Congressman James E. Clyburn

Proudly Serving the 6th District of South Carolina


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December 10, 2021

COLUMBIA – Next Friday, Congressman James E. Clyburn will help welcome Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune’s statue as it makes a stop in her hometown of Mayesville, South Carolina on its way to the U.S. Capitol. The 11-foot, 3-ton marble statue will be on display for public viewing on North Main Street East for the day to give community members the opportunity to view Bethune’s statue before it continues its journey to Washington, D.C.

Born to former slaves in 1875 on a plantation in Mayesville, Bethune would go on to become one of the country’s most influential educators and civil rights leaders. Florida selected Bethune to replace a Confederate General as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection, representing the state where she founded Bethune-Cookman University. Each state sends two statues to the collection, and Bethune’s addition is historic as she becomes the first Black person to be sent to the Capitol from a state.    

“Soon, the statue of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune will depart Daytona Beach, Florida - her home where she founded Bethune-Cookman University. As she makes her way to her place of honor in the United States Capitol, it is fitting that Dr. Bethune be honored in her birthplace of Mayesville, South Carolina. This Homecoming will give South Carolinians an opportunity to admire the beauty of the historic sculpture and reflect upon the magnificence of her life. The visit to Mayesville has been a dream I have shared with my friend, Congressman Jim Clyburn. I appreciate the work it took to coordinate this stop in Mayesville so that South Carolinians can share in the celebration of her life,” Representative Castor said.

“I was pleased to work with Congresswoman Kathy Castor of Florida and the Town of Mayesville to bring the statue of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune to her birthplace, and I thank Wells Fargo and the Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Statuary Fund, Inc. for helping us honor her at home in this way,” said Congressman Clyburn. “As a young child, my mother revered Dr. Bethune, and had me learn all that I could about her. It was her roots in South Carolina that fueled her passion for education and enabled her to serve as a counselor to U.S. Presidents and a tremendous advocate for the Black community. I spearheaded the effort to have her portrait in the South Carolina Statehouse in the 1970s, and 50 years later, I look forward to welcoming her statue to the halls of Congress.”

“This moment in history would not have been possible if it were not for our esteemed Congressman and Majority Whip, James E. Clyburn,” said Mayesville Mayor Hollimon-Miller. “My aunt, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune was called “The First Lady of the Struggle" for her persistent influence on the Roosevelt Administration on civil rights issues that impacted her people throughout the world. As one of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune’s family descendants and Mayor of her birthplace, seeing her statue move from her college, Bethune-Cookman University with a stop at her birthplace, is truly an inspiration of God Himself.  This is so spiritual and befitting for God to honor her wishes to one day return home on her way to the nation’s capital where she will rest throughout eternity.”

“It is an honor to witness the recognition of Dr. Bethune’s legacy,” said William Daley, Wells Fargo Vice Chairman for Public Affairs. “Through her work as an educator, civil rights activist, and advocate for women’s equality, Dr. Bethune’s impact on our nation will be felt for generations to come.”

A ceremony will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, December 17 to celebrate Mary McLeod Bethune’s legacy and officially welcome her statue to Mayesville.  

Who:    Congressman James E. Clyburn

Mayor Jereleen Hollimon-Miller

William M. Daley, Vice Chairman, Wells Fargo

Nilda Comas, Master Sculptor

Morris College Choir Ensemble

What:   Mary McLeod Bethune Statue Ceremony

Where: Mary McLeod Bethune Learning Center and Art Gallery

35 North Main Street East Mayesville, South Carolina 29104

When:   Friday, December 17th at 2:00 p.m.

  Viewing from 1:00-3:30 p.m.