A total of $100,000 has been raised toward the goal of $150,000 to erect a statue of a U.S Colored Troops (USCT) soldier on the Franklin Public Square as part of the effort to tell the “Fuller Story.”
“Our intention has always been to put something up rather than tearing something down,” said Eric Jacobson, CEO of the Battle of Franklin Trust. “We recognize the importance of bringing awareness to the African American experience now more than ever, and we’re nearing our goal with just $50,000 needed to complete the project.”
The “Fuller Story” initiative was conceived by three pastors, Hewitt Sawyers, Dr. Chris Williamson and Dr. Kevin Riggs, and Jacobson. It was launched with the help of the city of Franklin, community leaders, pastors and historians.
In the fall of 2019, four interpretive markers were dedicated and unveiled in the town square that call attention to the experiences and advancements of African Americans before, during and after the Civil War. A fifth marker details the Battle of Franklin.
The culmination of the “Fuller Story” will be the unveiling of the bronze statue of a U.S. Colored Troops soldier that will be placed on the square near the historic Williamson County Courthouse.
The Franklin Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted unanimously to place the markers as well as a full-scale statue on the square in a place of equal nobility across from the Confederate monument. Tennessee native Joe F. Howard is sculpting the statue to be erected in early 2021.
“We’re encouraging supporters to make a donation to help us reach our goal,” Jacobson said. “Help us do something positive and powerful for Franklin and for the Civil War community.”
Donations may be made through the Battle of Franklin Trust website by visiting https://boft.org/usct-statue or by calling Laurie McPeak at 615-794-0903.