Daniel Chester French Is Born

American sculptor Daniel Chester French was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, on April 20, 1850.

Reared in Cambridge and Concord, Massachusetts, he was embraced by members of the Transcendentalist community including Ralph Waldo Emerson. Author and fellow Concord resident Louisa May Alcott encouraged French to pursue a career as an artist. Louisa's artist sister, May Alcott, was his early teacher.

French received his first big commission for the statue The Minute Man, which he completed in 1875. Located near the North Bridge in the Minute Man National Historical Park in Concord, this work commemorates events at the bridge, the site of "the shot heard 'round the world." An American icon, images derivative of the Minute Man statue appeared on defense bonds, stamps, and posters during World War II.

Daniel Chester French (April 20, 1850 – October 7, 1931) was an American sculptor. His best-known work is the sculpture of a seated Abraham Lincoln (1920) at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

French was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, to Henry Flagg French, a lawyer, Assistant US Treasury Secretary and author of a book that described the French drain. Daniel Chester French was a neighbor and friend of Ralph Waldo Emerson, and the Alcott family. His decision to pursue sculpting was influenced by Louisa May Alcott's sister May Alcott.