The House of Representatives yesterday approved a bill that would allow a statue of abolitionist Frederick Douglass that was commissioned by the District in 2006 and has sat in a D.C. government building since to move to the U.S. Capitol, where it will join the busts of many other famous Americans provided by the 50 states.
Douglass’ move — which was approved by a Senate committee earlier in the summer — is a half-win for D.C. officials who have pushed for years for the city to have the same number of statues as those allowed to the states. (D.C.’s second statue is of Pierre L’Enfant.) Regardless, D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton is happy with the move, which was originally proposed by a California Republican in 2010 as a compromise.
“For the residents of the District, Douglass was first and foremost a D.C. resident, the first Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia, and a distinguished Republican,” said Norton in a statement. “He is now one step closer to being honored with a statue in Emancipation Hall in the U.S. Capitol, a statue that has been on display at One Judiciary Square.”
Some 180 statues are on display throughout the Capitol complex, though only two are of African Americans.