and describing the key role he had played in casting the statue of Freedom, that is now part of the Congressional.

Record. A memorial plaque honoring Philip Reedwas unveiled on April 16, 2014—the 152nd anniversary of Emancipation in Washington, D.C.—in the National Harmony Memorial Park in Hyattsville, Maryland. It reads, "Philip Reed The slave who built the Statue of Freedom atop the U.S. Capitol died a free man on February 6, 1892 and is buried here. In 2013, he was described by the Architect of the Capitol as the "single best known enslaved person associated with the Capitol’s construction history".

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