Longtime Friends member, John Winthrop made a generous gift to underwrite the recent conservation work on the Founders Memorial, for a very personal reason – his family lineage. The memorial features an image of John Winthrop, first Governor of our state. Our John Winthrop was born in Boston and is a direct-line descendant of the first Governor of Massachusetts (1634). Winthrop stated “this is an important contribution for me” and said he was grateful for the opportunity to help care for the memorial.
The bronze was thoroughly cleaned and resealed and the slate plaque on the back of the memorial was also cleaned. The masonry around the bronze and the steps at the front were repointed in several places as well, all to protect this historic memorial from the harsh elements.
In the scene William Blackstone, first European settler, is welcoming John Winthrop, the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony to the Shawmut peninsula. Watching the scene are Native Americans and Ann Pollard, the first white woman to land in Boston. William Blackstone’s face is rumored to be modeled on Boston Mayor John Michael Curley.
On the north face, facing Beacon Street, two quotes from the early settlers have been inscribed. The first composed by John Winthrop during the long Atlantic voyage, reads, “For wee must consider that wee shall be as a citty upon a hill. The eies of all people are uppon us, soe that if wee shall deale falsely with our God in this work…wee shall be made a story and a byword through the world.”
The second quote is from a history of Plymouth colony by governor William Bradford: “Thus out of smalle beginnings, greater things have been produced by His hand that made all things out of nothing…and as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone to many, yea, in some sorte to our whole nation.”
The Founder’s Memorial was created by sculptor John Francis Paramino, a graduate of the North Bennet Street School, who also produced other public monuments on Boston Common including John Barry and the Marquis de La Fayette.