BY E. S. FIELD.
[In 1876 Field commissioned H.M. McCloud, Amherst printer and book-binder, to publish his eleven-page Descriptive Catalogue of the Historical Monument of the American Republic. In the catalogue, Field outlined the meaning of the Monument, both an actual and allegorical representation of the nation's history. Field's opening remarks about the painting are included below.]
A professed architect, on looking at this picture, might have the impression that a structure built in this form would not stand. The idea is this, to build after this model (supposing such a thing took place), it would be necessary to fill up with stones or concrete in one solid mass, all but the center and the entrance through each Tower, on account of each succeeding section receding. The center in each Tower could be sufficiently large for circular stairs to reach to the top. The entrance from each side to the center, and also from the center to each of the platforms on each section, might be arched over, and also there might be spacious rooms arched over in many of the sections, for various purposes, and still the structure would be sufficiently solid.
The figures and emblems are represented to be raised work or bas-relief, with the exception of a portion of the figures, which are statues. The dark figures are represented in bronze to denote the colored race. The architecture varies, to accord more or less with the subject or sentiment. The rule of perspective is departed from in a great measure, in order to show the illustrations more distinctly, but in a way that is termed "birds-eye-view." I am not a professed architect, and some things about it may be faulty. Be that as it may, my aim has been to get up a brief history of our country or epitome, in a monumental form.
The columns represent the Colonies and States, which are frequently repeated, and they vary in their style to accord somewhat with the times and circumstances. Each section and the illustrations are numbered, which will be referred to in the explanations. The lower part of the structure is intended as one whole or base, on which the eight Towers that are seen, stand.
The Historical Monument of the American Republic