Vinnie Ream

Vinnie Ream

Lavinia Ellen Ream (Vinnie Ream) (1847-1914) was an American sculptor. Her most famous work was the statue of Abraham Lincoln in the U.S. Capitol rotunda.

Early life

Ream was born 25 September 1847 in a log cabin in Madison, Wisconsin. She was the youngest daughter of Robert and Lavinia Ream. Robert Ream was a surveyor and a Wisconsin Territory civil servant. Her mother was a McDonald of Scottish ancestry. Vinnie Ream attended Christian College in Columbia, Missouri, now known as Columbia College. A portrait of Martha Washington by Ream hangs in St. Clair Hall.The Reams also operated a stage coach stop, one of the first hotels in Madison, from their home. Guests slept on the floor.

The Ream family were Pennsylvania Dutch (Deutsch) who emigrated to the colony of Pennsylvania in 1717 from the Palatinate region of Germany. Her grandfather fought in the American Revolutionary War. Vinnie Ream was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). The Ream (Rheim or Riehm) family were Protestants who may have been French Huguenot refugees.

Other activities

Vinnie Ream was also one of the first women to be employed by the Federal Government as a clerk in the Dead Letter Office of the United States Postal Service (USPS) from 1862-1866 during the American Civil War. A First Day Cover stamp was issued in honor of Vinnie Ream and her work on the statue of Sequoyah, the Native American inventor of the Cherokee alphabet.

Work as a sculptor

Vinnie Ream was the first woman and the youngest artist to ever receive a commission from the United States Government for a statue. She was awarded the commission for the full-size Carrara marble statue of Lincoln by a vote of Congress in 1866 when she was 18 years old. Ream also designed the first free-standing statue of a Native American (Sequoyah) to be placed in Statuary Hall at the Capitol. She built the first major monument to a U.S. Navy Officer (Admiral David Farragut) to be built in Washington, D.C.. It is in Farragut Square.

In Washington, D.C., on a night in January 1871, Ream became famous. On that night her white marble statue of President Abraham Lincoln was unveiled in the United States Capitol building. She was only 23 years old. [ [ Vinnie Ream Hoxie. Military Spouse & Sculptor ] ]

Later life

Ream married Richard L. Hoxie of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1878. [ [ Richard Leveridge Hoxie, Brigadier General, United States Army ] ] They had one son. The Hoxies had a summer home in Iowa City, Iowa. [ [ McDonald on Vinne Ream Hoxie ] ] She died on 12 January 1914. [ [ Vinnie Ream Hoxie. Military Spouse & Sculptor ] ] Vinnie Ream Hoxie and her husband are buried in section 3 of Arlington National Cemetery.

The town of Vinita, Oklahoma was named in honor of Vinnie Ream. [ [ Vinita Oklahoma Area Chamber of Commerce promoting visitor information for the purpose of relocation & tourism ] ]


External links

* [ The Vinnie Ream Cultural Center of Vinita, Oklahoma]
* [ Vinnie Ream (Hoxie)]
* [ Vinnie Ream Hoxie, Wisconsin State Historical Society]

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