Press Release: Frederick Douglass/ Mary McLeod Bethune Bust


1865 Company Announces Release of Historical Bronze Desk Busts

New 1865 Company bronze desk busts commemorate human rights, social justice and women’s equality advocates Mary McLeod Bethune and Frederick Douglass.

WASHINGTON, DC, July 3, 2012 – A new collection from the Washington, DC based retailer 1865 Company, packs history and inspiration into every masterpiece.  The two museum quality statues, depicting orator Frederick Douglass and educator Mary McLeod Bethune, are the first in a series of collectible busts to be released by 1865 Company in communities where these two local heroes made their mark.  “Our new busts pay tribute to those often forgotten heroes that worked tirelessly to further America’s ideals of freedom and equality,” says 1865 Company President and Founder Patrice Davenport.

The unveiling of these bronze busts will take place during the first two weeks of July to celebrate the 137th anniversary of the birth of Mary McLeod Bethune and the 160th anniversary of the highly influential Fourth of July speech given by Frederick Douglass at an 1852 event commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” was a biting oratory, in which the speaker told his audience, "This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn." Due to the tireless work of leaders like Frederick Douglass and Mary McLeod Bethune, all Americans regardless of gender or ethnicity can be included in the blessing of American freedom on Independence Day.

1865 Company worked with UK-based artists at The Sculpture Mill to create these true to life busts. The Sculpture Mill crafts each bronze likeness by hand, meticulously capturing the essence of the individual being sculpted. The final results are stunning 9 inch tall bronze sculptures of American patriots characterized by steely determination and a confident gaze. Cast in a classic bronze patina and mounted on a rich bronze base, the busts come engraved with an inspirational quote from each subject.  “We have captured both Frederick Douglass and Mary McLeod Bethune in the prime of their lives while they were ascending to public greatness. Our busts harness history to inspire the same greatness in our lives and the lives of future generations,” adds Davenport.  

Aside from its bold angles and artistic beauty, the busts were designed to promote understanding, cultural healing and self-education today and for generations to come.  The bronze sculptures pay tribute to those brave individuals who paved the way for the actualization of American human and civil rights. By working with The Sculpture Mill, 1865 Company has the opportunity to create commemorative sculptures to inspire communities across the country and to make these works of art accessible and affordable.  We are honored to take part in the creation and release of these memorial pieces.  In coming months 1865 Company plans to release commemorative bronze desk busts of medical pioneer Charles Drew and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.


About 1865 Company
The 1865 Company collection features inspirational works of art that reflect the sheer expression of human potential.  Our finely crafted fine jewelry, collectibles, and executive gifts give clients the chance to own something that will be used, treasured and serve as a witness to history through generations.  The 1865 Company brand honors the American experience through the lens of the unsung heroism that became the manifestation of America's ideals of equality and freedom. The name is derived from the pivotal year 1865 (when the Civil War ended and the Thirteenth Amendment was passed), abolishing slavery nationwide.  Information about the company can be accessed at

Media Contact:
Patrice Davenport,