Black Angel Statue

The Black Angel (N 2nd St and Lafayette Ave) honors Ruth Anne Dodge, the wife of General Dodge, and commemorates her 1916 death. Daniel Chester French sculpted the Black Angel. French also created the seated Abraham Lincoln inside the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., and the Minuteman in Concord, Massachusetts.

This sculpture is said to be the translation of a dream experienced by Mrs. Dodge on the three nights preceding her death in 1916. According to the legend, Mrs. Dodge told her daughters of the dream wherein she was on a rocky shore and saw a small boat approach through the mist. At the front of the boat, a beautiful angel held a small bowl and spoke softly, encouraging Mrs. Dodge to take a drink. The vision came three times to Mrs. Dodge, and on the third night, she took a sip. She told her daughters that after she took the drink, she felt “transformed into a new and glorious spiritual being.” She died soon after.

Her daughters commissioned French to create a memorial based on her description of this dream. The statue was dedicated in 1920, depicting a winged angel with one arm outstretched and the other holding a vessel from which water flows.

The monument and surroundings were restored in 1984. The National Park Service has this memorial on the Register of National Historic Places.

The Black Angel