Showing posts with label Samuel S. Cox. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Samuel S. Cox. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

CM Carlina Rivera calls for Parks Dept. to review fate of Cox statue in Tompkins Square Park



Local City Councilmember Carlina Rivera is calling on the Parks Department to address the future of the Samuel S. Cox statue in Tompkins Square Park.

In a letter dated Thursday, Rivera asks Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver to address the community about the plans for the statue, created in 1891 and standing at this location since 1924.



Per the letter:

Historians and numerous New Yorkers have highlighted that Cox’s history — beyond his work regarding pro-labor policies at the United States Postal Service — includes very disturbing examples of white supremacy, particularly as it relates to emancipation and Black civic participation in the mid-1800s.

Today’s demands for social justice that are being raised across this country must be met with a holistic review of the (mostly) men whom we honor with place names and statues in our public spaces.

I am sure most New Yorkers would agree that these landmarks should not remain as a public reminder to many of our neighbors that, for much of United States history, they were not considered nor treated as equals to white Americans. As many historians have suggested, such statuary is better situated in non-public settings, such as museums, where they can remain as an educational tool for future generations choosing – operative word — to view and understand our nation’s racist legacy. Encountering the Cox statue while visiting Tompkins Square Park is not a choice.

I hope that you will consider speaking with the local community immediately, specifically Black residents of the Lower East Side, to consult with them on the Cox statue’s fate.

The Cox statue has been under 24/7 NYPD supervision since July 25. It was tagged overnight with ACAB and "black power" on July 16-17. One of the officers in the Park told us that they will be on duty outside the Cox statue "for the foreseeable future." It is unclear if there was a threat against the statue to prompt police protection.

Cox (1824–1889) was a longtime member of Congress who spearheaded legislation that led to paid benefits and a 40-hour workweek for postal employees.

In a post titled "Why Is New York City Still Celebrating Statues of Racists?" from 2014 for the History News Network, Alan Singer, a historian and professor at Hofstra, wrote about Cox's history: "[He] fancied himself a champion of the United States Constitution but somehow his interpretation of the Constitution always seemed to deny rights to Blacks. On June 2, 1862, a year after the Civil War had begun but six months before the Emancipation Proclamation, Cox argued in Congress that the United States was made for white men only."

Earlier this summer, the city announced it was removing the statue of Theodore Roosevelt — long considered a racist symbol — from the American Museum of Natural History's entrance.

The death of George Floyd has led to the removal — by protesters in some cases and city leaders in others — of statues across the country because of the racist ideals they represent.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

[Updated] Police protection for the Samuel S. Cox statue in Tompkins Square Park


[Photo by Steven]

The NYPD put up barricades last evening around the Samuel S. Cox statue at the Seventh Street and Avenue A entrance to Tompkins Square Park. Police told residents who asked that they were there to protect the statue. (They've also restricted access to the chess tables.)

There was a large police presence here last night. Three officers are on duty this morning.

The statue, created in 1891, has been in this location since 1924. It was tagged overnight with ACAB and "black power" on July 16-17.

Cox (1824–1889) was a longtime member of Congress who "spearheaded legislation that led to paid benefits and a 40-hour workweek for postal employees."

However, according to the History News Network: "Cox fancied himself a champion of the United States Constitution but somehow his interpretation of the Constitution always seemed to deny rights to Blacks. On June 2, 1862, a year after the Civil War had begun but six months before the Emancipation Proclamation, Cox argued in Congress that the United States was made for white men only."

Earlier this summer, the city announced it was removing the statue of Theodore Roosevelt — long considered a racist symbol — from the American Museum of Natural History's entrance.

The death of George Floyd has led to the removal — by protesters in some cases and city leaders in others — of statues across the country because of the racist ideals they represent.

It wasn't immediately known if any direct action against the Cox statue was in the works.

Updated 7/26

A reader says they police removed the barriers from around the chess tables on Monday afternoon...


Friday, July 17, 2020

Noted



From the EVG inbox: A reader shares that someone tagged the statue of Samuel S. Cox at the Seventh Street and Avenue A entrance to Tompkins Square Park.

Cox (1824–1889) was a longtime member of Congress who "spearheaded legislation that led to paid benefits and a 40-hour workweek for postal employees."

However, according to the History News Network: "Cox fancied himself a champion of the United States Constitution but somehow his interpretation of the Constitution always seemed to deny rights to Blacks. On June 2, 1862, a year after the Civil War had begun but six months before the Emancipation Proclamation, Cox argued in Congress that the United States was made for white men only."

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Noted



EVG regular Peter Brownscombe shared this from the corner of Seventh Street and Avenue A by the Samuel S. Cox statue...

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Late spring cleaning for Samuel S. Cox in Tompkins Square Park



Thanks to EVG reader Sparber for these photos from Thursday... in which the Samuel S. Cox statue on Seventh Street near Avenue A in Tompkins Square Park gets a touch up heading into the summer...



Here's some history of the statue via the Parks Dept.:

After the statue’s unveiling on Independence Day 1891, the New York Tribune noted, somewhat less charitably, that Cox’s “usually genial countenance is strained” and “out of harmony” with the Congressman’s natural demeanor. “The likeness is not a good one, and the facial resemblance is hardly suggestive,” the article added. A New York Times account of the ceremony questioned whether the statue “will ever be greatly admired as a work of art.” Nevertheless, a reported 2,500 letter carriers came from as far away as New Orleans and Memphis to participate in the moving ceremony to honor Cox at the statue’s unveiling.

The statue originally stood near Cox’s home on East 12th Street at the intersection of Lafayette Street, Fourth Avenue, and Astor Place. In November 1924, due to a street-widening project in the vicinity of Astor Place, it was moved to its current location at the southwest corner of Tompkins Square Park.

At the time of the statue's arrival in Tompkins Square Park, several EVG readers questioned the wisdom of this placement, noting Cox's past as ambassador to the Ottoman Empire and his status as a native Ohioan. A few readers were also concerned about the street-widening project at Astor Place, with one noting the area would soon become "Lower Manhattan North" and "a playground for even more aristocrats!"

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Cox statue cleaning today in Tompkins Square Park



Time to clean the statue in honor of Samuel S. Cox, whose career included being United States Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire.

Also, as you may know:

He was a backer of the Life Saving Service, later merged into the United States Coast Guard. He was also known as the "letter carriers' friend" because of his support for paid benefits and a 40-hour work week for U.S. Post Office employees. In gratitude, postal workers raised $10,000 in 1891 to erect a statue to Cox in Tompkins Square Park in New York.

Photo by Bobby Willaims

Saturday, November 14, 2015

A new tree to keep the Samuel S. Cox statue company in Tompkins Square Park


[EVG photo from September 2014]

On Sept. 14, 2014, workers removed — for whatever reasons — a red oak adjacent to the Samuel S. Cox statue by the entrance to Tompkins Square Park at East Seventh Street and Avenue A.

Fast forward to this past week… when workers removed a section of the fence… to dig up the stump

And now, to bring some closure to this fine story… yesterday, workers planted a new tree in the space…


[Photo yesterday by Bobby Williams]

And because people asked who Samuel S. Cox was… and about the statue

Samuel Sullivan “Sunset” Cox (1824–1889) was born in Zanesville, Ohio, and served his home state as a Democratic Congressional representative from 1857 to 1865 before being unseated. After moving to New York in 1866, Cox served again in Congress for several terms from 1869 until 1889.

Although Cox once publicly declared that his most satisfying contribution to public service was championing the Life Saving Service—founded in the 1840s to patrol the coasts and save imperiled boaters during bad weather, the group was absorbed into the Coast Guard in 1915—this statue is sponsored by U.S. Postal Service workers because of Cox’s support for their quality-of-life issues. Known as the “letter-carriers’ friend,” Cox spearheaded legislation that led to paid benefits and a 40-hour workweek for postal employees. Mail carriers from the 188 cities named on the monument contributed $10,000 for the statue in a campaign that began soon after Cox’s death.

Sculptor Louise Lawson’s statue of Cox, unveiled in 1891, depicts him orating before Congress. Lawson (186?–1899) came from a prominent Ohio family. She and her brother, U.S. Representative W. D. Lawson, both attended Cox’s 1889 funeral at which President Grover Cleveland and General William Sherman served as honorary pallbearers. One might interpret the statue’s somewhat stiff quality as representative of Cox’s steadfast stance on issues for which he advocated.

The statue serves as a backdrop in this photo that Allen Ginsberg took during the fall of 1953…


The caption reads:

Jack Kerouac wandering along East 7th street after visiting Burroughs at our pad, passing statue of Congressman Samuel "Sunset" Cox, "The Letter – Carrier's Friend" in Tompkins Square toward corner of Avenue A, Lower East Side; he's making a Dostoyevsky mad-face or Russian basso be-bop Om, first walking around the neighborhood, then involved with The Subterraneans, pencils & notebook in wool shirt-pockets, Fall 1953, Manhattan.