Jefferson Davis Statue in Asbury Park?

Gordon Bond's picture

The recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the reinvigorated debates over Confederate monuments reminded me of a story I had come across some time ago and am looking to reexamine for a possible article in Garden State Legacy.

In 1931, a gentleman by the name of W. Earl Hopper of New Jersey was writing letters to the editors of various newspapers seeking a painting, statue, or bust of Jefferson Davis to be added to a planned "Hall of Fame" that was to be part of a new Asbury Park "Hall of Nations" housed in Convention Hall. I have found other newspaper mentions of this project, but very little else. I presume it came to fruition?

Hopper does not appear to have had Confederate sympathies, and was active in a variety of similar projects aimed at promoting "universal peace." But he evidently saw Davis as a hero of the South and worthy of inclusion along with Abraham Lincoln. Other artifacts were also to be displayed from around the country.

Can anyone provide amy more information about the Hall of Nations and what became of its contents? And any information about Hopper himself? I believe he may have been involved with a Long Branch history museum in the 1950s.

Thank you!

Gordon Bond