Civil War-era monuments are in the news. Some people want to remove statues because they represent ideas many find disturbing. Others want to keep the statues because they show our nation’s history, even if it is difficult. This DBQuest looks at one such statue, the Freedmen’s Memorial in Washington, DC. These primary sources will explore the complicated nature of memorial statues by looking at who funded and designed the Freedmen's Memorial, as well as a critique of the monument by a leading voice of the time, Frederick Douglass. 
Note: Please note that the language and terminology used in this content reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of iCivics,Inc., but is available in its original form to facilitate research.


Students will be able to...

  • Explain how monuments are historical sources that need to analyzed and interpreted
  • Use a variety of primary sources to make an argument about the monument's intent
  • Develop historical empathy
  • Use evidence from informational texts to support analysis and answer questions