A woman with historical ties to the area will be remembered as part of a group of statues in Richmond.
A bronze statue of Mary Draper Ingles (1732-1815) and 11 others will be dedicated in 2019 as part of the “Virginia Women’s Monument” at Capitol Square. The monument takes a look back at the past 400 years of storied history and how each woman was a part of that.
A monument commission was formed in 2010 and the design chosen three years later along with the list of women, and its location, Virginia’s historic Capitol Square is one of the oldest enclosed public parks in the entire United States.
According to the commission’s website, the commission broke ground on Phase 1 of “Voices of the Garden” on December 4, 2017 in Memorial Plaza. Preceding the groundbreaking ceremony on Capitol Square, there was a private fundraising breakfast celebrating the founders of this project. The proceeds will benefit the casting of the bronze statues and help the Women’s Monument Commission reach the matching funds of a Cabell Foundation Grant.
The project is considered the first of its kind in the nature that recognized the full-range of women’s achievements.
When completed, visitors will be able to walk through an oval-shaped garden with the 12 bronze statues surrounded by a glass panel with each women’s’ name and story. The commission hopes to have a mobile app available so onlookers can gain a better perspective of each woman’s history lives.
Ingles is part of a rich history here in the New River Valley.
In July 1755, Ingles was taken captive by Shawnee Indians during the French and Indian War from a site near the Virginia Tech Duck Pond. She escaped, walking 600 miles back to her home. She would help, along with her family, to establish Ingles Ferry near Radford.
Ingles has received both a statue near Radford’s Glencoe Museum and a monument at the family’s farm along Main Street. The second was placed in 1997 by the Virginia Business and Professional Women which placed 15 monuments near each woman’s birthplace.
The other inductees, according to the website, include:
Ann Burras Laydon (c. 1594-after 1625) Jamestown: Ann Burras, a 14-year-old maid to Mistress Forrest, arrived in Jamestown in 1608 aboard the Mary and Margaret. Ann and Mistress Forrest were the first two female settlers in the colony. When Mrs. Forrest died, Ann married carpenter John Laydon, in what is believed to be the first wedding held in the colony. She and John had 4 daughters—Virginia, Alice, Katherine and Margaret. She was employed as a seamstress and at one point Gov. Thomas Dale is reported to have ordered her beating because of the unsatisfactory quality of the shirts she had made. As a result of the punishment, she suffered a miscarriage. Ann survived both this harsh treatment and the winter of 1609-1610, known as the “starving time”, demonstrating her resilience and fortitude.
Cockacoeske (fl. 1656- d. 1686) Jamestown: Cockacoeske, (pronounced Coke a cow ski) was a Pamunkey chief, and descendant of Opechancanough, brother of the paramount chief Powhatan. Upon the death of her husband Totopotomoy, chief of the Pamunkey circa 1649-1656, Cockacoeske became queen of the Pamunkey. In 1676, a few months before Bacon’s Rebellion, the insurrection’s leader Nathaniel Bacon and his followers attacked the Pamunkey, killing some of Cockacoeske’s people and taking others captive. An astute politician, Cockacoeske signed the Treaty of Middle Plantation on May 29, 1677, reuniting, under her authority, several tribes that had not been under Powhatan domination since 1646, as well as establishing the Pamunkey Reservation. Cockacoeske ruled the Pamunkey for 30 years until her death in 1686.
Martha Dandridge Custis Washington (1731-1802), Fairfax: While she was not referred to as First Lady, she was the first woman to hold the position, during George Washington’s presidency, and will serve as the representative for the wives of all eight Virginia-born presidents.
Clementina Bird Rind (1740-1774)-Williamsburg. Took over the editorship and management of the Virginia Gazette, after the death of her husband; under her leadership the newspaper remained official printer of the colony.
Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley (1818-1907), Dinwiddie: A slave who bought her freedom, she became Mary Todd Lincoln’s seamstress and confidant during the White House years. She established the Contraband Relief Association, which provided support for recently freed slaves and wounded soldiers.
Sally Louisa Tompkins (1833-1916)-Mathews Co. Captain Sally Tompkins established Robertson Hospital in Richmond to treat wounded soldiers when few, if any, women held the top administrative position. Her hospital had the lowest death rate of any during the Civil War due to her skill and standards.
Maggie L. Walker (1864-1934), Richmond: The first woman to charter a bank in the United States, with the founding of the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank in Richmond.
Sarah G. Boyd Jones (1866-1905), Richmond: One of the first women to pass the Virginia Medical Examining Board’s examination. She helped found a medical association for African-American doctors, opening a hospital and nursing school in 1903 which ultimately became Richmond Community Hospital.
Laura Lu Copenhaver (1868-1940), Smyth Co./Marion: Expanded southwestern Virginia’s agricultural economy, as director of information for the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, by emphasizing cooperative marketing of farm products to improve the standard of living for farm families. She established Rosemont Industries.
Virginia Estelle Randolph (1875-1958), Henrico: Virginia developed a nationally-recognized approach to education, creating a successful formula based on practicality, creativity, and involvement from parents and the community.
Adele Goodman Clark (1882-1983), Richmond: Active suffragist who became president of the League of Women Voters in 1921. Adele was instrumental in the establishment of the Virginia Art Commission, She is considered to be one of the founders of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.