Standing high upon a twenty-foot-tall granite pedestal, this impressive bronze statue of Admiral David G. Farragut serves as the centerpiece of Farragut Square along Connecticut Avenue between K and I Streets N.W. It was erected by the U.S. government under a Congressional Act approved on April 16, 1872 and dedicated nine years later, on April 25, 1881. Vinnie Ream was chosen to create the statue, making it the first major piece of public art created by a woman in the nation’s capital.
David Farragut was a career military officer whose first combat experience came during the War of 1812 at the age of 9. Although Farragut and his wife had resided in Virginia prior to the Civil War’s outbreak, they promptly moved and remained loyal to the United States. Farragut is best known for his success in capturing the City of New Orleans, and for his defeat of Confederate forces at the Battle of Mobile Bay, where he uttered the famous words "Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!" Following the war, President Andrew Johnson promoted Farragut to admiral, the first U.S. naval officer to receive the title.
The statue was cast in the Washington Navy Yard from the propeller of the USS Hartford, Admiral Farragut's flagship during the Civil War. Four chopped mortars cast from the same propeller rest on the corner blocks of the pedestal. Farragut is depicted in his naval uniform and standing on the deck of his ship, facing south towards the White House. He is holding a telescope with both hands.
DC Inventory: March 3, 1979
National Register: September 20, 1978