H. R. 497
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
To authorize the Marion Park Project, a committee of the Palmetto Conservation Foundation, to establish a commemorative work on Federal land in the District of Columbia, and its environs to honor Brigadier General Francis Marion.
This Act may be cited as the
Brigadier General Francis Marion Memorial Act of 2007.
Commemorative work to honor Brigadier General Francis Marion and his family
The Congress finds that:
Francis Marion was born in 1732 in St. John’s Parish, Berkeley County, South Carolina. He married Mary Esther Videau on April 20th, 1786. Francis and Mary Esther Marion had no children, but raised a son of a relative as their own, and gave the child Francis Marion’s name.
Brigadier General Marion commanded the Williamsburg Militia Revolutionary force in South Carolina and was instrumental in delaying the advance of British forces by leading his troops in disrupting supply lines.
Brigadier General Marion’s tactics, which were unheard of in rules of warfare at the time, included lightning raids on British convoys, after which he and his forces would retreat into the swamps to avoid capture. British Lieutenant Colonel Tarleton stated that
as for this damned old swamp fox, the devil himself could not catch him. Thus, the legend of the
Swamp Fox was born.
His victory at the Battle of Eutaw Springs in September of 1781 was officially recognized by Congress.
Brigadier General Marion’s troops are believed to be the first racially integrated force fighting for the United States, as his band was a mix of Whites, Blacks, both free and slave, and Native Americans.
As a statesman, he represented his parish in the South Carolina senate as well as his State at the Constitutional Convention.
Although the Congress has authorized the establishment of commemorative works on Federal lands in the District of Columbia honoring such celebrated Americans as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln, the National Capital has no comparable memorial to Brigadier General Francis Marion for his bravery and leadership during the Revolutionary War, without which the United States would not exist.
Brigadier General Marion’s legacy must live on. Since 1878, United States Reservation 18 has been officially referred to as Marion Park. Located between 4th and 6th Streets, S.E., at the intersection of E Street and South Carolina Avenue, S.E., in Washington, DC, the park lacks a formal commemoration to this South Carolina hero who was important to the initiation of the Nation’s heritage.
The time has come to correct this oversight so that future generations of Americans will know and understand the preeminent historical and lasting significance to the Nation of Brigadier General Marion’s contributions. Such a South Carolina hero deserves to be given the proper recognition.
Authority to establish commemorative work
The Marion Park Project, a committee of the Palmetto Conservation Foundation, may establish a commemorative work on Federal land in the District of Columbia and its environs to honor Brigadier General Francis Marion and his service.
Compliance with standards for commemorative works
The commemorative work authorized by subsection (b) shall be established in accordance with chapter 89 of title 40, United States Code (commonly known as the
Commemorative Works Act).
Use of federal funds prohibited
Federal funds may not be used to pay any expense of the establishment of the commemorative work authorized by subsection (b). The Marion Park Project, a committee of the Palmetto Conservation Foundation, shall be solely responsible for acceptance of contributions for, and payment of the expenses of, the establishment of that commemorative work.
Deposit of excess funds
If, upon payment of all expenses of the establishment of the commemorative work authorized by subsection (b) (including the maintenance and preservation amount provided for in section 8906(b) of title 40, United States Code), or upon expiration of the authority for the commemorative work under chapter 89 of title 40, United States Code, there remains a balance of funds received for the establishment of that commemorative work, the Marion Park Project, a committee of the Palmetto Conservation Foundation, shall transmit the amount of the balance to the Secretary of the Treasury for deposit in the account provided for in section 8906(b)(1) of such title.
For the purposes of this section, the terms commemorative work and the District of Columbia and its environs have the meanings given to such terms in section 8902(a) of title 40, United States Code.
Passed the House of Representatives March 5, 2007.
Lorraine C. Miller,