As one passes a Lawn Jockey in someones yard, welcoming us up to the front door, what are our thoughts? Do we simply think what a lovely statue? or does one wonder what is its history? Why a jockey? what did he represent? why is he black or white?

One of the stories surrounding the Lawn Jockey is that on a icy cold December night  in 1776  George Washington wanted to cross the Delaware to launch a surprise attack on the British in Trenton. An African-American little young boy wanted to fight the Redcoats too but Washington deemed him too young. He ordered him to stay and guard the horses making sure to keep the lantern burning so that the troops would know where to return. The story goes that many hours later when the troops returned, so devoted to Washington was this young bo, that he had not moved from his position and he had frozen on the spot, with the lantern frozen in his hand. George Washington was so moved by his devotion that he had a statue created to commemorate the “Faithful Groomsman” and he stands in Grave’s honor on the General’s estate in Mount Vernon.

During the Civil War allot of these statues could be found on the Southern Plantations and it became known as a guiding star for the Underground Railroad. A green ribbon attached to the statues arm indicated that the house was safe and red meant danger, that the owners were NOT sympathetic to their cause.

People, not aware of the history of the Lawn Jockey, and not wanting to cause offense, started representing the statue as a white boy. So now you can find him representing both races.

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