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Thomas Starr King Honored at State Capitol

A new exhibit at the California State Capitol Museum in Sacramento pays tribute to Thomas Starr King, a dedicated Mason and key figure in California history.

“The Apostle of Liberty: Thomas Starr King” showcases a seven-foot bronze statue of King, which returns to California after 78 years in Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C.

King, a Unitarian preacher, arrived in San Francisco in 1860. His renowned oratory skills and ceaseless advocacy for the Union cause during the height of the Civil War earned him the titles “Apostle of Liberty” and “the orator who saved the nation.”

He was also instrumental in fundraising $1.4 million for the U.S. Sanitary Commission – the predecessor to the American Red Cross – and passing an 1864 bill that preserved 20,000 acres of Yosemite Valley for public use and recreation.

King was raised in Oriental Lodge No. 144 in San Francisco, now Phoenix Lodge No. 144, and served as grand orator of the Grand Lodge of California in 1863.

A number of California Masons attended the Dec. 8 statue unveiling and exhibit opening in Sacramento. “The Apostle of Liberty: Thomas Starr King” continues through June 30 at the California State Capitol Museum. The Thomas Starr King statue will remain permanently on display in the Civil War Memorial Grove in Sacramento’s Capitol Park.

Photos by Adam Kendall
















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