Author Archives: Merquisha

Merquisha Auguste

To the Defenders of the Union 1861-1865 “The Soldiers’ and Sailor’ Memorial Arch” located at Grand Army Plaza. Designed by John H. Duncan and completed in 1892, becoming Brooklyn’s best Known Civil War icon. These sculptures were all completed over a period from 1898-1901. On January 1, 1863 proclamation that freed slaves in southern territories was controlled by the Union Army by which this executive proclamation by President Lincoln also committed the Union to the abolition of slavery. On August 6, 1889,  William R. Ware and  Charles B. Atwood  who had been appointed by the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument Commission, selected  John H. Duncan’s design for the arch from 36 designs submitted the previous year.

This sculpture depicts the winged goddess of victory, following victorious combat (The Civil War) with instruments of war: sword, colors, flagstaff, and  quadriga  (the Union Army). Winged attendants are seen removing two of the four quadriga horses for peacetime use (postbellum recovery) while trumpeting the victory and freedom  (Emancipation). The arch was designated a landmark in 1973, and the crowning sculpture was restored after the chariot’s figure fell out in 1976.

Merquisha Auguste

Robert Francis “Bobby” Kennedy, commonly known by his initials RFK, was an American politician from Massachusetts. He served as the United States junior senator from New York from January 1965 until his assassination in June 1968.  He was born November 20, 1925 in Brookline Massachusetts. In front of New York Court State Supreme Court building at Montague and Courts Street there is a monument in the honor of RFK. This sculptor was dedicated on November 2, 1972. He was a committed advocate of the poor and racial minorities and opposed escalation of the Vietnam War. After Kennedy was appointed attorney general he fought organized crime and worked for civil rights for African Americans and the minority community.

Robert wrote five books and many other publications on politics and various issues that were confronting his nation and his generation. He also founded the Bedford-Stuyvesant Corporation to rebuild one of New York City’s worst ghettos. His final achievements during his life was the winning  of five presidential primaries all of which were southern states whose opinions of RFK were famously hateful. In 1978 he received posthumously the Gold Medal of Honor. After his death multiple organisations  were formed and roads, public schools and other facilities across the U.S. were named in his memory.

Merquisha Auguste

About fifty years ago, Jackie Roosevelt Robinson became the first black player to play in a Major League baseball game. The day he stepped onto the Ebbets Field on April 15, 1947 he broke the color barrier and made the way for other black athletes to play the game. Without the brave  Jackie Robinson who open the way for other colored athletes like himself there wouldn’t be Muhammad Ali, Arthur Ashe, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, or  even Tiger Woods. Sports would of been  very different in today’s society.  The way he handled himself on and off the field was very impressive. He took every racist comment that was thrown at him and decided not to make it bother him. The general manager who brought him into baseball, prohibited him from talking back to the people. But Jackie  Robinson didn’t let the pressure get to him at all. Jackie Robinson also helped to advance the civil rights movement further in 1947 with this major move he also helped to galvanize his generation to fight more for civil rights for people of color. The “civil rights movement” really came alive in the 1950’s to the 1980’s, due to Jackie Robinson integrating the segregated professional baseball league. Thanks to many great “civil rights movement icons” like Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King, and Fannie Lou Hamer, we were able to elect our first “Black President” in 2008 and 2012 (President Barack Obama). In 1962 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Robinson distinguished himself as a talented player and a vocal civil rights activist. In 1955, he helped the Dodgers win the World Series. He retired in 1957 with a career batting average of .311. Robinson died in Connecticut in 1972.

A military and civil engineer and second generation German immigrant, Washington Augustus Roebling who was born May 26, 1837 in Saxonburg, PA and  died: July 21, 1926 in Trenton, NY is best known for overseeing the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, which was designed by his father.  He also served briefly as president of John A. Roebling’s Sons, Co., after its incorporation in 1876 and during his younger days, as an engineer in the Union army during the Civil War, Washington Roebling planned and supervised the construction of bridges and roads for military purposes. Later in his life, Washington became a renowned mineralogist, and his collection of rocks and minerals now belongs to the Smithsonian Institution.  Roebling was a writer who published technical writings on suspension bridges and other topics, especially the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. He also authored a biography of his famous father as well as a brief history of his own birthplace of Saxonburg, Pennsylvania. With legendary determination, Roebling, confined to his house in Brooklyn Heights, directed the work on the bridge from a distance, watching progress through a telescope.He also trained his wife, Emily Roebling, to relay his orders when she would visit the bridge nearly everyday. Rumors also got around about the condition of Washington about the various times the public believed he was entirely incapacitated, or had even gone insane. When the Brooklyn Bridge opened to the public in 1883, Roebling did not attend the enormous celebrations. Although the nearly constant talk about his health, he lived to see the age of 89. When Roebling died in Trenton, New Jersey, in 1926, an obituary published in the New York Times said that in his final years he was fond of riding the streetcar from his mansion to the wire mill his family owned and operated.

Walking in front the court house on Adams Street I came across a monument of Christopher Columbus which never seemed to amazed me. Explorer and navigator Christopher Columbus was born in 1451 in the Republic of Genoa, Italy. Columbus participated in several other expeditions to Africa. In 1492 Columbus left Spain in the Santa Maria, with the Pinta and the Niña along side. He has been credited for opening up the Americas to European colonization. A man of convictions, Christopher Columbus used his strong personality to persuade rulers and scholars to overlook the accepted theories about the size of the Earth to search out a new route to Asia. Although he wasn’t the first European to find American continent his journeys opened up the trade of goods and ideas between the two lands.

Image result for christopher columbus image in front the court house

For the past year I have walked past this monument and didn’t even had the chance to look.This monument is located in Camden Plaza East by Johnson Street. Henry Ward Beecher 1813-1887 the grateful gift of multitudes of all classes creeds and conditions at home and abroad to honor the great apostle of the brotherhood of man. I found out that Henry was an American abolitionist, speaker, minister and writer. He opposed slavery and also mocked auctions to help the slaves. The figures of the children below the base of the monument symbolize the role Henry played abolitionist movement band his devotion to children. He also helped raised funds to supply weapons to others who opposed slavery.