Jean Jules Jusserand

Memorial: Jean Adrien Antoine Jules Jusserand (18 February 1855 – 18 July 1932)
Location: Rock Creek Park, .25 mile south of Pierce Mill
Architect: Joseph Freedlander, New York architect
Dedication: November 7, 1936, 2 pm
Cost: $0 to taxpayers

Jean Adrien Antoine Jules Jusserand (February 18, 1855 – July 18, 1932) was French Ambassador to America. He came to Washington in 1902 and stayed until 1925 when he retired. He died in July 1932 in France.

He was well-known and well-liked during his time in America. Rock Creek Park was a favorite of Jusserand’s. He was friends with Theodore Roosevelt and was part of Roosevelt’s “Tennis Cabinet.” The two also used to take walks throughout Rock Creek Park.Jusserand bench with NPS informationShortly after Jusserand’s death, Cass Gilbert proposed a memorial to Jusserand “of an intimate nature, unpretentious in expression, and a tribute to the man, the scholar, the diplomat.” And Dr. Francklyn Paris of New York formed the Jusserand Memorial Committee, and became chairman. He invited 25 “leading statesmen and citizens” to join the committee and served as the head of the committee for four years.

In March 1935, Senator Metcalf from Rhode Island introduced a bill to allow for a memorial in Washington to Jean Jules Jusserand. On May 6, 1935, the House adopted the joint resolution authorizing the erection of a memorial to Jusserand. The bill would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to select a site on Government land for the memorial, “in memory and esteem of his fine friendship for the United States and its people during the 22 years of his service in Washington.” Congress would not appropriate funds for the project.Jusserand bench

Rock Creek Park was fittingly selected as the location for the memorial, because “it was near Pierce Mill that the distinguished diplomat and Mms. Jusserand made frequent walks.” And the stories of Jusserand’s strenuous “walks” with President Theodore Roosevelt were also well known. The original suggested location was off Rock Creek Parkway near the P Street Bridge. But the current site was selected by Dr. Charles Moore, Chairman of the Commission of Fine Arts at the time.

In a Commission of Fine Arts report, the “location for [the memorial] was selected in Rock Creek Park, where the Ambassador had spent many happy hours, at a spot among the trees a short distance south of Pierce Mill.”

According to National Park Service documentation, the Jusserand Memorial is located approximately one-quarter of a mile south of the Pierce Mill complex and is sited on a hill approximately twenty five feet east of Beach Drive.

The memorial bench is carved out of Milford (Massachusetts) Pink granite in the form of an exedra and incoporates low relief carvings of wings at its ends. The elliptical bench is approximately 22 feet long and 4 feet high and rests on a stepped granite platform.

The inscription reads
“Jusserand. Personal tribute of esteem and affection. 1855 – 1932”

Jusserand Inscription

Bartholdi Fountain

Bartholdi‘s Renaissance-style fountain of cast iron was first exhibited at the International Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876. Congress bought it a year later for $6,000.

Its first location was at the base of Capitol Hill to the south of where the Grant Memorial is located. Later it was removed and stored. And in 1932 the 30-foot-tall sculpture was moved to its current location near the U.S. Botanic Garden, which operates Bartholdi Park.

The sculptor, Frederick Auguste Bartholdi, also created the Statue of Liberty in New York City.

The fountain was made for the centennial exposition at Philadelphia in 1876. After the close of the exposition it was brought to this city and erected in its present site in the Botanic Garden, just north of the conservatory.


Evening star. (Washington, D.C.), 17 April 1914. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <>

Joan of Arc

Statue: Joan of Arc (Jeanne D’Arc, French)
Location: Meridian Hill Park
Sculptor: Paul Dubois, French
Dedication: January 6, 1922
Cost: $0, gift of the Femmes de France of New York

The only equestrian statue of a women in the nation’s Capital, the Joan of Arc statue was given to the United States by a group of women, Society of French Women of New York, and is dedicated to the women of the United States.

Joan of Arc was born in the village of Arc in 1412. When she was 13 she heard the voices of St. Michael, St. Catherine and St. Margaret telling her to fight for France, which she did, driving the English from Orleans in 1429. In 1429 she was captured by the Burgundians, then tried in a French ecclesiastical court and convicted of heresy. In 1431, they burned her at the stake. She was 19.

The statue portrays her in armor, looking toward the heavens, with her sword held high. The statue, by Paul Dubois (1829-1905), is a replica of the one he erected in front of Rheims Cathedral in 1896.

According to The Washington Post the dedication services ‘were extremely simple.’ The ceremony included ‘a few speeches, the ceremony of unveiling and the national anthems of the United States and France.’

President and Mrs. Harding attended the ceremony, as did Ambassador Jules Jusserand of France. Speeches at the dedication ceremony were given by U.S. Secretary of War Weeks; Mme. Carlo Polifeme, president of the Society of French Women of New York, which gave the statue to the city; and Mrs. George Maynard Minor, president of the National Society of the D.A.R., who accepted the statue on behalf of the women of the United States. Amb. Jusserand also presented a medal from France to Mme. Polifeme for her work in getting the statue erected in Washington, D.C.

Statue of Jeanne D’Arc Unveiled with Simple but Impressive Services, The Washington Post, January 7, 1922

This equestrian statue of Joan of Arc, The Washington Post, 15 Aug 2004

Louis Jacque Daguerre

A statue for Louis Jacque Daguerre, for whom the daguerreotype is named, was first proposed in January 1890 by the Photographer Association of America. The Association requested the memorial be erected in the National Museum of the Smithsonian Institute and permission was given by then Smithsonian Secretary Samuel P. Langley.

Louis Jacque Daguerre (French): November 18, 1787 – July 10, 1851
Location: 7th Street, between F and G Street, NW, on the east-side of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the National Portrait Gallery
Cost: $7,500, was raised by popular subscription
Sculptor: J. Scott Hartley, New York City
Unveiled: August 16, 1890
Re-dedicated: 1982

A statue for Louis Jacque Daguerre, for whom the daguerreotype is named, was first proposed in January 1890 by the Photographer Association of America. The Association requested the memorial be erected in the National Museum of the Smithsonian Institute and permission was given by then Smithsonian Secretary Samuel P. Langley.

The sculpture was unveiled in August 1890 at the eleventh annual convention of the Photographers’ Association of America, during their meeting in Washington, D.C.  The sculpture was placed in the rotunda of the National Museum (today called the Arts and Industries Building).

The sculpture is made of granite and bronze and shows “Fame”, crowning the head of Daguerre with a laurel wreath. There is a globe, symbolizing the universality of photography, of polished bronze encircled with a laurel wreath. Above the globe and laurel wreath is the head of Daguerre in bronze relief. On one side of the pedestal is the inscription:

“Photography, the electric telegraph and the steam engine are the three great discoveries of the age. No five centuries in human progress can show such strides as these.”

At the time of the unveiling, the sculpture and the sculptor had not been fully paid for. The Photographers’ Association and the Daguerre memorial fund eventually came up with the monies needed by collecting subscriptions.

In 1897 changes were made at the National Museum for the creation of more gallery space, and the Daguerre memorial was moved to the grounds outside the museum. Eventually, in 1969, with the construction of the Hirshhorn Building, the Daguerre statue was placed in storage.

In honor of the 150th anniversary of photography the Daguerre statue was relocated and rededicated at the plaza between the National Portrait Gallery and the National Museum of American Art on Seventh Street NW between F and G streets.


A Statue to Daguerre, The Washington Post, January 23, 1890

In Honor of Daguerre, The Washington Post, August 16, 1890

Site for Daguerre’s Statue, The Washington Post, May 25, 1897