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Severn Teackle Wallis Monument in Mount Vernon

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Saint Paul Street & E Monument Street (Street View)

GPS: 39° 17′ 51.29″ N 76° 36′ 50.95″ W


The Severn Teackle Wallis monument at Mount Vernon Place stands dignified as it looks east down Monument Street. Directly west is George Peabody with Washington and the rest of his monumental friends looming behind the two. Wallis (1816-1894) stands with his right hand on a pedestal covered with some of his papers, and is depicted with his trademark mustache and long sideburns.

One of the premiere lawyers of his generation, Severn Teackle was elected to the Maryland Legislature in 1861, where he proceeded to lead a faction of politicians opposed to the Civil War. The Federal Government, under the direction of Lincoln, swooped in on a September evening that year and imprisoned Mr. Wallis for his apparent transgressions. He was thrown in jail for fourteen months at various Union fortresses, yet he was never informed of the crime he committed. Upon his release he wrote a lengthy correspondence to Senator John Sherman explaining his displeasure with the situation, continuing his crusade for civil liberties.

Wallis was also a writer, penning literature throughout his long and storied life. His Glimpses of Spain and Discourse on the Life and Character of George Peabody are his most famous works and are still in print today. He wrote poetry as well and is highly regarded for his careful use of language and positive sentiment. Two of his most well-known poems are The Last of Hours and The Blessed Hand. Wallis was also an avid collector of literature and owned one of the first editions of Don Quixote in the United States. In 1877, he donated the volume to the Peabody Library. Severn Teackle Wallis is buried in Green Mount Cemetery.


On the fourth floor of the Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. Courthouse is another memorial to Mr. Wallis. The memorial consists of a bronze bust, a copy of William Rinehart’s work, atop a marble structure with a young woman reaching upwards with a laurel branch. The pair of Wallis monuments, along with various streets and locations bearing his name, create an important historical reference to one of Maryland’s great men. The Mount Vernon Place monument, dedicated in 1906, is by artist Laurent Honore Marqueste.



Written by monumentcity

May 18th, 2009 at 1:25 pm