American Agriculture

Agriculture

bronze, 1909
commissioned by the Robbins Sisters (Eliza, Caira, and Ida) of Arlington

Draped in a classical tunic and wearing a laurel wreath crown, this personification of American agriculture is identified by her sheaf of tobacco leaves, the definitive American cash crop and export for four centuries. After almost 90 years of corrosive exposure to the elements, it was removed from the top of the Robbins Memorial Flag Staff at Arlington Town Hall and replaced with a plastic resin copy in 2000.

Dallin’s beautiful Flag Staff base depicts figures and themes from Arlington’s early history: The town’s last Massachusetts chief, the Squaw Sachem, whose name outsiders were forbidden to speak; a Pilgrim father, studying his Bible; a mother teaching her child to read; and a Minuteman on guard with his musket. The base is ornamented with reliefs of fruits, nuts, insects and birds to commemorate Arlington’s famous market garden economy of the early 20th century.