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 Some confusion arising from several associations collecting money for the same object, the collections by each were doubtless somewhat retarded. In March, 1884, by an act of Assembly, the Lee Monument Association and the Ladies' Lee Monument were consolidated, but the two did not at once act in unison. During the administration of Governor Kemper a law was passed constituting the Governor, the Treasurer and the Auditor of the State a board of managers for the Lee Monument Association. The Soldiers' Association disbanded and turned over to this board their funds, and by the zeal and efficiency of the secretary, Colonel S. Basset French, collections were pushed and there was considerable additions to the fund. An unsuccessful effort was made to unite with the Ladies' Association. This association being anxious to secure a model and an artist for the work, made inquiries of those well versed in such matters as to the best living sculptors; for we are authorized to say that the ladies were positive on two points: one was that they themselves were not competent critics in art, and the other, that nationality should have nothing to do with the selection of a sculptor—a statue of General Lee being considered worthy to command the best artistic talent of the world. As their inquiries have resulted in the selection of M. Mercie as the sculptor, and the completion of his statue, a history of them will not only be interesting, but it will prove, even to that large part of the public who will not view it with the artist's eye, that no pains have been spared, that the end justifies the means, and that we have secured for the statue of General Lee the best artistic talent of the world.
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