Rev. Charles T. Torrey Monument

December 2, 2011

The monument for Rev. Charles T. Torrey, also known as “The Slave Monument,” was designed and carved by brothers Joseph and Thomas A. Carew in 1846.

Torrey was buried as a martyr, having died in a Baltimore jail cell while incarcerated for aiding fugitive slaves. The monument was commissioned and raised by the Friends of the American Slave, and was the subject of one of the earliest outdoor daguerreotypes taken in America.

The Carew brothers designed many of the monuments found at Mount Auburn. This marble obelisk features a bronze medallion of Torrey’s likeness near its top, and a bronze female figure at its base. Some interpret the female figure as a Classical personification of grief, however it is actually a rendering of an African American slave with broken shackles around her ankles. Torrey detail


Adapted from the Mount Auburn guide “Monuments and Lots of Interest,” by Meg Winslow.

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