Group closes in on goal to add U.S. Colored Troop statue on Franklin square
As of this summer, the Fuller Story group raised $100,000 of its $150,000 goal to place a statue of a U.S. Colored Troop soldier on the Franklin square.
This effort is part of putting more context about Franklin's African American history in the downtown quadrant of the city. That action has been through the Fuller Story's efforts to place both markers and a statue across from the existing Confederate monument.
“Our intention has always been to put something up rather than tearing something down," Fuller Story co-organizer Eric Jacobson said. "We recognize the importance of bringing awareness to the African American experience now more than ever and we’re nearing our goal with just $50,000 needed to complete the project."
The African American historical markers were unveiled in October 2019, after the Franklin Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted unanimously to place them there.
Tennessee native Joe F. Howard is sculpting the statue to be erected in early 2021.
"We’re encouraging supporters to make a donation to help us reach our goal," Jacobson said. "Help us do something positive and powerful for Franklin and for the Civil War community.”
Donations may be made through the Battle of Franklin Trust website by visiting boft.org/usct-statue or by calling Laurie McPeak at 615-794-0903.
About the Fuller Story
Franklin aldermen agreed on a plan to place two African-American history markers in the downtown circle on the sidewalk near the Confederate monument.
The remaining three markers are now near the historic courthouse, and a U.S. Colored Troops statue will go up in the next year. Those at that location talk about reconstruction, U.S. Colored Troops and the riot of 1867.
Markers at the center will tell the story of the market house that sold slaves and explain the Battle of Franklin. They now stand on the concrete portion of the downtown's center.
Emily West is a reporter for the The Tennessean, covering Franklin and Williamson County. Follow her on Twitter at emwest22 or email her at email@example.com.